I cannot imagine how anyone could equate a dinosaur of a train, with a huge diesel engine, carrying half a dozen passengers in winter, and maybe 50 or even 100, in summer, as being either economical or eco-friendly.
It is also ludicrous to suggest that it might be helpful to commuters, even if the route were to be reversed. I understand that the train journey from Nanaimo to Victoria alone takes about 2.5 hours. Who would be likely to ride the train, when the same journey could be driven in a car in about 1.5 hours, and you don’t need a bus to take you from the station to your place of business?
Also, what if the required assessment were to find that the trestles are, in fact, in need of extensive repair? I suspect that another $15 million would be a mere fraction of the amount required to even sand-blast and paint the train bridges, let alone repair or replace one or more.
If you factor in the amount is costs to maintain crossings and flashing lights etc. the cost rises even more.
The other aspect is the safety issue. The rail line runs through parks, and dangerously close to major road intersections.
In the three and a half years we have lived in Parksville, there have been numerous accidents with the train, causing serious injury, and even death in several cases.
How long are we going to allow this to continue? It seems to me that it is time for these people to put aside their boyhood love of trains, and think a little more logically — especially where our tax dollars are concerned.
A much better idea would be to take out the ties, and make parts of the line into cycle paths.
Now that’s eco-friendly — and safer, too!