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Tram Car 1220 Restoration Project

Man in blue overalls and woman in white t-shirt cleaning historic material in front of red tram car

A three-year project to restore historic Tram Car 1220 began in 2016, and through the careful work of volunteers, conservators, curators and other professionals who worked for hundreds of hours, visitors from all over the world can now enjoy this artefact.

For Doors Open 2023, visit the Steveston Tram on June 3 & 4, to discover the story of this historic restoration project, and the volunteers who generously contributed their time to help make it happen.

Since the tram was so old, many of the original parts were missing or damaged. Unfortunately, these parts are not sold at your local hardware store, so talented craftsmen had to remake these parts. This required extensive knowledge on how these objects were built. Nearly everything had to be restored by hand, from the roof, to the seats, to the electrical system.

With the introduction of gas-powered vehicles, many of the original trams were burned and destroyed. Today, this artefact is one of only seven BC Electric Railway trams to survive. The tram represents a bygone era of transportation in Richmond. It serves as a tangible reminder of the region’s reliance on trams for local travel. The tram facilitated transportation of goods, people, and supplies between Steveston and nearby areas, contributing to the growth of the local fishing industry and the community as a whole. In fact, did you know that the construction of the Steveston Tram line brought electricity to Richmond?

Drop-in on Saturday, June 3rd from 10AM to 4PM or Sunday, June 4th from 11AM to 4PM for a chance to meet one of the restoration volunteers, or participate in other activities to better understand the restoration process.

Imagine trying to match the exact paint shade for the tram, or having to carefully remove a hundred-year’s worth of dirt and grime, without damaging an artefact. For younger visitors, ask for a scavenger hunt activity to discover more facts about the Steveston Tram.

For more information about more Doors Open Richmond, visit the website here.

The Steveston Tram is open from 10AM to 5PM daily during the summer season (until Labour Day Monday). Admission is free.