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E & N Railway Roundhouse

E&N RailwayVictoria, British Columbia

The 10-stall roundhouse on the Esquimalt to Nanaimo (E&N) Railway dates from 1912, is municipally designated and, with several other red brick, timber truss structures and a turntable, is part of a large industrial site situated in Victoria. (The line was extended in 1887.) The CPR acquired the E&N in 1905, but is using only part of the roundhouse for its operations. Despite pressure from the City to effect repairs, a leaking roof now threatens to cause serious structural damage. 

With the weight of the Local Government Act behind it and the support of the Ministry of the Attorney General, the City took its case against the CPR to the B.C. Supreme Court last September. The CPR responded that, as a federally chartered railway, it could not have its operations curbed by means of a municipal maintenance standards statute. The City countered, noting that the portion of the roundhouse being damaged is not involved in present rail operations. Before a final ruling could be made, both parties agreed to settle out of court. Under the agreement, the CPR will spend about $100,000 on temporary roof repairs to last at least 18 months. This could buy both parties the time needed to find a more permanent solution.