Here we go again with a publicly funded project about to take off amidst great uncertainty that it will come in anywhere near projected costs.
When I see consultants expressing their view that the planned upgrading costs for the E&N rail bed will vastly exceed original estimates, it makes me cringe.
And they are only talking about the rail bed, and only to get it to “pushing the limits of safety to the extreme”.
We still have to deal with all the bridges and then there is the equipment yet to be procured, and then the enormous ongoing maintenance.
The point is, all this expense is to be incurred to provide a service for a handful of tourists and another handful of commuters each day, whose numbers will diminish dramatically after tourist season.
Why don’t we instead take this opportunity to provide a facility for thousands of people who have already demonstrated that if you build it they will come?
I’m talking about a beautiful trail corridor, which would link all communities from Victoria to Comox, and the cost would be a fraction both for construction and maintenance.
All that would be required is to fill in between the existing rail with suitable gravel, put up a few signs, and watch the peddlers and pedestrians hit the trail in their hundreds every day!
This is a golden opportunity to provide an inexpensive, environmentally friendly, healthy legacy for all to use, for generations to come.
Lets not miss this one.
Michael Smith, Ladysmit