Start the trains

Letting the opportunity to restart rail service pass us by would be a tragedy

I would urge all levels of government to give very careful consideration to restarting rail passenger service without any more unnecessary delays.

There are cogent and urgent reasons against further procrastination.

The main benefits that a dynamic rail service should be providing for Vancouver Island may probably be briefly grouped under:

Transportation:  for commuters, business users, students, shoppers, families and especially tourists.

General economy: the value of a well-maintained travel corridor for present and future development, employment, public convenience and opportunity to explore natural beauty.

Tourism: the co-operative planning and use of the Island Via Rail could have enormous economic long-range potential for touristic activities, significant attractions.

So far, there has been an incredible lack of comfortable utilization or colourful design, let alone any sort of enthusiastic promotion.

There are some needs, for example: user-friendly timetables for single day trips, bus/taxis to meet, easy access for possible hiker accommodation, refreshments available on the train or at certain stations, maps, local information, historical backgrounds, trail access points and a variety of inclusive fare structures.

Up to now, our ability without a car to travel around the Island’s beautiful, quiet locations is characterized by a lack of imagination and initiative.

Richard Gilman


Qualicum Beach