Passengers board the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway for a ride along a portion of the old B.C. Electric Railway track. (Black Press Media file photo)

Passengers board the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway for a ride along a portion of the old B.C. Electric Railway track. (Black Press Media file photo)

Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society may open this summer in Cloverdale

Heritage Rail: Surrey’s Jewel

Surrey’s Heritage Rail is a unique heritage experience, and a summer favourite in Cloverdale.

The operation is run by the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society, which has acquired, restored and now operates historic B.C. Electric Railway cars.

This classic must-see is staffed by a group of passionate volunteers. It runs on weekends in the summer and it also hosts special seasonal events, including Halloween and Christmas trains.

During the regular season, visitors can check out Cloverdale Station and take a tour through the Frank Horne Heritage Discovery Centre to learn about the history of interurban rail in British Columbia, and go for a ride on the speeder or the lovingly restored velocipede.

The big attraction, of course, is the hour-long train rides on a fully restored interurban railcar, which take passengers from Cloverdale Station to Sullivan Station and back again. The beautiful summer ride takes you through farm fields and over busy highways. Surrey’s Heritage Rail is located at 17630 56 Ave., near the intersection of 176A Street and Highway 10 in downtown Cloverdale.

Cloverdale Station is usually open to visitors and passengers on Saturdays and Sundays in May through to the end of September. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the station may not open at all this year.

According to the society’s website, “the 2020 season start date remains fluid and dependent on a detailed review of how new protocols can be successfully created to address issues such as social distancing and meeting various COVID-19 health department mitigation suggestions and requirements.”

SEE ALSO: The Electric Express returns to Cloverdale

John Sprung, chairman of the board for FVHRS, said he expects that a decision on whether or not to open will be made in a few weeks.

“The board is currently reviewing some ideas and we’ll take that to our volunteers and see how they feel about it,” said Sprung.

“We’re 100 per cent volunteer run and most of our volunteers fall into the highest risk category for COVID-19.”

He said half the volunteers want to cancel the 2020 season and half the volunteers are chomping at the bit to start the 2020 season.

“Our first priority is to protect the volunteers and our second is the public,” he explained.

He said if they do decide to open it will be with the green-light from health authorities.

“We’ll contact WorkSafe B.C. and implement all of the COVID protocols that are necessary so we can reopen in a way that is safe for both the public and our volunteers.

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