Island rail corridor must be preserved

Re: Rail line an important transit link, Letters, May 3.

To the Editor,

Re: Rail line an important transit link, Letters, May 3.

With the imminent demise of rail service on the E&N, it is a critical time to secure the railway corridor intact for the future development of a multi-use trail from Victoria to Parksville, Alberni and Courtenay.

The vision of this project would be to produce a recreational trail on Vancouver Island for all users.

A trail of this magnitude, along with the existing Galloping Goose Trail in Victoria, would be a drawing card to national and international visitors, boosting the tourist economy.

The objective would be to maintain the historic railway stations as tourist information centres or kiosks, which could direct people to local attractions and accommodation.

The cost of developing the trail should be minimal, as the salvage value of the steel rails and ties would go toward a contract for their removal. Removal would be done with the least amount of disturbance, leaving the rail bed in a condition conducive to immediate use of recreational traffic with the possibility of a top dressing of fine gravel or pavement in the future.

By dividing the rail bed into approximately eight-kilometre segments, the construction and maintenance of the rail bed could be overseen by volunteer groups from the community. This way local concerns and issues could be addressed during the construction and development of the trail and carried on into the future, ensuring proper use and maintenance of the trail.

If you are in agreement with this vision, please go online to http://railstotrails and send an e-mail to as many people as you know who might be interested in this concept.

Les Andersen

Nanoose Bay

Nanaimo News Bulletin

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