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Robert and James Dunsmuir and their Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway shaped the future of Vancouver Island in the late 1800s. A continental railway was Canada’s promise of B.C. joining Confederation, and initially it was to terminate at Esquimalt, but later Vancouver was chosen. As a compromise the E&N Railway was established on Vancouver Island following much political turmoil. Island coal minng barron Robert Dunsmuir with the aid of a large land grant built and operated this railway. After his death in 1898, his son James continued to operate the railway until 1905 when he sold it with the remaining portion of the land grant to Canadian Pacific. They were dramatic and formative years for Vancouver Island and British Columbia. 

This 168-page book, first published in 1986, is now back in print in a limited edition, produced by the British Columbia Railway Historical Association. Author Don MacLachlan was a veteran E&N engineer who worked for over 40 years on the railway and knew its history well. This book, often requested, has been out of print for over a decade. Included are many rare and unusual photographs.

Two new books, in expanded design and format are being published by Sono Nis Press, and will tell the story of the E&N Railway from 1905 until 2012 including the story of the VIA Dayliner years. 

 

Publisher    British Columbia Railway Historical Association
ISBN     978-0-9692511-0-6

$29.95

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The Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway had a special character and charm like few others. Skirting the eastern coastline of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, it was separated from the rest of the national and continental rail network by the Georgia and Juan de Fuca Straits. During the days of steam power on the railway, it was a distant and often rustic outpost of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s vast system, but it was a profitable one. It hauled logs and coal, strawberries and wine, automobiles and oil, and tons and tons of wood. The E&N carried soldiers off to two world wars, toured royalty on Vancouver Island and carried hundreds of passengers in stately parlour cars or rickety day coaches. The mail was sorted on the trains. The E&N’s well maintained steam locomotives were the pride of the railway.
Engineers, conductors and other crewmen were known up and down Vancouver Island. The E&N did much to shape the character of Vancouver Island and provided the key links between people, places and the goods and services they needed and produced. It was essential and irreplaceable. Thoroughly researched, sensitively written and beautifully illustrated, with nearly 500 carefully reproduced photos, maps and illustrations, this 304-page exceptional book captures the E&N in its many moods.

softcover 978-1-55039-204-3
hardcover 978-1-55039-206-7

$39.95 for softcover, $49.95 for hardcover

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E&N Vol3.jpg

 

 

 

 

This volume is the diesel era companion to the steam era book above.  It takes the reader from the end of steam on the E&N in 1949 to 2013.

 

 

softcover 978-1-55039-212-8

hardcover 978-1-55039-213-5

$39.95 for softcover, $49.95 for hardcover

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Last Runs on Vancouver Island  1988-1992      

by Hugh Fraser      

This 80 minute DVD is a documentation of the last runs of:

-CP steamship Princess Marguerite to and from Victoria

-CN from Youbou to Cowichan Bay

-CN from Point Ellis yards to Borden Mercantile on Quadra    Street, Victoria

-CP switching on Store Street in Victoria

An added feature is some footage of CN steam on Vancouver Island by renown railway photographer Dave Wilkie.

$30.00

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Other DVD’s available

    - The Inaugural Run of CPR EMPRESS – a 75 minute DVD, with full commentary, on the inaugural five-day journey taken between Vancouver and Calgary by the restored Hudson steam locomotive 2816 in September 2001  $30.00

 

    - A Journey on the Rocky Mountaineer – a 30 minute DVD with full commentary highlighting the scenery and engineering challenges that faced the early railway builders along the route of the Canadian National Railway from Jasper, Alberta to Vancouver, British Columbia.  $ 20.00

                                                                                   

    - Steam to the Cariboo – A 54 minute DVD with commentary, featuring Consolidation steam locomotive “3716” on a “Trains Unlimited Tours” three day fan trip in 1999, along the former BC Rail line between North Vancouver and Kelly Lake, under blue-skies and through gorgeous mountain and river scenery.  $25.00

  

    - Pacific Wilderness Railway – 30 minute video of this tourist operation that ran in 2000 and 2001 from downtown Victoria 20 miles to the top of the Malahat, showing all the highlights along the route, especially the high Niagara and Arbutus Canyon bridges that the train passes over. Good commentary.  $20.00                                                                                 

 

To place an order mail it to BCRHA, 1148, Balmoral Rd., Victoria, B.C., V8T 1B1.  GST on total order for Canadian addresses.  For further information write the above address or email bcrha@shaw.ca  The Last Runs DVD can be obtained directly from Hugh Fraser 1246 Judge Place, Victoria, BC, V8P 2C6, phone 250-385-2760 or email hmfraser2@shaw.ca


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