Letters to the Editor

Train needed on the Island

The 100th anniversary of the Qualicum Beach E & N Train Station was a wonderful event showcasing the need for the rail bed to be repaired to get the E & N up and running — sharing space with a sports trail.

If gas, oil and electric vehicles were serious concerns for environmentalists, they would limit their own use of such vehicles and support the railway on Vancouver Island as a viable alternative means of transport. They would support railways which with better security, supervision, mechanical regulations and higher maintenance of the railways tracks, can transport freight and passengers far more safely than is possible on highways.

Yes, the E & N passenger service was shut down — due to safety — because of poorly maintained track infrastructure. That happened before there was a disaster.

It’s not the same with highway transport. The Malahat highway has never been permanently closed down due to its commonly claimed “dangerous” condition. This in spite of highway “disasters” that have taken place over the years.

As a senior who has no car — and many seniors lose their licences — and yet pay taxes which fund “transportation”, I look forward to seeing more of my “transportation” dollars directed to rail transportation with upgraded tracks, rail cars which accommodate wheelchairs, walkers, bicycles and useful scheduling.

The 100th anniversary of the Qualicum Beach Train Station was well organized and well-attended event showcasing the need for renewal of the E & N Railway. I attended with a group from Victoria.

Members of Island Corridor Foundation board deserve great credit for tireless work and patience in restoring rail passenger service which will benefit us all.

Avis Rasmussen

Victoria

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