Long Term effects of Storms and Bad Forest Practices

Long time no blog again, mainly due to work, and, oddly, The Weather!. The last few weeks have been wild out here on the West Coast.

We’ve had winds reaching 175kph, Category 2 Hurricane Force.

We’ve also had torrentional rain, and a good dump of snow. All of which has made the ground fragile and tree roots vulnerable.

This brings me to this image:

originally posted on this railfan forum:
Railfan.net

This is on the Port Alberni sub rail line of the Esquimalt & Nanaimo (E&N) Railway. Around mile 30.5

This rail line is currently not used. The last freight traffic ran through over 5 years ago. Fortunately there are plans to bring a tourist train back to the rails starting next year with hopes that it will spur interest and eventually lead to the full reactivation of rail service for both freight and commuter traffic.

No doubt, this damage will throw a wrench in those plans. Much cleanup will be done, and by the looks of it, a new culvert, tracks, and possibly a bridge will have to be installed to bring this section back to life. And that doesn’t even account for the rest of the line which is basically in an unknown state after the storms.

The storms were of course the main culprit for this damage. But how much of a role did poor forest practices by owners of the Private TimberLands surrounding the tracks (likely owned by TimberWest or Island Timberlands). Certainly the washout looks suspect. And were the rails still owned by a private company (formerly RailAmerica) no doubt, a lawsuit against the other private interet would be possible.

Instead, the railline is in the hands of the Island Corridor Foundation. A group flush with promise and good intentions, but certainly not cash for a legal battler.

That said, the list of people, groups, and organizations with a bone to pick with Private forest practices is growing.

How long before a class-action lawsuit becomes possible?

Perhaps only as long as the next Pineapple Express or El Nino inspired sudo-Typhoon. (edit: Pineapple Express is On the Way for New Years)

There are also Videos of the destruction on YouTube:
Here
and Here
Update:

A Bit of good news… for those who grew up or have lived in Nanaimo recently. Remember the Caboose at the McDonalds in Nanaimo? It was used for parties and things?

Well… here it is… back on rails! The Alberni Pacific Railway and Island Corridor Foundation have picked it up and it looks like it will be reborn:
Here it is at the APR Station