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Vancouver Island railway in dilapidated state

The VIA Rail dayliner on Vancouver island between Victoria and Courtenay has been cancelled until further notice. The dilapidated nature of the track has finally been noticed by the authorities. In the meantime, the train service is being replaced by bus, and there’s no word on when the train service will come back.

According to VIA’s press release:

“An inspection of the tracks and structures between Victoria and Nanaimo was conducted jointly over the last two days by Southern Railway of Vancouver Island (SRVI), the BC Safety Authority, the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and VIA.  Following that inspection, SRVI informed VIA of its decision that significant infrastructure improvement will be required before passenger rail service can resume on this route.”

The problem has been years of neglect and systematic under-investment in our transportation system for years, except for highways, which are lavished with funding.  The provincial government needs to immediately follow the recommendations of the Island Corridor Foundation which calls for $30 million dollars in funding for urgent repair of ties, rails, and ballast. This will also enable the re-jigging of the passenger schedule to doulble the service and enable a commuter service to be added to the existing Victoria-Courtenay-Victoria daily round-trip.

What you can do is contact the powers that be at the Island Corridor Foundation’s You can help make a new passenger rail service a reality page to help get funding to repair this vital transportation link.

VIA Rail Canada press release

Island Corridor Foundation – the owner of the railway corridor

Vancouver Island Railway
Corridor somewhere between Courtenay and Qualicum Beach Aug-2008

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