The Island Corridor Foundation (formerly the E&N Railway on Vancouver Island) received some good news on June 28, 2011. The B.C. government agreed to provide funding for much needed track maintenance, albeit with provisos.
As a starter investment, the province will provide $500,000 to perform safety evaluations on the rail line’s 40 bridges. An additional $7 million will be provided, once the bridges are determined to be safe, AND when the ICF has found other partners willing to invest another $7.5 million. The obvious ‘other partner’ is the federal government. Local MPs are working to ensure federal support for the maintenance project.
Coincidentally, this funding announcement comes almost a year to the day, after the province released a major evaluation study on the E&N. The report has a detailed analysis on commuter rail, freight activity and potential, passenger rail scenarios and tourist train possibilities.