BRIDGE WORK The historic Trout Creek trestle bridge was constructed more than a century ago, in 1913. This fall, the bridge will be closed for six weeks, beginning Oct. 15, as the Kettle Valley Railway Society does maintenance work on the structure. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Maintenance work planned for historic train bridge in Summerland

Kettle Valley Railway Society will close bridge for six weeks beginning in mid-October

Summerland’s historic trestle bridge will be closed this fall as railway crews do some maintenance work.

Gerry Conrad, secretary of the Kettle Valley Railway Society, said the work will begin Oct. 15 and will continue for six weeks. The bridge will be closed during this time as a safety measure.

“The work will ensure the bridge remains safe as a recreational pathway bridge and for railway operations,” Conrad said.

The bridge is part of Summerland’s railway history and played a part in the development of the community.

Initially, when the Kettle Valley Railway was designed to bypass Summerland, but in 1910, James Ritchie, the reeve of the municipality requested the train stop in the community.

This request was turned down.

Ritchie then surveyed the area, using a carpenter’s level, and designed a route that would pass near the present research station.

The plan kept the grade to no more than two per cent and shortened the route by nearly a kilometre.

The bridge over Trout Creek Canyon was built in 1913 and the first train crossed it on Oct. 25, 1913.

Summerland had train service beginning May 31, 1915. The last passenger train came through the community on Jan. 16, 1964 and the last freight train through Summerland was in 1975.

Since September, 1995, the Kettle Valley Railway Society has operated steam trains on the tracks in Summerland.

A part of the tourist train ride includes a stop on the historic trestle bridge.

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HISTORIC BRIDGE Passenger and freight trains crossed the Trout Creek trestle bridge in Summerland during the age of rail travel. The first train stopped in Summerland in 1915. Passenger service came to an end in 1964 and the last freight train passed through in 1975. Today, the bridge and the tracks are used for a tourist steam train. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

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