The former E&N Railway station in Langford has been touted in the past as a potential stop or terminus of a commuter rail system to downtow Victoria.

Market test needed for commuter rail

Saanich resident writes in response to a letter about commuter rail in Greater Victoria.

Re: Regional commuter rail system could pay for itself (Letters, Aug. 10)

Eric Neilson’s verbose letter has three notable points. The E&N track only serves a limited market, primarily CFB Esquimalt and associated dockyards, as Victoria eliminated tracks on the Johnson Street Bridge and commuters don’t want a long walk or another route transfer. It is worthwhile if the cost is low, but it seems late now to help the McKenzie interchange.

Neilson advocates user pay, a very good principle. But in competition with subsidized roads, the only attraction might be higher speed, which saves the one scarce resource – individual human time. It is, however, pie-in-the-sky at this point given the timing and the lack of a market test before Victoria abandoned the E&N on the new bridge.

What has been needed for decades is a modest market test of commuter rail using the E&N trackage. Recall that harbour ferries here were a dismal failure, but the airport leg of the Skytrain in Vancouver has been quite successful – all surprises. Without a test, advocates of rail transit are just theorizing.

Unfortunately Neilson throws in a gratuitous xenophobic scheme to force local manufacturing, a hypocritical approach given the trade of manufacturers here, and the amount of money coming here from taxpayers of B.C., tourists, and retirees. Manufacturers have to perform, government meddling instead results in failures like management of the E&N trackage.

Keith Sketchley


Just Posted

MISSING: Victoria police seek 42-year-old Craig Hughes

Hughes was last seen on May 20 at 5:45 a.m.

Peninsula crews extinguish early morning boat fire in Central Saanich

Firefighters saved nearby home from further damage

Sidney’s library opens new chapter after $2M refit

Library reopens after 8 months boasting improved systems and accessibility

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

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

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Justin Trudeau credits immigration for Canada’s growing tech sector

Trudeau stressed that Canada has become a major source of talent for tech all over the world

Most Read