PICTURES: Heritage Rail Players visit railway station in Cloverdale

Members of the Heritage Rail Players sit in the “Connaught” rail car at the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)Members of the Heritage Rail Players sit in the “Connaught” rail car at the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Members of the Heritage Rail Players stand beside the “Connaught” rail car at the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)Members of the Heritage Rail Players stand beside the “Connaught” rail car at the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)FVHRS volunteers stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Stephen Plant is the head organizer for the Heritage Rail Players. Plant is also the director of guest experience for the FVHRS. (Photo: Malin Jordan)Stephen Plant is the head organizer for the Heritage Rail Players. Plant is also the director of guest experience for the FVHRS. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
FVHRS volunteer Myrna McRae stands on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)FVHRS volunteer Myrna McRae stands on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Stephen Plant (left) and another Heritage Rail Player stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)Stephen Plant (left) and another Heritage Rail Player stand on the train platform in Cloverdale. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
The “Connaught” railcar at the FVHRS. (Photo: Malin Jordan)The “Connaught” railcar at the FVHRS. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

The Heritage Rail Players were out in full garb June 27 at the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway.

The Rail Players, led by organizer Stephen Plant, dressed up to promote both the acting troupe and the railway.

Plant is also the director of guest experience for the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society (FVHRS), the volunteer organization that runs the rail station.

“We started this group when we realized we were in the entertainment business,” said Plant. “So today, we’re just doing some promotional photos in the hopes we’ll be running at some point this year.”

Michael Gibbs, the director of communications for the FVHRS, said the society is currently polling all of its members to see who is willing to volunteer during the summer.

SEE ALSO: Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society may open this summer in Cloverdale

“If we don’t go ahead with a season this year, a summer season, then I think we’ll be open for a Christmas train,” he added. “Then maybe we’ll do something small for Easter. It’ll depend on what happens with the virus.”

John Sprung, chairman of the board for FVHRS, said the society’s poll will conclude next week, and he should know by Wednesday if the railway will open.

“We will make a decision next week as it will depend on what kind of information we get back from our volunteers.”

“If we don’t have enough volunteers, we can’t run the railway,” added Gibbs.

As for the Heritage Rail Players, Plant said once everything gets back to normal, the players will be back at the station.

He explained that along with the experience of riding the historic electric rail cars, people also want to learn some of the history when they visit.

“We also need to have entertainment for the kids. They are half of our customer base.”

Plant said several years ago the City of Surrey sponsored a group of players called the Re-enactors.

“They would come, usually twice during the season, and would spend several hours putting on set skits,” Plant noted. “These skits took us back in time to when the original BCER (B.C. Electric Railway) ran. These people were very entertaining and certainly enhanced our railway experience.”

SEE ALSO: The Electric Express returns to Cloverdale

Plant said eventually the Re-enactors became too busy to come down to the rail station. It was then Gibbs suggested the society form their own group of period actors.

So the Heritage Rail Players were born in 2019, with Plant acting in the lead role. Now the rail troupe volunteers at the station, but also attends events around town, promoting not only the railway, but also Surrey heritage.

Plant said outside of performing at the station in Cloverdale, the rail troupe has participated in about five or six other events.

“(In 2019) we did some special events and dressed up for each engagement,” said Plant. “We seemed to be very effective and we certainly had a lot of fun. Generally the players dress up in period costumes to celebrate some form of the rich BCER heritage. For each event we attempted to come up with a theme, then we dressed and acted accordingly.”

Plant added the troupe usually participates in several in-house (at the railway station) events each year. He said they also have great opportunities to reach out to the community through the Museum of Surrey, Cloverdale Market Days, and other possible events and venues.

“Our purpose is to entertain the public while promoting the rich heritage of the former BCER and now Surrey Heritage Rail,” explained Plant.

“We might (take) certain days during our season to set a theme and dress accordingly. Maybe act out some skits.”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CloverdaleHeritagehistoryrailwaySurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Construction on the main foyer at the soon-to-be opened Clayton Community Centre. (Photo courtesy of HCMA Architecture + Design)
Clayton Community Centre opening delayed again

City says Provincial Health Order reason for latest delay

Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man convicted of assault, unlawfully confining woman pregnant with his child loses court appeal

Victim tells court he drove her to Guildford parking lot after he’d ‘grabbed’ her neck and she fainted

Peter and Stephanie Chung. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey philanthropists presenting $285K in scholarships on Saturday

Drs. Peter and Stephanie Chung over the past nine years have awarded more than 500 students, in memory of their son Joseph

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read