CP’s BC car floats

While working on the Portage Flyer layout idea I started to think of alternatives that could be modelled with less of a change in elevation. CP used to run a really fascinating car float operation in the BC interior between Roseberry and Nakusp. I really like the idea of a layout with three main switching areas arranged as I’ve been discussing and a version of the CP operation would work well here too.

Roseberry Nakusp sketch 20130808

My plan is fairly close to the same general arrangement as the prototype. Fellow N scale modeller Mark Dance has been doing an absoloutely amazing job of modelling this same subdivision and he’s been posting really great Youtube videos of the layout. Here’s his video of the same car float operation I’m considering:



  1. I’m also modeling the Rosebery yard and barge slip. It was a unique rural barge operation that’s just right for a switching module. Lest readers get confused, the Rosebery – Nakusp section was the isolated railway portion of the operation. The barge operated on Slocan Lake between Slocan City at the south end and Rosebery on the northeast shore.

    1. Hi, Paul. It’s great to hear from you and about your layout. I found myself really fascinated with the way the barge slip was designed and thought that moving it up and down to adjust for the water height would be something fun to try and incorporate into a model railway, though I’m not sure how.

      The first time I saw photos of the operations were in a Greg McConnell book “Passing Trains” which included some photos of the barges being loaded. The day the photos were taken the slip approach was a little in the water and the photos show the train carefully rolling through the water before arriving on the barge.

      Rail service to Prince Edward Island, where I’m from, was managed using a rail ferry operation though of a completely different nature and I found the CP operation in BC much more interesting.


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