Southern Railway of Vancouver Island Reduces Freight Operations

Safety of all operations, the public and our employees is always the primary consideration of Southern Railway of Vancouver Island (SVI). Shortly after commencing operations on July 1, 2006, SVI set about evaluating the condition of the rail track on Vancouver Island and developed a long term plan for rebuilding the infrastructure. In March 2011 when it became apparent that upgrade funds were not immediately available, SVI decided to suspend the passenger service. However, freight operations to serve customers between Duncan and Parksville continued.
Subsequent to this decision, SVI as operator and Island Corridor Foundation as owner worked cooperatively with VIA Rail and all levels of government to successfully secure $20.9 M worth of funding commitments required to restart the Via Passenger service, expand the existing freight business and develop new excursion rail services. We anticipate that these funds will be released in early 2015. While we await the release of these funds, SVI continues to monitor the condition of the infrastructure and adjust train operations as required to maintain safety.
This week, after completion of a detailed risk assessment, it was determined that the safest course of action was to temporarily discontinue the freight service to Duncan and Parksville. SVI is now working with our valued customers exploring transload alternatives.  Local freight operations servicing customers at Wellcox and North Nanaimo will continue.
In the meantime, SVI and ICF continue to work with the federal and provincial governments in order to secure a release of the committed funding. We look forward to restoring both passenger and freight operations as soon as the required funding is made available and the upgrades can be completed.

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