With more than $20,000 donated toward the restoration of the Spirit of Kamloops 2141 steam train, efforts have begun in earnest to fundraise for the project.
Ideas for Save Our Steam engine 2141 — or SOS 2141 — include a wine festival, yard and seat sales and lining up corporate donations, said Brian Kelly, owner of Kelly's Kaboose.
"Everything is on the table right now," Kelly said Tuesday. "We're just gearing up."
Kelly co-organized Kamloops Model Railway Days, a showcase for model railroading that acted in part as a fundraiser for the Kamloops Heritage Railway Society.
Sales and donations amounted to $5,000 and an anonymous donor from Vancouver delivered a cheque for $15,000.
More money will come out of the two-day event once expenses, including rental of the Calvary Community Church, are paid for, said Kelly.
"There's going to be a little more money coming in," he said.
More than 2,000 people attended railway days.
With one fundraiser under their belt, Kelly and other rail enthusiasts have formed SOS 2141 in order to get the steam engine back on its tracks as soon as possible.
A brainstorming session was held Sunday night. Potential events include a wine festival aboard one of the steam engine's rail cars and a seat sale, with anyone who donates $500 or more getting a plaque on a seat with his or her name on it.
"When you let your imagination run wild there's all kinds of things you can do," said Kelly.
A delegation from SOS 2141 met with the Kettle Valley Steam Railway Society this weekend to discuss restoration costs. Kelly said Kettle Valley refurbished their steam engine, and can provide a more accurate idea of how much the project will cost.
Kamloops Heritage Train Society vice-president Bill Abley said restoration of the 2141 is expected to cost $300,000, but SOS 2141 wants to raise $500,000 in case additional work needs to be done.
"At least they can give us some idea of where they sourced material and how much they paid for them," he said, adding no one will know the full cost until the 2141 is taken apart.
"Maybe it'll be less expensive than we thought."
Abley said there was a strong desire on the part of the community to see the 2141 brought back to life in the early 90s. The hope is that spirit remains today.
Donations can be made to Kelly's Kaboose at 634 Victoria St.