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

Just Posted

B.C. declares state of emergency as wildfires rage

More than 3,300 firefighters are battling more than 500 fires

ARTS AROUND: It’s time to get creative with myriad workshops

Summer camps at Rollin Art Centre in Port Alberni are wrapping up

Alberni lacrosse players compete in national tournament

The B.C. bantam team finished fourth out of twelve teams

Port Alberni RCMP recover stolen tool chest

Police still searching for the rightful owner

Kuu-us Crisis Service celebrates 25th anniversary

Port Alberni-based business sets sights on national realm

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Thieves steal supplies, tools and juice boxes from B.C. summer camp

‘Take a moment to think about who you stole from,’ says Burns Bog Society’s Mark Robertson

Women-owned businesses generate $68,000 less revenue than men’s: survey

When Dionne Laslo-Baker sought a bank loan to expand her burgeoning organic popsicle and freezies business in 2014, she was “shocked” by the feedback she received from one of the bankers.

Hedley frontman’s alleged sex offences case returns to court

Jacob Hoggard faces three sexual assault-related charges will return to a Toronto courtroom this morning.

Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

More than one hundred municipal wastewater systems did not report how much raw sewage overflowed from their pipes in 2017.

Priests molested 1,000 children in Pennsylvania, report says

The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came forward.

Defiant as Trump rages, Omarosa says she won’t be silenced

Manigault Newman declared she will not be silenced by President Donald Trump, remaining defiant as her public feud with her former boss shifted from a war of words to a possible legal battle.

Death toll hits 39 in Italy bridge collapse; blame begins

The collapse of the Morandi Bridge sent dozens of cars and three trucks plunging as much as 45 metres (150 feet) to the ground Tuesday.

Most Read