Sitting vacant for many years, Ladysmith’s train station may yet have another lease on life. Bill Drysdale along with Chuck Forrest and other volunteers have been clearing the brush and painting the building as part of their vision to bring the station to life.
Interested parties in utilizing the building recently toured the station. Although covered with graffiti and containing a fair amount of debris, the building is intact. “It’s totally fixable,” said Lesley Moore, Ladysmith Museum manager, as she surveyed the interior: ticket area, waiting room with benches, washrooms, offices and a loading bay for freight handling.
It’s important to preserve its heritage, says Drysdale who would like to see multi-users of the space. “The building is in good shape, it just needs some renovations and a new roof and it would be good to go.”
So far there’s been lots of interest in the building. “There’s been talk about a brewpub, a woodworking shop, display and storage area.”
The train station belongs to the Vancouver Island Rail Corridor but with tenants and a plan in place, the Town of Ladysmith could make a lease and control the use of the building, said Drysdale.