2010 Olympic Torch rides the rails in style from Revelstoke to Craigellachie

Cranbrook-based CP Rail diesel mechanic Randy Dudka (right) passes the flame to CP Rail President and CEO Fred Green at the Last Spike memorial in Craigellachie on Wednesday morning.



Click here for photo gallery of Olympic Torch Relay from Revelstoke to Craigellachie by rail (50 photos)

Calgarian Parmjyt Bal anchored the final leg of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay visit to Revelstoke, running the last stretch along Victoria Road to the Revelstoke Railway Museum before lighting a cauldron located at the back of the CPR’s Mount Stephen rail car.

After a brief photo-op at the back of the train, the travelling media was corralled inside, joining local and regional politicians, as well as other local representatives such as Parks Canada and Canadian Avalanche Centre personnel. Also on hand was Fred Green, President and CEO of Canadian Pacific.

The luxury train then departed on the 45-minute trip to Craigellachie, the location of the driving of the Last Spike.

Guests were treated to a continental breakfast in the board room of the Mount Stephen Car. Built at Canadian Pacific’s Angus Shops in Montreal in 1926, the luxury car was originally used to serve as a directors’ car for daytime use. The interior features art deco finishing. The decor includes wooden panelling made from maple and Circassian walnut panelling and veneer which was imported from Russia — pretty fancy, in other words.

Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are a few of the guests to have travelled in the car.

In 1971, the previously mothballed Mount Stephen was assigned to the CP’s public relations department after undergoing a restoration, and has served during these types of functions since then.

Revelstoke Railway Museum executive director Jennifer Dunkerson said the chance to ride in the car was a wonderful experience. “It was great. In the coaches they gave us a wonderful reception and a continental breakfast and we chatted over a number of things,” she said adding it was a good chance to make a number of contacts with CP representatives.

An historian, Dunkerson said it was great to be part of history in the making. “From my end of things, with railway heritage, the whole combination of involving the torch with the train and CP and going through this part of the province in that way — on the train — not only was creating a historical moment, but was also linking history with the present in the whole torchbearer relay. It was a brilliant combination of things.”

Also on hand was acting Revelstoke mayor Steve Bender, who was filling in for mayor David Raven. “Emphasis on acting!” he joked. “I just felt so privileged to be on that executive car, being served a continental breakfast and to be part of the whole Olympic thing. I think some of the hoopla kind of glosses over the fact that that’s a real historic event that we just experienced and I was just so privileged to be part of it.”

Once at Craigellachie, Cranbrook-based CP diesel mechanic Randy Dudka lit his torch from the cauldron before doing a lap around the Last Spike historic site. He was one of 20 CP employees from across Canada to be selected through an internal program. He had applied to be a torchbearer through RBC, but wasn’t selected, and was thrilled to get the chance. “It was absolutely awesome,” he says. He was joined by his wife Diane, daughter Georgia and grand-daughter Leah.

Like many participating in the relay, he has a background in athletics. He has been to several B.C. Winter Games, winning a few different medals with the Flying Tigers broomball team from Cranbrook.

Once back at the Last Spike memorial, he passed the flame over to Fred Green, who also did a lap around the complex before posing for photos and then returning to the train to light the cauldron once again.

The train then departed westward, with the next scheduled stop at Canoe, B.C.

Check the photo galleries page for photos from the Jan. 27 Olympic Torch Relay in Revelstoke and Craigellachie.

Just Posted

Your weekly news recap

The Golden Star’s weekly 60-second news recap… Continue reading

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

UPDATE: Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke, set to reopen at 7:30 p.m.

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near the west entrance to… Continue reading

Golden Rockets win one on the road

The Golden Rockets faced off against the Creston Valley Thundercats on the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Final phase of Kelowna hospital cardiac centre completed

Finishing new recovery rooms marks completion of $381 million project

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Most Read