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

Father of murdered realtor pens open letter pleading for help from Saanich mayor

Lindsay Buziak was stabbed to death on Feb. 2, 2008, her case remains open

Victoria adoption centre closes despite effort to save it; B.C. left with two agencies

Choices Adoption and Pregnancy Counselling in Victoria was set to close in April

Proposed four-storey Victoria parkade offers zero spots for public use

A proposed parkade at 730-780 Summit Ave. will soon be up for discussion

Saanich man discovers hidden corners of city while cycling every street in Victoria

Cyclist maps progress while taking on 2019 goal to cover every street with road sign

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

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

At least 3 hurt in California school shooting, gunman sought

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department looking for a male suspect in black clothing was seen at the location

Transgender inmate in Surrey denied transfer to women’s prison

Petitioner argued denial of transfer to women’s prison was unreasonable and unfair

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh to meet with Trudeau today to discuss throne speech

Top ask will be for Liberal support for the immediate creation of a national universal pharmacare program

B.C. set to announce changes around youth vaping, regulations

Move will involved education, tightening access, working with partners and pressuring the federal government

Most Read