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   Author  Topic: Rumours & Speculation & Rants  (Read 21779 times)
tfctrains
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #540 on: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:38am »
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on Dec 4th, 2008, 8:18pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
that would mean an extension to Campbell River, then a branch line to the coal mine at Quinsam.  So we are talking another 45 kms, including the branch line? I checked Google to estimate the distance, and I may be off.
 
 
 
Of course it depends what SRY is planning to do. There is not enough space at Courtenay to adequately load large numbers of coal cars (I wonder which ones would be used, older ones or newer ones).
 
 
If they were to follow the old Comox Logging railway grade to where it crossed the Elk River Timber grade then followed it to the mine , I thing it would be less than 20 miles, what ever that is km,s


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Cody
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #541 on: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:43am »
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Thanks for the reply.    I was wondering if I was asleep at the wheel and missed a coal train.
 
   From my understanding the majority of the Quinsam thermal coal leaving the Island is used in the local cement factories.   Cement kilns consume absolutely huge quantities of coal, oil, or natural gas (the dirty secret of the concrete industry - it's not carbon-neutral).     Lafarge and Heidelberg have plants in Washington, and likely burn Quinsam coal in their Richmond and Tilbury operations, so it might have been one of the Washington cement operations that took an order of Canadian coal as a pilot project.
 


« Last Edit: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:44am by Cody » Logged
tfctrains
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #542 on: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:49am »
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on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:42pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Another exert from the Our Corridor website
 
 
Obviously SRY has done their homework when it comes to finding business that would be willing to go back to rail. This speculation of coal and ethanol could be related to the 22,000 carloads I mentioned a while back.

There is a coal mine that they are working on south of Courteny, it sounds to me all going well it is a year or two away from going into production, I have talked to some of the people involved recently about using the E&N, they seem to be leaning towards trucking it, but I do not think they understand what the E&N is capable of, they talked of 40 ton cars because of the condition of the bridges, etc.


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Pyronova

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #543 on: Dec 5th, 2008, 2:28am »
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on Dec 5th, 2008, 1:49am, tfctrains wrote:       (Click here for original message)

There is a coal mine that they are working on south of Courteny, it sounds to me all going well it is a year or two away from going into production, I have talked to some of the people involved recently about using the E&N, they seem to be leaning towards trucking it, but I do not think they understand what the E&N is capable of, they talked of 40 ton cars because of the condition of the bridges, etc.

The E&N is less than 1 mile away from the ocean from Crofton north to Courtenay.  Most coal seams are less than 5 miles from the ocean.  
The economies of the speculation, to me, make negative sense to have any coal hauled by rail to any saltwater around Van Isle.   I still can't fathom how trucking or railing coal to saltwater is in anyway cheaper than a conveyor belt.  The expenses of a) the loading facility b) "upgrading" the Port Sub c) the unloading facility d) storage facility at Port Alberni e) coal gons and locomotive ; added together can not be cheaper than a mile or 2 conveyor belt direct to saltwater.  (There is a gravel conveyor near Port McNeil and one at Sechelt as examples).  The electricity to run the belt could easily be produced using gravity & water or wind; excess sold to BCHydro.
As much as I would like to see this "coal" traffic, I can not believe it would or will ever happen.  I am also cautious of the Ethanol plant rail service; but I think it could be a reality far before the coal hauling comes to fruition.  However, the Ethanol product:  why haul to PA when it could be piped directly to saltwater transport?  A grain barge unloads onto a conveyor belt to the plant?    
The major downfall I see to the E&N and any future mega-projects is that it runs north/south parallel to saltwater.   If it ran inland (ie Canfor - product source directly to saltwater) in a east/west from say a mine or plant near say Strathcona Park; that would make a better economic argument.  The volume of a super-freighter negates the proposed cost-saving of hauling product from east-coast to west-coast (Port Alberni)
Hey if they can make it fly, I say GREAT! ; but especially in today's volatile economic climate, it just doesn't make sense.  
 
 
 
LOL  the site takes SALT......WATER and changes it to salthingyer!    LOL!


« Last Edit: Dec 5th, 2008, 2:30am by Pyronova » Logged

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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #544 on: Dec 5th, 2008, 8:19pm »
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More updates from Dennis and Glen of the Yahoo Group. Interesting stuff here.
 
From Dennis
Quote:
I was downtown yesterday and ran into one of the people who related
the news to me and I was again assured that the complete deal and all
pertinent news details will be forthcoming shortly.
 
I even got to see some of the principles in this project and if these
people are here then something is definitely cooking.  
 
The whole project is hopefully to be started by mid spring early
summer and should create a lot of work in the mid island region. At
this time of monetary instability it should be a boost in the arm for
this area.

 
From Glen
Quote:
I have heard from my sources, that some sort of deal is being considered for the movement of coal from the Courtenay area to Port Alberni by rail for overseas customers.
If the project does move forward then it would take three years to about 2012 for this service to start if they construct the loading and offloading facilities, and it would take about a year for the railway to upgrade to 115lb continuous welded rail, new ballast and ties, and strengthen the bridges and trestles for the heavier loads.
I have also heard that talks have been ongoing with Catalyst Pulp Mill and Western Forest Products to ship by rail,once the line is reopened.
The other rumor is shipping raw logs by rail.
Sounds very promising, lets just hope it all works out.


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95XXX
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #545 on: Dec 6th, 2008, 1:17pm »
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Word on the street is that pole train operations will resume in January.
 


« Last Edit: Dec 6th, 2008, 1:19pm by 95XXX » Logged
tfctrains
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #546 on: Dec 6th, 2008, 8:01pm »
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on Dec 6th, 2008, 1:17pm, 95XXX wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Word on the street is that pole train operations will resume in January.
 
They are shipping them to Kirkland, Ontario by truck right now, it sure makes you wonder how that can be cheaper than rail. Three truck laods to one rail car.


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wx732
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #547 on: Dec 18th, 2008, 8:39pm »
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Freight critical to Island rail success; Businesses counting on ambitious plan to save crumbling E&N line
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
According to the Rule of 100, a generally accepted economic formula for short-line railways, a minimum of 100 freight cars per mile, per year, are required before a line can make a profit.  
 
The old E&N route now averages about 6.6 cars per mile.  
 
This iconic Vancouver Island railway has seen a gradual decline in traffic since the 1950s, when highway upgrades began shifting people and freight off the rails and onto the roads. Slowly, portions of the railway fell into disrepair.  
 
But if the tracks are abandoned, supporters of the line say the Island will lose an opportunity it will never get back.  
 
The Island Corridor Foundation, a partnership of municipalities and First Nations communities that now own the railway formerly known as the E&N, estimates upgrades would cost $103.8 million, which would bring the track up to North American standards. The foundation is campaigning to raise the money, to be split three ways between the federal and provincial governments and the foundation.  
 
Rail boosters say an upgraded track would enable enhanced passenger and tourism service, allow for a commuter line into Victoria and boost freight-carrying capabilities by providing companies with a way to ship heavy freight at higher speeds. By combining these four aspects of rail service on a single route, the ICF believes it has a strong case for investment in the 137-year-old railway.  
 
"If you can get those businesses to operate, then you have a real opportunity," said Doug Backhouse, executive director of the Island Corridor Foundation.  
 
A $500,000 feasibility study announced by the province will shed some light on whether the upgrades would be viable.  
 
Some transportation experts say the volumes of freight needed to sustain such a railway aren't available, while the ICF points out that more companies are seeing the energy-saving benefits of railways and there's a potential market for up to 22,000 rail cars per year, hauling everything from gravel and lumber to possibly coal.  
 
If the ICF's predictions come true, and the railway gets the upgrades it needs, the old E&N would once again become a significant economic generator in the mid-Island region, creating jobs and allowing certain industries to flourish. If the rail corridor continues to languish, the historic tracks won't be around for long.  
 
"The status quo really doesn't work economically. We can't bring on any of these new freight customers. Without those new customers the cost of maintaining the infrastructure is too much for us. It starts to collapse under its own weight," said Backhouse, adding that freight would be the primary revenue-generator for the rail system.  
 
For the handful of companies that still rely on the tracks to haul their products, losing the Island railway could mean losing a major component of their business.  
 
If the railway dies, a vital part of Vancouver Island's agriculture industry could go with it, warns Robert Davidson, owner of Top Shelf Feed in Duncan.  
 
His feed mill, the only one operating on the Island, receives seven to nine rail cars of products like canola, soya, wheat and corn every week that are barged from the mainland to be made into animal feed for area farmers.  
 
He still uses trucks occasionally to bring product to his mill because the deteriorating state of the tracks means freight travels slower, and it can't always keep up with the demand at Top Shelf. If the rail was upgraded, he could bring in about two more cars full of product each week and get a few more trucks off the road.  
 
But if the old railway stopped operating altogether, Davidson worries that his business wouldn't be able to absorb the increased cost of transporting the product in trucks.  
 
"The rail is very critical for us," he said. "Otherwise, I don't know if we would be around to supply the agricultural community on Vancouver Island."  
 
That would mean Island producers would likely pay significantly more for animal feed and the service wouldn't be as reliable, Davidson added.  
 
Peter Pottruff, who operates a pig and poultry farm in Errington, said having Top Shelf on Vancouver Island ensures area farmers pay a competitive price for their feed.  
 
"The fact that that feed company is here it, for lack of better terminology, keeps the other companies honest," he said.  
 
If producers had to rely solely on off-Island feed sources, that would also mean producers would have to rely on B.C. Ferries' schedule for their feed in addition to paying higher prices.  
 
"Of course people would react to the higher cost of feed, and farming would probably diminish further than it already has," said Pottruff.  
 
It's not just agriculture that would be affected. Without the Island railway, National Silicates plant in Parksville might have to close, said plant manager Jim Chernecki.  
 
A rail car full of glass travels to the plant every week for processing after being barged from the mainland. Having to truck the glass would more than double the transportation costs.  
 
"If track disappears, there's a strong possibility the plant would too," said Chernecki.  
 
Other businesses that rely on the rail line may not close if it disappears, but they will have to find other, more costly transportation options. Superior Propane in Nanaimo, for example, is the largest user of the railway just ahead of Top Shelf Feed. A spokesperson for the company said that if rail wasn't available, they would have to use trucks to transport the propane across the Island at a higher cost.  
 
Davidson speaks passionately about the old E&N Railway not only because it makes economic sense for his industry. He scoffs at the suggest that the upgrades wouldn't be worth the money. "I don't understand why they (the province) are doing a study. All they have to do is look at the environmental impact," he said, referring the fuel-savings of train transportation versus road traffic.  
 
"We can't be looking at what's going to happen today and tomorrow, we have to be looking to the future."  
 
(Taken from today's TC)
 
James


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Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #548 on: Dec 30th, 2008, 2:38pm »
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on Dec 5th, 2008, 8:19pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
More updates from Dennis and Glen of the Yahoo Group. Interesting stuff here.
From Dennis
 I was downtown yesterday and ran into one of the people who related
the news to me and I was again assured that the complete deal and all
pertinent news details will be forthcoming shortly.
 
I even got to see some of the principles in this project and if these
people are here then something is definitely cooking.  
 
The whole project is hopefully to be started by mid spring early
summer and should create a lot of work in the mid island region. At
this time of monetary instability it should be a boost in the arm for
this area.

There was also a lot of soil testing being done at the (now city owned) plywood plant property and this was at first believed to be an attempt to build condos or the like but now speculation is the testing was being done to satisfy ground conditions to build the rail car unloaders and conveyor belt ship loaders for this planned project.


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CN7059
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #549 on: Dec 30th, 2008, 3:42pm »
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on Dec 30th, 2008, 2:38pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)

There was also a lot of soil testing being done at the (now city owned) plywood plant property and this was at first believed to be an attempt to build condos or the like but now speculation is the testing was being done to satisfy ground conditions to build the rail car unloaders and conveyor belt ship loaders for this planned project.

 
Welcome to the board Dennis! Pardon my ignorance of PA geography, but where exactly was the plywood mill located? I assume that it is on the waterfront, farther down the line past the station.


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Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #550 on: Dec 30th, 2008, 6:10pm »
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on Dec 30th, 2008, 3:42pm, CN7059 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Welcome to the board Dennis! Pardon my ignorance of PA geography, but where exactly was the plywood mill located? I assume that it is on the waterfront, farther down the line past the station.
Thanks,
 
If the URL works correctly this would be close to where they were testing. I don't recognize it from the air.  
 
http://tinyurl.com/77k34n


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CP8673
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #551 on: Dec 30th, 2008, 8:51pm »
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on Dec 30th, 2008, 3:42pm, CN7059 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Welcome to the board Dennis! Pardon my ignorance of PA geography, but where exactly was the plywood mill located? I assume that it is on the waterfront, farther down the line past the station.

The track that runs in front of the station goes up to where the plywood mill was.


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Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #552 on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 4:21am »
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I should proof read what I write. I was quoted as saying the shipment would start within a month of the announcements and what I meant to write and should have written was "The upgrades will start within one month of the formal signing of all the contracts and agreements." The line needs work and the bridges need foundation stabilization but this is not insurmountable.  
 
Also the mine involved will be located close to the Hornby Island Ferry access road from the new highway 19. It is an area about to be developed if this deal goes through.  
 
Wild speculation time but wasn't the line to Campbell River graded but never laid with track. If that's the case then running the line toward Campbell River but then swinging off to Quinsam Coal would only be about 35 kilometres, wouldn't it and then both mines could ship by rail. If the SVI wants to develop a whack of business this could be the way.


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cobblehillian
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #553 on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 2:12pm »
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I'm wondering how solid and substantial some of these coal propositions really are.  In light of global warming and world environmental politics should Vancouver Island and the provincial government be looking at increasing coal exports?  Is this smart business for jurisdictions that advertise the fact that they do not and will not use coal for electrical generation.  Vancouver Island has been trying to build up tourism and services as the logging/lumber business continues to fade.  Is coal compatible with that scenario?
 
I don't have immediate answers for most of these questions.  But I am sure they will be asked and will become major political issues.
 
Business and political realities, I would suggest, may impact on some of this stuff before it gets of the ground.


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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #554 on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 8:59pm »
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on Jan 2nd, 2009, 4:21am, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I should proof read what I write. I was quoted as saying the shipment would start within a month of the announcements and what I meant to write and should have written was "The upgrades will start within one month of the formal signing of all the contracts and agreements." The line needs work and the bridges need foundation stabilization but this is not insurmountable.  
 
Also the mine involved will be located close to the Hornby Island Ferry access road from the new highway 19. It is an area about to be developed if this deal goes through.  
 
Wild speculation time but wasn't the line to Campbell River graded but never laid with track. If that's the case then running the line toward Campbell River but then swinging off to Quinsam Coal would only be about 35 kilometres, wouldn't it and then both mines could ship by rail. If the SVI wants to develop a whack of business this could be the way.

 
The route to Campbell River was surveyed, but never graded. WWI and the Depression prevented any more extensions. An extension to Campbell River would be the most economically viable one. I am unsure of what the costs of this would be, and I would suspect that both private and public money would be needed for such an extension.
 
I am trying to find the old surveys of this route at the archives and will be heading down sometime in the next couple of months.
 
 


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cobblehillian
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #555 on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 10:20pm »
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Coastrail, do you know if the surveyed ROW land to Campbell River was ever deeded, patented or subdivided for the E&N/CPR.?  Since it was all owned by the E&N as part of the Dunsmuir grant I wonder if they subdivided the ROW land out from the granted lands.  If they did sub divide the ROW out is it still intact?
 
If The ICF has a long range vision of a local and intercity passenger service it would make sense to include Campbell River with its 40,000+ population.  It might also make it more practical for Islanders in the far north to park and ride at CR.  
 
I'll do some checking on census data but I think such an extension would put 85-90% of islanders within ten km of the tracks.


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Aaron Lypkie
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #556 on: Jan 3rd, 2009, 11:25pm »
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on Jan 2nd, 2009, 10:20pm, cobblehillian wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Coastrail, do you know if the surveyed ROW land to Campbell River was ever deeded, patented or subdivided for the E&N/CPR.?  Since it was all owned by the E&N as part of the Dunsmuir grant I wonder if they subdivided the ROW land out from the granted lands.  If they did sub divide the ROW out is it still intact?
 
If The ICF has a long range vision of a local and intercity passenger service it would make sense to include Campbell River with its 40,000+ population.  It might also make it more practical for Islanders in the far north to park and ride at CR.  
 
I'll do some checking on census data but I think such an extension would put 85-90% of islanders within ten km of the tracks.

 
I am not sure if the route to CR was deeded or patented, but all I know is that a route was surveyed. I would assume that the archives would have that information, which  I will visiting soon. Looking at Google maps, it is mostly farms, forest and fields between Courtenay and Campbell River. North from the track at the Courtenay station, there are no obstructions to prevent any future extensions.
 
An extension to Campbell River would make a lot of sense.


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Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #557 on: Jan 6th, 2009, 1:54pm »
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To again add to one of my comments in this thread. When I was living in Merville I went exploring with a friend of mine and we drove up the old Oyster River Road toward Mount Washington. This was prior to the new highway and what is now 19A was actually Highway 19. While driving about we came to a long narrow level stretch of road that my friend told me was the old E & N right of way which was to be part of the line leading to the crossing at Seymore Narrows for the eventual connection to Kamloops. Of course with the railroad finding a more convenient pass the whole Island connection failed to materialize but supposedly the line was graded to just above what is now Bevan Wetlands on the new highway. This is all information that my now deceased buddy Morris Wideman related to me way back when.

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timberland#7
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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #558 on: Jan 6th, 2009, 4:14pm »
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could this grade been used by comox logging they had many grades in merville area

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Pyronova

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Re: Rumours & Speculation & Rants
 
« Reply #559 on: Jan 6th, 2009, 5:37pm »
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I remember seeing an old map or two (maybe one of Robert Turner's?) that showed either Comox Logging or another RR on the original CPR survey.

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