Stanley Park Ghost Train cancelled yet again, this time by mechanical issues

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Mechanical issues affecting the antique engines and passenger cars of the Stanley Park Ghost Train, pictured here in 2016, derailed this year's event, according to the City of Vancouver.  (Peter Scobie/CBC - image credit)
Mechanical issues affecting the antique engines and passenger cars of the Stanley Park Ghost Train, pictured here in 2016, derailed this year's event, according to the City of Vancouver. (Peter Scobie/CBC - image credit)

Stanley Park's popular Ghost Train ride has been cancelled again after trains failed a recent inspection.

The attraction, which normally runs evenings from mid-October through Halloween, has not taken place since 2019. Two years ago it was stopped in its tracks by the COVID-19 pandemic and it was cancelled last year due to concerns over coyotes in the area.

Last winter, the train, which runs on a track near the Vancouver Aquarium and Lumberman's Arch, was plagued with service issues.

The City of Vancouver said mechanical issues affecting the antique engines and passenger cars derailed this year's event after the train failed safety tests during a recent inspection by Technical Safety B.C.

"Best analogy is sort of an old, old car that you've been doing everything you can to try and keep them running along as long as you can because you love it dearly, but sometimes they just get to that point where they need those major fixes," says Steve Jackson, director of business services with the Vancouver Park Board.

Repairs to the train will take some time, the city said, adding that there are few mechanics who know how to fix the vintage equipment.

"The distinctive engines, some more than 60 years old, require unique and hard-to-access parts, in addition to highly specialized service and maintenance, both of which are in short supply," the city said.

The city said it hopes to fix the mechanical issues ahead of its Bright Nights holiday event.

The city is also working with an engineering team from Simon Fraser University to look at ways to update its aging fleet, including exploring sustainable alternatives such as electric engines.

Those looking for an alternative family-friendly Halloween event can consider VanDusen Garden's Harvest Days, the city said.