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.

VIME Model Train

The BC Rail Electric BCR6000 model locomotive crossing one of the bridges.

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.

Vancouver Island Model Engineers Train

Model train approaching bridge


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!

Live steam locomotive at VIME

Live steam locomotive with a full load of enthusiastic riders!

Vancover Island Model Engineers Roundhouse

Prepping a steam locomotive at the roundhouse

Closeup of model steam locomotive

Closeup of one of the model steam locomotives


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 2018 here is the schedule:

Listed below are the days that VIME is operating trains for public riders this year. You can see the date, time trains will run, and what the event is. Some of the events may have a gate charge, and these are specially noted with a red asterisk (*) next to the date. ALL VIME train rides are by DONATION, whether or not there is a gate charge.

VIME also offers a limited number of days when trains may be hired for a private event such as a birthday party. For more information see our request page here.

Event Date
Trains running between Event
08/07/2018 10:00 until 14:30 Mason Picnic
15/07/2018 11:00 until 14:30 Run Day BC Children Foundation
22/07/2018 * 10:00 until 14:30 Ford and Friends Car Show
04/08/2018 * 10:00 until 14:30 Truck Show
05/08/2018 * 10:00 until 14:30 Truck Show
19/08/2018 10:00 until 14:30 Run Day
09/09/2018 10:00 until 14:30 Vintage Car Club
15/09/2018 * 10:00 until 15:30 Harvest Fair
16/09/2018 * 10:00 until 15:30 Harvest Fair
29/09/2018 10:00 until 14:30 Fall Meet
30/09/2018 10:00 until 14:30 Fall Meet
19/10/2018 * 16:30 until 20:30 Halloween
20/10/2018 * 16:30 until 20:30 Halloween
21/10/2018 * 16:30 until 20:30 Halloween

All train rides by donation


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


For more information or to contact VIME directly …. Here is the link to the Vancouver Island Model Engineers Website