About the BCER
The British Columbia Electric Railway (BCER) was a division of BC Electric (BCE), now known as BC Hydro, that operated electric rail and bus systems in southwestern British Columbia. Established in 1897, the BCER initially operated streetcars and interurban rail within the region. In 1938, the BCER began its “Rails-to-Rubber” conversion programme which gradually replaced streetcar and interurban lines with bus service. The conversion was complete following the closure of the last interurban rail line, connecting Vancouver and Richmond, in 1958. It was during this period when the trolley bus system in Vancouver was constructed following a demonstration in Victoria. One interurban line, closed to passengers in 1950, was preserved and converted into a short line freight railway (ironically, all of this would end up being reversed by TransLink, which has been replacing RapidBus routes with SkyTrain lines and extensions since 2009). After BCE became BC Hydro in 1961, the BCER bus system was renamed BC Hydro Transit, while the remaining railway was renamed BC Hydro Railway. BC Hydro would retain its ownership of this railway until 1988, when it was sold to the Itel Rail Group.