Fixing the E&N a waste of money

Re: Island rail service stopped in its tracks, News, April 15, 2011.

The Island Corridor Foundation is currently lobbying the federal and provincial governments for a $15 million grant to replace 100,000 ties, pay for re-ballasting tracks and for a comprehensive bridge and trestle assessment.

Where will the money come from to repair bridges and trestles, upgrade railway crossings, buy rail cars — not to mention operating costs for crews’ salaries and regular maintenance which, we all know, the ICF cannot afford even now?

In my view, the harm to local residents far outweighs the potential benefits. I am not convinced that enhanced rail service, commuter or freight, would alleviate traffic congestion problems, or provide significant environmental benefits.

Additional trains would however increase noise, dust, diesel-emission pollution and create greater safety hazards for all of us.

Any tax dollars spent on infrastructure in this region should be dedicated to an overpass at McKenzie Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway.

A $15-million investment in Island rail now would only be the beginning of a long slippery slope of fiscal irresponsibility.

Francine Khan

Esquimalt

 

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