Rail investment is a proposal that should be taken seriously, says letter writer. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trains would transform Island

A complete rail transportation solution for Vancouver Island would be of immeasurable value

To the editor,

Re: Rail hopes get revisited, Editorial, Nov. 16.

The ongoing efforts of the Island Corridor Foundation are admirable. But resurrecting a quaint and antiquated rail car service with tourist appeal is of little value as part of the long-term solution to commuter and cross community travel needs. A complete rail transportation solution for Vancouver Island may cost from $250-400 million, but the economic and community development benefits would be immeasurable.

A system of about 20 station stops on a rail link from Campbell River to Victoria, co-ordinated with a spur line from Port Alberni to Parksville, connecting with two major LRT lines one from the Westshore to downtown Victoria and the other linking the ferry terminal at Swartz Bay and Victoria International Airport, would impact tourism.

Some will argue that such a concept is a pipe dream. Yet national and global experience says otherwise. I was fortunate, in the late ’60s, to serve on one of the working groups that recommended to Ontario Premier Bill Davis, the concept of using underutilized CN lines to re-establish rail commuter passenger service between Pickering and Oakville. At the time, the concept was decried by political and transportation experts as unworkable and too expensive. Yet with courage the system was implemented in 1969. Imagine the impact on the GTA if the 400,000 plus who travel on the current GO Transit were suddenly added back in their cars.

Similar resistance greeted the efforts to modernize and introduce technologically rail transport in Europe. But, even in the U.K. it is now recognized that an effective commuter rail/rapid transport system is the backbone of 21st century, environmentally sustainable transportation and infrastructure.

This is a project that would attract highly positive domestic and international attention, create employment and more importantly, as it allows a total rethinking of transit, business and government locational decisions, secure the economic future of the whole Island.

If we can, as we should, look positively at the concept of a high-speed rail link between Seattle and Vancouver, there is no excuse for not taking this proposal seriously.

Les Bowd, Lake Cowichan

Just Posted

Seventy-three-year-old Nanaimo cyclist raises money for hospice programs

Angeline Krueger will ride 200 kilometres with her daughter to raise cash 2018 in Cycle of Life Tour

Final arguments made at tent city hearing, court won’t rule immediately

Lawyer says City of Nanaimo is concerned occupants would consume hand sanitizer

Discontent City argues that it’s keeping occupants safe

Hearing continuing today, July 18, at B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo

Ex-Nanaimo man convicted of 1999 sex assault at Abbotsford music festival

James Allen Redden, 50, found guilty of three charges

NRE will sell its land, plans for a new depot there are ‘over’

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange board decides to sell Kenworth Road property

Nanaimo Concert Band to perform at Maffeo Sutton Park

Group will play marches, swing and show tunes at free evening concert

After cave rescue, soccer boys pray for protection at Thai temple

On Wednesday evening, the boys and coach were released from hospital

Gymnastics sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night

Wildfires erupt in B.C. Okanagan forcing evacuation orders and a highway closure

Check out a list of up-to-date information on blazes happening within the Kamloops Wildfire Centre.

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

Grizzly bear jumps in river, chases B.C. kayaker

The bear got a bit too close for comfort along the Elaho River near Squamish

Parks Canada looks to shine light on cloudy future for historic sites

A plan is in place to produce 10-year plans designed to turn around sagging attendance figures

B.C. poet shines a bright light on struggle with homelessness

Book launch for John La Greca’s Homeless Memorial is at Vernon’s Gallery Vertigo July 21.

Ontario police say attack on Muslim man was motivated by hate

Two men, aged 27 and 19, have been charged with assault in the incident

Most Read