LOOK BACK: Rail service in Port Alberni

The early 2000s marked the end of freight service by train in Port Alberni

This photo—dated May 28, 1920—shows an E&N train at Bainbridge Station. This locomotive was used to haul logs. This and 24,000 other historical photos can be seen on the Alberni Valley Museum’s online photo archive at portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN13337 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)

This photo—dated May 28, 1920—shows an E&N train at Bainbridge Station. This locomotive was used to haul logs. This and 24,000 other historical photos can be seen on the Alberni Valley Museum’s online photo archive at portalberni.pastperfectonline.com. (PHOTO PN13337 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)

Vancouver Island’s railway, first known as the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N Railway), was extended to include Port Alberni in the early 1900s. Trains connected the community to the rest of the Island with passenger and freight service.

At its peak, the E&N Railway had 45 stations on its main line and eight on the Port Alberni line. The Port Alberni Subdivision of the railway ran for 37.9 miles.

RELATED: Rail line owners present case to restore service from Victoria to Courtenay

Passenger train operations were discontinued in Port Alberni in the 1950s. The early 2000s marked the end of freight service by train, as Norkse (which owned the paper mill in Port Alberni) opted for truck freight instead.

Today, the rail lines in Port Alberni are mostly unused, although the Alberni Pacific Railway hopes to start tourist train operations again soon.

READ MORE: No. 7 Baldwin locomotive steams up for first time in two years

Port Albernirailway