Cumberland’s railway connection put to print

Submitted

The Cumberland Museum and Archives is thrilled to announce the launch of Cumberland Collieries’ Railway Vancouver Island, B.C., 1888 to 1960.

This long-awaited book brings to life the extensive railway system which, for over 60 years, connected Cumberland’s coal mines to the Union Wharf at Union Bay.

In 1992 author Patrick O. Hind completed the original manuscript detailing the history of the Cumberland Collieries Railway and its diverse roster of historic steam locomotives.

The project was funded through a BC Heritage Trust grant. After completion, the manuscript sat in the archives at the Cumberland Museum for nearly 20 years.

ln 2011 a group of local historians formed a publishing team to prepare the manuscript for print. After a dedicated volunteer effort, the Cumberland Collieries Railway book is now complete, offering a compelling historical insight into this little known, yet significant piece of Cumberland’s industrial past.

“This story is about the railway that connects the mines at Cumberland with the deep sea ships that called from all corners of the world to carry the mined coal to railways and industry,”  O. Hind said. “It is a story of the railway through the years. The locomotives that operated over the railway, and the men that operated them.”

Cumberland Collieries’ Railway contains 50 photographs selected from the archives of Cumberland and Union Bay.

Also included are images of trains in their later years taken by the late renowned railway photographer, David Wilkie. The book will appeal to train enthusiasts, and those who love Vancouver Island history.

Please join the Cumberland Collieries’ Railway production team: Gwyn Sproule, Frank Carter, Vera Moan, and Maynard Atkinson, along with the Cumberland Museum and Archives board and staff on Saturday, Oct.  18, 2 p.m. at the Cumberland Library for a fascinating glimpse into the making of the book, and a celebration of its completion.

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