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Top bid $112 for electric streetcar being auctioned off in Vancouver

An aging streetcar is seen in an image from the B.C. Auction website. An aging streetcar is seen in an image from the B.C. Auction website.

A decades-old electric streetcar is up for auction in Vancouver, and the top bid as of Friday morning was just $112.

While the low pricetag might sound enticing for some, the streetcar does come with a few strings attached – no pun intended.

The listing on the B.C. Auction website notes the vehicle is not in working condition, with some parts missing, and has visible damage on the exterior and interior. The streetcar also contains asbestos, according to a hazardous materials report attached to the post.

Retrieving the streetcar could pose a significant challenge as well: "Railway tracks may require preparation prior to removal including additional gravel provided by the winning bidder to bring the loading area to grade," the listing reads.

The purchaser will also need to arrange for "a switchman to operate the switch."

The Belgian government donated the streetcar to the Transit Museum Society around the year 2000, according to Matthew Laird, who was with the organization at the time.

Laird posted about the auction on Twitter this week, writing that the streetcar was at one point intended for use in Vancouver's Downtown Historic Railway, which ran between Olympic Village and Granville Island.

That railway was scuttled in 2011, and the streetcar never made it into operation – even though approximately $20,000 was spent "having UBC students build a new controller for it," Laird wrote.

"Now it's being disposed of because it's partially restored with nowhere to run it," he added.

The auction closes on August 29 at 8 p.m., according to the B.C. Auction website Top Stories


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