The BC Electric Railway (BCER) has come a long way since its maiden voyage in 1910. Originally built as a connection between Vancouver and Chilliwack, and primarily serving residents and moving goods, the railway linked Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley for four decades. With the Electric Railway brought modern conveniences to the townships that we recognise today: Newton, Sullivan, Cloverdale, Langley, and Abbotsford, to name a few. The improvement of infrastructure and growing popularity of cars contributed to the railway hosting it’s final trip on September 30, 1950, but that certainly wouldn’t be the last time a street-car would be making its way through Surrey neighbourhoods.
A handful of cars who travelled across the BCER were kept in tact, and sprinkled throughout Metro Vancouver (one even being housed at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa). Enter Surrey’s Heritage Rail, originally known as the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society (FVHRS), who, in 2001 came together to acquire, restore, revive and operate the remaining BCER Interurban cars. Sixty-three years after the BCER was retired, Surrey residents were aboard car 1225 once more.
If you’re looking for a little bit of history in Surrey, the Surrey Heritage Rail operates on weekends from May to September. The 1225 car departs from Cloverdale station for it’s first daily voyage at 10:00am, and last at 3:00pm. Each trip lasts just under one hour, round trip, and passes through idyllic farm lands to Sullivan Station, travelling across Highway 10. History buffs and the mechanically minded can also tour the Carbarn and see the restoration process of fellow BCER cars, and learn a little bit more about each of these locomotives and nuggets of history!