B.C. government seeks assessment of Vancouver Island rail line

RELATED TOPICS: CANADA | PASSENGER | COMMUTER RAILROADS
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ENRDCsJohnston
VIA Rail Canada service arrives in Parkhurst, British Columbia, in 2006. The Vancouver Island service last operated in 2011, but the provincial government is seeking a contractor to assess the condition of the rail route.
Bob Johnston

VICTORIA, British Columbia — British Columbia’s provincial government is seeking a contractor to assess the condition of the former Esquimalt & Nanaimo rail line. The assessment of the 140-mile line to Courtenay, B.C., and its spur to Port Alberni, will look to determine what would be required to create commuter rail service between Victoria and Langford, about 9 miles away, and to upgrade the route for freight service.

A group of 13 area mayors sent a letter to the provincial government earlier this month, asking that rail service be restored. [See “Mayors urge funding to restore Vancouver Island rail service,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 8, 2019.] The route last saw rail service in 2011.

A 2017 assessment by the non-profit Island Corridor Foundation, owner of the route, estimated that restoring the 70 miles from line from Victoria to Nanaimo would cost $42.7 million Canadian, with another $52.4 for the rest of the route, the Times-Colonist newspaper reports.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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