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

Crooner classics past and present in spotlight, courtesy of Ken Lavigne

Island tenor prepares for upcoming concert tour of Let Me Be Frank!

Port Alberni workers to honour Day of Mourning on April 28

Annual event honours workers who lost their lives on the job

Tseshaht First Nation athlete honoured with provincial sports award

Rain Thomas competes in three different sports

Alberni Valley firefighters pass the boot for Muscular Dystrophy

Annual fundraiser started in 1967 with Port Alberni Fire Department

Cougars spotted in Sproat Lake neighbourhoods

ACRD director warns residents to keep children, pets close

VIDEO: Alberni Valley celebrates Easter weekend

Port Alberni children enjoy Easter egg hunts and spring activities

New commemorative loonie marking ‘progress’ for LGBTQ2 people to be unveiled today

But advocates say it mistakenly suggests equality has been achieved largely as a result of government actions

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Man’s body found in popular Cowichan Valley hiking area

Police say death not suspicious after discovery in Stoney Hill area overlooking Saltspring Island

Most Read