A Brief Historical Account of the Railcar Owned by the Squamish Lions Club

Prepared by Nelson Winterburn
October 2013

club carThe Car, Discovery, was purchased from BC Rail by the Squamish Lions on April 1, 2002. Until the car was repainted in 2012, by a committee of Lions, it was identified by the number 204 and the name Discovery. Now it is labeled as West Coast Railway above the windows and Lions Club below.

Originally built in 1922 by Harlon and Hollingsworth for the Reading Railroad Company and numbered #1332, the car remained in that service until she joined other cars forming the Spring Mills incorporated promotional train bearing the new designation Car 4 and the livery of the Lancaster and Charter Railway Company. Like some of her BC Rail stablemates, discovery formed part of the American (Bicentennial) Freedom Train in 1976 as Car No. AFT 204. It was renamed Discovery after purchase by the British Columbia Government, used in the Provincial Museum Train consist in 1978 and joined BC Rail in the early 1980’s. Since 1984, Discovery has been used periodically on Royal Hudson steam train excursions and for Charter use on BC Rail.

club carThe above information is taken from the plaque on the bulkhead beside the bar. Not only did the car criss-cross the USA during the run up to the American Bicentennial in 1976-77 events, the car was also used in the Canadian Centennial celebrations and toured Canada as part of a museum display in 1967.

The car now sits on a siding beside the CN Roundhouse at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish, BC and is used by the Squamish Lions Club as their meeting den. When not used by the Lions, the car can be rented for small meetings, bridal parties, and railway buffs.