When passenger rail service resumes on Vancouver Island sometime in 2013, those who use it will find some big changes in the experience, says Southern Rail president Frank Butzelaar.
The first change people will notice, he said, will be the improved schedule, which will allow passengers to travel to Victoria, have a day of shopping and return that same night. However, there will be several others.
“All three bud cars have been sent to New Brunswick for restoration and they will be completely rebuilt, with brand new interiors and new engines, so it will be basically new equipment,” he said.
As well, he said, one of the cars is going to be used to transport baggage and, more importantly, bikes.
“People can get on with a bike and get off, ride along one of the new trails along the railway and get back on and go home again,” he said. “It’s quite a bit of forward thinking. The long-term vision for the corridor is as a bike path adjacent to the railway, extending the full length, so having the ability to carry bikes dovetails quite nicely.”
Not only bicycles will likely be carried aboard however. In the winter time, skis and skiers could utilize the rail service, travelling to Mount Washington from as far away as Victoria.
“We think there is a great opportunity for us to co-market with them,” he said.