The E&N train service was one of the things that drew my wife and I to the mid-Island.
We relished the idea of not having to drive to the larger centres down Island. Now that the rail system has been discontinued, we very seldom head off anywhere beyond Nanaimo. It’s a shame, but we just see the drive as too much of a hassle.
It constantly amazes us when on our travels, there are so many railway/rapid transit systems that are flourishing. Every time we visit areas with railways, we take the opportunity to go for a ride. Each time we take a cruise, we always opt for an excursion with a rail trip. Why? Because it’s a fantastic way to see the countryside.
Vancouver Island would be no different for those tourists or travellers that visit us. They love to get out and explore. People would get a completely different view of the landscape and be able to take in the scenery without having to pay attention to driving.
The population of the Island is going to increase dramatically. Just in our immediate area alone – Bowser, Deep Bay and Union Bay – plans are in place for a couple of thousand or more homes to be built. Land preparation is already underway. We have to do better than to rely only on highways/roads to move the population around the island. We already have a train corridor in place. We should use it for the purposes for which it was intended. A creative mind and some careful planning could include cycling and walking trails, broadening the overall appeal.
Yes, I agree there is a lot of work and probably many changes to bring the E&N back into service.
Yes, I agree there will be a high cost. But when did doing anything worthwhile come cheap?
Yes, I vote for a stress-free transportation system that connects the island!