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Railway given new life

COURTENAY, B.C. -- An eleventh hour deal has saved the troubled E&N Railway between Victoria and Courtenay, meaning...


COURTENAY, B.C. — An eleventh hour deal has saved the troubled E&N Railway between Victoria and Courtenay, meaning an increase in truck freight along the route isn’t too likely.

The beleaguered railway was slated to be shut down next week, however the Vancouver Island Railway Development Initiative (VIRDI) has come to the rescue, providing the railway can offer increased freight movement.

“In the past we were preserving the line until we found a solution and now we feel we have come to the solution,” says VIRDI operating director, Tanner Elton, adding the future of the railway will hinge on its ability to carry freight such as hazardous goods.

“Companies like Superior Propane don’t want to see their chemicals shipped on the highway,” Elton tells local media. “This isn’t about maintaining an inadequate passenger service.”

The railway is operated by RailAmerica and has been on the verge of ruin since losing a big contract to carry freight between Nanaimo and Port Alberni.


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