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Letter: Rail with trail is the right mix

The rail system has great environmental value, economic value and social value

Rail with trail is the right mix

I take exception to Mr. Gilmore’s letter suggesting that the best use of Vancouver Island’s rail corridor is a trail.

He selfishly talks about riding his bike as far as Victoria and Nanaimo. I applaud you for your efforts Mr. Gilmore but don’t you think that those of us who don’t bike to Victoria and Nanaimo have a need and a right for an alternative way to get to those places too? Why can you not see the value of a rail system with a trail?

The rail system has great environmental value, economic value and social value. We would get cars and trucks off the highway and allow people and freight to use the rail corridor. The rail corridor would also have great value for tourist rail operations.

As a matter of fact a large amount of the corridor already has a trail system along a portion of its length and that will ultimately be extended. To talk single use as a trail without the rail is a very selfish way to look at this valuable asset.

I should also point out that if the rail corridor is ultimately closed down it will not become the continuous trail you espouse. It will be lost and broken up into separate parts.

The logical, economic and environmental use of this corridor is rail with trail. Canada is lagging behind the world when it comes to valuing rail systems. We need a change of mind and focus on rail throughout the entire country of Canada. The rest of the world has figured it out. Why not now? Rail with trail. The time is now.

Jack Peake