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Corrosion, damage, overgrown vegetation cancels Stanley Park Bright Nights train

Click to play video: 'Ongoing safety concerns sideline Stanley Park Christmas train at this year’s Bright Nights.'
Ongoing safety concerns sideline Stanley Park Christmas train at this year’s Bright Nights.
Bright Nights at Stanley Park will marks it silver anniversary this year, but without its signature attraction. Ongoing safety and mechanical issues mean the popular Christmas train ride through the park won't happen this holiday season. As Catherine Urquhart reports, safety officials say the vintage train will not be up and running again until those concerns are all addressed. – Nov 3, 2022

Safety concerns about the Stanley Park Miniature Train had led to the closure of the attraction for Bright Nights this year.

Technical Safety BC said in a statement there were a number of issues with the attraction including corrosion and damage to both the track and railcars, overgrown vegetation disrupting sight lines and decaying infrastructure, as well as a requirement for a full condition report from a third-party contractor certified to inspect this type of train.

The Stanley Park Ghost Train, a spooky, holiday-themed version of the park’s miniature railroad, was also cancelled for 2022 due to “mechanical issues affecting the antique engines and passenger cars.”

Click to play video: 'Off the rails: Stanley Park Ghost Train cancelled for 2022'
Off the rails: Stanley Park Ghost Train cancelled for 2022

Technical Safety BC officers went back to inspect the train ahead of Bright Nights but found they could not certify it for operation due to the concerns.

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The Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund said an event will still be held at the site but it will not include the railway attraction.

Bright Nights, which runs from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, will include light displays, Santa’s workshop and food vendors.

“This is a cherished tradition for many folks in Vancouver, and although it’s disappointing the trains can’t be a part of this year’s event due to technical challenges, we’re committed to helping create the best possible holiday experience with our partners,” Steve Jackson, director of business services for the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation said in a statement.

Click to play video: 'Stanley Park Christmas train will not run this winter'
Stanley Park Christmas train will not run this winter

“Countless firefighters have put in a lot of effort and thought into this year’s set up, and we can’t wait to see how it looks! We know this year’s Bright Nights will still bring joy to families and we encourage folks to come and donate for an important cause.”

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Bright Nights is also the single largest fundraising event for the Burn Fund.

Entry to the event will be by donation and guests can also purchase 50/50 tickets.

“It is disappointing the train is not operating, but it is important for us to host a free holiday event for everyone to enjoy,” Jeff Sauvé, executive director of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund said.

“Each year, hundreds of firefighters from across the province come together to create a time-honoured light display in Stanley Park. We are hoping the community will continue to come out to Bright Nights and celebrate the season.”

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