Preserved E&N a possibility

Supporting a preserved E&N railway, would be supporting a continuing and viable economy on Vancouver Island.

To the Editor,

The venerable E&N Railway is approaching a very important period in its history: whether the railway will continue or not. As politicians hesitantly debate its future, one option should be explored: run the railway as a “Preserved Railway”, using the successful UK model.

Today, in the UK, there are more than 50 standard gauge and more than 20 narrow gauge preserved railways in operation, offering scheduled passenger services with many operating all year round. The preserved railways were created by groups of people wanting to retain and operate local and historic railways, many using steam locomotives.

The foundation for an “E&N preservation society” is already in place, with scores of volunteers already maintaining the rights-of-way from Victoria to Courtenay and Port Alberni.

The E&N preservation society could be the umbrella group to operate and maintain the railway, offering live steam excursions; Via Rail passenger operation; a scheduled freight service; and a commuter railway for Greater Victoria.

Far-fetched? No, as many UK preserved railways successfully do the same thing.

A preserved E&N Railway would not only be an international tourist draw, it would be a magnet for the movie industry, which searches internationally for vintage railway locations. If anyone has watched British cinema and TV drama, have all seen the British preserved railway in full operation. Movie sets they are not.

What is most important is that a preserved E&N Railway would not only be a regional railway or tourism and movie industry generator, it would be a jobs generator. The financial spin-off from a preserved E&N, from jobs to increasing business potential, would be tremendous.

Supporting a preserved E&N railway, would be supporting a continuing and viable economy on Vancouver Island.

Malcolm Johnston,

Delta

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Port Alberni writer featured at Alberni Valley Words on Fire

Vicki Drybrough’s poetry and short stories have been published in anthologies and literary journals

Tour de Rock alumni ride through Port Alberni

Event was scaled down this year in response to COVID-19

Third brewery on the way for Port Alberni

Alberni Brewing Company hopes to open in early 2021

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Port Alberni long-term care home gets new bath chair

Westhaven residents say thanks to WCGH Foundation for donation

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Most Read