Opinion

Railroad preservation society could be a way to save E&N

Dear editor,

The venerable E&N Railway is approaching a very important period in its history; whether the railway will continue or not. As politicians hesitantly debate its future, one option should be explored: run the railway as a “preserved railway”, using the successful UK model.

Today, in the UK, there are over 50 standard gauge and over 20 narrow gauge preserved railways in operation, offering scheduled passenger services with many operating year-round. The preserved railways were created by groups of people wanting to retain and operate local and historic railways, many using steam locomotives.

The foundation for an “E&N Preservation Society” is already in place, with scores of volunteers maintaining the rights-of-way from Victoria to Courtney and Port Alberni.

The E&N Preservation Society could be the umbrella group to operate and maintain the railway, offering live steam excursion, Via Rail passenger operation, a scheduled freight service and a commuter railway for Greater Victoria.

Far fetched? No, as many UK-preserved railways successfully do the same thing.

What is most important is that a preserved E&N Railway would not only be a regional railway or tourism and movie industry generator, it would be a jobs generator. The financial spin-off from a preserved E&N, from jobs to increasing business potential, would be tremendous.

Supporting a preserved E&N railway would be supporting a continuing and viable economy on Vancouver Island.

 

Malcolm Johnston

Delta, BC

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Jersey Day in Nelson
 
RDCK to analyze recycling depot options
 
Avalanche warning issued
School District 8 implements anti-violence protocols
 
Nelson knotweed problem mapped
 
COLUMN: Slocan election turnout second-highest in region
Klabona Keepers served injunction
 
UPDATE: Rice receives written confirmation of changes to wheelchair cabin policy
 
Dodge Cove residents ready to take the fight to Nexen as focus shifts to Digby Island