Shortly after Port Moody was declared to be the western terminus of the Transcontinental Railway in 1879, work started on the Port Moody waterfront. A deep water dock, sufficient to handle sailing ships with railway supplies (and later steamship service to Victoria), was built on a site near the present marina on the Barnet Highway. Freight storage sheds were built for water and rail cargos and Port Moody’s first railway station was built in 1882.
When the Canadian Pacific Railway was given control of the transcontinental system, they successfully negotiated with the provincial government and with the Town Council of Granville (became Vancouver in 1886), a land grant and support for a branch line to be built from Port Moody to Vancouver. After completion of the branch line, the first passenger train entered Vancouver in 1887. Subsequently, all water freight was diverted to Vancouver and the Victoria—Port Moody steamship service was cancelled. The dock became redundant.
The 1882 station continued in use until 1907 when a new station was built away from the water and at a more convenient location on the branch line. It was not until 1945 that it was decided that the station was too far from the main part of town. The station was raised, put on large timbers which were moved over and placed onto well greased railway tracks. A railway engine slowly pushed the station to its new location just west of Queens Street.
Eventually, through advancing technology, cessation of passenger service and the expansion of the Port Coquitlam CPR yards, the CPR no longer had a need for the Port Moody Station.
The Port Moody Heritage Society acquired the historic building from the CPR and in 1978; the station took another ride—this time by road. A house moving company hauled the station to its final destination—a site on Murray Street in the centre of the Moody overpass cloverleaf and it took on a proud new identity as the Port Moody Station Museum.
Footnote: The 1882 station became a union oil office and lab and later, a British-American oil sub-office before being demolished in the early 1960s.
Last updated: 05/10/2011 10:42:20 AM