Rail makes no sense

There are better ways to utilize the island corridor

I am writing in response to “Railway crosses another bridge” (The News, Nov. 16), which reports on the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) initiative to restore passenger rail service on Vancouver Island.

If this taxpayer-funded initiative is successful we may get a whole lot more than we bargained for.

“It just doesn’t make any sense” (Coun. Dave Willie, (The News, Nov. 9). I agree.

In this time of austerity, budget cuts and ferry service reductions, why would the federal and provincial governments commit $15 million to restore rail service for ridership levels of a few dozen passengers per day? A visit to the ICF website sheds some light:

“There is the potential of hauling coal from a proposed coal mine near Fanny Bay to the Port of Alberni. The ICF owns the Alberni sub rail line that connects to the main rail line. SVI has been working to develop a rail option for hauling coal by train rather than by truck.”

The route map on the Southern Rail of B.C. website also proves interesting (Southern Rail owns SVI): along with the highlighted rail line through Oceanside shown on the map, a red star marks the proposed location of the Raven Underground Coal Mine.

The $15 million worth of enthusiasm shown by our MP and MLA is starting to make a lot more sense.

Now why-oh-why haven’t we heard more about this aspect of the rail restoration initiative? Surely a tax-dollar supported plan to run coal trains through Qualicum Beach and Parksville neighbourhoods should be something to get excited about. Think of the health benefits. Think of the effect on property value: nothing says “buy me” quite like “coal train.”

I also encourage residents of Qualicum Beach and Parksville to read the full rail plan on the ICF website, and to contact the RDN board (http://www.rdn.bc.ca). The board’s final vote on is Nov. 27.

Glen Pugh





Just Posted

Developers go back to drawing board after high-rise application deferred by Parksville council

IAG Developments has proposed a multi-building development on city’s waterfront

Parksville man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Nick Major, 21, was a taekwondo instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

WATCH: Parksville Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first extended steps in nearly three decades

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

How to judge the sand sculptures like a pro at the 2019 Parksville Beach Festival

World-class arbiter gives insight on how to choose a winner

City of Parksville warns of utility-payment phone scam

City says phone scammers are impersonating city staff demanding past-due cash

VIDEO: Plant-based burgers may not be as healthy as they seem

Both the Impossible and Beyond Burger have more saturated fat than beef burgers

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Man stabbed in leg outside Vancouver Island courthouse

Campbell River RCMP responded to a report from BC Ambulance of a… Continue reading

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Multiple complaints filed to Town of Comox against accordion player

Comox received multiple complaints regarding accordion music in a freedom of information request

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Most Read