Product Details

V&S Victoria & Sidney Rwy
Darryl E Muralt
Sono Nis Press
ISBN or Item #
Date Listed:
2004-10-20 11:21:41
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V & S

The Victoria and Sidney Railway 1892-1919

By Ken Bradley and Karen Southern.

236 pages, 8.5x11, softcover, 150+ photos and maps.

"It began as part of a dream - a dream to directly connect lower Vancouver Island to the transcontinental lines by rail and ferry. While that expectation was fulfilled, for some its continued existence became a nightmare.

"Its schedule was by no means punctual.

"The roadbed and equipment received minimal maintenance.

"Some of its station facilities defined the word 'rustic'.

"Its owners were content to ask the Victoria and provincial governments for annual interest guarantee payments.

"There was little incentive for it to be profitable.

"But, for two decades, beginning in the 1890s, the 'Cordwood Limited', as it came to be known, was the only service, apart from rural dirt roads, that Saanich Peninsula residents had for travelling to and from Victoria or for shipping and receiving farm products and other goods.

"The V & S Railway was one of Great Northern's more obscure and most charming rail operations. A classic pioneer shortline built in the late 1800s, it was in continuous use from 1892-1919, coming under the aegis of the GN system in 1902. Even as shortlines go, the V & S was definitely short: from mudsill to stringer, and from the Sidney wharf to the market station in Victoria, it never aggregated much more than 16 miles! Its importance lay not in the achievement or failure of some grand scheme but in its simple utility as a carrier of people and goods.

"This is a story of great expectations, shrewd business, and political dealing. At the same time, it gives a glimpse of the early growth of the Saanich Peninsula and the town of Sidney."