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17,000 more Stanley Park Train tickets set to go on sale

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Those who were disappointed when tickets to the Stanley Park Train sold out in a flash earlier this month will have a second chance to score a seat during Bright Nights.

The event has been extended until Jan. 6, 2024 and two additional carriages have been added – meaning 17,000 more tickets will be available, according to the Vancouver Park Board.

"The Bright Nights train is a highly sought-after attraction with limited tickets available, and guests are encouraged to secure their tickets in advance," a statement from the board says.

Tickets go on sale online Thursday at 9 a.m. – with a new queue process in place to help ensure "fair and efficient" distribution after issues with the previous sale caused "frustration" for would-be buyers.

An online "waiting room" will open at 8:30 a.m. People who join the waiting room will randomly be assigned spots in line when the sale goes live. Those who choose not to use the waiting room option will be placed at the back of the queue on a first-come-first-served basis.

Tickets first went on sale earlier this month and all 23,000 were snapped up within 90 minutes.

Soon after the tickets sold out, some social media users speculated that scalpers pounced at the opportunity to purchase train tickets for re-sale. One Craigslist ad was posted offering nine tickets – six adult tickets, one youth ticket and two children's tickets – to the Bright Nights train for $50 each. The sale price was $15 for adults, $13 for youths and $11 for children. Two other Craigslist posts offered to buy available tickets for up to $150.

The Stanley Park Train was closed in 2020 over concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, then reopened in 2021 only to be shuttered after a power source was stolen. It was cancelled again in 2022 due to mechanical issues with the antique engines and passenger cars.

Bright Nights supports the B.C. Professional Fire Fighters' Burn Fund, and is the charity's biggest annual fundraiser.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Andrew Weichel

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