The ICF, a partnership between First Nations and local governments along the E&N, aims to preserve the corridor and rebuild rail service along it. The corridor runs 225 kilometres from Victoria to Courtenay, with an extension between Parksville and Port Alberni.
But it’s not just about the rail service, the focus is also on expanding and preserving existing trails along the corridor. It has the potential to provide fantastic recreational activities and local commuting options within each area.
Over the past decade, the ICF has worked closely with corridor communities to create a larger system of rail-with-trails, linking communities and rural areas. Corridor communities generally support the development of rail-with-trails, recognizing the tremendous value for recreation opportunities and promotion of active transportation.
It also hopes to dramatically boost public transportation between towns and communities along the Island Corridor as an alternative to highways. Populations of towns and communities with access to the E&N stations are expanding rapidly, so a railway system for commuters, students, tourists, retirees — in fact, all passengers — plus hikers, walkers and bicyclists would reduce the highway traffic, most notably, the Colwood Crawl and the Malahat. The number of closures on the Malahat just last year alone has many locals desperately seeking an alternate means of travel.
Traveling by rail, especially on Vancouver Island, would provide a much needed alternative means of transportation, relaxing and stress-free through beautiful valleys, over rivers and past stunning seascapes, which we have and abundance of on the Vancouver Island Corridor.
Capital Regional District: The CRD encompasses the thirteen municipalities of Greater Victoria and three unincorporated areas: Juan de Fuca Electoral Area on Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area, and Southern Gulf Islands Electoral Area. The CRD also acts as the local government for most purposes in the Electoral Areas. CRD headquarters is in the City of Victoria, although there are many office and operational facilities throughout the region.
Cowichan Valley Regional District: The Cowichan Valley Regional District covers an area between the Stuart Channel and Saanich Inlet on the east coast of Vancouver Island and the southern part of the West Coast Trail, with Cowichan Lake located in its central region. It includes the Gulf Islands of Thetis, Penelakut and Valdes.
Regional District of Nanaimo: The Regional District of Nanaimo is a regional district located on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It is bordered to the south by the Cowichan Valley Regional District, to the west by the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, and to the northwest by the Comox Valley Regional District.
Comox Valley Regional District: The Comox Valley Regional District is a regional district in British Columbia, Canada. It was created on February 15, 2008, encompassing the southeastern portions of the former Regional District of Comox-Strathcona, and centered about the Comox Valley.
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District: The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District of British Columbia is located on west central Vancouver Island. Adjacent regional districts it shares borders with are the Strathcona and Comox Valley Regional Districts to the north, and the Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley Regional Districts to the east.