Welcome to the Dolly Varden Mine Railway Website



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This website is a hub of information about the Dolly Varden Mine Railway.

The goal is to give modellers the resources they need to make high quality models of this railway in one location.

This site is still under construction, so be patient as I get it built.  Much more to follow.

The facts:

The Dolly Varden Mine Railway was an 18 mile long narrow gauge (36) railway built in rugged mountains of Northern British Columbia at the end of WW1.  It services the Dolly Varden Mine, containing some of the richest deposits of silver ore ever found.  Regular silver ore yielded 63 ounces of silver / ton; high grade ore was yielding 1280 ounces of silver / ton.  The mine consisted of a camp at the top of the railroad with an ore tipple and a powerhouse, and ended on a wharf and a large ore bunker on the shores of Alice Arm.  It's history is short, having only existed from 1917 to its eventual closure in 1921.

The history of the Dolly Varden would have been lost without its story being captured forever by the author Darryl E. Muralt in the book Steel Rails and Silver Dreams.  Highly recommend you get a copy of this book if you want to learn more.  There are many more photos and diagrams within the book.  The main reason for this website was to add material that is not in the book that was discovered after the book was published.

Why would a railway of such short livelihood warrant any attention?  One of the strongest reasons is that it was professionally photographed by the Dominion Photo Company, which preserved details of the primary structures of the Dolly Varden.  Blueprints of the railway and structures are preserved.

The Dream is still alive.  Dolly Varden Silver Corporation still owns the rights to the mine, and is actively exploring the area and rebuilding the access road to the mine over the former railroad right of way.  The railroad may be gone, but the silver still is waiting to be released.


Latest Updates:

March 27, 2022  Added colourized photos of the Vancouver Public library pics

Sept. 1, 2019  Added pictures from tour of Alice Arm / Kitsault 2019 and City of Vancouver Archives

June 11, 2017  Added pictures from 1971 Cringan

August 6, 2016  Added more Pics to Reid Layout

July 5 / 15  Added 1 more Vancouver Public Library Pics / Upgraded Others / Edited VPL Pictures database

May 14 / 15  Added 4 more Vancouver Public Library Pics / Edited VPL Pictures database / Added DV resources / Added DV Layout

Feb 21 / 15  Added pictures from Dan Pickard / John Hunter of their beautiful On30 layout from Australia

Jan 31/15  Added more pictures from Brian / new pictures from Frank Godde MMR / added some links / corrected VPL spreadsheet



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This site was last updated 03/27/22