Island trains unrealistic

Al Nichol’s letter ‘Seniors want trains’ (The NEWS, May 20) is one of several representing a wish for a practical rail service.

Al Nichol’s letter ‘Seniors want trains’ (The NEWS, May 20) is one of several representing a wish for a practical rail service, particularly for seniors.

I agree that this would be of great benefit, were it a realistic proposition. Leaving his negative comments regarding the value that a trail would bring to all communities aside for now, let’s take a step back and look at what rail entails.

First, nobody is talking about how many freight cars will be rolling through the Parksville Qualicum Beach area to pay for the tracks. Secondly, resources are unlikely to be driven far on road to a rail line, so expect mines, clear cuts and who knows what other resource extraction industries to be forced on communities along the corridor (remember, you asked for rail, so to give you what you want, we need to bring in these projects).

Third, what kind of passenger service are we talking about? For around a single per cent of the $140 to $200 million dollars an infrastructure reinstatement would cost, we could subsidize bus services that would offer the flexibility to go into the communities that need them at times that they will be of use.

Compare this with the proposed weekday rail service, heading south from Nanaimo at 5:30 a.m.. Finally (for now), please recognize that there is no way to remove the thousands of road and driveway crossings that have been put in place since the railway was first established. Those proponents of rail citing its efficiency are comparing apples with oranges, similar to comparing fuel efficiency between urban and highway driving.

Those who think they are in favour of rail need to demand those who represent them to clarify exactly what the impacts will be on our communities, and how a passenger service will compare with the cozy, pie-in-the-sky perception most people currently hold. It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee before you’re waking up to the sound of this beautiful area being destroyed.

Michael Addiscott

Qualicum Beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gord John stands during question period in Ottawa in Sept. 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY CHRISTIAN DIOTTE, HOUSE OF COMMONS PHOTO SERVICES)
2020: A Year in Review with Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns

NDP MP wants to ‘build back better’ in 2021

Colin Springford expressed his thanks following a birthday truck parade that was held for him on his 75th birthday on April 10, 2020. (Submitted photo)
Longtime Nanoose Bay farmer Colin Springford dies at age 75

‘He will be deeply missed, always loved and never forgotten’

Parksville Fire Department crews attended the scene of a house fire on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at the end of Foster Place in Parksville. No injuries were reported. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Fire crews called to battle house fire in Parksville

No injuries reported, kitty rescued

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hikers among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

The RCMP are reminding drivers to find alternative ways home if they have consumed anything that impairs their ability to drive. (Black Press file photo)
Impaired Island driver flees road check twice on the same night

The officer issued the driver numerous violation tickets, and a four-month driving suspension

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

The objectives of the Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society include peer support for parents and caregivers, as well as developing support services, projects, educational and employment opportunities for people with Down Syndrome. Photo supplied.
Vancouver Island Down Syndrome Society offers support for families in the community

New non-profit seeking directors in cities across Vancouver Island

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Most Read