VIA Passenger Train to Nanaimo – A New Beginning or the End of Rail?


Andre Sullivan of the Young Professionals of Nanaimo speaks of the campaign to restore the Nanaimo Station. The Young Professionals raised $450,000 to rebuild the station that was razed by fire in 2007.


Via Rail has promised three refurbished cars when service restarts. Graham Bruce, executive director of the Island Corridor Foundation explains plans for rail service to guests at Nanaimo relocation ceremony.

May 9th 2011
Media Advisory
On the 125th year of the historic E&N Railway, VIA Rail will relocate its train to Nanaimo on Tuesday May 10th. Will this be the last time the passenger train makes it way from Victoria or is this just the beginning of a new and improved service?
The train will leave the Roundhouse at VIC West at 10am May 10th without passengers and arrive at the Nanaimo Station at approximately 1:30pm. The general public is invited to take part in a welcoming ceremony.
 The passenger service is currently suspended while the Island Corridor Foundation awaits the federal and provincial government’s decision on a $15 million infrastructure application.
The ICF has petitioned VIA Rail to turn around the service so it departs Nanaimo early in the morning for Victoria and then make its daily journey to Courtenay. Although this is a small adjustment it is anticipated it would be enthusiastically supported by riders wanting to travel to Victoria and still get back home the same day.
Overall ridership has increased 30% during the past four years.
VIA Rail has promised three newly refurbished cars when the service restarts.
The new train consist will be two rail diesel cars and a bicycle baggage car. This will be a tremendous improvement for the Island passenger service. Also on board will be a small refreshment galley.
 But the renaissance of Island passenger service is in jeopardy without the federal and provincial government’s approval of the infrastructure application.
 The old VIA train will be relocated to the Nanaimo rail yard because of better security. It will arrive at the Nanaimo Station at approximately 1:30pm for a welcoming ceremony marking the recommencement of the new station construction. VIA Rail has contributed nearly $900K for the reconstruction of the Heritage Station and work on the station is scheduled to begin again by late May.
 The ICF is anticipating an answer about the infrastructure funding by mid June.
 People should be aware freight train service is still in operation and walking on the track is very dangerous.

One thought on “VIA Passenger Train to Nanaimo – A New Beginning or the End of Rail?

  1. hi , my view on the island corridor is that we start with something affordable and doeable- start with an upgraded and faster service starting with downtown vic to colwood , then langford, and then shawnigan etc. in other words in smaller chunks but always with the overall plan in mind. its rediculous to consider upgradeing the whole corridor at once-(not to say the whole corridor shouldn’t be upgraded safety wise- thats a given) However in my humble opinion we should start where it will make an immediate impact- the areas adjacent to victoria where the traffic congestion is the worst-ie-sooke ,langford and colwood.

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