Utilize rail structure already in place

After returning from three weeks riding trains around Provence, France, it was disheartening to read shortsighted letters like that of Henry Krzywicki (Letters, April 25) and David Croot (May 4) who suggest getting rid of the railway and making local bike trails for a handful of people. It was refreshing to read an excellent letter from Avis Rasmussen (Letters, May 17) stating many reasons for supporting the Island Corridor Foundation and getting the railway going again.

You do not need huge cities to support the rail – a trip up the Var River valley in Provence, passing through about 40 small villages, none of which were as large as Parksville, would show how important it is for local young families, elderly, tourists, etc., to have this service.

The terrain was much more difficult than up Island, with many bridges and tunnels – building and maintenance personnel from that line would laugh at anyone suggesting a difficult job here! We have spent money on fast ferries and other expensive schemes so obviously money should not be a problem for our governments; of course it will be expensive – if we do no maintenance on Highway 19 for 30 years, that would also be an expensive fix.

Everything is in place but certainly needs upgrading; let’s get at it.

Naysayers said Edmonton did not need their LRT, but every LRT parking area is now full daily. The Canada Line, with all its detractors, was fully used within about three months. Why moan and groan about the cost and availability of parking in Edmonton or Victoria if you could hop on a train, avoid helping clog the roads, and arrive refreshed instead of tense from trying not to get killed on the narrow chunk of road called the Malahat ?

Ed Fergusson


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