What do you want to see done with Ladysmith’s old train station?

Island Corridor Foundation meets with community to discuss the future of the Railway Station

Gerry Beltgens Special to the Chronicle

Ladysmith residents will have to decide the best use for the old train station near the waterfront and whether they want to put in the time and effort necessary to repurpose it.

That was the message delivered by representatives of track owners the Island Corridor Foundation during a rainy on-site meeting with members of various community groups last week.

“We are not in the business of being landlords,” said ICF CEO Larry Stevenson. “It is up to the town of Ladysmith to work with the community to find the best use for the station that complements the waterfront plan and the future uses for the railway.”

RELATED: ICF not surprised with no funding for rail line in budget

RELATED: Province to fund assessment of rail line, including Ladysmith area

Stevenson and ICF manager of corridor development Andrea Thomas provided an update on plans, answered questions, and confirmed their hope that a committee could be formed to review options for the building’s future.

The Town of Ladysmith has no current plans to form such a committee. It would be up to citizens at large to carry the torch for revitalizing the building, which is in a considerable state of disrepair.

Options won’t include commercial operations, as the ICF recently voted to disallow commercial use of its remaining stations.

Potential uses under discussion included a First Nations cultural display, possibly in partnership with a new Tourism Visitors Centre. However, Ladysmith and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Mark Drysdale said that while the proximity to the highway and heritage centre had value, until there were other people using the area on a full time basis he did not want to have his staff at risk in the more isolated location.

Quentin Goodbody and Marina Sacht from the Ladysmith and District Historical Society asked about the possibility of using the location for the town museum.

One of the reasons the ICF is not interested in the building is that it is not the original train station and it does not have heritage value. Another is that any trains that run in the future will not need stations as tickets will be purchased online via an app or through a kiosk.

The meeting was initiated by Ladysmith’s Bill Drysdale and Chuck Forrest who almost singlehandedly have been clearing and cleaning up the area around the station and keeping graffiti at bay.

While Stevenson was pleased with the work that Drysdale and his team had done there was concern about trees that had been taken down by the work parties previously. Drysdale stated that the trees needed to be taken down for the safety of the building and to prevent further vandalism.

“We plan to start clearing the bush and blackberries for 20 feet from both sides of the track,” Stevenson said. “We will not be taking down any trees, that is not in our mandate.”

One idea that everyone agreed on was the possibility of running a train from Nanaimo to Ladysmith for the Festival of Lights.

More information on the Railway Station, plans for the future of the railway and the ICF can be found on the website www.islandrail.ca.


Just Posted

Distinguishable stolen bike located in Chemainus

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP seeking the rightful owner

Nanaimo Ladysmith education support workers’ deal ratified

CUPE Local 606, Nanaimo school district and bargaining agent ratify deal, which runs till June 2022

Decision on the mental fitness of Colin John expected on Friday

Suspect charged with second-degree murder in Chemainus three years ago

Peewee AA baseball Ladysmith 49ers are Western Canadian champions

The 49ers capped off an impressive run with gold at the Western Canadian Championships

Conceptual plans unveiled for Fisherman’s Wharf upgrade

Senior project engineer, Andrew Cornell presented the design at the August 19 Town council meeting

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

Warrant issued for man who wielded machete near Nanaimo’s tent city last year

William Robert Francis Carrigan failed to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo on Tuesday

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

Most Read