Advantages of rail

Regarding the movement to turn the Island Rail Corridor into a trail.

Regarding the movement to turn the Island Rail Corridor into a trail.

Consider that 50 years ago, the population of Vancouver Island was about 150,000. Now it is 780,000. The amount of traffic on the highways is increasing daily.

Transportation by auto has been around awhile, but is not efficient. If the rail transportation corridor is torn up and turned into trails, or the real estate sold, it will be gone forever. This seems to me to be very shortsighted.

The Island Rail Corridor may face funding problems now, but if the process is supported and encouraged, eventually we will have a transportation alternative to a choked and expensive highway. The costs of repairing and restarting the rail service will be minimal compared to the costs associated with continuously improving the highway to accommodate the increase in traffic.

An updated rail system would support commercial traffic, containers and commodities, helping to reduce the increase in heavy truck traffic. One doesn’t have to look far to see the advantages of a rail system, the West Coast Express, the Canada Line and Skytrain in Vancouver, light rail in Calgary. Residents of the Seattle area, as they sit idling on Interstate 5, look north with envy. I would urge a more long range transportation plan for Vancouver Island than a walking trail.

Roy StewartParksville

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