When I first read Bill Harvey’s recent re-visit to Kerrisdale I noticed the picture of the interurban at Kerrisdale Station. It was a picture of BCER 1225 circa 1950s.
As Bill mentioned it was a great system of light rail transit and one that, I am sure, most of us remember or, like me, had many rides. With me the rides left a definite impression.
Most of the cars were scrapped, or sold to U.S. rail enthusiasts. Only one stayed in B.C. and that was car 1223 lovingly rehabilitated and now on display at Burnaby Village Museum. The others saved from the fires under the Burrard Street Bridge were 1220, 1231, 1235, 1225, 1207, 1304. The first 3 went to Olympia, Wa; 1225 to Perris, Ca; 1207 to Snohomish, Wa. and 1304 to Glenwood, then to Brooks, Oregon. All are now back in B.C. except 1235 which is in Ottawa, Ontario.
BCER 1225 was the first car the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway (FVHRS) returned to B.C. Built by the St. Louis Car Co in 1912, it began operation in late Spring 1913 on the Steveston to Vancouver Line. The Vancouver terminus was on Davie Street, between Granville St and Seymour St. In 1952 the Vancouver section was closed and the car operated from Steveston to Marpole. Occasionally, it could be found on the Burnaby Lake Line. Since its return, in 2005, over 16 000 volunteer hours have been put into its rehabilitation.
Working with the Steveston Interurban Restoration Society the FVHRS helped bring back BCER 1304 the only remaining Fraser Valley Line interurban. It, too, is located in the FVHRS car barn.
In the mid 1990′s, Mr. Jim Wallace, a Surrey business man and member of the Surrey Heritage Committee posed a question about a revitalization of the Fraser Valley Interurban Line. He wrote a $25 000 personal cheque and asked the committee to research it. The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society was formed as a result of the research.
Hopefully, my short introduction has, or will bring back memories of the service and you may want to share some experiences. Or you might have some opinion on modern light rail for the valley. I will continue to inform on what to me is an interesting and enjoyable retirement “hobby” (but that might not be the right word).
Check out the FVHRS for pictures and videos. www.fvhrs.com or the link on the Magee59 home page. Click on the “links” sidebar.