My family has lived on the North Shore for more than 35 years. We own the house with the model train on Marine Drive near 28th Street. The train was built close to 50 years ago and serves as our mailbox. It stands more than a metre high on tracks and weighs well over 100 kilograms.
On more than one occasion, I have seen adults posing and taking their photos beside it. Children of course also love it, and I enjoy hearing their excited little voices as they run around checking out all the myriad of little details that make it such a special little train. That is why it saddens us to have it vandalized yet again. For the third time in less than two years, we have awoken to find it pushed onto its side. This has broken the wooden trestle that it sits upon and the fence behind that is on our property.
It takes at least three or four very strong people to lift it back up again and then there is the question of fixing the wooden structure that is now broken. Perhaps we will have to place it in cement pads.
While we lament the fact that there are people in our community who take joy in just destroying things for the sake of it, we are also encouraged by the support we have received from the community. Numerous people have driven down our driveway looking upset and asking, "What happened to the train?" We have even had offers from two complete strangers to help us fix it. The reason they state is that they grew up driving past our train and now they have children who also love to see it as they pass.
In some ways a little train might seem like a small thing in a busy community with so many other distractions. But for us and for many of you who have approached us with your words of concern, it is a West Vancouver landmark that brings a smile to many a face, both young and old, and we will do what it takes to preserve it for future smiles.