A B.C. Electric Railway streetcar arrives in Chilliwack in this undated photo. (Source: Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society website)

A B.C. Electric Railway streetcar arrives in Chilliwack in this undated photo. (Source: Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society website)

History presented of B.C. Electric Railway’s streetcars and interurbans

Talk in Abbotsford looks at public transit service that ran until 1958

Whatever happened to all the B.C. Electric Railway’s streetcars and interurbans of yesteryear?

That topic is discussed at a presentation on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Clearbrook Library (32320 George Ferguson Way) from 1 to 4 p.m.

The presentation, featuring BCER researcher Graham Evan MacDonell, 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 under the Burrard Street Bridge during the late 1950s.

MacDonell traces the history of streetcars, interurbans and engines that were sold to American transit buffs and how six have made their way back to B.C.

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This is thanks to groups including the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society; the now defunct Steveston Interurban Railway Society and the City of Richmond; the City of Burnaby and the Friends of 1223; the Transit Museum Society in Vancouver; and a number of heritage interurban fans during the past 45 years.

Admission is free, and beverages, cookies and cake will be served. There will also be a brief presentation from Ernie Poignant, 99, on when B.C. changed from driving on the left side of the road to the right in 1922.

The following day – Sunday, Sept. 30 – is the 68th anniversary of the last passenger interurban run from Chilliwack to New Westminster and Vancouver.