Update from ICF CEO, Larry Stevenson

Hi Everyone,

During our town hall meetings in November we talked a lot about upcoming meetings with the Province in regards to the future of rail on the island.  A meeting was held on December 10, 2018 in Victoria which brought together First Nations, island mayors, representatives from Regional Districts, the Island Corridor Foundation, and Provincial officials including  the Minister of Transportation, Claire Trevena,  and Premier John Horgan. 

This was a round table discussion wherein participants were asked for their thoughts on the future of rail on the island and how to move forward. Overwhelmingly participants agreed that the rail must be part of any comprehensive transportation plan going forward, it must include the entire island, and that the unique requirements of each region needed to be addressed within the plan. Participants asked the Province to commit to the development and implementation of such a plan and to do so without delay.  

We have talked with Minister Trevena since the meeting and she advises that she, and the Premier, clearly heard the views of the participants.  The Province is committed to moving forward and as a first step will work with the Island Corridor Foundation to do an  assessment of track and bridge conditions on the entire corridor.  It was agreed this process needs to start immediately so we will be meeting early in January to develop a plan to complete the assessment.

Although this is only the first step, in what promises to be a multi-step process, we view this as a significant step forward. We are very pleased the Province is moving forward and look forward to working with them to bring rail back to the island!


Larry Stevenson

Chief Executive Officer

Island Corridor Foundation

5 thoughts on “Update from ICF CEO, Larry Stevenson

  1. News of this track condition assessment contains the seeds of a serious interest in rail on Vancouver Island on the part of the Province. This is encouraging.

  2. This is encouraging news.
    Let’s look forward and anticipate a whole system plan which, ideally, would include, incrementally:
    1) Commuter service between Victoria and Langford, perhaps even to Duncan;
    2) Passenger service between Nanaimo and Victoria with extensions to Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and Courtenay;
    3) Freight service between Wellington and Duncan;
    4) Freight service between Nanaimo, Parksville, and Port Alberni with expansion to Crofton;
    5) Passenger excursions between Victoria, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni in cooperation with and/or partnership with Carnival Cruises;
    6) Close cooperation with local tourist boards promote local business opportunities including golf, for example;
    9) Practical and cooperative work with First Nations communities related to some or all of the above.

    There may be more, or I may be getting ahead of myself, but it would be grand to see the railroad back.

  3. All good points but look further into the future, buy the now defunct logging track in the Nimpkish Valley, connect it to Courtney. From there to the Rupert ferry in Port Hardy and you would have a transportation route for the whole Island. Fantasy perhaps but why not.

  4. While considering the rail system, why not prepare for an electrified railway that could take advantage of renewable alternative technologies for electrical sources, like wind energy, and battery systems to augment power sources? We must think of GHG emission reduction whenever major transportation projects are considered.

  5. Hats off to Larry Stevenson, our new CEO. After what seemed a drought, I am delighted to see fresh enthusiasm at a top level for island rail services. I am encouraged and open to opportunities to assist the ICF.

    P.S. I agree that electrification in the longer-term would help, especially in coping with steep grades that would require massive investments to correct. But before getting to the electrification issue, let us first get going any form of rail service. Betides, the old Budd RDCs are a railman’s dream and a tourism draw.

    P.P.S. I also suggest that island elected officials be routinely canvassed and asked to state publicly their commitment to restoring service. A bit bold perhaps, but the ICF website could include statements of support from those elected officials who are willing.

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