While there are concerns on the use of taxes for the renewal of the E&N rail line, let us not forget that provincial taxes have been offered for a high speed Vancouver-Seattle rail line. Furthermore, federal taxes are in play for a high speed rail line between Windsor, Ont. and Québec City.
Neither of these billion dollar improvements will benefit residents travelling to and from Victoria for work from up-Island.
The single traffic lane around Goldstream, from four lanes into one, is the daily bottleneck for homebound traffic; yet the rail line sits idle for people.
All up-Island is expanding, with the Nanaimo airport now used for non-stop flights to Toronto. There have been numerous upgrades of the Nanaimo airport and flights since 2012.
Westcoast Express/GO train double decker commuter cars (162 passenger capacity each) are needed to move people to Victoria to work and to return them back home on the Victoria-Courtenay rail line (summer and winter). Duncan or Nanaimo could be the halfway point where the northbound section continues north or the southbound section joins on its way to Victoria.
Part of the rail line is still in use. I recently saw six giant tanker cars being pulled in Nanaimo by two locomotives.
However, the entire rail line support system needs to be overhauled.
We have 30 wheel (two-unit) trucks hauling product to the ferries. I recently saw a short three-unit truck operation in Kimberley. Can we now expect to see three-unit truck operations on Hwy. 1 TCH? I photographed a three-unit truck-train in Alice Springs, Australia. It required 62 wheels. Such truck trains belong on a rail bed, not on the TCH. Imagine passing such a truck train on the TCH during a storm or any time. We need the rail bed for commuters and freight.
George R. Weiss