Timber-frame structure at Cranbrook History Centre enters phase two

As you may have noticed while driving down the strip, the timber-frame structures are coming along nicely at the Cranbrook History Centre. Local photographer and historian David Humphrey captured how the rising structure has lined up with Fisher Peak — two Cranbrook landmarks in sync.

The structures are being built to protect the 28 restored train cars that date back to the 1870s. With a total value of between $6 to $8 million, something was needed to protect them from the elements and ensure that they live on for many more years.

READ MORE: Plan to cover rare train cares approved

The photos illustrate how the peaks of the roof of the structure line up with Fisher Peak in the background.

“They are stunning photos and what’s nice is as we continue into phase two of the project to continue putting the roof over the train is that it will continue to have that line,” said Tammy Morgan, executive director of the Cranbrook History Centre. “So the way it just came together is unbelievable.”

Morgan added they’ll be looking at making postcards with that image in the future.

Phase one of the project covered nine cars on tracks one, two and three, and now they will be moving into phase two that will continue to cover the cars on tracks one and two.

“So our Trans Canada line which is a seven-piece set has got a historic designation and we need to cover it to ensure that it’s there for years and years to come.”

Morgan said they don’t yet have a definitive date for when phase two will begin, but it will start once they have fundraised enough to be able to begin that portion of the project.

“So what you’ll see is the cars on that first line by the highway will continue to have a roof over them, that one and the one beside it,” Morgan explained. “And that way, at that point then we’ll be able to make a wheelchair accessible ramp that will allow people who have mobility issues an opportunity to be abel to view the trains from the outside.”

Adding a ramp to the outside has been something they have always wanted to do, Morgan said, and is something the History Centre is very excited about.

“So that’s actually one of the amazing features that this roof will allow to do, is that it’s accessible to anybody and everybody from the outside, which has never been able to happen before so we’re really excited about that.

“Because, of course, the trains were built years and years and years ago and we can’t just change the inside of them to allow wheelchairs and walkers, but at least now people will be able to enjoy them from the outside.”

The project does not have an exact timeline for completion as it all depends on funding and donations.

“The project can’t be completed without the assistance of our public in terms of donations and different things like that, grants,” Morgan said. “So as those come up we can apply for them to be able to assist us in continuing that growth and development.”

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