Board Meeting Notes July 2017

Vancouver Island Friends of Rails to Trails
The VI FORT gave a presentation to the board in support of converting the railway tracks to a hiking and biking trail only. The group has presented to several councils and boards. The ICF Board is in the process of redrafting the ‘Strategic Priorities Plan’ and has reaffirmed the ICF commitment of ‘Rails with Trails’.
McLean Mill Steam Train Tourist Attraction
A comprehensive plan for the expanded McLean Mill & Steam Train attraction was presented to the board including a detailed track & bridge upgrade for the six miles of track that the steam train operates on. The ICF will seek the ACRD approval to redirect the $75,000 committed for the Victoria sub to the six miles of track on the Alberni subdivision.

Federal/ Provincial Track Infrastructure Funding
A new Federal/Provincial infrastructure application will be drafted and submitted to the respective governments for approval. The plan will focus on track improvements between Nanaimo and Victoria as the first phase of the incremental plan to restore rail service to the Victoria sub and the Alberni subdivision.
Very strong support was indicated by MLA Sonia Furstenau on behalf of the Green Party after meeting with ICF and Southern Rail of Vancouver Island (SVI) representatives. Meetings are being arranged with Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena (North Island) and Minister of Indigenous Relations Scott Fraser (Alberni) as formal first steps to updating the new government. Recent comments by government members and the Premier have signaled a keen interest in restoring Island train service.
First Nation Liaison
Meetings have been held with Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Stz’uminus First Nation and Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group to update on recent ICF activities and the Snaw-Naw-As litigation. Concerns of safety and community impact when trains recommence operation were discussed.
Local Government Liaison Meeting
Municipal councillors attended the summer liaison meeting in early July. SVI representatives presented the new incremental track infrastructure plan that will support the VIA Inter-city passenger service; tourist excursion train; freight; and base improvements for commuter rail between Victoria and Langford. It also provides for Safety Sight & Sound barriers through member First Nation Communities and a walking trail across the Chemainus River Bridge.
Admirals Road Improvements
A section of Admirals Road between the Songhees Wellness Centre and the Admirals Walk shopping centre is being widened and repaved this year to improve access for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Improvements to the one-kilometre stretch from Hallowell Road to Maplebank Road will include upgrades to intersections and the stormwater drainage system along with new curbs, gutters and sidewalks.
The road improvements coincide with work on the E&N Rail Trail, which will run alongside Admirals at that location.


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