After a brief introduction by Director James, fellow Rotarian from the Vancouver Club Don Evans, who is also the President of the West Coast Railway Association, started off his presentation with giving members a brief introduction to the 100th anniversary event for next year in April for Rotary in British Columbia. 

RI President Tanaka Sakuji will be visiting Vancouver for the second time in his term and doing a presentation at the Board of Trade to introduce Rotary to the business leaders.  On April 19 there will be a big celebration at the Olympic Plaza and the caldron will be lighted up.  On April 20 there will be a showcase of all Rotary clubs at the Convention Centre and a banquet at night. 

West Coast Railway Association (WCRA) is a charitable not-for-profit organization which started with 50 people in the 80’s and an annual budget of about $5,000.  It has grown to more than 1,500 members with budget of $2M per year and $17 in capital assets. 

Railway has been an important factor in the creation of cities and townships.  Back then all cities were created because of transportation as evidenced by the fist cities in BC being Victoria and New Westminster as they were accessible by water.  The City of Vancouver was created in 1886 with railway arrived in 1887. 

In May 1990 WCRA has signed a lease with Squamish for 12-acre of land to build the West Coast Railway Museum.  May 1994 marked the fist train on the new tracks created with a 1951 diesel locomotive.

The Heritage Park first opened in July 1994 with 3,400 visitors in the first year.  The miniature train was added in 1996 and since then more than 1.2M people has taken rides on it.  The railway station was completed in 2001 based on drawings done in 1915.  The exhibit also include a heritage house and a post office car which is one of the only two surviving cars left.  In 2004 Thomas train was added as an annual attraction in June and in 2012 there were 12,000 visitors in 4 days with $310K in ticket sales. 

The Royal Hudson train that used to go between North Vancouver and Squamish was taken out of commission by the government in 1999 after 25 years in service due to a boiler problem. WCRA purchased it from the government in 2002 and spent $900K to restore the engine.  In 
2006 it was put back in service and is used mainly for special events. 

CN Roundhouse & Conference Centre with 22,000 SF was built as part of the 12-acre project as a year-round revenue source and to add an element of community.  Over 60 booked events in the first year of operation and the Rotary District 5040 Conference will be held in the centre in 2014.  

WCRA also manages the historical locomotive section located in the Yaletown Roundhouse in Vancouver. 

The organization has grown from 4,300 visitors in 1994 to over 60,000 in 2012.  It has contributed to more than $20M in charitable fundraising events with a $23M economic impact to Squamish since the beginning of the project.  There are 95 locomotives and cars on display for people to visit in the exhibit with over 30,000 hours of volunteers annually. 

The Polar Express for the Christmas season every December has a capacity of 6,000 with 5,500 pre-sold already.