Riding the Rails with the Vancouver Island Model Engineers
One of Victoria’s least known attractions is the miniature railway run by the Vancouver Island Model Engineers or VIME located at the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society’s Heritage Acres in Central Saanich. This fabulous little ride is a real treat for children of all ages.
Part of the club facilities, including the roundhouse and some track, are visible from the Pat Bay Highway, but this belies the fact that the majority of the railway is hidden from view in the forest and includes over 1.2 km/ .75 miles of mainline track crossing bridges and trestles, runs through a tunnel and passes by a beautiful pond as it winds through the rain forest.
If you’re a train buff you’ll love the the layout which includes multiple rail lines, switches, working road crossings and you’ll see a variety of locomotives in action from the classic BC Rail BCR6000 fully electric locomotive to actual live steam locomotives which look and operate like the real thing with incredible detail!
Since VIME is a private club and not a commercial tourist attraction, the trains are not running all the time. However, they do run on published dates where the public can enjoy rides with fees by donation. For dates that the trains are running click this link: Train Schedule
Saanich Historical Artifacts Society’s Heritage Acres
7321 Lochside Drive, just off Highway 17 between Victoria and Sidney
Turn right at the traffic light at Island View Rd
This is the link to the Vancouver Island Model Engineers Website