BC Interior author publishes book on history of KVR Railway – Kelowna News | So Good News


The Kettle Valley Railway may be long gone, but its story lives on in the pages of Barrie Sanford’s new book, Tales of the KVR: The Kettle Valley Railway Remembered.

Abandoned in parts throughout the 1960s and seeing its last train in 1989, the KVR has been closed for over 30 years, but there was a time when it was important to the people of the Okanagan and the mining industry.

The railroad ran from Hope to Rock Creek, passing through Beaverdell, Myra Canyon, Penticton, Summerland through the Similkameen to Coalmont, Brookmere and where the lower Coquihalla is today. Segments of the rail bed have since been converted into recreational trails.

Sanford, a resident of Brookmere, BC, has written two other books focusing on the history of KVR, McCulloch’s Wonder and Steel rails and iron men. He has been fascinated by trains since childhood and has been interviewing KVR employees for more than 60 years.

After decades of collecting stories, he is ready to share his memorable conversations with the public.

“This book is heavily focused on the people who built and operated the railroads,” Sanford tells Castanet.

“The stories about the KVR are primarily the stories told to me by the people who worked there … with most of my interviews of the Kettle Valley Railway in the mid-60s with people who had recently retired and were happy to share their stories with me.”

Sanford says that when he found out the KVR was going to be shut down, he had to make a point to ride it as a passenger. Speaking to the locomotive engineer on the tour, he was fascinated by his countless stories and quickly realized that the history of the KVR needed to be recorded.

The author will be at Mosaic Books in Kelowna on Friday the 28th. October from 12pm to 2pm to talk to readers and share their stories.

“People are welcome to come and hear stories, but I’m sure some will come to tell me stories,” he said. “I hope this book is read by young people who are beginning to realize that it was a pretty rough and tough life back then.”

From first-hand interviews to family reminiscences, Sanford’s latest book contains a wide range of informative and entertaining anecdotes, and historical details of interest to rail fans, local historians and anyone who has traveled the KVR.

The book is available at Mosaic Books in Kelowna and online at Indigo.


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