Letters

Preserved E&N a possibility

To the 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 more than 50 standard gauge and more than 20 narrow gauge preserved railways in operation, offering scheduled passenger services with many operating all 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 already maintaining the rights-of-way from Victoria to Courtenay and Port Alberni.

The E&N preservation society could be the umbrella group to operate and maintain the railway, offering live steam excursions; 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.

A preserved E&N Railway would not only be an international tourist draw, it would be a magnet for the movie industry, which searches internationally for vintage railway locations. If anyone has watched British cinema and TV drama, have all seen the British preserved railway in full operation. Movie sets they are not.

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

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 ...

Back Country Horsemen of B.C.
 
Barrel of laughs at the Fort Christmas party
 
PHOTO: Ready for Halloween
Shooting on 12th Street
 
Child ejected as Surrey collision shears car in half
 
Fresh trees and proper lights keep Christmas safe
LOCAL FLAVOUR: Knit and curl
 
Feed the zombies
 
Money for Movember