When Rail Was King
Fort Langley’s CN Station operated by the Langley Heritage Society is a popular location for wedding and graduation photographs. We are a volunteer, non-profit organization and a $20 donation to help keep the CN Station looking great is appreciated. Mail to: Langley Heritage Society, Box 982, Fort Langley, B.C. V1M 2S3.
The station was built for the Canadian Northern Railway in 1915 as agricultural expansion and new settlement drew people into the Fraser Valley. Absorbed by the Canadian National Railway in 1918, its life as a passenger station spanned steam to diesel eras, until 1980. Originally located two blocks to the west, the station was moved by Langley Heritage Society volunteers after the building was declared a Municipal Heritage Site in 1983. Built to a standard 3rd Class Type design, this is one of the few remaining stations like it beside the tracks in western Canada, and the only surviving station from this era in the Langley region. The building is owned by the Township of Langley, maintained and operated by the Langley Heritage Society through an innovative partnership.
Restoration & Expansion
After it was moved, Heritage Society members picked up hammers and saws for a two year restoration project. The station’s baggage room is also an exhibition area for the Fort Langley Artists Group (FLAG) during the summer season. The caretaker/tenant and Heritage Society volunteers maintain the gardens — much the way Station Master Richard Simpson and his wife Mary did from 1918 to 1929 when annual garden competitions between stations happened up and down the line. The couple grew 37 varieties of perennials, from alyssum to zinnia. A wooden caboose was later added beside the station and following major renovations it houses the Glen Valley model railway, staffed by volunteers in summer months. In 1997, Langley Heritage Society purchased a 1947 railway car and began renovations. It was renamed E. & E. Taylor, honouring Fort Langley residents Evelyn and Bert Taylor, who dedicated much time to development of the railway station, as did the late Bays Blackhall who oversaw the station’s operation for many years. In 2004, a piece of track donated by CN was installed in front of the station to demonstrate the velocipede which is on loan from the B.C. Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum. There are many other fascinating exhibits and archival images in the station and passenger car.
In 2001 Langley Heritage Society received the B.C.Heritage Society Award of Honour for the project. The station is also part of our Fort Langley Walking Tour — more details HERE. Archival photos courtesy of Langley Centennial Museum. Watch our video When Rail Was King below.