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Dear Modelers:

Many of our customer model Montana Rail Link or it's local sister company SRY (Southern Railway of BC) located in the Vancouver Lower Mainland area of BC.

Here is information we thought you might want to be aware of:

Southern Railway of British Columbia (SRY) is a major transporter of freight in British Columbia providing the highest quality service at a competitive cost.

SRY is based in New Westminster, British Columbia, and services the lower mainland and Fraser Valley providing seamless and competitive freight transportation services to markets throughout North America.

Southern Railway of Vancouver Island Limited (SVI), is an operating company of SRY based in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Washington Companies' Southern Railway named as Vancouver Island rail operator

Victoria B.C., June 27, 2006: An agreement has been reached between representatives of Southern Railway of British Columbia Limited (SRY) and the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) for SRY to operate freight and passenger service on the ICF-owned rail line between Victoria and Courtenay on Vancouver Island beginning July 1, 2006. SRY will operate under the name Southern Railway Vancouver Island Limited.

Southern Railway of British Columbia is an affiliate of the privately held Washington Companies. SRY is a major transporter of freight in British Columbia's Lower Mainland, and Fraser Valley with a diverse customer base including over 150 shippers of forest, building, agricultural, chemical, consumer and steel products.

The Island Corridor Foundation is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 2004 as a partnership between local Governments and First Nations along the Island's Railway Corridor.

Speaking at the Victoria news Conference where the announcement was made, ICF Board Chair Jack Peake said "In our search for a dedicated operator for our service, we have chosen SRY as they have a well-proven reputation for providing customer-oriented, neutral access, freight services. SRY's business model is truly based on providing customers with competitively priced access to the major railways, such as Canadian Pacific, CN, BNSF and Union Pacific via their interline connections in New Westminster, B.C."

SRY's President, John van der Burch said, "It is this successful model that has enabled SRY to grow its business on the mainland and is central to our service plan for the freight and passenger customers on Vancouver Island".

Focusing on the rail freight side, SRY's Vice President of Business Development, Ken Doiron said, "We will now be able to offer a scheduled, seamless freight service from points on the Island through our interchanges with the main transcontinental carriers in concert with our sister company, Seaspan Coastal Intermodal". Seaspan Coastal Intermodal is the commercial ferry company that transfers the railcars between Nanaimo on Vancouver Island and the mainland. "We will bring much needed competition to the Island's industrial customers as the major transcontinental lines will now be more motivated to provide competitive rates to these customers and compete for the business", Doiron said.

Southern Railway of Vancouver Island

Southern Railway of Vancouver Island (SVI) is the operating railroad for Vancouver Island freight and passenger services, and works under a haulage arrangement with SRY. 

SVI provides rail freight services to various customers on Vancouver Island offering connections to the continental railway network. The company also operates daily inter-city passenger service from Victoria to Courtenay on behalf of VIA Rail Canada, Inc. Southern Railway of British Columbia operates two Subdivisions and one Spur:

  • The Port Alberni Subdivision (37 miles)
  • The Victoria Subdivision (140 miles)
  • The Wellcox Spur (3.2 miles)

Junctions with other railroads:

  • CP: via rail barge between Nanaimo and Tilbury (Vancouver), BC


For more than 120 years, the predecessors of SVI have served Vancouver Island operating both freight and passenger service.

Incorporated in 1883, the railway started operations in 1886 serving as both a passenger and freight line. Passengers as well as commodities, such as; lumber, coal, logs, machinery and consumer goods were moved between points on the Island and B.C.?s Lower Mainland.  Previously know as the E&N the railroad was owned by CP and later RailAmerica owned a portion of the right of ways.  The Island Corridor Foundation has acquired both the CP Rail, and RailAmerica-owned portions of the line. As of July 1, 2006, Southern Railway of Vancouver Island, a holding company of SRY, was appointed as the new operator of the rail line.