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Tramway society track replacement project energized with City’s contribution

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
March 5th, 2024

Nelsonites will be stepping with a contribution of $65,000 to the Nelson Electric Tramway Society to fund further upgrades to the tramway tracks, one year after the society completed significant upgrades of the track.

The society completed repairs in 2023 — replacement of the ties and tracks for the electric tramway along the city’s lakeshore — after receiving a $1 million provincial grant, but is now assembling an additional $230,000 to complete two other aspects this spring, including the $65,000 from the City of Nelson.

The money was part of the draft financial plan presented to City council earlier this year but — as the project is set to begin shortly — approval was needed before the full City budget is approved later this spring.

There was no discussion on March 5 when City council approved the funding, but council had previously agreed to provide a back-up contingency fund of $100,000. Destination Development Fund funding requires applicants to have access to $200,000 in contingency funds in case of cost overruns.

The City wasn’t the only source the society could be drawing upon for the latest round of work. The society requested assistance from the Columbia Basin Trust for half of the amount — $130,000 — but CBT had indicated it would like to see the City contribute. The society would cover the remaining $65,000 when it receives a hold back amount from the Province.

The new work would include from the road crossing to the east end of the mall in front of the sub-station — 480 feet of track — and under the bridge to remove and replace 200 feet of track.


Project tracking

The project — which received a tourism grant from the Province’s Destination Development Fund — has come in slightly under budget for the initial work.

Upgrade work has included the following:

  • 1,500 feet of track from west end of mall parking lot to and around the Prestige Loop, replacing 750 regular ties and five switch ties, installing 800 cubic yards of ballast (crushed rock);
  • 1,290 feet of track from road crossing adjacent to soccer fields, replacing 650 ties and installing 670 cubic yards of ballast; and
  • 800 feet of track crossing to mainline switch, replacing 400 ties and installing 416 cubic yards of ballast.

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