Fonds RBSC-ARC-1054 - British Columbia Electric Railway Company fonds

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

British Columbia Electric Railway Company fonds

General material designation

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

  • Source of title proper: Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Level of description


Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

122 m of textual records and other material

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

British Columbia Electric Railway was a railway and streetcar company operating from 1897 to 1961. A London-based company chaired by Robert M. Horne-Payne and R. Henry Sperling overtook the bankrupt Consolidated Railway Company on April 3, 1897, incorporating it as the British Columbia Electric Railway company. By 1903 B.C. Electric began building its own streetcars, inter-urbans, locomotives, work equipment and freight cars in a shop in New Westminster. Over the following years BC Electric provided increasingly expanding rail and bus transit for passengers and freight across Southern British Columbia. As World War Two came to an end, B.C. Electric implemented a ‘Rails to Rubber’ programme, replacing electric railway streetcars with Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) Streetcars. In 1961 the provincial government took over BC Electric with the railway becoming a division of Crown corporation BC Hydro.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists principally of bound and filed correspondence of the Company (1896-1914), early minute books and accounting records of the BCER and related companies. Also included is a valuable collection of maps, diagrams, and engineering and architectural plans.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Arrangement: Rare Books and Special Collections acquired the fonds in 1969. About 120 metres of records were donated. The fonds was arranged and described by RBSC at this time. Five unprocessed boxes of textual material remained in the backlog until 2017. In December 2017, an archivist from Rare Books and Special Collections undertook the arrangement and description of the fonds. The archivist provided an intellectual order for the accession to increase ease of use by researchers. Where present, the original order of the records has been maintained. In 2022, RBSC staff added an accrual of one folder to the fonds. The finding aid for this accrual has been added as an addendum to the original finding aid, available as an attached PDF. A box-file listing is available for the accrual as well. Updated series descriptions are included in this addendum.

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Inventory available. PDF document attached.
Oversize materials originally stored on shelves (PDF page 100 to 105, ex. A x B 5-1) have been rehoused into boxes (ex. Box 241). Refer to PDF page 106 to 111 for current location information.

Associated materials

Related materials


Unprocessed microfilm reels will be added to the fonds when they have been processed.

Physical description

Includes 250 maps and 400 plans

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area

Description record identifier

Rules or conventions


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Finding aid updated by Claire Williams in March 2022 to reflect new accrual.

Language of description

Script of description


Digital object (Master) rights area

Digital object (Reference) rights area

Digital object (Thumbnail) rights area

Accession area