I personally think the concept of shipping the coal via rail makes sense and is one of the few options that could secure the future of the E&N Railway. Rail is most cost effective either of long distances or for large volume bulk commodities. Since we are not connected to the rest of the rail system in North America, the E&N needs some form of bulk commodity to be shipped on the line, the only one on the horizon is coal.
Chris has done his homework: -
- There are detailed plans on who the rail link would work
- He has data on truck traffic on Highway #4
- There is a petition
- He compares the pros and cons of rail versus trucks on a host of issues
Chris has also come up with some suggestions for an intercity passenger service on the line between Courtney and Ladysmith with a service to Port Alberni as well. There is data there to indicate the need for the service and some thoughts on how to phase it in.