Passenger rail awaits government approval

NANAIMO – Infrastructure Canada working through proposal.

There is still no timetable for when passenger rail service will return to Nanaimo, according to Island Corridor Foundation CEO Graham Bruce.

While the five regional districts along the right of way, including the Regional District of Nanaimo, have committed to funding, Bruce said approval is needed from the federal and provincial governments.

“The full package, the infrastructure work itself, the business plan, everything, is with Infrastructure Canada right now. It’s a huge volume and it’s been with them for [a] while, as it is with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation.

“They’re doing their reviews of all of that work and once we get sign off from them, then the work can be tendered. I have no idea what the time frame is on that,” said Bruce.

The Regional District of Nanaimo voted in July to carry out a contribution agreement with the foundation. A total of $945,000 will be provided, but will be split into two payments of $472,500. A portion from 2013 was requisitioned through taxes and sits in reserve. The other portion will be part of the upcoming 2015 budget discussion.

One of the conditions was the provision of an agreement with the foundation, Via Rail and other parties, which Paul Thorkelsson, regional district chief administrative officer, said has been received.

“That was kind of the significant condition that was put on and included within the funding agreement that the RDN signed with the Island Corridor Foundation,” Thorkelsson said. “So that was sort of the last trigger under that agreement, which would allow funding to flow.”

If approval is given and contracts are awarded, Bruce said the plan is to begin work in Victoria and head to Nanaimo, allowing for service between the two cities to start. Work would subsequently continue to Courtenay.

“We are making progress. Much slower than what I had anticipated, but we are making progress,”  Bruce said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Going green’ en vogue for Prom Closet Nanaimo

Non-profit event looking to make high school prom less cost-prohibitive goes March 5-7

VIU and Nanaimo high schools host Skills Canada competitions

Central Island and Sunshine Coast high school student compete for spots on provincials and nationals

Taxi driver taken to hospital after crashing cab into utility pole

Accident happened Thursday afternoon on Big Bear Ridge

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Nanaimo woman leaves friend’s home, now considered missing

Ashley Sheppard, 31, has not been heard from since Feb. 10

Taxi driver taken to hospital after crashing cab into utility pole

Accident happened Thursday afternoon on Big Bear Ridge

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

Wellington Jazz Academy has strong showing at Surrey Schools Jazz Festival

Senior band and individual students earn top awards

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

Banned Nanaimo investment advisor accused of lying under oath to investigators

B.C. Securities Commission to schedule hearing in March

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Most Read