Island Rail Funding Decision Soon

February 27, 2012

  Island Rail Funding Decision Soon

Saving Vancouver Island rail service could be as simple as writing a letter to the Prime Minister stated Graham Bruce, Chief Operating Officer of the Island Corridor Foundation, owners of the former E&N railway corridor.
Bruce said the federal government decision to invest $7.5million in rail infrastructure improvements is imminent with a decision expected sometime in March.
The ICF is an organization made up of the five regional districts and 13 First Nations that the railroad runs through or is adjacent to. The ICF maintains there is a future for renewed and improved passenger and freight service and this initial upgrade is part of an ongoing incremental island rail plan.
The provincial government approved a matching $7.5million dollar investment in the spring of 2011 but the railroad rebuilding plan calls for the full $15 million to guarantee 10 years of operation.
“I am confident if Prime Minister Harper and his Minister of Transport, Denis Lebel got enough letters from us supporting the investment of our tax dollars in our railroad it would be a done deal”, stated Bruce.
Bruce and ICF co chair Mary Ashley met with North Island MP, Minister John Duncan late last week at Campbell River to discuss the decision timing.
“Minister Duncan told us he and his colleague, Nanaimo MP James Lunney had been pushing hard to get this funding approved and that a decision would be forthcoming before the end of March”, added Bruce.
The ICF is urging Islanders to write the Prime Minister and Minister of Transport over the next two weeks to ensure they both know the importance of an operating rail system to Vancouver Island.
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Media Contact:
Graham Bruce
250 246 4320

13 thoughts on “Island Rail Funding Decision Soon

  1. Keep the train. This is a historical train and as such should be upgraded. What a tourist attraction it would be in the summer, and if the train was configured to leave Victoria and Courtenay at say 7am everyday in the winter the skiers would fill it rather take the bus. If the train was run as suggested above people would use it to keep appointments and other pursuits. Why are Canadians ashamed to speak up for their heritage. Save the train

  2. It would indeed be a tourist attraction. Our company was looking to set up rail tours in Western Canada which incorporated a ride from Victoria northwards to Courtenay and an onward coach connection to Port Hardy for a cruise across the fjords back to the mainland at Port Rupert. All wasted effort now.

  3. I cannot understand why will all the talk of rapid transit for Victoria the E&N is not considered.
    There seems to be a pre-occupation with Fossil fuelled buses on the already congested roads.
    Perhaps the decision makers should look at the small Island of Mallorca which gave up on their rail
    system only to re-vamp it and modernise it as a tourist and public transportation system.
    Don’t let us loose this valuable asset.

  4. Every time when I am crossing the railway line, at different locations, it irks me to see how quickly the deterioration of the rail line is happening. It is fortunate though that a corridor does exist, and with it the opportunity for a re-established lifeline for commuters, tourists, and others. Ignorance and lack of planning/implementing/constructing will be more costly as time goes by. Just think… no gas for cars… people will cry for alternative modes of transportation, and on top is the RAILWAY!

  5. I can not believe that this incredible asset is sitting idle. The only reason could be the amount of agencies that have been involved and I hope that the Island Corridor Foundation is able to bring all together and get-r-done. Once this is operating properly the possibilities are endless.

  6. I have written both to our PM & the Minister of Transportation to save our passenger rail service on the Island. If the train service included a return trip on the same day, it would become a viable resource for residents of the island and tourism. Lets slow down the traffic flow on the Malahat, especially in the peak summer season.
    It is part of our Canadian history.

  7. The need for the railway is very important not only to help keep the Island a fun & healthy “Tourist Attraction”, but also for islanders wishing to enjoy it now more than ever with the price of gas constantly increasing! If the scheduling is set up properly,etc. the train is a very popular way to go from Courtenay to Victoria with the opportunity for the communities along the way to showcase their towns. Lets get the train running again. There are many ideas one can do as “add ons” to encourage more ridership such as having room for bikes, etc.

  8. The rail line & wonderful corridor it serviced is too great an asset to be discarded. When compared to many government projects on which money is squandered, it seems obvious that this inland link between communities can offer so many benefits and is worthy of investment.

  9. E and N rails will have a vital role to play in commuter rail according to a recent study for the Westshore Chamber of Commerce done by Scott Pass. The report recommends that the CRD take on the task of regional rail transportation management and include a commuter option in a comprehensive plan. The report argues for a gradual progression from the basic VIA service to one complementing the proposed LRT service. He argues that both services be planned in a coordinated way and managed by a CRD Transportation Authority in the context of the overall transportation system in the region.

  10. I emigrated to Canada in 2002 and purchased a condo in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island because it had a fast ferry service to downtown Vancouver AND a rail connection to BC’s capital Victoria. In just a few years we not only lost the ferry service but now also the only rail link to our capital!! Our politicians talk about the importance of a good infrastructure in BC, but instead of repairing and maintaining already existing tracks they are proposing spending insane amounts of money for a new LRT in the greater Victoria area. They also seem to forget that THE RAILROAD IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF CANADIAN HISTORY and that without it there would not even BE a Canada.
    I sent e-mails to our Prime Minister, Premier, Transportation Minister and several MLA’s and I will continue to do so until I see results!! I hope more people will do the same.
    Reading the post of John Olson on this website on March 13th 2012 gives me some hope…

  11. I am photographer and always looking for the road less traveled. Views of the island from the train would be spectacular especially in the winter season. Keep the heritage and save the route before the tracks completely become unusable.
    This would also save time and money for commuters and good for the environment. What else Ottawa need to convince?

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