Fraser Valley Line

From Dominion of British Columbia

The Fraser Valley Line is an electrified 61.8 mile railway line of the British Columbia Hydro Railway running from Kamloops on the Liverpool Line to Chilliwack, making numerous connections with other lines along the length of the route. At Liverpool it connects with BC Rail's Inter-Dominion Line and the Washington & British Columbia Railway's New Westminster Southern Line; at Cloverdale with the W&BC's New Westminster Southern Line, Victoria Terminal Line, and VV&E Line; at Abbotsford with the W&BC's VV&E Line and Sumas Crossing Line and with the North Western Pacific Railroad's Bellingham & Northern Line (with the latter it also connects at Huntingdon; and at Chilliwack with BC Rail's Inter-Dominion Line and the W&BC's VV&E Line. There are also two short branch lines, the Cruickshank Branch starting at Kings, and the Eagles Reach Branch at Harmsworth.

The Fraser Valley Line comprises the entirety of BC Hydro Railway's Valley Division.

Between Liverpool and Milepost 41.3, just south of Huntingdon, the line is double tracked. Clayburn is a famous spot with local railfans, as it is the last operational manually controlled semaphore-locked crossing point in BC, the BCH line crossing the North Western Pacific line from Sumas to Mission there.

History

The British Columbia Electric Railway, the immediate predecessor of the BC Hydro Railway, opened the Fraser Valley Line from New Westminster to Chilliwack in 1910 for both interurban and freight operations. Initially electrified at 1500V DC, it was converted to the present 25kV 60Hz system in 1933. Immediately before and during the Second World War, the BCER greatly expanded its freight operations all over its freight network; to accomodate the increased traffic generated by the massive new De Havilland plant in Abbotsford, the Liverpool–Abbotsford section of the Fraser Valley Line was double tracked in 1943; doubling of the section from Abbotsford to Huntingdon was finished in 1962.

Cruickshank Branch

This is a 0.8 mile spur from Kings to Cruickshank Station, an industrial area in Surrey with multiple sidings to various light industries and warehouses.

Eagles Reach Branch

This 2.6 mile line runs from Harmsworth to Eagles Reach on BC Rail's Inter-Dominion Line, serving as a freight interchange connection. 1.7 miles of the line is double tracked.

Services

Freight

Freight traffic between Liverpool and Huntingdon is quite heavy

The main line sees both freight and passenger traffic; from Liverpool to MP 41.3 past Huntingdon the line is entirely double tracked. Abbotsford and Huntingdon are the busiest freight spots on the mainline, with cross-border traffic handled through Huntingdon yard passed on to the NWP there. Prior to the takeover of De Havilland BC by Boeing, there was a great amount of traffic between DHBC's facilities on Annacis Island and in Abbotsford, which was moved from Annacis by BCH to its connection at Abbotsford with the Chicago, Milwaukee & North Western Railroad (today NWP) and forwarded to the plant by the CMN&W. Since the takeover, Boeing has been using the Abbotsford plant to build wings for 737s and 787s; these are moved by rail from Abbotsford to Everett directly by the NWP. East of Huntingdon freight traffic is lighter, but still sees several trains a day.

Passenger

In addition to operating the Greater Vancouver Metro and two lines of the Victoria Metro systems, the BC Hydro Railway operates two commuter services, marketed under the Interurban name; these are single class seating only, but adjacent to the drivers' cab at the ends of each trainset is a bicycle compartment.

The Western Interurban runs between Liverpool and Abbotsford or between Liverpool and Jardine-Trinity Western with half-hourly or hourly service, whilst the Eastern Interurban runs between Abbotsford and Chilliwack with service every hour, every 90 minutes, or every two hours, depending on the time and day. Although the Interurban services are entirely a BCH operation, it is integrated with the Greater Vancouver Transit Authority's system and schedule of fares. The Liverpool–Jardine-Trinity Western University section is in Fare Zone 3, the Harmsworth–Mount Lehman section is in Fare Zone 4, Gifford to Whatcom Road section is in Fare Zone 5, and the Vedder Mountain–Chilliwack section is in Fare Zone 6.

Route

A yellow background indicates that that section of line is electrified; italic text indicates a closed station or connection.

Fraser Valley Line
Station Milepost Connecting lines Notes
Liverpool 0.0 Inter-Dominion Line (BCR)
New Westminster Southern Line (W&BC)
GVM Fraser River Line
No BCR–BCH commercial interchange here; connection here used for moving EMUs to VLW for maintenance
Royal Kwantlen 0.9 - Passenger only; opened 2010
St Helen's Park 1.8 - Passenger only; opened 1986
Kennedy 3.0 - Passenger only
Craigs 3.8 - Multiple industrial sidings
Kings 4.9 Cruickshank Branch Multiple industrial sidings
Newton-King George 6.0 - Multiple industrial sidings
Hyland 7.5 - Multiple industrial sidings
Sullivan 8.7 - Passenger only
Cloverdale 12.0 New Westminster Southern Line (W&BC)
Victoria Terminal Line (W&BC)
VV&E Line (W&BC)
Anderson 14.3 - Multiple industrial sidings
Hunter 14.9 - Freight only, multiple industrial sidings
Langley Prairie 15.9 - Multiple industrial sidings
Milner 17.9 - Agricultural siding
Jardine⁠-⁠Trinity Western 19.2 - Passenger only; opened 1976
Harmsworth 20.0 Inter-Dominion Line (BCR) Junction only, passenger service discontinued 1958
Sperling 21.7 - Passenger only
Warwhoop 22.5 - Closed 1958
Coghlan 23.9 - Agricultural siding
County Line 24.6 - Closed 1958
Beaver River 25.2 - Passenger only
Jackman 26.0 - Freight only, agricultural siding; passenger service discontinued 1966
Lombard 26.4 - Freight only, agricultural siding; passenger service discontinued 1958
Rand 27.4 - Closed 1956
Bradner 28.2 - Passenger only
Dennison 29.2 - Closed 1958
Mount Lehman 30.0 - Passenger only
Gifford 32.6 - Passenger only
Glover 34.2 - Agricultural sidings
Clayburn 35.4 - Crossing with NWP only, no connection or commercial service; passenger service discontinued 1954
St Nicholas 36.9 - Multiple industrial sidings
Abbotsford 37.6 Sumas Crossing Line (W&BC)
VV&E Line (W&BC)
Bellingham & Northern Line (NWP)
Industrial sidings
Delair 38.2 - Freight only, industrial sidings; passenger service discontinued 1960
Vye 40.2 - Freight only, multiple industrial sidings; passenger service discontinued 1962
Huntingdon 40.9 Sumas Crossing Line (W&BC)
Bellingham & Northern Line (NWP)
Whatcom Road 43.7 - Passenger only
Upper Sumas 44.8 - Closed 1960
Norton 45.3 - Closed 1958
Vedder Mountain 47.2 - Passenger only
Kidd 49.4 - Passenger only
Bellerose 51.9 - Passenger only
Sinclair 52.4 - Passenger only
Yarrow 54.1 - Agricultural siding
Woodroofe 55.7 - Agricultural siding
South Sumas 57.4 - Agricultural and industrial sidings, Rogers Foods
Evans 58.4 - Closed 1955
Sardis 59.4 - Passenger only
Knight Road 60.0 - Agricultural siding
Chilliwack BCR 61.4 Inter-Dominion Line (BCR)
VV&E Line (W&BC)
BC Rail station, BCH has passenger service here only
Chilliwack BCH 61.8 - Freight only, industrial sidings