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Field Report: Historic Railway Structures in Vancouver, B.C. – Part 1 of 3

Click on each picture for a closer look!
As our readers have noticed, TRHA folks are fond of making field trips to other railway museums and restored railways for both personal enjoyment and to get ideas to guide our museum development. Jason Pelton of the TRHA recently visited Vancouver, British Columbia on the west coast of Canada and has taken a number of images of interest to us and no doubt our readers. The first set of images we are posting above are of the Drake Street Roundhouse which is mentioned in the Wikipedia article titled “Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia” in the following paragraph:
“Vancouver was founded in 1886 as an adjunct to the arrival of the railway. The CPR was given extensive lands in the Vancouver area—the West End, lands west of Cambie street, False Creek and the southlands area stretching to the Fraser River. Posh subdivisions came about due to railway influence. The Drake Street Roundhouse was built on False Creek, and so Yaletown emerged. The City of Vancouver was incorporated on 6 April 1886, the same year that the first transcontinental train arrived.”
Drake Street was only one of three roundhouses (all CPR) in Canada which were exclusively devoted to passenger hauling locomotives, the other two being our John St. Roundhouse and the Glen in Montreal (Source: Old Time Trains). In the pictures above, we see the following (from left to right):
  • View across the turntable pit
  • View of bays 1 to 7
  • View of bays 8-10
Today, the Roundhouse houses the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre whose website, aptly named describes a busy community centre and its activities. Buried deeply in the website, there is a history of the roundhouse and its transformation into a community asset. There is also a very impressive "virtual tour" where you can click on one of six 360 degree tours of different parts of the roundhouse including the train hall where #374 is displayed. More about #374 will be found in a subsequent posting.

Below, Jason has taken photos of three historic plaques at the Drake Street Roundhouse.
Posting by Russ Milland; Pictures by Jason Pelton

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