Lunney puts trains on federal agenda

One of the top priorities for Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney over the course of the federal government’s new mandate will be to get the trains running on Vancouver Island again.

Speaking from Ottawa, Lunney said he has already begun work to help secure funding for the E&N Railway.

“Securing funding for the E&N is one of my priorities,” he said. “I think the railway is a priority for me and for many on the Island.”

Lunney conceded his job of securing funding to upgrade the track to the point where passenger service can be re-established faces a number of hurdles.

“The challenge I have is that infrastructure investments are partnerships,” he said.

“I am not going to be successful if the province is not on board. However, I see some very hopeful signals coming out of the new minister, positive signals that he is seeking funding from cabinet. That’s a very positive sign and he encouraging the federal government to partner with them.”

Lunney said a revitalized rail system doesn’t have to be fancy, just efficient and reliable.

“The distances are not great on the Island, so it doesn’t need to be a rocket train,” he said. “It has to be competent and safe, not just for passengers but also for dangerous goods. The recent  spill on the Malahat is a case in point.”

Renewed rail service, he added, could also prove to be an economic driver.

“Another reason to retain rail on the Island is the possibility of wing and rail tours,” he said.

Despite a few naysayers, he added, he sees very broad support for retaining rail service on Vancouver Island.

“There’s tremendous momentum to retain rail on the Island, besides a few who don’t like hearing the whistle going by twice a day.”

The E&N Dayliner has not operated since March 19, when passenger service between Victoria and Courtenay was ceased due to poor track conditions.

Besides the E&N issue, Lunney said he is working to improve tsunami preparations on Vancouver Island, and to tighten up regulations regarding derelict vessels.

Just Posted

Brush fire breaks out near Taylor Arm Park

Fire forces partial closure of Highway 4 west of Port Alberni

Rosalind Chapman seeks seat on Port Alberni city council

Community volunteer and longtime Alberni Valley resident Rosalind Chapman will seek a… Continue reading

Accident causes power outage on Beaver Creek Road

One sent to West Coast General Hospital in crash

Inside the music: step behind the curtain at the venerable Vancouver Island Music Festival

Big Read: VIMF in the Comox Valley exemplifies the spirit of an Island summer music festival

Save-On-Foods donates to summer kids’ program in Port Alberni

Food bank takes over from breakfast programs once summer vacation starts

BC Games: Day 2 comes to an end

Hundreds of medals have been handed out at the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Accident on Vancouver Island after artillery gun rolls down hill and damages taxi

Witness says accident happend about 1 p.m. Saturday; RCMP investigating

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Two significant wildfires burning in southeastern B.C.

More than 20 fires were burning in the Southeast Fire Centre as of Saturday afternoon

Volunteers provide the glue that keeps BC Games moving

The 2018 Cowichan Summer Games had more than 2,300 volunteers on hand across Vancouver Island

No Name brand chicken nuggets recalled due to possible salmonella

Canadian Food Inspection Agency says multiple illnesses reported in B.C., Alberta and Ontario

Lodeiro scores twice to help Sounders beat Whitecaps 2-0

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he converted a penalty kick

Race walker breaks 18-year-old BC Games record

Zone 6 athlete Olivia Lundman crossed finish line with ease, to loud cheers in Cowichan

PHOTO GALLERY: BC Games Day 2

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Most Read