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Vancouver Island Service



Southern Railway of British Columbia (SRY) has a rich history going back over 100 years. SRY was originally incorporated in 1897 as the BC Electric Railway, which united several separate inter-urban and street railway systems in Vancouver, Victoria and New Westminster into one company. In 1905, BC Electric Railway expanded its network to include the Vancouver and Lulu Island Branch of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In 1910, the network grew even more with the building of a rail line through the Fraser Valley to Chilliwack, BC.

For 40 years, BC Electric Railway operated the largest system of interurban railways in Canada, shuttling passengers and express trains back and forth across the valley. In the late 1940s, automobiles, buses, and the improvement of roads saw the end of an era for shuttling passengers and began a new era for handling freight. Since the 1950s, the line has been a short-line freight railway, playing a prominent role in the industrialization of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.
The provincial government took over the BC Electric Railway in 1961 with the creation of BC Hydro. BC Hydro continued to operate the railway until 1988, when it was sold and became Southern Railway of British Columbia. SRY became a Washington Company in 1994.