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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Vancouver Island’s rail corridor can be successfully revitalized

Island Corridor Foundation’s business case has sensible elements, says letter writer
Rail lines are being revitalized and restored successfully worldwide, says letter writer. (News Bulletin file photo)

To the editor,

Re: Nothing less than modernized rail is worth doing, Letters, Feb. 15.

As one who used the E&N and who has regularly travelled rail systems in rural Ontario, the U.S.A, and the U.K., I am confident from this customer’s and taxpayer’s point of view that the $431 million plan for the railway by the Island Corridor Foundation is prudent and will be effective without overbuilding, at this stage, like with electrification.

The Island train service envisioned is planned to be more than the old once-a-day-and-back Dayliner with up to eight trains per day serving our needs, according to the ICF’s business case. Today’s equipment also is much more attractive, comfortable, accessible, and greener: there are hydrogen-fuelled and new-generation battery-powered trains now entering service.

Rail lines are being revitalized and restored successfully worldwide, so there is little fear that such trains here will become little-used novelty.

Brendan Read, Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Nothing less than modern rail is worth doing

To the editor,

There has been much talk about a fast light-rail service for the 290 kilometres of track and rail. This is not possible with all the level crossings in each town or city and the present state of the tracks and bridges.

Here is my solution: an electrical-powered monorail train running on a concrete beam 25 feet or more above the corridor and the highway crossings on the way.

I worked for Walt Disney Corp. and was in charge of the electrical department and during my years at Disneyland in California, Walt Disney bought the rights to a German monorail system. Later still we built the trains for the Seattle World’s Fair; they are still running more than 50 years later. We also built the monorail trains for Disney World.

The present rail tracks can still stay and be used for slow freight trains. Light trains would only carry passengers, but could also carry mail. I think speeds of 100 miles per hour are possible for these trains, but we never got the chance or the time to test this. Snow will not stop this train, nor rain or wind. Earnings by the fast passenger train can assist to pay for the renewal of the slow freight track and bridges.

Most of the world has moved on with very fast electrical trains or magnetic trains.

P.S. At 104, I am not looking for a job.

Victor Osborne, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press Media or the Nanaimo News Bulletin.

Letters policy: Letters should be no longer than 250 words and will be edited. Preference is given to letters expressing an opinion on issues of local relevance or responding to items published in the News Bulletin. Include your address (it won’t be published) and a first name or two initials, and a surname. Unsigned letters will not be published. Letters sent to the News Bulletin may also be published in the Ladysmith Chronicle.

Mail: Letters, Nanaimo News Bulletin, 777 Poplar St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9S 2H7

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