Heritage rail society hosts Cloverdale open house

It's the public's first chance to see the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society's new Interurban car barn.

Interurban car 1304 is lifted by crane onto the truck that will take it to Cloverdale during the Fraser Valley Heritage Society's big move in August.

Consider it the official housewarming for Cloverdale’s newest heritage attraction.

Saturday, the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society is hosting an open house and official opening of its new Interurban car barn in Cloverdale.

It’s the public’s first chance to see inside the new facility, constructed and completed earlier this year at 5554 176 Street, just south of Highway 10.

The big green barn with red trim is home to the society’s tiny fleet of BCER Interurban rail cars that have been the focus of thousands of hours of volunteer restoration work.

Car 1225 was built in St. Louis in 1913 and was the last car to run on the Vancouver-Steveston line before the Interurban system was dismantled in the early 1950s, ending the long-running light rail passenger service, which operated as far east as Chilliwack.

Most of the original fleet was destroyed – burnt in the rail yard under Burrard bridge – but seven cars survived.

Car 1304 was built in New Westminster in 1911, and is still being restored by FVHRS volunteers, who are working inside a building that is also the future home of Cloverdale Station.

The society plans to launch weekend operation of car 1225 this spring, on the Victoria long weekend in May, offering passenger service between Cloverdale and Sullivan Station.

Volunteers are needed to ride along on weekends, working as operators, conductors, ticketmasters and maintenance crew.

To volunteer, call 604-5749056 or email volunter@fvhrs.org.

The Oct. 20 open house runs from 12-4 p.m., with opening ceremonies at 3 p.m.

For more, call 604-538-9611 or visit http://www.fvhrs.org.