E&N Rail cars leaving Island for good

Rail cars loaded on barge in Nanaimo and sent back to Eastern Canada

First, they left Victoria’s roundhouse for storage in Nanaimo, and now the E&N Rail passenger rail cars are gone from Vancouver Island for good.

Via Rail loaded the cars onto a barge this morning to be returned to Eastern Canada.

Graham Bruce, executive director of the Island Corridor Foundation, said the move is no surprise, though he doesn’t know what Via plans to do with the cars. They have been in storage since the E&N Rail tracks were closed in March due to deterioration.

“They have told us that they have a new train set for us, a three-car train set, which is to come out here in the spring time,” said Bruce. Receipt of the cars, however, is dependent on improvements to the track.

The first step in those upgrades is underway.

Thanks to a $500,000 grant from the province, the ICF has hired Associated Engineering to assess the condition of the track’s 48 bridges and trestles.

“That audit is underway right now,” said Bruce. “They’re doing weight loading testing (until the end of the week). Yesterday, we had the engines up at the Niagara Trestle running them back and forth.”

Pending a positive result from the bridge audit, the province has committed another $7 million for track upgrades, on condition the federal government matches the grant.

“We’re really trying to get from the feds their answer,” said Bruce.

“We want to make sure this is all part of the process, being that they’re taking the cars, and in due course the announcement for the $7.5 million comes forward, we can get on with the work and the new train set will come out.”

The fear is that the cars are “quietly being removed from the Island and then nothing more materializes,” he added.

Bruce said the bridge audit is expected to be complete by February and will be made public.

To date, the field work has not flagged any significant problems, he said. “I don’t think yet there’s any show stoppers but we’ll know for sure … by February.”

Just Posted

Pipeline protestors plan march as Trudeau gives Trans Mountain the go-ahead,

20 kilometre march to protest the pipeline starts in Victoria, ends on Saanich Peninsula

Summer transit route increases hit Greater Victoria hotspots starting July 1

Canada Day routes operate on Sunday-level service with select late-night service

Juan de Fuca Marine Trail re-opens after lengthy repairs

The trail has been closed since February

Province invests $2.7 million in Indigenous teacher education training

Money to go towards teacher spots and Indigenous teaching practices

Province promises July policy changes to help break cycle of poverty in B.C.

Families providing room and board to kin will no longer be financially penalized

BREAKING: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Ginger Goodwin’s Cumberland cemetery grave desecrated

Just days before the Miners Memorial weekend, Ginger Goodwin’s grave has been… Continue reading

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Police make arrest after report of a man brandishing a gun at Campbell River-area lake

43-year-old man from the Comox area has since been charged with multiple offences

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

Most Read