LETTER: Rails not trails on Vancouver Island

I do not agree with getting rid of the train and creating bike and walking trails…

To the Editor,

This is a letter concerning rail travel on Vancouver Island.

I have written it as a cancer patient who had to travel to Victoria for six weeks and then for regular checkups thereafter. It was great to have the facility of transportation by the Masons, but would have been more relaxing and less stressful had I been able to take the train—no Malahat delays to worry about, and an easily-accessible washroom.

Many other patients are in similar circumstances and travel all the way from Port Hardy, Campbell River, Courtenay, Port Alberni, etc.

I do not agree with getting rid of the train and creating bike and walking trails.

If set up properly, the rail system would be of great benefit to those needing to get to Victoria for specialist appointments, the cancer clinic and hospitals.

The previously-run E&N had it backwards—running from Victoria to Courtenay. It would make more sense to run the train from Courtenay to Victoria in the morning and back to Courtenay from Victoria in the evening, allowing also for those who like to shop or visit in Victoria.

Other points of interest could be added for those wishing to spend time in Qualicum, Parksville, Nanaimo, Ladysmith, Chemainus, or even to connect to a train going to Port Alberni. In the summer they could take trips up the Alberni Inlet and to Bamfield.

Think outside the box! This could be a very lucrative venture if handled properly, with vision.

Bike and walking trails are great for the younger folk, but as one ages and health diminishes, the necessity of trains and buses is a reality.

Our older generation has worked and contributed towards a better way of life.

Let’s not deny them the pleasure and enjoyment of life and this form of transportation in their latter years, where health does not permit walking or biking.

Ken W. Bordian,

Parksville

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