Island Corridor Foundation ramps up efforts to reinstate rail service

E&N Corridor

The Island Corridor Foundation says the groundwork to assess the condition of the old E&N Rail corridor has done, and they expect a report will be released by the end of this year.

The assessment began after all 13 mayors in the Capital Regional District signed a letter urging the Province to take the necessary steps to reinstate rail service for residents.

In preparation for the coming discussions --  the ICF is inviting the mayors to take a ride in a rail-capable pick up truck ( a "high rail") to give them a firsthand look at how easy it would be to start service up again:

" This is an existing rail corridor. You know, we're not out there expropriating land, we don't need to relocate homes or businesses, we aren't moving utilities or roads, this is really not complicated. It needs to be viewed in practical terms. And I think the approach they are taking is practical, and I hope it does produce practical results."

Stevenson says the assessment will determine the cost of bringing the corridor back up to standard -- including work on bridge decks:

" They need probably 10 to 14 million dollars worth of work. But that's decking issues, that's not structural issues. We don't have to go in and wipe out bridges, we just have to go in and make sure they are brought up to standard.  And it's part of that continued degradation that's gone on because the track really hasn't been used."

After taking the trip last week Esquimalt's Barb Desjardins called revitalizing rail service "a no brainer."  The trip from Langford to Downtown took 23 minutes -- and that's before proper signals and upgrades are in place.

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