Stanley Park Ghost Train cancelled for fourth straight year

The Vancouver Park Board says Stanley Park’s annual Ghost Train has been cancelled again this year because the train needs reports. As Sarah Chew reports, they’re still hoping to get it up and running in time for the Christmas Train.

A fall fixture in Vancouver will be out of commission for a fourth consecutive year.

The city’s Board of Parks and Recreation has announced the Stanley Park Ghost Train will not operate again this Halloween season as “restoration work continues to ensure its safe and optimal performance.”

In a news release Wednesday, the board says there has been “steadfast commitment” to get the train running again after four years of it being sidelined.

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It says some of the vintage train equipment is more than 60 years old and requires specialized parts that are hard to procure.

The board notes that “all necessary parts” have been acquired and repairs are expected to be completed by November. The agency, however, did not say if the train would be ready by the holiday season, saying more details will be shared “in the coming weeks.”

The Halloween train was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then again in 2021 due to the threat of coyotes in the park. The same mechanical issues caused its cancellation in 2022.

Technical Safety BC tells CityNews inspectors couldn’t certify the train for public use in 2022 because of safety concerns like corroding and damaged track lines and rail cars and overgrown plants blocking the view.

The train hasn’t been assessed by Technical Safety BC this year to see if it can start running again. The park board says its goal is to finish the repairs and be certified by November so it can host Bright Nights — the Christmas train.

People hoping to attend the Ghost Train are being encouraged by the city to attend VanDusen Garden’s Harvest Days in October.

With files from Charlie Carey

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