Don’t spend my hard-earned money on a train

Dear editor,

Re: July 30 editorial Trains no closer to reality.

The old E & N right-of-way runs close to my backyard down by Mud Bay. It is a great trail to hike along. Occasionally I’ll meet up with other hikers and if a conversation starts it will invariably lead to the question: will trains ever run on this track again? The answers are “maybe yes, maybe no, but I don’t want my taxes to pay for it.”

If the suspended passenger rail service was so vital, why wasn’t intra-regional bus service established for the benefit of all those people stranded between Victoria and Courtenay? Judging by the truck traffic on Highway 19 and even the Island Highway, it appears truckers are filling the void left by the suspension of rail freight service.

I conclude from the editorial that the money for the right-of-way upgrade is there but it’s not burning a hole in anyone’s pocket, which implies there is a lack of enthusiasm among government officials for making a $20.4 million expenditure on a project the region is managing to do well enough without.

Right-of-ways are valuable pieces of property. They should never be abandoned, but they don’t have to exist for their original intended purpose dating back to the 19th century.

Peter Whyte,

Fanny Bay