Rail offers options for Capital Region

A couple of comments on transportation issues. On commuter traffic by rail, passenger rail traffic can readily become economical in conjunction with rail freight.

Rail freight can more easily absorb the high cost of upgrading and upkeeping the tracks and bridges, because rail freight is so much more efficient per unit of weight. A good combination of passenger and freight rail would keep ticket prices low enough to make riding the rails attractive. It should be our first priority to get the E&N going in this combination.

Light rapid transit is a little bit further off, but not that much. This is because of our region’s unique topography. Hemmed in between Thetis Lake Park, Portage Inlet and Esquimalt Harbour are three possible road connections and two possible rail connections: Trans-Canada Highway, Island Highway, Burnside Road, the E&N rail line and the Galloping Goose corridor.

In this bottleneck, these are the only five possible links between the region’s two major areas (the West Shore and the core). This makes LRT much more imminently economical even with our smaller population. It can easily replace all bus transit on the Trans-Canada Highway in the bottleneck. LRT can initially link up tracks with the E&N near the Colwood overpass to serve the bottleneck via the Goose corridor, then slowly develop from there.

Axel Brock-Miller