It’s quietly business as usual for the E&N

Waiting game continues in quest for direction on service ceased since 2011

Southern Rail of Vancouver Island continues to conduct weekly inspection and maintenance of the long-dormant E&N railway while awaiting direction on its future.

According to the Island Corridor Foundation, ongoing work on the Victoria-to-Nanaimo corridor includes replacement of ties and rails, culvert and drainage inspection/replacement, vegetation management, signal inspection and maintenance at grade crossings.

In a news release following its January board meeting, the ICF notes that Premier John Horgan does not want further railway studies, but does want to see a decision about passenger service within the next two years.

Foundation directors and representatives of Southern Rail met last year with Transportation Minister Claire Trevena to remind her of the many studies already undertaken.

RELATED: ICF seeks clarity from province

“The Province continues to look at the E&N rail line as a possible way to improve transportation on Vancouver Island,” the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a statement. “(Esquimalt-Metchosin) MLA Mitzi Dean is leading discussions with local First Nations and municipal partners about how best to transform the E&N line into a functional corridor, and to make sure their ideas and needs are included in our plans.

“Although these consultations are focused on the southern part of Vancouver Island, they will influence decisions on the future of the full E&N rail line. MLA Dean’s consultation will inform government’s next steps on the E&N rail line in the coming months.”

The ICF owns the E&N line. Via Rail, which halted passenger service in 2011 due to safety concerns, says it will resume service when the state of the tracks passes regulatory inspections and safety requirements. Local and senior governments have committed millions to restore the service, though federal fudning is being withheld due to a lawsuit by the Snawthe Regional District of Nanaimo withdrew its commitment of nearly $1 million.

A group dubbed, Friends of Rails to Trails Vancouver Island, would like to see the 224-kilometre railway from Victoria to Courtenay become a multi-use trail.

RELATED: Derailed — a detailed look at the state of Island rail service

Just Posted

Blue Sox dominate Sneak Attack at Fathers Day Classic

Blue Sox got out to an early lead and kept building on it with strong hitting and quality fielding.

North Island Rising: Minority Rules – Women & Politics

Male politicians continue to out number female politicians in the North Island.

North Island Concert Society reports on a successful season

It was a successful season for the NICS in terms of increased attendance.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: The Merry Widow Mountain trail

“Early morning light is best for photos of the face of the mountain”

Kwakwaka’wakw families march in Port Hardy in honour of MMIWG

Red dresses lined Market Street in honour of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls.

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Update: Two shot, two arrested at Toronto Raptors victory rally

The team and several dignitaries, including Justin Trudeau, remained on stage

Most Read