Letters to the Editor

Make riding dayliner a must-do adventure

To the Editor,

Re: Public support will get E&N up and running, Jan. 19.

Having successfully engaged in the hospitality, tourist industry in Nanaimo for the past 28 years, I have a few thoughts that might help boost interest and ridership on the Courtney to Victoria run.

Right now what I see passing through Nanaimo each day is a dirty, uninteresting two-car unit that is more a hindrance than an attraction.

If these units were painted in a brilliant white, red and blue, washed down once a week to eliminate the black grime that now adorns their exterior, had one or two musical air horns for sound effect and had large Canadian and B.C. flags on each corner, you would have something.

Kids, grandmas and tourists would suddenly point and want to ride and I would no longer grumble each time it holds me up at a crossing.

As far as making it a viable run for commuters and shoppers, have one car or two units, if possible, leave Courtenay as the Island shopper run at 6 a.m. south for quick stops in Qualicum, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Duncan and then on to Victoria.

On the opposite end, a Victoria unit pulls out at 6 a.m. for all those stops up Island. These trains return each day, giving flexibility to all passengers to return home in either direction.

Trains sit overnight at each end for cleaning and overhaul and what you have running the length of our great Island are well kept, clean interesting units, that are highly visible to the public and that are useful to all types of riders.

The conductors would be in dress-blue surge and gold trim uniforms.

Students, versed in local history of each small town and the country side would be an asset and would benefit from summer employment.

As for financial assistance in this project, surely local councils and the provincial government can see the rail line would be a huge tourist draw for the Island as a whole and have the foresight to see what it will become when 2010 rolls around.

Robert Banerd

Nanaimo

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