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Abandoned, Then Embraced: The Kinsol Trestle
Cowichan Valley Museum
Duncan , British Columbia


   Until recently, the Kinsol
Trestle was an in-peril
heritage structure located in
the Cowichan Valley on
Vancouver Island, British
Columbia. This magnificent
railway trestle, spanning the
canyon over the Koksilah
River, is the only broken
link in the Trans Canada

Trail between Shawnigan Lake
and the Town of Lake
Cowichan, forcing hikers and
cyclists to take a
challenging nine kilometre
detour to cross the river. To
people who live in the
Cowichan Valley, the Kinsol
is historically significant
as a symbol of our industrial

past. Abandoned since 1979,
when the last train crossed
the Trestle, it has not
received any maintenance - a
death sentence for a wooden
structure in the midst of the
   Over the last three
decades, there has been much
discussion about preserving

the old railway bridge -
several individuals and
organizations have tried, but
to no avail. In 2006, the
Province of British
Columbia's Ministry of
Transportation allocated $1.5
million to dismantle the
Trestle. Its destruction
seemed imminent. The fight to

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