Talk about a great family adventure! Have you ridden the rails with the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway? If not, be sure to add this outing to your summer bucket list. The fully-restored antique interurban train car departs from the Cloverdale Station and heads across South Surrey to Sullivan Station. The train ride is 55 minutes in length! Kids will enjoy the train crossings (you get to stop all 4 lanes of Hwy 10). You also travel over water, through fields, and get to watch the crew switching tracks.
The trip is narrated by one of the volunteers. Riders learn about the incredible number of hours it took to restore Car 1225; more than 20,000 volunteer hours. On the journey interesting facts about the development of the rail system throughout the Fraser Valley is shared.
The folks at the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway understand kids. They know kids aren’t born with a willingness to sit and listen. They know kids like to make noise, touch things, and move around. Despite the age, and historical significance, of the items on display, the volunteers are incredibly tolerant of wriggly kids and their curiosity. While there are certainly rules to follow – for safety reasons – a great deal of tolerance & empathy is shown.
When visiting the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway there are a number of spots to visit. Of course, taking the 55 minute train ride is a must-do. Inside the station the kids will enjoy playing on the train simulator. It didn’t take my kids long to find both the train whistle and bell!
I highly recommend the guided tour through the Carbarn. During this part of our experience, the kids climbed inside a speeder, hopped aboard an electric freight engine and explored 2 more trains. One car is being restored for the Canada Day 150th celebrations in 2017. A little birdie told me that next July’s festivities are not to be missed! After the tour, the tour group enjoyed a ride in a speeder and took turns on the velocipede. Word to the wise, don’t wear a skirt if you want to try out the velocipede. It is definitely a pants / shorts type activity. Operating the velocipede is also a lot easier than it looks.
My boys & I spent 3 hours at the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway. I only managed to drag them away because their need for food started to outweigh their need to explore more trains. We will certainly be coming back for the Halloween and Christmas festivities, if not many times before!
Tips for visiting the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway:
- Boarding starts 15 minutes prior to departure. The trains run at 10am, 11:15am, 12:30pm 1:45pm and the last train runs at 3pm.
- The train ride is 55 minutes and there are no washrooms on board. There are washrooms in the station to use prior to departure.
- There is a snack bar in the station. There are also picnic tables outside should you wish to pack your own lunch.
- As the train schedule is sometimes altered by both the availability of volunteers and other trains using the tracks, please make sure to check their Facebook page before heading out.
- Admission: adults = $20.00, children 3 – 11 years = $10.00, children 2 & under are free.
You know your kid has had a great time on an adventure when, upon arrival at home, an art project is commenced. My 7 year old thoroughly loved his ride on the speeder!
Fraser Valley Heritage Railway
When: Saturdays & Sundays opening TBA (hopefully mid-August, 2021)
Time: 10am – 4pm (last train runs at 3pm)
Where: Cloverdale Station
Address: Foot of 176A St, just south of HWY 10 (56 Ave) in Surrey