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

Student group seeks cap on international tuition fees

UVic increased international fees 20 per cent for 2018-19

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Victoria’s Global Village Store celebrates 30 years in business

The City’s first free-trade store sells products from 28 countries around the world

West Shore firefighters answer call to battle fires in north-central B.C.

Crews to help with structural fire protection in Fort St. James

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Most Read