Re. Bill Morrison’s letter Take a train? Better yet, save your money and ride a bike (June 3):
I will grant you one correct item of your argument; it is inevitably cheaper to destroy, rather than rebuild. But you may have forgotten a few things.
1) For a bike-pedestrian trail, the several bridges are still going to have to be rebuilt – the timbers are rotten.
We both know the estimated price tag for one small pedestrian bridge across the Courtenay River, including donated labour was $2 million (Courtenay Council). That would mean a minimum of $2 million for every river crossing from here to Victoria.
2) Next, we have to consider the 240 (you say) level vehicle crossings. Fine, here in the Comox Valley, and most of the Island down to Nanaimo, but what do you do through Nanaimo and south, where traffic is much heavier? Stop traffic for every pedestrian and bike that comes along?
3) Consider freight. We all know about the thousands of freight and logging trucks pounding our highways to pieces. Our roads and highways are paid for by us, while rail largely pays for itself.
4) Consider climate change, if you will. I know walking and biking can be green, but it’s nothing compared to freight and passengers.
A train carrying the same weight of cargo as tractor trailers going the same distance, burns 1/10 of the fuel. Why do you think that the oil companies (in lieu of a pipeline) are moving oil from Fort McMurray and the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota by rail? It’s much cheaper than truck.
Less transport fuel burned equals less global warming.
5) If we lose rail, we will never get it back. Because of the rapidly increasing population of the Island, this must not happen.