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Vancouver area bridges

The Vancouver area is home to many bridges both rail and road. Here is a look at some of them and their history.

Fraser River Rail Bridge

Original specifications 1902

1949 John Stern/Angus Mc. Intyre Collection

BC Electric interurban train from Chilliwack entering New Westminster.
Leading the train is baggage-express car 1723 built by the American Car Company in 1910.

Mile 143.4 CN New Westminster Subdivision, New Westminister, BC.

The first shot shows the two legs of the bridge at the north end. The left one accesses the CN/BNSF line to the North
along the New Westminster Sub. The right leg goes down into New Westminster and is used by the SRY and CN.
CN typically handles freight over the Lulu Island Industrial Branch from here, and SRY accesses their yard operations.

Three photos Andy Cassidy 12/15/2011

Bridge in the process of closing.


History by Doug Cummings

This bridge did have a car deck at one time. Look at the view which shows the north end of the bridge clearly and you
can see the framework for it. It was removed when the Pattullo bridge was built. The amount of rail traffic today
would make this totally impractical. Photos exist that show the bridge with the car deck installed and in use.

The old New Westminster station used to be at the north end of the bridge, on the leg that heads towards Vancouver.
You can't find much trace of it today but the pavement was there for many years long after the station was torn down. Eastbound trains would stop with the head end of the train well out on the bridge, and westbounds would stop
with the rear half of the train out on the bridge. BCER trains, which went the other direction, stopped at
their own New Westminster station which was in downtown New Westminster (the building is still there today
but is hard to recognize, and no it is not the one that was later the Keg restaurant - that was a CPR station).

Years ago there was a plan to replace this bridge with a tunnel that would have run under the river from about where
the wye is north of the BNSF station to just south of Port Mann on the other side, near the old cement plant.
It has never been built but it is only a matter of time before the existing bridge will have to be replaced.

Fraser Street swing span road bridge. I took this shot on 31 December 1972 -
it closed the following year when the Knight Street bridge opened.
Angus Mc. Intrye

When John Stern visited Vancouver in 1949 he took a photo of the B.C. Electric Lulu Island swing span bridge.
Here it is looking north to Marpole. Likely taken from the front of an interurban car.
Angus Mc. Intrye Collection

While not a rail bridge, the single lane swing span road bridge to Westham Island and the
Reifel Bird Sanctuary is still operating. Deck repair was taking place that day.
Angus Mc. Intrye Collection




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