Rail line not worth investment

Today, Duncan’s mayor has been fed the same-old SVIR Koolaid and has found it intoxicating.

Rail line not worth investment

So Duncan’s mayor is taken for a ride on a “bi-rail truck” over the least torturous section of the decrepit E&N line, and draws the conclusion that the trip was “fine” and the track only required a few replacement ties. Perhaps she does not grasp the difference in ride twixt a light truck weighing a ton or so and rail cars weighing hundreds, if not thousands, of tons.

A few years ago I wrote a letter to the CVRD seeking copies of any studies assessing the financial feasibility of refurbishing and upgrading 140 miles of collapsing railbed, dated rolling stock and engines, rotten ties, frogs, crossings, bridges, lighting, crossing signals and a plethora of other related issues.

In response I received only a copy of the slick presentation made to the CVRD board by the president of Southern Vancouver Island Railway, a subsidiary of Dennis Washington’s multi-billion dollar American empire and sole operator of rail service on the Island Corridor Foundation line. A presentation that closely resembled the type of hustling prospectus reflective of the Vancouver Stock Exchange in times gone by but deemed by the CVRD board sufficient to donate a half-million dollars to the cause.

Today, Duncan’s mayor has been fed the same-old SVIR Koolaid and has found it intoxicating.

Would it not be preferable for Island municipalities to acquire the moribund E&N railway and initially use the railbed as a hiking/cycling trail spanning half the length of the Island and later, as Vancouver Island’s population north of Victoria reaches a couple of million, for LRT?

Now that would be worth our investment as opposed to further lining the pockets of Dennis Worthington [233rd wealthiest billionaire in the world].

Pat Mulcahy

Saltair

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