Learn rail lessons from rest of the world

We as Canadians have lost sight of the value of railway services.

Learn rail lessons from rest of the world

I would like to refer to the letter from B. Bolton making the derogatory remark “a few bricks short of a load”.

Regardless of what one’s opinion may be, no one has the right to make a remark of that nature. It is disrespectful and uncalled for. All of us have opinions on many different subjects and basically to call someone “stupid” because of a different idea or opinion is unacceptable.

Now to address Mr. Bolton and Mr. Butler on the view of the use of the E&N rail corridor. First of all, we as Canadians, with our governments taking the lead, have lost sight of the value of railway services. Our country and our area continues to grow in leaps and bounds and lessons can and should be learned from the rest of the world. If we want to reduce environmental damage, air pollution and provide alternatives to our love of the car. Rail services are the only way to go. We have an opportunity here to provide a form of commuter services, intercity passenger services, freight services and tourist services. How about getting some trucks off the Malahat and saving some lives? These opportunities are available on the line as a whole or on certain sections. At a reasonable cost, particularly if the system is prioritized and work begun where the opportunity is greatest. There are even private investors out there interesting in contributing to a good portion of the cost. I have just returned from a lengthy trip to Great Britain and Europe and experienced rail services in both congested areas and lightly populated areas. One such area is in Ireland between Cobh and Cork. Not a lot of people but a very efficient rail service.

If we fail to take advantage of this opportunity we will regret it forever.

As to costs. Twenty-five million dollars will provide passenger/commuter services between Langford and Victoria. Which will also address an opportunity to provide tourist trains to satisfy the cruise ship passengers arriving in Victoria by the thousands. This is not rocket science but simply common sense and it can be done. The situation in Lac Megantic is completely different than Vancouver Island. Don’t compare apples to oranges. We in Canada have lost site of the value of existing infrastructure and need to put our thinking caps on, work cooperatively with all levels of government and the private sector and make it happen. By the way, to put buses on the corridor would require much more effort and money than either of the gentlemen have guesstimated. The time is now. Do it right. Do it with rail.

Jack Peake

Duncan

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