A multi-use trail is the only financially viable option for E&N Rail bed

Dear editor,

It’s my understanding that the Regional District of Nanaimo and the City of Nanaimo have put forth a motion supporting the Friends of Rails to Trails Vancouver Island initiative to convert the E&N Rail bed to a multi-use trail. The CVRD should also support this idea and introduce a similar motion.

Here are just some of the reasons why it makes sense.

Passenger service on the corridor stopped in 2011 and the corridor has continued to decay. There has been no outcry to restore the lost transportation almost no one used prior. Since my land abuts the track I can with confidence report there was never more than a few passengers in the car in either direction.

The ICF (Island Corridor Foundation) is in debt.

They owe the CIBC approximately $892,000 and they owe the Southern Railway $175,000.

This adds up to over $1 million. These are both callable and secured by the foundation’s assets so they either have to keep borrowing or sell off public assets. It is highly irresponsible of decision-makers to continue to put the corridor at risk in this way.

This is putting a publicly owned treasure in great jeopardy.

Even so, there are some who continue to romanticize about rail travel on the island without concern for the facts.

The existing rails cannot support light rail transit so even if passenger service was restored the speed at which the train travels would remain absurdly slow, there would be no increase in ridership. The existing tract would have to be replaced to offer high-speed travel. Even then, with the sheer number of uncontrolled crossings along the corridor, high-speed train travel is at best unrealistic.

Canadian Pacific Railway sold this corridor for a buck in 2006 and received a nice $38 million tax savings for their trouble.

Having worked for CP for many years I know they would not have turned over a valuable asset for a mere $38 million one-time tax credit.

How much would it cost to turn it into a viable rail transportation corridor? At least $1 billion – let’s be honest. Vancouver Island has neither the population, freight, or resources required to see this to fruition.

The idea that a train service could operate with a non-motorized trail right beside it is not even possible as there are dozens and dozens of sections where it has been deemed (by engineers) impractical to have a shared railway and trail.

A trail along this corridor would be such a boon to this island that it boggles the mind that there is so much resistance in the halls of decision makers.

Marie Gaudreau

Union Bay

Just Posted

Lake Trail to be seismically upgraded

The project is a partial replacement that will ensure the entire school will be seismically safer

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

Comox Valley Accessibility Committee hosting an event at Lewis Centre

If you’ve ever been stumped by how to get into a business… Continue reading

Volunteers needed for annual Mile of Flowers planting project

May 29 the date for this year’s community plant-in

Affordable rental homes under construction in Courtenay

New building expected to be ready for occupancy by February

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Woman’s death near Tofino prompts warning about ‘unpredictable’ ocean

Ann Wittenberg was visiting Tofino for her daughter Victoria Emon’s wedding

B.C. man facing deportation says terror accusation left him traumatized

Othman Hamdan was acquitted of terrorism-related charges by a B.C. Supreme Court judge in September

Will Taylor Swift’s high concert ticket prices stop scalpers?

Move by artist comes as B.C. looks to how to regulate scalpers and bots reselling concert tickets

36 fires sparked May long weekend, most due to lightning: BC Wildfire

As warmer weather nears, chief fire officer Kevin Skrepnek says too soon to forecast summer

Ariana Grande sends message of hope on anniversary of Manchester bombing

Prince William joins survivors and emergency workers for remembrance service

B.C. flood risk switches from snowmelt to rainfall: River Forecast Centre

Kootenays and Fraser River remain serious concerns

Pipeline more important than premiers meeting: Notley

“Canada has to work for all Canadians, that’s why we’re fighting for the pipeline”

Canadian government spending tens of millions on Facebook ads

From January 2016 to March 2018, feds spent more than $24.4 million on Facebook and Instagram ads

Most Read