Opinions are mixed about the restoration viability of the E&N railway. (Citizen file)

Opinions mixed in Cowichan on E&N railway viability

“Rebuilding the railway and running it as a commuter and freight operation would be fantastic.”

There’s been feedback aplenty on both sides of the E&N railway line restoration issue following the Citizen’s April 2 story “Group Wants Movement on Restoring Railway”.

In it Jack Peake, chairman of the E&N Railway Roundtable, said the group is prepared to assist the province and the Island Corridor Foundation in fleshing out any proposals to get the E&N Railway up and running again.

He said that with a combined total of over 150 years of experience in railroading within the ENRR, it is felt the group can bring all the expertise to the table in order to “provide environmental and economic stability to Vancouver Island while meeting the needs of the future”.

Some readers, like John Yarnold, told us “Rebuilding the railway and running it as a commuter and freight operation would be fantastic. New light passenger rail units make so much sense. As long as the railway is maintained and managed well, it will be an asset to Vancouver Island for decades to come.”

But others were not as enthused, and had other ideas to reduce traffic on the highway.

“I honestly thought this was late April Fools! Enough please! Too much money!” said resident Vicki Walker. “If you have to go out of town, tell your friends, car pool, organize your trips and make less of them! Spending billions on a railway is not going to do it!”

Both comments were made on the Citizen’s website.

Opinions were also split on Facebook.

“Rip out the tracks and put a truck only road so it makes driving jobs or tax the rail line anuff [sic] to maintain it,” wrote Ronnie Blandin.

Scott Simmons’s opinion was one of the most popular, however: “one would think a commuter train from Nanaimo to Vic twice a morning would be a big hit,” he said.

Erin O’keefe-Whiteford agreed.

“I think a high speed train from Victoria-Nanaimo would make sense. Yes it will be expensive. But it would cut down on traffic on the highway. And would be environmentally a better choice then having all of the cars,” she said.

People realize, however, making it work will cost a lot.

“There aren’t enough people to even come close to making this a paying proposition,” wrote Barbara S. Van Dyck.

“Tell the “Group” to pay for it and see how fast their opinions change,” Tony Siebring added.

Be part of the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/CowichanValleyCitizen/



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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