Vancouver Island passenger rail soon to be back on track
An historic railroad that first roared to life in the 1800’s may soon be back on track.
It’s the old E&N rail line that runs from Esquimalt to Courtenay on Vancouver Island.
Passenger rail service on that line came to an end in 2011 due to safety concerns and a mounting bill to keep tracks in order.
Now a tentative deal has been signed between VIA Rail, the Island Corridor Foundation and the Southern Railway of Vancouver Island. Nearly 21 million has been committed by three levels of government to upgrade the tracks and bridges along the route.
An operating agreement is expected to be ratified in August,
It’s hoped that service between Nanaimo and Victoria will be operational by May 2015. Full service to Courtenay and Qualicum beach will likely be phased in Summer of 2015.
With files from Catherine Urquhart.