The development of the new E&N Rail Trail – Humpback Connector is well underway, with 12 km complete and approximately 5km more to come. This paved cycling and pedestrian trail is largely located within the E&N rail corridor. This addition to the CRD regional trails system provides an important non-motorized transportation and recreation link between Victoria and the Western communities.
Trail Sections Open To Public Use:
Although construction of the entire trail is not complete, two sections are open to public use. Where the gap exists , local roads can be used to connect users to the next section of trail.
Jacklin Road to Savory School (Langford; approximately 2km)
(The connecting trail section between Savory School and Atkins Avenue will be constructed in 2019-2020.)
Atkins Avenue (Langford) to Esquimalt Road (Victoria) (approximately 10km)
Trail Construction and Planning
Atkins Road to Savory School (Langford)
The CRD will be contracting construction of this 1km section of trail in 2019. It is expected that it will take approximately 1 year to complete this section of new trail.
Esquimalt Road to Catherine Street (Victoria)
An additional new section of trail is in the planning and design phase and is expected to be constructed in 2019-2020. This will extend the trail approximately 255m to link with trail and bike lane development that the City of Victoria is planning from Catherine Street to the Johnson Street bridge.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the trail be completed?
The rail trail project began in 2009 and it is being constructed in phases. Phases 1 and 2 are complete and Phases 3 & 4 are scheduled for 2019-2020. The final phase (Phase 5) is not scheduled or funded at this time.
Who is involved in building the trail?
CRD Regional Parks is working with municipal partners in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Langford, the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and the Island Corridor Foundation.
How much will it cost?
The overall project value is estimated at $36 million. To-date, nearly $20 million in grant funding has been provided to the CRD through Federal and Provincial grants. The CRD will continue to seek funding opportunities for development of the remaining sections.
Where is the money coming from?
To-date, the project has been funded from the Federal Gas Tax Fund, Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program, BC Local Motion Fund, the Provincial Cycling Infrastructure Program, and the CRD’s capital funds.
What is the rationale for the order in which the trail is being built?
Due to the significant cost of building the entire trail, a phased approach to trail development was approved by the CRD Board in 2009. Phase 1 was broken into seven project areas, with a portion of the trail in each of the partner municipalities. Phases 2 and 3 link the trail together. Phases 4 and 5 extend the trail on either end.
Why is it taking so long to build?
The rail trail project is a complex construction project involving the CRD, four municipalities, First Nations, the rail corridor landowner, the railway operator, and in some cases, utility companies. There are requirements relating to construction, railway operation, underground utilities, and municipal bylaws that must be addressed with each section. As with most construction projects, it takes time to work through the various requirements and processes. For example, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail took approximately ten years to complete.
Will the Rail Trail connect to current trails such as the Galloping Goose?
Yes. The E&N Rail Trail is co-located with the Galloping Goose Regional Trail for approximately 2km near the Atkins Road parking lot and rest stop. Once the trail is completed an 18km loop route will exist using a portion of both the Goose and the E&N regional trails.
Why is there a fence between the trail and rail when there is no train running?
The railway is still officially active, and it is used by Island Corridor Foundation or Southern Rail of Vancouver Island for operational purposes. In developing the E&N Rail Trail, the CRD must comply with federal safety requirements. Along the trail this includes a safety fence, located between an active rail line and an adjacent trail. It also includes specific intersection safety upgrades (barriers, signals and pedestrian crossings) which must be put in as part of the trail construction process. In this way, all requirements are in place and ready when the line is more actively used.