Better rail uses

Perhaps those at the ICF would like to look at a more viable alternative to resurrecting Robert Dunsmuir’s railroad.

Perhaps those at the ICF would like to look at a more viable alternative to the “once more with feeling” push for resurrecting Robert Dunsmuir’s railroad.

I imagine the current hue and cry for the return of the railroad sounds much like the fuss mounted by the buggy manufacturers at the inception of the automobile. This alarmism for something that may be “lost forever” has its source in fear, not in the optimistic embrace of relevant enterprise that reflects the current attitudes of a forward-looking and environmentally conscious society that we have today.

It seems to me that the economic benefits of a walking/cycling trail has not been adequately addressed here on the island. Consider La Route Verte (The Green Route) in the province of Quebec (http://www.routeverte.com/rv/home). It has over 4,000 km of cycling trails, the largest in North America, with a presence in over 28 different tourist regions including Montreal, Quebec City and the Eastern Townships. All along its extensive route are many B&B’s, hotels, and campgrounds certified under the Bienvenue Cyclistes program. Cyclists now come from all over the world to enjoy Quebec’s Velo-Tourism.

Does one really think that our idyllic, modestly populated island home is a candidate for mass transit, or high-speed commuter rail? With Greyhound Bus Lines cutting back its service in the recent past due to lack of ridership, what makes us think that the appetite persists for train ridership?

Imagine the same corridor, built for the out-moded, unprofitable railroad, re-purposed as a green route, beautiful Vancouver Island style. Let us allow dollars, instead, to flow naturally to those providing the spin-off services that will grow from the endeavour.

Craig DrummondQualicum Beach

Just Posted

Would-be thieves strike Serious Coffee in Parksville

Shop’s front door smashed Saturday night, alarm scared off intruders

Tips and tricks for making a gingerbread house

Take your time and test your design, says Vancouver Island University instructor

Rotarians from Qualicum Beach Sunrise Club help homeless

Hot breakfast served to those in need

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

VIDEO: Craft growers will add to recreational market, cannabis producer says

Two B.C. men say their expertise in running small legal medical grow-ops a benefit to recreational market

Most Read