Rail Parties Reach Tentative Passenger Service Agreement

Rail Parties Reach Tentative Passenger Service Agreement
A tentative agreement to provide passenger rail service for Vancouver Island has been reached. The agreement needs to be ratified by the three respective boards.
Co-chair Mary Ashley said the ICF was very pleased the parties were able to reach an agreement. “We appreciate the dedication and patience of those involved in the negotiation and that they found a way to make this work. On behalf of the Foundation I would like to thank both parties. The ICF Board will review the train service agreement including the improved train schedule as part of the final approval process.”
Southern will provide a full service package, including marketing, operations, maintenance and assume the passenger revenue risk with VIA contributing the train, insurance and a fixed subsidy.
“All train operations will now be based out of Nanaimo which allows for an early morning southbound train to Victoria”, added Co-chair Judith Sayers. “The initial schedule will now be fine-tuned. It is the objective of the ICF and SVI to provide a dynamic passenger service that adapts to the changing ridership needs”, she added.
Other items that need to be completed before the track & trestle work can be tendered includes finalizing the federal and provincial funding agreements and the five regional funding agreements. The track and bridge improvements are estimated to take nine months once work
Passenger rail was stopped in the spring of 2011 due to track safety conditions. The ICF secured $20.9 million for track and bridge improvements. The funds were committed on condition a new train service agreement with VIA is in place.
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