Kinsol Historical Timeline

1911 Canadian Northern Pacific Railway (CNPR) begins 250-mile line through southern interior of Vancouver Island linking Victoria to Port Alberni.

1918 Construction resumed by federal government, who took control of Canadian Northern Railway (and subsidiary, CNPR) in 1917. Downgraded to logging railway with wood trestles, rather than steel bridges.

1920 Construction of Trestle completed by Canadian National Railways (CNR), successor to CNPR. Featured high-level Howe Truss. Officially named Koksilah River Trestle; popular name Kinsol Trestle refers to nearby King Solomon copper mine.

1921 CNR ceased work, ending at south end of Cowichan Lake, half its intended length.

1922 Daily passenger and freight service began on main line.

1925 CNR builds ‘Tidewater Subdivision’ to Cowichan Bay and main line extended north to Youbou and Kissinger at head of Lake Cowichan (completed 1928). Freight mainly logs and sawn lumber.

1931 Koksilah River floods cause extensive damage to Trestle, which is repaired by CNR.

1934-36 CNR repairs/rebuilds Trestle with low-level Howe Truss.

1950s Trucks begin to supplant railways for hauling logs on Vancouver Island.

1958 Major repairs to Trestle.

1973-74 CNR repairs Trestle for last time.

1979 Last train passes over Kinsol Trestle on May 30. Trestle abandoned 1 year later.

1984 Province of BC acquires CNR right-of-way, including Kinsol Trestle. Structural assessment and feasibility study for preservation and/or reuse undertaken.

1988 Fire burns portion of Trestle.

1999-2008 CVRD conducts several studies to see if Kinsol Trestle can be saved and to measure the ecomonic impact of the investment. In 2008, CVRD receives final report and decides to rehabilitate Kinsol Trestle.
June 2009 Launch of Cowichan Foundation fundraising campaign for the Kinsol Trestle rehabilitation project.