Letter: Revaming railway not realistic

Sinking millions into the rail corridor would be a waste of money

Revaming railway not realistic

It is inevitable that, every time we have a road closure on the Malahat, we also get comments pushing for resumption of the E&N rail service.

While I agree that rail service would be nice, the current rail corridor was well suited to early century freight operations, not for modern day commuter needs. Sinking millions into the rail corridor would be a waste of money, creating a new and inadequate railroad. We need to re-think the need and create for the future.

A rail/motor-vehicle bridge crossing from around Bamberton to Brentwood Bay, then taking people into Victoria, would make sense as it could connect to the bus service, take ferry traffic out of the downtown and off the Malahat. The current rail corridor does not check off enough boxes to make it a good investment.

A ticket to ride on a re-vamped E&N train was once guesstimated to be around $25-plus one way. I would never pay that. What I would happily pay is a $10-12 toll to cross a bridge to avoid the Malahat and get me to Victoria, the ferry and/or the airport twice as fast. It would also accomplish a second escape route out of Victoria in the event of a disaster.

It is a bigger, but wiser investment than repairing the old E&N railroad. As to utilizing the rail bed along the corridor into a walking/cycling trail, this trail would bring more tourism dollars than the inadequate rail line could ever hope to generate.

Al Brunet

Shawnigan Lake