E&N Rail negotiations continue

NOVEMBER 7, 2013 12:00 AM
Negotiations between Via Rail and the Island Corridor Foundation to renew passenger rail service are continuing, passing a previously set deadline to get a deal done by November.
ICF, which owns the 289-kilometre Victoria-to-Courtenay rail line, requires the agreement with Via Rail, which pays for passenger service.
Passenger service was halted in March 2011 due to poor track conditions. Freight service continues at reduced speeds. Via says it won’t pay for passenger service until the rails are fixed. ICF said it won’t start to spend a multimillion-dollar bridge and track repair fund unless Via agrees to operate passenger service on a new schedule that starts and ends in Nanaimo.
ICF executive director Graham Bruce won’t give any hints as to where talks are at. “We’re working out the details,” he said. “All I can say is they are progressing.”
Via spokesman Jacques C. Gagnon confirmed talks are underway, but said little else.
“There’s an exchange of correspondence… but I can not qualify whether it will be conclusive. There are negotiations between the two parties.”


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