B.C.E.R. Interurban 1231 on its last day of operation on the Steveston line, Feb. 28, 1958. (B.C. Electric Rail Company image)

B.C.E.R. Interurban 1231 on its last day of operation on the Steveston line, Feb. 28, 1958. (B.C. Electric Rail Company image)

Learn more about Chilliwack’s interurban rail and streetcars

BC Electric Railway researched will present history lesson and discussion at Chilliwack Library

Whatever happened to all the streetcars and interurbans of yesteryear?

You can find out, at a special presentation and discussion coming up on Sept. 30 at the Chilliwack Library.

The presenter will explain that, between 1891 and 1958, streetcars and interurbans were the means by which people ‘went to town’ for shopping, visiting relatives or even going to school between downtown Vancouver and Chilliwack. There were also stops in Richmond, North Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster, as well as on Vancouver Island in the Greater Victoria area.

So whatever happened to the British Columbia Electric Railway’s 400 streetcars, 100 interurbans and other rolling stock after passenger service was terminated during the 1950s?

Find out at the presentation, featuring BCER researcher Graham Evan MacDonell. A PowerPoint Presentation will show what happened to BCER streetcars, interurbans and other rolling stock that were not stripped of their metal parts and then destroyed by fire during the late 1950s.

It traces the history of streetcars, interurbans and engines that were sold to American transit buffs and how some have made their way back to British Columbia, thanks to groups like the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society, Steveston Interurban Railway Society and the City of Richmond, the City of Burnaby and the Friends of 1223, and TRAMS, the Transit Museum Society in Vancouver, and a number of amateur photographers during the past 70 years.

Admission is free; refreshments will be provided, including tea and coffee, water and juice, cookies and cakes.

Saturday, September 30 is also the 67th anniversary of the last passenger interurban run from Chilliwack back to New Westminster and Vancouver. The event runs between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., in the downtown Chilliwack Library.