The Seaway Kiwanis were pleased, and proud, to be able to donate this train to the City of Sarnia. Over the years, the Seaway Kiwanis have donated over $1.5 million towards the Animal Farm and Canatara Park.
“Canatara Park is a community park that offers a number of activities to people of all ages. The addition of the Seaway Kiwanis Train will add enjoyment and fun to the young children of Sarnia. Ian Smith, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Sarnia. Thanks to the Seaway Kiwanis for their spirit of giving and supporting activities for the children of Sarnia.”
The idea for a train for Canatara Park began with one of the Seaway Kiwanis former members, Brian Hatfield.
“For family reasons, Brian resigned from the Seaway Kiwanis. Brian was also the person who suggested, we explore operating a TV Bingo, which has been very successful for us and we want to make sure we recognized him for his vision, said Paul Beaudet, Train Project Committee Chair for the Seaway Kiwanis Club of Sarnia.
L-R Paul Beaudet, Ian Smith, Sean Ryan, Terry Doyal, Marlene Woods
The Seaway Kiwanis operates online TV Bingo, with TVCogeco, and many of the funds raised through those bingos, were used to pay for the train acquisition.
The Seaway Kiwanis also received an anonymous donation of $60,000.00 from a family. The one donated will go towards the construction of combination train storage and station building as well as possible maintenances needed.
“We are pleased to advise that following the generous donation from the anonymous donor family, others have come forward to assist, including the Carpenters’ Union and their members, which will construct the building,” said Sean Ryan, Present of the Seaway Kiwanis. “The Seaway Kiwanis and Kiwanis clubs throughout the world are dedicated to changing the world one child, and one community, at a time. We do that through our members, our projects and of course fundraising. We are always looking for new members and we encourage people to consider joining Kiwanis for the betterment of your community.”
The original design for the train station came from a model-railroader. MIG Engineering has donated their time to prepare the plans and provide engineering, RC Concrete & Paving has agreed to complete the concrete forming and Canada Building Material has agreed to supply the concrete. The Teamsters’ Union will also be contributing to the project and Mike Alexander has agreed to do the wiring. The Seaway Kiwanis are currently looking for other interested contributors, if anyone is interested in helping, they can contact the Seaway Kiwanis.
The train was manufactured by Wattman Trains & Trams of Granby, Quebec and custom-made for Canatara Park. 100% manufactured in Canada, the train features a battery-powered electric engine, built-in smoke machine, sound system and whistle to emulate a real train.
“As stated, the train is made in Canada. We believe that the train is a wonderful example of what Canadian ingenuity can do. Safety was of paramount importance for Seaway Kiwanis”, said Paul Beaudet, Train Project Committee Chair for the Seaway Kiwanis Club of Sarnia.
As a safety feature, the train has a built-in anti-collision system, which can detect a person, or more particularly a child, within a reasonable distance of the train, the train first slows, and if that person should get any closer the train automatically comes to a stop. Also, a first for the manufacturer, the train in Canatara Park, will have a wheelchair accessible car.
“We wanted a train to be wheelchair accessible. This is the first time that Wattman, has manufactured a new car that is accessible for wheelchairs. Wattman is the largest manufacturer of such trains in the world, and so we, the Seaway Kiwanis are very proud to have brought about accessibility on Wattman trains”, said Paul Beaudet, Train Project Committee Chair for the Seaway Kiwanis Club of Sarnia. “We also negotiated an extended warranty of five years, which Wattman had to our knowledge never previously extended.”
The Train will operate on Saturdays and Sundays in Canatara Park starting, Saturday, June 15th. Up to 10 children or less with adults can enjoy a 20 Minute ride, through Canatara Park. The Train will run every half hour, weather permitting, from noon to 4:00 p.m. Train rides are $2 per person & $5 per family of 4. Passengers will board the train at the cottage for a ride around the designated area of Canatara Park.
“This Friday Tourism Sarnia Lambton is hosting a Free BBQ to celebrate Tourism week and the public will be able to see and ride the train for free, said Marlene Wood. We are extremely excited about this new addition to the park and believe that this will be a great attraction for all who visit our area.”
The Tourism Week BBQ will take place at Canatara Park’s, Kiwanis Pavillion (near the Children’s Animal Farm) from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., Friday June 14th. Also at the BBQ, Tourism Sarnia-Lambton Partners will be showcasing their business and what’s new for the summer season at their display booths and the Sarnia Street Machines will have vintage classic cars from the 50’s & 60’s on display.
“Be a Tourist in Lambton County, your own backyard"