Vancouver’s heritage streetcar operation heads to the history books

A staff review of the Vancouver Downtown Historic Railway, the vintage Interurban streetcar system that ran for a number of years along the south shore of False Creek, has concluded the vintage cars can no longer operate a safe and viable service.

The result, says City Engineer Peter Judd, is a decision to turn one of the two leased cars over to the Transit Museum Society (TRAMS), a volunteer organization, and the other back to its private owner.

He set out the tale in a memo to council released today.

TRAMS will be able to store the car in the existing False Creek barn and roll it out for static displays as it wishes.

The report was generated by a council debate in 2011 about the advisability of funding continued operation of the DHR, which struggled to carry as many passengers in a summer as a regular bus route does in a day.

Neither Tourism Vancouver nor Granville Island identified a need for the service.

The city’s priority, says Judd, should be to work toward completion of Broadway Corridor rapid transit.