Green light for Cloverdale heritage rail operations

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society plans to move its operations from Sullivan Station to a brand new home in Cloverdale. - File
The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society plans to move its operations from Sullivan Station to a brand new home in Cloverdale.
— image credit: File

A society of heritage rail enthusiasts says it won't be long now before construction begins on their new home in Cloverdale.

The City of Surrey has approved the start of construction on a three-bay car barn and home for the BCER Interurbans currently housed at Sullivan Station.

A building permit is expected shortly, the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society's board of directors announced on their website Oct. 14.

Earlier this year, the city approved $2.9 million in spending to relocate the society's operations to Cloverdale, site of a heritage rail revival.

The FVHR society's new car ban and replica Cloverdale Station – modeled on the original B.C. Electric Interurban station here – will be built at 5554 176 Street as part of a $6 million project.

Once complete, the society will move its operations from Sullivan Station at 64 Avenue and 152 Street, to Cloverdale, where the society plans in May to start testing limited passenger service between the two locations on weekends.

The project hit a snag this summer. The launch of construction was delayed by four to five months due to soil conditions on the site, an unexpected setback pushing the heritage rail test run debut into next year.

Cloverdale Station will also be home to the Clover Belle, a vintage 1912 streetcar that's at the focus of separate restoration efforts by the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce and the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association. Those plans call for a heritage streetcar line up 176 Street from Highway 10 to 58A Avenue.

The city recently conducted a survey of local businesses about the impact of introducing a streetcar line in downtown Cloverdale.

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