ICF shortfall

I am bemused by the letters about the Island Corridor Foundation’s rail proposal, so let me throw some gasoline on the fire.

I am bemused by the letters about the Island Corridor Foundation’s rail proposal, so let me throw some gasoline on the fire.

Let’s compare the train to the bus. The bus has one driver, is a fraction of the train’s weight, uses far less fuel, can go to the center of any town on its route and runs on roads paid for by the taxpayer.

The train needs two operators, is very heavy, uses lots of fuel and can only go where the tracks go and it has a long history of fatal accidents, one of which resulted in a lawsuit against the City of Nanaimo.

The Island Corridor Foundation claims it will need $20 million to get the rails in shape.

Now the bad news. A study commissioned in 1990 by the B.C. Minister of Transportation lists capital cost estimates for a business plan to continue operation of the then E&N railway. On page 33 of this report it lists the capital cost for the Victoria to Courtney section at more than $80 million and the station upgrades required at more than $17 million. I think it is safe to say the costs of putting this line back in service have not gone down in the last 25 years.

Bill TraceQualicum Beach

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