Support continues to grow for restoration of rail as part of economic recovery plans for BC
We wrote to the Premier in early April recommending that the full restoration of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island would be an ideal infrastructure project that could bring both immediate, and long term, economic benefit and stimulus to Vancouver Island. It seems we are not the only ones who see this as an important part of island recovery plans.
BC Chambers of Commerce Economic Recovery Submission – Recommendation
The Provincial government work with the Federal government to:
- Ensure that the Island Corridor remains intact and is designated as a transportation corridor with priority given to rail infrastructure;
- Fund phased improvements and upgrades to the E&N Rail Corridor to ensure it returns to operation and is capable of providing commuter and inter-city rail service, with an initial priority on commuter rail service in the greater Victoria area; and
- Commit to ongoing operational funding the E&N Rail Service so it can function as a commuter and inter-city rail service, per the phased improvement plan.
South Island Prosperity Project – Rising Economy Task Force
Preserve the Island’s rail infrastructure and right-of-ways.
If the South Island Transportation Plan suggests moving forward with rail now, then the South Island portion of the infrastructure should be the top priority. The SITP should also ensure other transportation modes are integrated with the rail system for a seamless South Island Smart Cities approach, which prioritizes the movement of people and goods, including active transportation along rail routes. The federal government should provide funding to match the provincial commitment and off-set the municipal portions (which will be restrained due to the pandemic’s fiscal challenges).
Transportation Action Canada – Submission to the House of Commons Finance Committee
Transportation Action Canada have identified railways as the key to unlocking Canadian Productivity, social inclusion, and climate change performance. Included in their submission to the Finance Committee included the following recommendation as a near term shovel ready project:
Repair the Vancouver Island railway as detailed in the BC government study, restoring freight and passenger services suspended since 2010.