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The VW&Y Ry, 1904 – An interurban service

March 18, 2014

1904 09 22 VWY railway schedule notice

In September 1904, even before scheduled trains were running over the New Westminster Bridge, a commuter could take transit from the south side of the Fraser River and be in downtown Vancouver in less than an hour.

The Vancouver, Westminster & Yukon Railway (VW&Y)) billed itself as an “Interurban Service,” offering 40 minute service,  downtown to downtown,  and  inviting comparison with the schedule of the existing electric tramway running between New Westminster and Vancouver.

Passengers between New Westminster and Vancouver could choose between two commuter rail systems.

At Vancouver the VW&Y trains emerged from the cut now used by the Millennium line and terminated at Main Street and First Avenue.

On the south side of the river, trains ran along the old route of the New Westminster Southern Railway via Port Kells.

At Cloverdale transfer was made to the Victoria Terminal Railway (VTR)  road to Port Guichon, there meeting the ferry steamer Victorian for passage to Vancouver Island.

Master of the Victorian was Captain James Rogers, who had resigned from the ferry Surrey to take his new command.

When the Fraser River Bridge opened to regular traffic in November 1904, the river ferry crossing was retired and commuting time shortened.  At the Vancouver end service was later extended across False Creek to a station at Pender street.

The following is text of the Vancouver, Westminster & Yukon Railway advertised service announcement:


On and after Monday, the 22nd inst., trains will leave the temporary depot, near the ferry landing at Westminster for Vancouver at

8.10 a.m., 11.00 a.m., 1.40 p.m. and 3.40 p.m.

and will leave the temporary depot, Vancouver, corner of Westminster ave. and Front street, for Westminster at

9.15 a.m., 12.15 p.m., 2.40 p.m. and 5.20 p.m.,

arriving at Westminster forty minutes later, making connection via the ferry with the Great Northern train from Seattle and the V.T.R. and F. Co.’s train from Victoria.
For tickets and further information apply to the company’s agents at Vancouver and Westminster.

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