West Victoria terminal

The promise of a transcontinental rail link helped to convince reluctant British Columbians to join Confederation in 1871. During the Victorian era, railways were the greatest mode of modern transportation; connecting far-flung towns and cities, driving forward economic development, and building a nation—one spike at a time.

When the long promised railway arrived in B.C., its Western Terminus stopped at Vancouver, frustrating Vancouver Islanders who felt that Victoria—as provincial capital—deserved that distinction. Plans soon evolved to link the burgeoning resource-based communities of Southern Vancouver Island by rail.


Ivan Watson