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LETTER: This isn’t your grandfather’s railroad

I would like to respond to the recent letter from William Perry on rail not being relevant for modern times. The writer brings up a lot of challenges faced by rail and talks about this not being the 19th century or even the 20th century.

We are in fact in the 21st century and new technologies in transportation could be used on Vancouver Island. All someone has to do is travel (get off the Island) and ride a modern train, not a steam train from the 19th century. Billions of people ride trains on this planet.

North America has a different take on this mode of transport due to geography. Ironically it opened up this country. Passenger ridership is stagnant because there are no options. We live on an island. Our space is limited. We need to use the existing footprint. Call it an expansion for the greater good of Vancouver Island.

Feel free to drive your car in and around Victoria but be careful getting up and down the Malahat. Commuting has changed significantly with the huge influx of population on the West Shore and Cowichan Valley.

This is the tipping point. Rail is not perfect but the corridor waits for us to produce a modern solution. That may threaten the writer’s view of how the world works.

We have to get a broader picture of getting from point A to point B. God forbid we should have to change our habits as the climate crisis rains down on us.

The population crunch demands that citizens be open to old and new possibilities.

Rob Dunn


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