Central Park Line

From Dominion of British Columbia

The Central Park Line is an electrified 4.6 mile railway line of the British Columbia Hydro Railway running from Trapp Yard, the railway's main marshalling yard, to Royal Oak Yard, connecting with the Canadian Pacific Railway at 14th Street Yard.

The Central Park Line is part of BC Hydro Railway's Westminster Division.

History

The Central Park Line was opened on 8 October 1891 by the Westminster & Vancouver Tramway Company to provide interurban passenger service between New Westminster and Vancouver. In 1895, the W&VT was amalgamated with two other companies to form the Consolidated Railway & Light Company, which two years later became the British Columbia Electric Railway.

Initially electrified at 600V DC, the voltage was increased to 1500V DC in 1905, which remained the standard system for all BCER lines in the Lower Mainland other than the North Vancouver trams. Following the first electrification of the British Columbia Railway's Inter-Dominion Line, the 25kV 60Hz system was declared the national standard electrification system in 1931. The electrification was converted to the new national standard in 1932, but passenger service on the line was discontinued in 1962, when the portion of the line west of Rupert Street in Vancouver was closed. By 1966 the line had been cut back to Central Park Yard, and in 1982 everything west of Royal Oak Yard in Burnaby was closed in preparation for the conversion of the right-of-way west of there into the Central Line of the Greater Vancouver Metro.

Services

The Central Park Line of today south of Edmonds Yard is quite busy, serving the northern part of the Scott Paper complex, the Empress Foods and Lucerne Dairies complex east of Edmonds Yard, and immediately south of there, the Metrovick BC complex opened in 2016 to build the 60000 series electric trainsets for the Greater Vancouver Metro. In addition there is a brewery, a furniture factory, an automobile distribution yard, and other light industries located along the line.

Prior to 1982 traffic was even greater, with department and mail-order store Simpsons-Sears and grocery wholesaler Kelly-Douglas both having their main BC warehouses just east of Central Park, and immediately to the west of Kelly-Douglas, the Ford Motor Company of BC had an assembly plant where cars and light trucks were built. Between 1939 and 1948, Ford also built aircraft engines for the DHBC Flamingo airliner and other aircraft, which provided a steady stream of freight for the BCER between here and the De Havilland plants on Sea Island and, later, on Annacis Island and in Abbotsford - to BCER's fortune, all three of De Havilland's factories were located on the BCER.

Route

A yellow background indicates that that section of line is electrified, italic text indicates a closed station or connection on an open section of line, and a grey background indicates a closed section of line.

Central Park Line
Station Milepost
(present)
Milepost
(original)
Connecting lines Notes
Trapp Yard 0.0 - Queensborough Line
Westminster⁠–⁠Eburne Line
BCH shops and main marshalling yard, Clarke Transport; named Spring prior to 1960
14th Street 1.0 11.6 Queensborough Line
Westminster–Eburne Line
Westminster Sub (CPR)
16th Street 1.4 11.2 - Scott Paper north plant
Meads - 10.8 - Closed 1962
Elsona - 10.6 - Closed 1962
Connaught Hill - 10.1 - Closed 1962
Leeside 2.8 9.8 - Metrovick BC
Edmonds Yard 3.3 9.3 Empress Foods Spur Collection yard
Prenter 3.8 8.8 - Hillcrest Brewing, BMG Industries
Fraser Arm 4.0 8.6 - GranTree Furniture
Highland Park 4.2 8.4 - Industrial sidings, auto distributor
Royal Oak Yard 4.6 8.0 - Industrial sidings
Jubilee - 7.5 - Closed 1962
West Burnaby - 7.1 - Closed 1982; Simpsons-Sears main warehouse
McKay - 6.9 - Closed 1982; Kelly-Douglas, Ford BC assembly plant
Patterson - 6.6 - Closed 1962
Central Park - 6.3 - Closed 1982
Park Avenue - 5.9 - Closed 1962
Collingwood East - 5.5 - Closed 1966
Collingwood West - 5.2 - Closed 1966
Earles Street - 4.9 - Closed 1962
Beaconsfield - 4.6 - Closed 1962
Nanaimo - 4.2 - Closed 1962
Gladstone - 4.0 - Closed 1962
Lakeview - 3.8 - Closed 1962
Cedar Cottage - 3.4 - Closed 1962
Broadway - 3.0 - Closed 1962
East 3rd Avenue - 2.6 Burnaby Lake Line Closed 1962
Britannia Park - 2.0 - Closed 1962
Clark Drive - 1.7 - Closed 1962
Strathcona Park - 1.3 - Closed 1962
Carrall Street - 0.0 - Closed 1962; car barn
Empress Foods Spur
Edmonds Yard 0.0 Central Park Line Collection yard
Empress Foods 0.9 - Empress Foods, Lucerne Dairies