Experiencing The Kettle Valley Steam Railway in Beautiful British Columbia

Last Updated on September 23, 2015


After having such a great experience riding the Mount Rainier Scenic Railway in the state of Washington, we knew we had to hop aboard the The Kettle Valley Steam Railway when we were passing through Summerland, as we explored more of our beautiful province of British Columbia. The Kettle Valley Railway was an important part of the development of BC’s southern interior, so it was interesting to learn more about the history of British Columbia.

KVR14 copy



The tour took us on a 90-minute living-history steam locomotive ride along the only preserved section of the original Kettle Valley Railway, that was built through the Kettle and Okanagan Valley between 1910 and 1915. The scenery of the ride was beautiful as we passed by stunning valley landscapes, lush orchards and vineyards. We also loved seeing one of the nicest original trestles left on the old KVR trail.

An original trestle left on the old KVR trail.

The on-board entertainment was wonderful. Kyle walked around with his guitar, had everyone on our train car smiling and participating as he sung songs, especially Madison. She was immediately a fan and kept asking me if he would play more. She loved the music as much as she loved hearing the train blowing its whistle. The “Bingo” sheet given out for kids was a lot of fun – it had photos of many sights you could see along the way and you checked them off as the train went past.

Kyle happily singing his heart out for us


The Bingo was a hit!

We learned a lot about the history of the Kettle Valley Railway. The narration by the conductor was fabulous as he pointed out the landmarks, animals and historical points along the way.

Half way through the trip we were able to get out and have our picture taken with the steam engine, as well as see the engine come along side of our train car to change sides and get attached to the other side for the return trip back.

The engine changing sides to head back to the station


Know Before You Go:

  • We would recommend sitting in an open air car on the left hand side (when facing the engine). You’ll get a better view of the stunning landscapes.
  • On a really hot day, the carriages are better for those with small babies. Darcy eventually asked to move inside on the way back with Sadie as we felt it was too hot for her to be in the sun for so long.
  • Your seats are assigned, but one thing we wished is that you could change the side of the train you’re sitting on, so that everyone gets the stunning scenery views at least one-way. This is because the train goes forward a few miles, then straight back the way it came; it doesn’t turn around. Keep that in mind when booking and requesting seats; sitting on the left side is best.
  • Use the washroom facilities before boarding as there really isn’t an option on-board.
  • No smoking on the train or at the station.
The old days


Take a look at more of the fun in the photos below:

Beautiful landscapes all around



View from the right side of the train (when initially facing engine)



Approaching the trestle


The open-air car


Our visit was sponsored in-part by the Kettle Valley Steam Railway, but as always, our opinions are our own.


Have you had the chance to ride on a steam railway before? What did you think?