After years, railway line a dead asset

North Cowichan council should join Langford in demanding accountability from the Island Corridor Foundation

North Cowichan council should join Langford in demanding accountability from the Island Corridor Foundation, and in the meantime consider the E&N track to be a dead asset.

Various entities fiddled around for years while wood rotted and steel rusted, until someone finally blew the whistle on safety of the track for the speed needed to perform the Victoria-Courtenay tourist excursion.

Victoria city omitted tracks from the new Johnson Street bridge, eliminating much of the potential business as most people will not want to walk from well into Vic West to their workplace many blocks from the bridge in downtown Victoria, or make another transfer after having a bus, ParkNRide, or KissNRide transfer at their origin. That leaves CFB Esquimalt and the dockyards whose gates the track passes close to. But many base employees chose not to use the cross-harbour ferry service across Esquimalt Harbour so it ceased — how many would actually use a train service?

Because the track and bridges etc. were allowed to deteriorate there has not been a market test of commuter service, which is essential.

The E&N track does bypass the troubled Malahat Highway, which by the way has bus service, but are many people willing to pay for having trains on standby to ensure they get to work on time?

The E&N track should be considered a dead asset for rail service, to stop bleeding money on administration and unrealistic plans, perhaps able to be necessitated by someone who can actually get things done, which isn’t the ICF. Jon Lefebure should not make any forecast until he is actually riding on a scheduled train he purchased a ticket for.

 

Keith Sketchley

Saanich

Cowichan Valley Citizen

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