Our
History

Our
History

The History of the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society

Based on an idea by, and personal funding of $25,000 from Mr. Jim Wallace, a commissioner with the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission (SHAC), a feasibility study was undertaken between 1996 and 2000 to ascertain the feasibility of reactivating the old B C Electric Railway (BCER) line in the Fraser Valley for passenger service.

Based on that study a recommendation was made to Surrey City Mayor and Council at least two original interurbans could possibly be repatriated from their US museum owners and that reactivating the interurban line through Surrey was feasible. Surrey Council requested that a not-for-profit group be formed to undertake the repatriation, rehabilitation and return of original BCER Interurban cars to the original Fraser Valley line for use in a heritage tourism initiative.

In 2001 the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society (FVHRS) was formed to acquire, restore and operate the remaining BCER Interurban cars. The original Fraser Valley rail line still exists in the valley from New Westminster as far East as Chilliwack. Some adjustments to the tracks have been made in the past 50 years, but most of the original track is still there. The Fraser Valley interurban line last carried passengers in 1955, a special trip from Chilliwack for Miss J. E. Fowlie and her grade 3 class from Yarrow. The original BCER Fraser Valley line remains a forgotten jewel in the valley.

The History of the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society

Based on an idea by, and personal funding of $25,000 from Mr. Jim Wallace, a commissioner with the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission (SHAC), a feasibility study was undertaken between 1996 and 2000 to ascertain the feasibility of reactivating the old B C Electric Railway (BCER) line in the Fraser Valley for passenger service.

Based on that study a recommendation was made to Surrey City Mayor and Council at least two original interurbans could possibly be repatriated from their US museum owners and that reactivating the interurban line through Surrey was feasible. Surrey Council requested that a not-for-profit group be formed to undertake the repatriation, rehabilitation and return of original BCER Interurban cars to the original Fraser Valley line for use in a heritage tourism initiative.

In 2001 the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society (FVHRS) was formed to acquire, restore and operate the remaining BCER Interurban cars. The original Fraser Valley rail line still exists in the valley from New Westminster as far East as Chilliwack. Some adjustments to the tracks have been made in the past 50 years, but most of the original track is still there. The Fraser Valley interurban line last carried passengers in 1955, a special trip from Chilliwack for Miss J. E. Fowlie and her grade 3 class from Yarrow. The original BCER Fraser Valley line remains a forgotten jewel in the valley.

The History of the BC Electric Railway

The BC Electric Railway (BCER) was incorporated on April 3, 1897, under English laws, with head office at Threadneedle Street in London, England, according to BCER Historian Henry W. Ewert.

It was not just an amalgamation of existing street car lines, but of an interurban line from Vancouver to New Westminster developed by the Westminster & Vancouver Tramway Co. on October 8, 1891, Ewert shows on pages 20-21 of his excellent book, “The Story of the British Columbia Electric Railway Company Limited” (Whitecap Books, July, 1986) Although the idea of servicing the Fraser Valley had been considered in the 1890s, it was not until the Fraser River Bridge was built and in operation until June 1904, that the BCER could attend to developing its Fraser Valley Line.

Fraser Valley Line was completed in 1910 and that passenger service was inaugurated on October 3, 1910.

When completed, the BCER ran from downtown Vancouver out to Chilliwack. There were up to four complete round-trip runs each day. Carrying not only passengers, it also provided a fast method for moving freight, the mail and gossip.

Another goal of completing the rail line was to electrify the valley. Modern conveniences, such as electric light and telephones, came to the valley as the rail line spread up from the Fraser river and through settlements. Over time these settlements grew into the town centers and cities we find today: Whalley (Surrey City Center), Newton, Sullivan, Cloverdale, Langley, Abbotsford, Sumas, Yarrow, Chilliwack.

The original Fraser Valley rail line still exists in the valley from New Westminster as far east as Chilliwack.

The History of the BC Electric Railway

The BC Electric Railway (BCER) was incorporated on April 3, 1897, under English laws, with head office at Threadneedle Street in London, England, according to BCER Historian Henry W. Ewert.

It was not just an amalgamation of existing street car lines, but of an interurban line from Vancouver to New Westminster developed by the Westminster & Vancouver Tramway Co. on October 8, 1891, Ewert shows on pages 20-21 of his excellent book, “The Story of the British Columbia Electric Railway Company Limited” (Whitecap Books, July, 1986) Although the idea of servicing the Fraser Valley had been considered in the 1890s, it was not until the Fraser River Bridge was built and in operation until June 1904, that the BCER could attend to developing its Fraser Valley Line.

Fraser Valley Line was completed in 1910 and that passenger service was inaugurated on October 3, 1910.

When completed, the BCER ran from downtown Vancouver out to Chilliwack. There were up to four complete round-trip runs each day. Carrying not only passengers, it also provided a fast method for moving freight, the mail and gossip.

Another goal of completing the rail line was to electrify the valley. Modern conveniences, such as electric light and telephones, came to the valley as the rail line spread up from the Fraser river and through settlements. Over time these settlements grew into the town centers and cities we find today: Whalley (Surrey City Center), Newton, Sullivan, Cloverdale, Langley, Abbotsford, Sumas, Yarrow, Chilliwack.

The original Fraser Valley rail line still exists in the valley from New Westminster as far east as Chilliwack.

FVHRS Rolling Stock & Structures

BCER Interurban Cars

More than 20 years after incorporation, FVHRS stands firmly as “B.C. Electric central”, with our splendid roster of four interurban cars: BCER 1207, BCER 1225, BCER 1231 and BCER 1304 (The Connaught Car). To learn more about on these rail cars, click the links above, or check out the Rolling Stock section of the Rail Fans tab on our website.

Historical Structures

We’re passionate about sharing the history of the BCER, including the local structures – some of which have been restored and are in use by FVHRS today!

For more information on Cloverdale Station, Sullivan Station, the Clayburn Signal Shack, Sullivan Carbarn, McLellan Station, Meridian Station and the Cloverdale Power Substation, click the links, or visit the Structures section of the Rail Fans tab on our website.

FVHRS is 100% Volunteer-run

We are actively looking for volunteers to help support the activities and operations of the society.
You don’t need to be an engineer to get involved!  Click here to learn more.

Follow Us!

BCER Interurban 1225 crosses a trestle over the Serpentine River in Cloverdale. Originally constructed in 1910, the line was used by interurban cars such as this one would, making the 3 hour journey between Vancouver and Chilliwack. Service stopped in 1950 and is currently used by a freight railway. Over the last few years, the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society (FVHRS) has been running a restored interurban along the line to let visitors experience another time.

The photo is actually a composite of two separate photos. The black and white image was taken by David Davies in 1965. I`m using the image for personal/educational use which is permitted. I`ve overlaid my image taken from today to show how very little the backdrop has changed on 50 years!

#bcer #fvhrs #surrey #Cloverdale #interurban #train #iliketrains #westcoast #cityofsurrey #museum #heritage #railway #railways_of_our_world #railfan #fraservalley #landscape #nature_brilliance #nature #mkexplore #trolley #flashback #throwback #trestle #yvr #604 #bcelectric #river #oldtimes #restoration #vintage
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Third place in the annual paint the train competition put on by the #fraservalleyheritagerailway ...

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STOP! and get your tickets for this Saturday! Conductor Colin says, bring the whole family! We`re kid friendly!

Tickets purchased online only.

Please visit our website for more information: www.fvhrs.org
Ticket prices here: https://fvhrs.org/ticket-info/

Purchase your tickets for the Cloverdale to Sullivan trip here:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fvhrs-sept-4th-to-oct-9th-ride-surreys-heritage-rail-to-sullivan-station-tickets-163949442195

Purchase your tickets for the Speeder rides here:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fvhrs-sept-4th-to-oct-9th-ride-fvhrs-speeder-on-our-own-spur-line-tickets-164198172153

Please share this post with your friends!

#fraservalleyheritagerail #surreysheritagerail #funfamilyexperience #fallevent #surreyfamilyevent
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Fraser Valley Heritage Rail director Allen Aubert reminds me to include the FVHR bee project in my next column. His promo worked! It`s included! The society has wildflowers, bee hives and interurbans zipping around the car barn and heritage station in Cloverdale, BC. #travelinspiration #travelbc #travellingtimes #beesandtrains #SurreyBC #beesee #cloverdale #railguys #railsociety #railvolunteers #beepromo #surreyheritagerailway #fraservalleyheritagerailway #fraservalleyheritagerailwaysociety ...

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Our Christmas experience, the Electric Express 2021, has sold out! Thank you to all who purchased tickets! ...

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Interurban 1225. Rumour has it these things had reached speeds of up to 80 miles an hour back in the day. These days, they are legally limited to 15. Let`s hope that changes one day!

#bcer #interurban #surrey #Cloverdale #bcelectric #train #railfan #railway #fvhrs #iliketrains #railways_of_our_world #red #wood #heritage #restoration #choochoo #yvr #604 #explore #travel #streetcar #trolley #fraservalley #liveauthentic #history #bevisuallyinspired #trainspotting #clangclangclangwentthetrolley
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We hope you`ll be able to join us Thursday, April 4 for our third Heritage Chat with David Hobson, a volunteer with the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway. Did you know that from the early 1900s to the mid 1950s the BC Electric Railway served as a major transportation link between New Westminster and Chilliwack?
Everyone is welcome! Admission is free, but we always appreciate donations.
#heritagechats #keepingthepastpresent #fraservalleyheritagerailway #TransportationHistory
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It’s really happening! We really are finally back on TRACK!

Rides on Surrey’s Heritage Rail will start on Saturday, September 4! We will run every Saturday until October 9. The 1225 Interurban will run four trips each Saturday from Cloverdale Station to Sullivan Station and back. This is approximately a 50-minute ride. In addition, you can also ride the Speeder on our Spur line.

We will also be hosting special Halloween Rides from Cloverdale Station to Sullivan Station on Saturday October 16 and Sunday October 17. More information to follow, watch this space!

This is a fun family experience! Bring the kids, and bring Grandma and Grandpa too, they may have stories from when they rode the rails. Experience Surrey’s 110-year-old heritage rail history!

We want to get the word out, please SHARE this post on your Facebook page!

Please visit our website for more information: www.fvhrs.org

Ticket prices here: https://fvhrs.org/ticket-info/

ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED ONLINE

Purchase your tickets for the Cloverdale to Sullivan trip here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fvhrs-sept-4th-to-oct-9th-ride-surreys-heritage-rail-to-sullivan-station-tickets-163949442195

Purchase your tickets for the Speeder rides here:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fvhrs-sept-4th-to-oct-9th-ride-fvhrs-speeder-on-our-own-spur-line-tickets-164198172153

Purchase your tickets for the Halloween Train here:
https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/surreys-heritage-railway-halloween-train-sullivan-haunted-station-oct-16-tickets-166012159839

#fraservalleyheritagerail #surreysheritagerail #funfamilyexperience #fallevent #surreyfamilyevent
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Take the Electric Express this Christmas! Get your tickets now before they sell out!

Shake the snow globe and travel back in time with the Electric Express to 1921. See the characters, hear the Christmas music, experience the stories of the Fraser Valley one hundred years ago.
Feel the magic of Christmas as we visit Father Christmas in his secret workshop. You will want to bring your whole family to enjoy our theatrical event that is sure to warm your heart and make you laugh.

This is a heritage railway theatrical experience that takes place on the train run on our 1/2-mile section of our track, with a destination visit to the secret workshop of Father Christmas. Please note the train does not run to Sullivan Station, it travels a short distance up our spur line and back to Father Christmas’s Secret Workshop. The Electric Express experience is approximately 50 minutes long.
This experience will set the scene for the start of a wonderful Christmas season.

Receive a souvenir button! Sat. Dec. 11 and Sun. Dec.12 - 4 trips each day.

All tickets must be purchased online at https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fvhrs-the-electric-express-2021-tickets-192761323307

More information at www.fvhrs.org

*Masks and proof of vaccination are required.

Please share this post with your friends! The Monster Express sold out last month, don`t miss this opportunity to get your tickets before they are gone!
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Just out for a Saturday morning rip through Cloverdale #interurban #BCER #BCElectricRailway #FVHRS ...

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From 2019 early summer
#surreybc #fraservalleyheritagerailway #beautifulbritishcolumbia #summertime #canon70d #tokina1120
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Continuing time travel, the FVHeritageRail held their holiday gathering with period costumes to celebrate another successful season on the railway. #fraservalleyheritagerailwaysociety provides a lot of fun & education about life in #oursurrey back in the day. ...

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At the station
roxanne__lewis
#fineartphotography
#womenstreetstyle
#womanpower
#contemporaryphotography
#greatambience
#moodyphotography
#ig_exquisite
#ig_mood
#foggynight
#afterdark
#retrostyle
#filmnoir
#filmnoirstyle
#FVHRS
#FraserValleyHeritageRailway
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This Saturday in Surrey! Catch a heritage train and a retro show! 🚂 Choo choo! fraservalleyheritagerail Cloverdale Station, Surrey #trainride #choochoo #heritagetrain #surrey #surreyevents #cityofsurrey #yvrevents #fraservalleyheritagerailway #retromusic #vancouvermusicians #vancouverevents ...

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Old ass passenger train. #fraservalleyheritagerailwaysociety ...

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On the Monster Express riding by the Witches Coven! ...

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My Way
#fineartphotography
#contemporaryphotography
#moodygram
#retrostyle
#afterdark
#womenpower
#womanstreetstyle
#womanstreetphotographers
#foggynight
#greatambience
#igstyle
#ig_captures
#ig_canada
#ig_moodysouls
#filmnoirclassics
#filmnoir
#FVHRS
#fraservalleyheritagerailway
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Thank you to Dave Hobson from Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society for speaking at our April meeting. This Heritage Chat was so interesting! Many of the audience were surprised to find out that original BC Electric train cars were actually running for the tourists from Cloverdale. We think a trip to Cloverdale to ride the train should be on everyone’s list of things to do this spring/summer. #heritagematters #keepingthepastpresent #bctrainhistory #fraservalleyheritagerailway ...

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Conductor
#moodyphotography
#moodyportrait
#moodygram
#van_spc
#portraitphotography
#cinematicphotography
#cinematic
#contemporaryphotography
#fineartphotography
#afterdark
#ig_portraits
#retro
#retrostyle
#jj_portraits
#alone
#FVHRS
#FraserValleyHeritageRailway
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All aboard!  If you’re looking for a fun weekend activity, consider taking a ride on The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway.  All trains depart from the Cloverdale Station (Hwy 10 & 176A St) on Saturday and Sunday. The route goes from Cloverdale to Sullivan Station returns to Cloverdale.  While you’re there, be sure to check out honeybeecentre bee hotel that is helping make the beautiful meadow bloom with their hard working pollinators. 📸: honeybeecentre ...

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Thank you to everyone who has purchased tickets to the Monster Express! It is now sold out! However, you have one last chance to ride Surrey`s Heritage Rail this season, and that`s, this Saturday, October 9, we still have a few tickets left! All aboard! ...

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Pumpkin field as seen through a rainy train window #fraservalleyheritagerailway #fvhrs #fvheritagerail #trainintherain #historical #bcer1225 #sundayafternoontrainride #refreshingrain #pluviophile #pumpkins #itmustbeautumn ...

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New sanseitraveler blog post: the second part of my tour of the Surrey, British Columbia, Spice Trail wasn`t just about food. We also visited the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway. Later on, we enjoyed food at My Shanti (my.shanti) and Afghan Kitchen (eatdrinkafghan).⁣

#TrueSurrey #DiscoverSurreyBC⁣
#SpiceTrailSurreyBC #HelloBC #explorebc #surreybc #surreybccanada #vancouverbc #vancouvercanada #vancouver #vancouver_canada #BCElectricRailway #culinarytravel #Indianfood #indianrestaurant #afghanfood #afghanrestaurant #indiancuisine #afghancuisine #FraserValleyHeritageRailway #culinary #culinaryadventures #foodtour #foodtours #foodtravel #foodtraveler #foodforfoodies #bcrailway #fraservalley #fraservalleybc
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Beautiful restored wooden railcars at #fraservalleyheritagerailwaysociety in #cloverdale ...

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