Turn rail line into trail
A recent letter to the editor takes Sonia Furstenau to task for neglecting to mention the importance of rail in her column. What he neglects to mention is that the BC South Island Transportation Strategy that he quotes from also does not mention the importance of rail. The only mention is the long-term possibility of rail from Langford to Victoria. They realize that rail further up the Island is not feasible at this point. The billions of dollars required to resurrect any form of high-speed commuter rail that would attract a viable ridership would be much better spent on health care and a good transit system.
To quote a recent letter in another paper, the current corridor, especially from Duncan south, “has more curves than Marilyn Monroe”. No trains on those tracks can hope to compete with road traffic. A major realignment of the route would be required, necessitating very expensive and disruptive construction costs and expropriation of land. Then there are the hundreds of level crossings requiring safety upgrades.
Until the Island has a population density similar to Europe, commuter rail is a romantic dream. Preserving the corridor for that eventuality should be the priority. That is why the construction of a multi-use trail on the corridor, similar to the highly successful Galloping Goose, is a rational alternative. It would be both a safe option for bicycle commuters and a variety of recreationists, and a major tourist attraction. If you agree, you can sign a petition in support of that at https://chng.it/9FGVmV8cjW.