Monday, October 18, 2010

PDP #298: The New West and Postapocalypse Railway

Metro Vancouver owes its existence, not to mention its prominence, to the railway. Without those twin tracks of steel wending their way east through the mountains, things would look rather different in the Lower Mainland.

That's not to say that the entire rail infrastructure remains in use. Like in many - most - other places, rail started experiencing hard times from the 1950s on. Last weekend I followed one such hard-luck line, seemingly abandoned since the middle of last century, along Stewardson Way in New Westminster, paralelling the BC Parkway and the SkyTrain. I'm not sure, because the map I found is handmade and rather old, but I suspect this track may be a remnant of British Columbia Electric Railway streetcar operations - either that or it's an old CNR line.

If there's ever an apocalypse, this is what the surviving rail lines will look like afterward.

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1 comment:

  1. this is indeed the old BCER line into Vancouver. When BCER was taken over and named BC Hydro rail in 1962, this line was in use to cedar cottage in Vancouver, plus the light industry along the way. It continued in use past the opening of sky train (1986), and was used until about 1990