Modelling the E&N in HO Scale in my basement

About This Page

This website is devoted to documenting the progress towards construction and completion of my HO scale (1:87) rendition of CP Rail’s Esquimalt & Nanaimo division on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island from Nanaimo, British Columbia north to both Port Alberni and Courtenay in late 1988.

The trackage modelled will be the northern end of the Victoria Subdivision, starting at Mile 72.5 at Nanaimo and north through to Courtenay, Mile 139.7. In addition, the Port Alberni Subdivision, from Parksville, Mile 0 through to Port Alberni, mile 38.8 will be modelled as well. On account of the layout space being insufficient to model the entire thing, the layout will be selectively compressed to fit the planned three decks.

Operations will include VIA Rail‘s daily passenger train from Victoria to Courtenay, The Port Alberni Freight, the Alberni Pacific/Macmillan Bloedel switching movements in Port Alberni, the Nanaimo switch job, and as needed, the Parksville and/or Courtenay turns. The layout will be dispatched with radios per the Manual Block System, just as the prototype did back then.

Feel free to look around, and check back every now and then on the Updates page for progress reports on layout construction. If you have any comments or questions, please contact me via e-mail at, or feel free to leave a comment on the appropriate page.

2 Responses

  1. Chris Schwan

    Good work on your layout, I hope to see some photos up soon of your progress. I have been doing a little research for the MSTS project which I am again at work on and have found FMC did not exist during the 1988 period for what the route and your layout is being built for. Instead Superior Propane was located on the same spur. If you have Hugh Frasers E&N video which was filmed in 1989 you can catch brief glimpses of a LPG car in the distance and the large propane storage tanks on the hillside viewed from the southbound run.

    I have given up on my on my own E&N prototype layout due to time (moving again in five years or less) and limited space. I instead have come up with my own freelanced Sechelt & North Coast Railway which is run as a division of the E&N and is set in the late 90s. This will tie me over till we move again and I get a larger space again, with hopefully no in-laws taking over the basement this time. You will find a copy of my new trackplan on the E&N forum at Well keep up th good work and I look forward to more of your updates.

    Best Regards,

    Chris Schwan

    June 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    • Jon Calon

      Good to hear from you Chris. I am of course, still interested in your MSTS project, so when you get it close to shipping, let me know.

      Interesting to hear that FMC wasn’t there in 1988. Saves me from having to find Hydrogen Peroxide cars! On the other hand, it means I need yet more LPG cars! (Seems like I’m buying them up whenever I can get my hands on them…)

      Sorry to hear your own layout has been shelved, but I still like your trackplan, other than the fact it doesn’t go to Courtenay. 🙂


      June 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm

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