Fraser River Line

From Dominion of British Columbia

The Fraser River Line is one of the six lines of the Greater Vancouver Metro operated by the BC Hydro Railway on behalf of the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority.

The Fraser River Line connects to the Olympic Line at UBC Centre Station, to the Central Line at New Westminster Station, and to the Evergreen Line at Columbia Station. Between Marine Drive-70th Avenue Station and Marpole Station it shares track with the Expo Line.

History

The Fraser River Line was originally opened in 1910 by the British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) as the Westminster–Eburne Line from New Westminster to Marpole (then called Eburne), South Vancouver, for freight and interurban service. Connecting at Marpole to the BCER's Lulu Island Line and with the Central Park Line in New Westminster, the opening of the new line creating a triangular network of interurban and freight service linking the municipalities of Vancouver, South Vancouver, Richmond, and New Westminster. Originally electrified at 1500V DC, in 1934 it was converted to 25kV 60Hz AC operation, and the new 1000 series multiple-unit trainsets were introduced to replace the old wooden-bodied interurban cars, the newest of which were twenty years old at the time. The line remained an important transportation artery through the 1970s.

Plans for the construction in several phases of the Greater Vancouver Metro (GVM) system were finalised by a joint commission of the Dominion government, the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority, and the BC Hydro Railway in 1977, with the first phase involving the conversion of the Lulu Island Line and the Westminster–Eburne Line rights-of-way from regular at-grade railway lines to dedicated lines without road crossings, using a mix of ground-level, underground, or elevated guideways as appropriate. As part of the realisation of the programme's first phase, freight service along the Westminster–Eburne Line was permanently discontinued in 1984, and then, just prior to the commencement of reconstruction work, passenger trains were suspended and replaced by a substitute bus service for the duration of work.

The new Fraser River Line follows the right-of-way of the Westminster–Eburne Line between Marpole and Nelson; from there to New Westminster, it runs along an elevated guideway following a different route. Work on this section was completed in three years, becoming the second GVM line to be opened to the public, with a ceremony conducted by Prime Minister Grace McCarthy being held at New Westminster Station on 4 April 1987. Work on two extensions, one from Marine Drive-70th Avenue Station on the Expo Line to the University of British Columbia, which had been foreseen as a future extension, and one from New Westminster to Liverpool, envisioned as part of the first phase of GVM construction, began in late 1992. The short Liverpool extension was opened in July 1994, whilst the much longer UBC extension, running underground for almost its entire length, was opened in August 1995, with trains of the Expo, Airport, and Fraser River Lines sharing the section between Marine Drive-70th Avenue and Marpole Stations.

Five miles of the original line remain in service: the four miles from Greenall to the BC Hydro Railway's classification yard and shops at Trapp Yard as the Westminster–Eburne Line, and one mile from Trapp Yard to Hydro's New Westminster freight yard, shared by the Central Park Line, the Liverpool Line and the Queensborough Line.

Route

From UBC Centre to Milepost 6.6 just west of Marine Drive-70th Avenue Station the line is underground, and from that point to Milepost 13.3, west of Nelson Station, the line is at ground level. From Milepost 13.3 it moves to an elevated guideway, on which it remains for a short distance past New Westminster Station before returning underground. Columbia Station is itself underground; immediately east of there the line turns onto a bridge across the Fraser River; this bridge becomes an elevated guideway for the remainder of the line to Liverpool Station.

Fraser River Line
Stop name Distance
(miles)
GVTA rail connections Bus connections Other connections Nearby places of note
UBC Centre 0.0  GVM Olympic Line 4 Powell
9 Boundary
14 Hastings
25 Brentwood Stn
33 Slocan-29th Avenue Stn
41 Joyce-Collingwood Stn
49 Metrotown Stn
68 Wesbrook Village
84 VCC-Clark Stn
99 Commercial-Broadway Stn
O17 Downtown Owl
UBC Aquatic Centre
UBC Student Union Building
War Memorial Gymnasium
UBC Hospital 0.4 25 Brentwood Stn/UBC
33 Slocan-29th Avenue Stn/UBC
49 Metrotown Stn/UBC
Life Sciences Institute
UBC Hospital
Thunderbird 0.9 25 Brentwood Stn/UBC
33 Slocan-29th Avenue Stn/UBC
41 Joyce-Collingwood Stn/UBC
49 Metrotown Stn/UBC
Thunderbird Stadium (Kitsilano FC)
Wesbrook Mall-TRIUMF 1.8 49 Metrotown Station/Dunbar Loop/UBC National Research Council
TRIUMF
Musqueam-Dunbar 4.1 7 Nanaimo Stn Musqueam Park
Point Grey Golf Club
Carnarvon⁠-⁠Southlands 4.9 none Marine Drive Golf Club
Southlands Riding Club
Marine Drive-70th Avenue 6.9 GVM Expo Line none Fraser River Park
Marpole 7.4 GVM Expo Line 10 Downtown/Granville
100 Connaught Heights Stn
Cambie 8.2 3 Downtown
10 Granville
15 Vancouver City Centre
17 Downtown
100 Connaught Heights Stn⁠/⁠Marpole Stn
O8 Downtown/Fraser Owl
O15 Downtown Owl
O20 Downtown/Victoria Owl
Marine Gateway
Fraser 9.3 8 Downtown
O8 Downtown Owl
Knight 10.0 22 Downtown
100 Connaught Heights Stn/Marpole Stn
405 Five Road/Cambie
407 Gilbert/Bridgeport Station
O20 Downtown/Victoria Owl
Victoria 10.5 20 Downtown
O20 Downtown Owl
Gladstone 11.0 29 Slocan-29th Avenue Stn Fraserview Golf Course
Riverfront Park
Dominion Mills 11.7 24 King Edward Stn
31 Metrotown Stn
Kerr Street Pier
Kinross Ravine Park
Boundary 12.5 116 Middlegate Stn/Metrotown Stn
Nelson 13.6 116 Middlegate Stn/Metrotown Stn Riverway Golf Course
Marine Way 14.7 100 Connaught Heights Stn/Marpole Stn
116 Middlegate Stn/Metrotown Stn
148 Royal Oak Stn/Middlegate Stn
Byrne Creek Park
Marine Way Market
Connaught Heights 16.0 100 Marpole Stn
101 Lougheed Town Centre
104 Annacis Island
120 Vancouver City Centre/Queensborough
128 Sapperton-Royal Columbian Stn
155 Sapperton-Royal Columbian Stn
340 Scottsdale Exchange
388 Carvolth Exchange
410 Minoru-Brighouse Stn
418 Kingswood
Connaught Heights Elementary School
Grimston Park (Connaught Heights FC)
Schara Tzedeck Cemetery
New Westminster 17.8 GVM Central Line 102 Fraserview
105 Uptown
106 Middlegate Stn
108 Eighth Ave
109 Lougheed Town Centre
112 Middlegate Stn
123 Brentwood Stn
321 Newton-King George Stn
O19 Downtown/Surrey Centre Owl
Anvil Centre
Shops at New West
Quayside Park
Westminster Pier Park
Westminster Quay
Columbia 18.2  GVM Evergreen Line 103 Quayside/Victoria Hill
105 Uptown/New Westminster Stn
109 New Westminster Stn/Lougheed Town Centre
321 Newton-King George Stn/New Westminster Stn
O19 Downtown/Surrey Centre Owl
Holy Trinity Cathedral
New Westminster Police Department
New Westminster Water Aerodrome
St John Ambulance
Westminster Pier Park
Liverpool 19.6 Interurban 312 Scottsdale Exchange
319 Newton-King George Stn
321 Newton-King George Stn/New Westminster Stn
327 White Rock Centre
330 Surrey Centre
332 Guildford Exchange
371 Surrey Centre
391 Scottsdale Exchange
394 White Rock Express
502 Langley Prairie Stn
640 Ladner Exchange
690 Boundary Bay Express
O19 Downtown/Surrey Centre
national rail
(BCR, W&BC)
North Surrey Ice Complex
(Liverpool Dynamo-VLW)