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Pride, pomp, and circumstance: opening day for Cloverdale’s Heritage Rail

2024 season underway; new summer concert series set for weekends

Cloverdale’s Heritage Rail has opened its doors for another summer season.

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society (FVHRS) kicked off its 2024 run with a band and fanfare at Cloverdale Station May 4.

Allen Aubert, FVHRS secretary, said opening day went off without a hitch and there were many smiling faces on both kids and adults.

“The Surrey Firefighters Pipe and Drum band were truly outstanding, as usual, and piped out the first train on time at 10 a.m.,” noted Aubert. “We had a full load of visitors to ride the interurban and to take in the ‘Heritage Railway Adventure’ experience.”

The Heritage Railway Adventure was new last year. It takes place on the grounds at Cloverdale Station and lasts about an hour. The “Adventure” offers visitors a tour of the grounds and a ride on each piece of equipment available. It begins with a ride on the interurban car on Cloverdale’s half-mile spur track and is followed by a similar ride using the Honeybee Express speeder. There are also videos and other things visitors are able to do.

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale’s Heritage Rail gets new lease agreement from City of Surrey

“Our Cloverdale Heritage Railway Campus is now large enough to accommodate and host the Adventure experience where the visitors enjoy train rides and interactive experiences on our velocipede and quad hand cart,” added Aubert. “Operating these two vehicles is a highlight for many.”

The Surrey Firefighters Pipe and Drum band was on site at 9 a.m. and started welcoming rail-goers an hour before the first interurban rolled. Musician Michelle Carlisle also performed later in the day.

New for this year, Aubert said they are launching the “Cloverdale Station Music Festival.” Last year, the society brought in a few musicians to play on the rail platform over the summer. It was a major hit with visitors, so they decided to do something special this year.

The music series kicks off June 29 and runs through to Sept. 1 (closing day).

“Eighteen groups have been booked to perform, some amateur, some professional,” explained Aubert. “This special Cloverdale Station cultural music concert series takes place on the expanded station platform.”

Aubert said there is no cost for people to come and take in the music.

The artists will perform twice a day, once at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.

Aubert added the music series was made possible, in part, through a City of Surrey cultural grant.

Aubert also said a lot of work went into upgrading and fixing the Cloverdale Station grounds and buildings in the off season.

Volunteers worked “to create an enhanced barrier free environment for visitors with disabilities, including fabrication of a new fully accessible speeder carriage and a new ramp, connecting the station with the Discovery Centre,” he explained.

Aubert added FVHRS also received a federal government heritage grant to enhance and update some of the Cloverdale Station exhibits and displays.

“The addition of audio-visual equipment will enhance the quality of the historic presentations.”

The FVHRS is currently working at getting the Sullivan Excursion experience going. That is the one-hour ride down to Sullivan Station along the main rail line.

“The excursion plans are currently under review by Southern Railway of B.C.,” Aubert said. “We anticipate an announcement in the near future.”

The railway society also welcomed its first seniors group since before the shutdown from COVID. Aubert noted he was excited to welcome seniors touring groups back.

“Our seniors thoroughly enjoy the interurban as several remember riding them when they were very young,” Aubert said. “Lot’s of memories and interesting stories are shared.”

The Heritage Railway Adventure experience is available eight times per weekend, four times on Saturday and four times on Sunday.

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society operates the railway out of the Cloverdale Station and the restoration Car Barn at Hwy 10 and 176A Street, in Surrey—which they now call the Cloverdale Heritage Railway Campus.

For more information on the Heritage Railway Adventure, or the summer concert series, or to buy tickets, visit

Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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