Island rail line promised to run ‘in perpetuity’

Re: E&N line destined to be a walkway, Letters, Oct. 22.

To the Editor,

Re: E&N line destined to be a walkway, Letters, Oct. 22.

There is a steady ‘drip, drip’ by anti-railway buffs, hoping that their view of the future of railways on Vancouver Island, will prevail and derail the current  infrastructure of the various rail systems. By the way, there used to be three rail train systems on the Saanich Peninsula alone, and several others on Vancouver Island.

But the most important rail line was the E&N.

Because of a contract between the Crown and contractor Robert Dunsmuir whereby, in exchange for mineral rights 20 miles either side of the E&N rail line, Dunsmuir and his company were required to run a passenger train every day in both directions, seven days per week in perpetuity.

The phrase ‘in perpetuity’ means ‘forever’. If that contract is reneged upon, then all the mineral rights should revert immediately to the Crown, including those mineral rights already scalped and asset-stripped.

David J. Weston, Nanaimo

Nanaimo News Bulletin

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