Just my thoughts about the future of our railway…
I read that, in its last year of operation it lost about a million and a half dollars, so is there any wonder that we don’t have a railway? Who would want to invest?
Meetings have been ongoing for the last three years and got nowhere in spite of the fact that about $14 million (I believe) has been made available for upgrades.
It is obvious to me that this rail service cannot run successfully with passenger service paying the bills, and as I live near the tracks, I, over the last 15 years have very seldomly seen any ‘commercial’ traffic at this end of the line, just the occasional tanker car.
I don’t know what goes on ‘down the line’ with regards to commercial use of our railway, but it seems to me that the future success of our railway should be concentrated on commercial use, not passenger use.
The owners want to have the train run early in the morning out of Nanaimo just to suit a few passengers going to work in Victoria. I believe they should get their sales force out where the real money is, and concentrate on getting contracts signed up with companies that move their merchandise up and down the Island, build a timetable that meets their requirements, then fit the passenger service around that timetable.
This valley is loaded with big box stores and not one single item, in the building of, or the stocking of merchandise in the last three / four years, has been delivered by rail.
Just think of all the lumber, food, furniture, heating oil, building supplies, etc. that these businesses have sold over the years! What could have been a big boost to the railway’s bank accounts has been missed.
I suggest they fire their sales force (if they have one at all) and hire a new crew to get out there and get some business done, and pay them a decent commission on the contracts that they bring in.
If I had my way, there would only be one more meeting. They would all be locked in a room, and stay there until they came to an agreement — bet it wouldn’t take long then, eh.
Enough is enough! Stop Micky Mousing around with our lives.
We want our railway back! Follow the money and get the damn job done.