Dear Editor, (Published in the Times Colonist May 4, 2021)
I feel I must respond to the “Stop dreaming about returning trains to E&N corridor” in a very simple way. The original railway did not only run from downtown Victoria to the wilds of Seven Mile Pub and Royal Roads. The Island Corridor was conceived from its inception as a way to link the entire Island, indeed, even the nation.
I may just be a lowly citizen living somewhere north of the Malahat who also enjoys cycling but when I look at the Island Corridor, I see far more than just a bike and walking path beside the tracks. I see a way for thousands, even millions of future Islanders to go between Courtenay/K’omoks, Port Alberni/Nuu-cha-nulth, Parksville/Sna-naw-as, Nanaimo/Snuneymuxw, Duncan/Kw’amutsun, and Victoria/Coast Salish regions by train, by foot, by cycle, by whatever means the people choose. Citizens, tourists, freight, all moving in a modern, zero carbon, and efficient way.
Let us not lose sight of what the Island Corridor was, is, and can be. Thank you to all the Regional Directors and Councils in the Capital for continuing to see the full picture, even beyond their own borders.
Port Alberni, BC
(The Banner image was taken in front of the railway station in Figueres, Spain in 2003. Chosen because it is a small provincial capital of 46,000 in the Catalan region with links to smaller communities around it, and to the larger regional capital of Barcelona. Note the bike, the scooter, the people, the cars, and yes, the train station.)