Cost and scheduling the key questions for resuming rail line service

Commuters must be taken into account to take cars off the Malahat

The Island Corridor Foundation is back in the news again, with another revised proposal for the abandoned rail line on the Island. Actually, the ICF is likely to be continually mentioned from time to time until something is finally done.

The big problem, of course, is money. That has to be sorted out before anything constructive can possibly be accomplished.

The other ongoing problem before a commuter train or any other kind of rail service can resume is scheduling.

Many have pointed out there’s no sense in having a train running that won’t properly match the schedule of the people it’s attempting to serve for work purposes and taking some of the ridiculous number of cars off the Malahat.

Some common sense seems to be prevailing. Efforts are now being concentrated on the Nanaimo to Victoria portion of the line.

Again, there are two factors at work here: commuters and tourists. How the rail line could work for both remains a perplexing question.

Being right in the middle of the two populated areas could work well for Chemainus. Tourist traffic could certainly flow between the two centres to Chemainus, accentuating the tourists who already arrive here regularly by bus and benefiting the town economically.

There is an attempt being made for commuter traffic around the Victoria suburbs to utilize the line to a large degree and that makes sense. How things are going to play out beyond Victoria isn’t clear, but needs to be done for the future with our population on the South Island growing like crazy.

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