Photo: Amy Reid Jassy Hans, with the help of Santa Claus, is the new owner of Bear Creek Train and Mini Golf.

VIDEO: Surrey’s Bear Creek Christmas train rolls with new owners

Though the much-loved Surrey attraction has changed hands, many of the same staff are running the show

Brianna Menzies-Vaught, Surrey Now-Leader contributor

The Christmas train is up and rolling at Bear Creek Park this holiday season, but new owners have taken the reins this year.

The train, which was owned by the Penn family for roughly two decades, was recently sold to new owner Jassy Hans.

Linda Penn is still helping Hans adjust, to give everybody the perfect experience at the attraction.

“During our transition (Linda) has helped me,” Hans said. Penn kept in contact with the new owners daily during the transition, even while she had gone out of town.

Hans, who also runs Creative Explorers Daycare, felt that the Bear Creek Train would be a great addition to her daycare. Now any child who registers for her daycare gets a free year’s membership to the train.

She’s decided to bring back one family favourite attraction. “We found out that 10 years ago there was a Night Light Train… so we decided to do a Night Light Train show 10 years later,” she said.

The evening light show was a huge hit with families until lights started getting stolen in the middle of the night, revealed Hans, who has a solution to that problem.

“We have a security guard here all the time,” she said, protecting the light show from any Grinches trying to ruin this train’s Christmas.

“Seeing all the families just come together, and make it like an evening thing for them” is a huge payoff, Hans said.

There was some uncertainty about the train’s future after the passing of longtime owner David Penn in the summer of 2012, after his battle with leukemia.

While David was the figurehead, Linda had been with him all along, and took things over before selling this year.

Some thought it was the end of the line for one of Surrey’s most beloved institutions. After all, David had been the face, chief engineer and spiritual leader almost since the little locomotive’s first foray through the leased Bear Creek Forest some 16 year earlier.

While the much-loved Surrey attraction has changed hands, many of the same staff are running the show. The train still has a family of its own.

Barbara Krezanowski, with family members Bonnie and Jack and family friend Brian, have worked with the Bear Creek Train for over a decade.

Hans has enthusiastically kept them aboard the ship. From answering the phone, to driving the train and even making the artwork, the staff do it all.

“The smile on the kids’ faces” is the best part of the job, Hans mused.

“We are here to make their experience good,” Jack said.

“I just like making the kids happy,” Brian added.

The time the family puts in to running the track is a huge part of what draws Surrey families, year after year, said Hans.

And now, with the train being wheelchair accessible, everybody can enjoy their perfect Christmas train experience for the holidays.

The train runs through to Jan. 7, with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, with the Night Light train running from 6 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are $10, or $35 for a family of four. Children under age two ride free.

Check out the train at Bear Creek Park, at 13750 88th Ave., or call 604-501-1232. Or check out the Bear Creek Park Train & Mini Golf page on Facebook.

See more at bctrains.com.

-With files from Black Press

Just Posted

Former Cloverdale youth pastor guilty of one count of sexual assault

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Samuel Emerson not guilty of majority of charges

Transgender inmate loses court case against Surrey Pretrial

Petitioner argued denial of transfer to women’s prison was unreasonable and unfair

Athletes to mentor Surrey students with $720K boost for ‘Classroom Champions’

Program will involve close to 6,000 students and 150 teachers over the next three years

Sole guilty finding in case against former Cloverdale youth pastor, wife tried for sexual assault

Judge clears Samuel and Madelaine Emerson of majority of charges

Whalley-area developer named Surrey’s Business Person of the Year

Charan Sethi among winners at 2019 Surrey Business Excellence Awards gala

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Killer who fled to Taiwan day after shooting B.C. man over $80 sentenced 13 years later

The sentence comes 13 years after Shaoxin Zhang, 19, was killed in a Burnaby parking lot

Most Read