After a lengthy absence, we are now back to providing an update to everyone as to what is happening with our committee and our project. Our committee usually meets once a month and discusses where we are with fundraising & restoration plans, articles donated to us, stories involving the station and railroaders in general and much more. In the last 3 years we have worked on raising the awareness of the heritage aspect of our building and the railroad within our community and area. Our committee members have been involved in many smaller projects on our way to the largest project of all. Many railroad enthusiasts have sent us stories, articles or pieces of memorabilia for us to house in our museum in the train station. Once we get our blog up to date on all we have completed thus far, it truly shows what a small group of dedicated people can do.
Having said that, Rivers is having its 100th Anniversary this year and there are many events planned for celebrating between July 2 -7th, 2013. It will be a time for all to renew old friendships and regale of stories of what used to happen when they visited, lived or worked here.
This heritage of stories and people and events is something that the Rivers Train Station Restoration Committee Inc. has been working on for the last three years as it has such a connection to the railroad. We have been working on a project with the Manitoba Historic Resources Branch to capture our history through the buildings in our community, the original people who brought this community to life and the events that have followed along the way. We are currently working on a heritage website for the town and the surrounding RM which will be a living document that people will continue to submit stories, photos and all things heritage for our area. We are thankful to Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism for providing the funding for us to complete these most important projects.
The committee continues to add to the railroad theme throughout the community by providing unique railroad benches, a unique and very heavy train rail arbour and a 27 piece massive puzzle that depicts the heritage of the area with the railroad. The puzzle pieces are about 3-4 feet in length and cover the train station windows while we work on the station itself. The goal of the committee is to remove the puzzle pieces off the windows and back into a very large mural in 2017 when the train station turns 100. We were assisted with this project by The Whitehead Foundation of Western Manitoba and it is the only puzzle piece art that we know of in Manitoba and from our research, the rest of Canada.
We have been working toward funding for our restoration of the station and while we have worked hard at retaining grants, we have not yet received the large ones that will begin the restoration by re-doing the roof. The building is a Federally designated heritage building and we have to restore the outside as it was, which means cedar shingles for the roof to begin the process.
VIA Rail has been an amazing and very supportive partner along the journey and we look forward to the day where they will house their waiting room inside the station as it used to be. For now we are proud of the work we have completed in keeping the Rivers Train Stationette a place of pride until the Rivers Train Station is restored.
by Jessie Bell, RTSRP Reporter
Michael Blatherwick, regional counsultant for Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, western region, attended a Rivers Train Station Restoration Committee meeting on Tuesday evening, January 27th. He explained the availability of two provincial grants: Community Places and one for heritage buildings, favouring the latter. Both grants can be applied for every year; however, Community Places is for projects that must be completed with the year the grant is made. He added that more than one organization within the same town could apply for grants. The heritage grant would be most suitable for the train station restoration as this project will be carried out over a period of several years.
Blatherwick reported a facilities consultant had recently inspected Rivers train station. Having worked in construction for many years before employment with Manitoba government, this consultant was impressed with the beams, sound foundation and solid wood flooring. He was very positive about the state of the building and excited to see restoration commence. Advice was given concerning the roof, which should be shingled to protect the interior. Once the indoor update is completed, the cheaper asphalt shingles could be replaced by the enviro-friendly 'cedar' shakes.
Aeleen Sclater showed the group a sample of lumber saved by her father, the late Abe Sclater, from Floors Elevator where he was employed for many years. He had salvaged the boards from the interior of the elevator leg when the structure was being demolished. Deep grooves had been created in the lumber by the movement of grain which eventually removed the soft wood, leaving a sculpted hard wood. The rescued lumber, along with the history of Floors Elevator, have been offered by the Sclater family as a museum collection once the station is restored. Another donation to a station museum are paintings of steam locomotives by Stephen Lowe of Brandon and formerly of Rivers. A monetary donation was gratefully received from a local grain group who recently disbanded.
The Great Train Trip Giveaway winner Dennis Basso (l) of Deloraine, Manitoba receives a voucher from Rivers Train Station Restoration Project co-chair Ralph Sprenger (r) for a train trip for two!
The presentation took place at the Rivers Train Stationette, where Mr. Basso and his wife Marlene will board the VIA Rail Canadian train, traveling first class to Vancouver. The Basso's will take their trip sometime before the end of August.
Rivers Train Station Restoration Project co-chairs Ralph Sprenger and Donna Morken load the 984 tickets sold (just 16 shy of the 1000!) into the draw drum.
VIA Rail passenger train arrives right on time for the draw!
A crowd gathers as passengers get on and off train ~ all awaiting the official draw ...
Happy VIA passenger Julie Matthies is delighted to make the draw ...
Can you imagine telling your sweetheart on Valentine's Day that you've just won a trip for two, first class, on VIA Rail from Rivers to either Toronto or Vancouver?
The Rivers Train Station Restoration Project committee is THRILLED to announce there's only a very limited number of tickets still available for the Great Train Trip Giveaway draw!
Tickets $20. each ... only 1000 sold ... available at Carol's Time Again Treasures in Rivers, Tues to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm, 328-4434 ... or call 328-7841 evenings and weekends.
Do YOU have the winning ticket? The draw will be made on Saturday, February 14th at 3:00 pm at the Rivers Train Stationette. Committee members are hoping to coincide with the westbound VIA train ... ALL ABOARD!
Full Great Train Trip Giveaway details in previous posts.
WIN! A TRAIN TRIP FOR TWO TO TORONTO OR VANCOUVER!
Get on board The Great Train Trip Giveaway! You and a friend could be traveling VIA Rail's signature Silver and Blue class from Rivers to either Toronto or Vancouver ~ a round trip valued at nearly $5,000.!
Get your tickets today ~ $20. each ~ only 1,000 sold.
Tickets available at Carol's Time Again Treasures in Rivers, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm ~ call 204-328-4434 ... or ... call 204-328-7841 evenings and weekends.
All proceeds go to the Rivers Train Station Restoration Project. Draw date is February 14, 2009 in Rivers, MB.
You could win a return trip for two from Rivers to either Toronto or Vancouver on VIA Rail's award winning Canadian train. Your one/two day trip each way will begin in Rivers (departs Rivers Wednesday, Friday and Sunday), and you will be treated with VIA's signature Silver & Blue class service throughout the journey.
Much more than a way to get there, Silver & Blue class offers the romance and sophistication of a classic overnight rail experience. Enjoy the best of Canadian cuisine, freshly prepared and served in the stylish dining car. Pause for a drink in the Skyline car or Park car, or climb up to the observation dome for a 360-degree view of your surroundings. And fall asleep to the rhythm of the rails in your cozy private bedroom.
As a Silver & Blue class passenger, you enjoy pre-boarding privileges and priority baggage handling at major stations, comfortable bedrooms with nightly bed turn down service, exclusive use of shower facilities, exclusive use of lounges and observation dome in the Park car, and an on-board Activity Coordinator. Special touches include a "Welcome Aboard!" reception and appetizers and wine, personal shower kit, 24-hour complimentary tea/coffee service, and of course, courteous staff attentive to your every need.
As all meals are included in your trip, dining in Silver & Blue class is a memorable experience in itself. Whether for breakfast, lunch or any of the three evening sittings, an enticing menu is freshly prepared by our on-board chef, featuring soups and salads, superb hot entrees and irresistible desserts.
Full Draw Regulations are in the previous posting.
For any further information regarding the Great Train Trip Giveaway ... or the Rivers Train Station Restoration Project, please call 204-328-7841.
Get your ticket today ... and GOOD LUCK!
• Winner will be determined by random draw on February 14, 2009 in Rivers, MB.
• Winner will receive one voucher for TWO passengers for a round trip to either Toronto OR Vancouver aboard VIA Rail Silver and Blue Class valued up to $5,000.
• Ticket voucher not transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash.
• Ticket voucher must be redeemed by August 21, 2009 ~ this will not be extended.
• Departure must be from Rivers, Manitoba.
• Winner responsible for transportation to and from Rivers.
• Winner responsible for all lodging and expenses at point of destination. (Toronto or Vancouver)
• Ticket voucher not valid December 15 - January 5 inclusive and from Easter Thursday to Monday inclusive.
• Only the winner's name on the voucher may use the voucher. It is strictly forbidden to sell, assign, trade or transfer in any manner whatsoever the travel voucher to another person.
• Subject to available of space on board. Early booking is advised.
• Winner will be notified how to reserve their trip.
• Chances are 1 in 1,000 (total tickets sold) to win.
• Winner consents to release of name and photo by licensee for draw announcement.