We cannot go backwards when it comes to rail and ICF

Alberni resident Dennis Dalla-Vicenza sounds off about VIA Rail and the Island Corridor Foundation.

To the Editor,

It’s been three years since any VIA passenger train travelled up or down Vancouver Island. We keep getting told a train service agreement (TSA) is “imminent”, but nothing materializes.

Hypothesis time:

You are a corporate entity (VIA) with a few million dollars worth of heritage rail equipment. You place this equipment with an entity that is supposed to run it for you under contract (TSA).

You pay the bills for fuel, labour and ticket sales.

You pay a provision to the operator to run the passenger train system for you on maintained infrastructure that you pay to maintain.

When you hear rumblings that the system in operation is not up to snuff with maintenance, you query your hired contractor and he assures you all is fine.

Upon hearing of the maintenance problem over and over, you send in you own team of inspectors and you find the rail system to be in such poor condition that you pull your tour (not commuter) contract.

Would you be willing to again get into a contract with these people who have misled you about rail conditions and who basically did not live up to their obligation as your contracted agent?

I know I wouldn’t.

So why are people expecting VIA Rail to continue working with their “contractor”, the Island Corridor Foundation?

Dennis Dalla-Vicenza,

Port Alberni

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