Rail, trail both bad ideas for E&N corridor

Why the continuing debate about the E&N Railway service being restored, or the line being converted into a trail system, when both ideas are ridiculous?

In either case, 98 per cent of B.C. taxpayers would be continually paying for something that only two per cent of B.C. residents would use.

The existing route is hardly what you would call scenic, since for most of the way all you see is trees on both sides of the tracks. The idea that the summer cruise ship passengers could use the route during a one-day visit is preposterous. I don’t know how anyone can describe a rail trip to and from Victoria as being convenient, when compared to driving a car or taking a bus. No shipping company would consider the inconvenience or higher cost of sending their goods by rail on this route.

Want to know why British Rail is feasible and E&N is not? Look at the populations served, per capita and per kilometre.

Victoria to Comox: 225km and roughly 410,000 people, or 1,800 per km. London to Sheffield: also about 225km, but roughly 9,000,000 people, or 40,000 per km.

If I were a tourist from anywhere else in the world, my last choice for a walking, hiking, or cycling trail would be the E&N railway route.

The best and lowest-cost choice for what to do with the E&N would be to just forget about it and let nature overtake it.

Conserve it as a public right-of-way for the next 50 or 100 years, when there may be a more sensible solution.

Tony Markle


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