To the editor,
Re: Rail costs would be sky-high, Letters, Jan. 12.
There has been a renewed correspondence in the newspaper about a new effort to get the train service on Vancouver Island going again. My thoughts on this are if you spend all those millions of dollars which were touted in the paper you would still only have a slow steam train or diesel for your efforts and money.
If you go modern with a monorail train you do not have to replace sleepers or repair bridges. A monorail system only has a footprint on the ground of a five-foot-by-two-foot (1.5 metre-by-0.6 metre) base every 30-40 feet (10-12m) to support the concrete beam above about 25 feet (7.5m) in the free air. You no longer need bridges the beam takes care of that. The rail tracks can still handle the slow freight trains. There is plenty of room to one side of the right-of-way for the bases of the beam track to sit. Monorail trains are light rapid transit powered by direct current motors running on a concrete track 25 inches (65 centimetres) wide. Direct current motors by nature will run to infinity so have to be coupled and controlled.
These trains are not affected by ground fog or snow and can run at high speeds.
The system I am referring to is the Disney Alweg which came from Cologne, Germany, so contact has to be made to the Disney company to see if a licence is needed to use the system. The monorail trains in Seattle are still running over 53 years after they were built for the Worlds Fair, same goes for the trains that Disney runs in California and Florida. I will say no more about this.
Now to the extreme traffic through Duncan and the Malahat. Both could use a steel roadbed above the existing road to carry traffic above the existing roadbed direct through Duncan. It is once again in free air – no real estate to buy up. It is the only solution for the Malahat where the rock wall prohibits building a wider road. This was done years ago in Seattle where they had run out of space to widen the road.
I offer these two solutions for an ongoing problem. The Malahat can be so easily blocked by one tanker truck crash.
Victor Osborne, Cedar
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.