Railway discussions continue

Passenger service ceased since 2011

Southern Rail of Vancouver Island continues to conduct weekly inspection and maintenance of the Island railway from Victoria to Courtenay, according to the Island Corridor Foundation. Work includes replacement of ties and rails, culvert and drainage inspection/replacement, vegetation management, signal inspection and maintenance at grade crossings.

In a news release following its January board meeting, the ICF notes that Premier John Horgan does not want further railway studies, but does want to see a decision about passenger service within the next two years.

Foundation directors and representatives of Southern Rail met last year with Transportation Minister Claire Trevena to remind her of the many studies already undertaken.

“The Province continues to look at the E&N rail line as a possible way to improve transportation on Vancouver Island,” the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a statement. “(Esquimalt-Metchosin) MLA Mitzi Dean is leading discussions with local First Nations and municipal partners about how best to transform the E&N line into a functional corridor, and to make sure their ideas and needs are included in our plans.

“Although these consultations are focused on the southern part of Vancouver Island, they will influence decisions on the future of the full E&N rail line. MLA Dean’s consultation will inform government’s next steps on the E&N rail line in the coming months.”

The ICF owns the E&N line. Via Rail, which halted passenger service in 2011 due to safety concerns, says it will resume service when the state of the tracks passes regulatory inspections and safety requirements. Local and senior governments have committed millions to restore the service, though the Regional District of Nanaimo withdrew its commitment of nearly $1 million.

A group dubbed, Friends of Rails to Trails Vancouver Island, would like to see the 224-kilometre railway from Victoria to Courtenay become a multi-use trail.

Just Posted

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ in Courtenay to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

2018 municipal election: Few surprises on Vancouver Island

16 incumbent mayors will continue in their positions for four more years

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Cam Levins sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

The 29-year-old from Black Creek, B.C., ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

Steady stream of voters at Filberg

Voter turnout has been a steady stream Saturday at the Florence Filberg… Continue reading

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

Most Read