11 January 2006
Restoration of Electric Railcar Under Way in Newton
Newton - B.C.'s last operating electric railcar is being jolted out of retirement as volunteers are working to restore it to service.
Work continues on the restoration of car 1225 at the Sullivan Car Barn. First put into service in 1912 and retired in 1958, the car may soon be running between Newton and Cloverdale.
BC Electric Railway (BCER) car 1225, a red, 51-foot, 42-seat railcar powered by two electric motors, shuffled passengers between Steveston and Vancouver/Burnaby from 1912 to 1958. After it was retired, it spent several decades slowly deteriorating at a California museum.
Last fall, however, the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society (FVHRS), bought the heritage railcar at a cost of about $300,000, and shipped it to the Sullivan Car Barn at 64 Avenue and 152 Street.
Since then, FVHRS members and volunteers have begun the two-year deconstruction and restoration of Car 1225, with plans to get it running for an interurban service between Newton and Cloverdale.
At this point, the car's interior has been removed and plans are to reconstruct it using authentic materials and parts. But to keep the project going, the FVHRS needs the public's help through materials, donations and volunteers. The project's estimated price tag is $262,000.
Organizers are also seeking tradespeople such as woodworkers, electricians, and ironworkers. The restorations is set to be completed in 2007.
Tax deductible donations can be sent to: Secretary, FVHRS, 1045 165 St., Surrey, B.C., V4A 9A2. For more information, visit www.fvhrs.org.