E&N more versatile than a trail
Re: E&N a loser as a rail line.
First, all forms of transportation, including trails, are subsidized, both directly and also indirectly, such as land use, environmental damage, and emergency services.
Second, turning the E&N into a trail will be wasted opportunity for green transportation and growth. Trails are only feasible for short distances. Unlike the E&N they can’t carry commuters, those visiting family and friends, have appointments, have accompanying children, and those who have mobility issues, at night and in all weather, nor can they carry freight.
But the E&N can (and has) carried tourists, including cyclists, walkers, and runners to trails. That’s why the Island Corridor Foundation has wisely incorporated trails with the railway. There is a strong synergy between such personal and public transportation.
Finally, compared with expanding the Island Highway or building a new one, investing in the E&N is a financial and an environmental bargain given the notoriously difficult terrain that such roads would have to be blasted through.
We are hoping to return to Vancouver Island in the near future. Having the E&N in service again, but better than before, with trains serving the needs of residents as well as visitors, will make the getting around a lot easier and greener. And that can only help the communities the railway serves.