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Where does the discussion happen?
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MinionII
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Where does the discussion happen?
 
« on: Oct 18th, 2016, 11:13pm »
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Hello all (few),
 
Where does one go these days for discussion like what used to take place on this board? I'm sure discussion is still taking place somewhere, but I am no longer in the know...
 
I will still check back here daily as I have been for years, but I want to know where the active posters have gone...
 
Thanks,
AP


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Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #1 on: Oct 19th, 2016, 3:43am »
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Facebook "Rail For Vancouver Island" but the bulls**t is deeper and smellier.

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Never known for Political Correctness
& far from a tag words cut and paste artist.
Port Alberni or Thereabouts.
MinionII
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Posts: 516
Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #2 on: Oct 19th, 2016, 8:55pm »
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I do have a Facebook account that my wife created for me to accept an invitation one of my work mates sent to me, but haven't touched it since, and know very little about it...
 
Does Facebook 'work' for logical progression of conversation on multiple topics?


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Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #3 on: Oct 20th, 2016, 2:14am »
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Not really but the minions of the "Want everything now" generation just love all the distractions of Facebook.  


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Never known for Political Correctness
& far from a tag words cut and paste artist.
Port Alberni or Thereabouts.
George_Harris
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #4 on: Oct 20th, 2016, 4:17pm »
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on Oct 20th, 2016, 2:14am, Dennis Dalla-Vicenza wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Not really but the minions of the "Want everything now" generation just love all the distractions of Facebook.

Which is why it is difficult to get any of these characters to go into engineering.  When it can take 10 years to go from idea to moving dirt any usually even longer to use what you were part of dreaming up no one in the instant gratification generation wants any part of it.  Then of course there is dealing with all the "environmentalists" that are against anything anytime anywhere, that are calling you idiots as among the more polite things they say.  Reminds me of coming in from Nam to be greeted by the crazies screaming "babykiller" at you.


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MinionII
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #5 on: Oct 20th, 2016, 9:30pm »
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on Oct 20th, 2016, 2:14am, Dennis Dalla-Vicenza wrote:       (Click here for original message)
...minions...

 
Luckily my internet handle originated in the 90s
 
Good to see you are still on here George. You always brought down to earth info regarding railroads to the discussions (when they were happening).


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thehighwayman
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #6 on: Oct 21st, 2016, 12:34am »
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on Oct 18th, 2016, 11:13pm, MinionII wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hello all (few),
 
Where does one go these days for discussion like what used to take place on this board? I'm sure discussion is still taking place somewhere, but I am no longer in the know...
 
I will still check back here daily as I have been for years, but I want to know where the active posters have gone...
 
Thanks,
AP

 
I used to participate in some of the discussions, but got tired of the personal attacks.
I still watch what is going on here, but rarely post any comments or get involved in what little discussion still happens.
I watch a couple of the Facebook groups, but seldom participate there either.
It just isn't worthwhile - to quote Whoopi Goldberg in the movie "Burglar":
I'm too old for this crap.
 
Will MacKenzie
Flamborough, ON


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thehighwayman
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Posts: 329
Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #7 on: Oct 21st, 2016, 12:35am »
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I will try re-doing the Whoopi Goldberg quote:
 
I'm too old for this ****.


« Last Edit: Oct 21st, 2016, 2:41am by Henry » Logged
ENR3005
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #8 on: Oct 21st, 2016, 12:59am »
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on Oct 18th, 2016, 11:13pm, MinionII wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hello all (few),
 
Where does one go these days for discussion like what used to take place on this board? I'm sure discussion is still taking place somewhere, but I am no longer in the know...
 
I will still check back here daily as I have been for years, but I want to know where the active posters have gone...
 
Thanks,
AP

 
Hopefully the discussion will be here for now and the future. I personally can't stand any of the other E&N sites, especially the social media ones. The world has changed a lot including the E&N, however this site along with it's historical posts, have a wealth of information on the E&N you can't even find on some of the pay sites I once subscribed to. It really sucks what has happened to the E&N as the crappy times which have fallen upon the railway strongly reflect the traffic at this site. The railway is now nothing more than another industrial operation which no longer draws the attention it did when the Dayliner was still running. I have read Robert Turners & Donald Maclachlans two most recent E&N books cover to cover several times and almost feel sick to my stomach as I suspect many others do on this forum by the time they get to the end of the second book which starts to get into the dark times of recent years. The truth is most of us knew this would be coming having watched the demise of large sections of once healthy branch lines across the country, why would the E&N be any different. If any of you have Robert Turner's Railfan Magazine article from 1978, it foreshadowed these events. For those of you who don't have that collectable issue, I will quote a few lines from the last section of the article called "The Future" where he goes on to state "It is sad to accept, but the gradual erosion of rail service on the island will continue, just as many branch lines all over North America have become uneconomical."
 
Being a young teenager back in the early 90s, I saw many of these changes with reductions in service to most parts of the island, the exception being the Port Alberni Sub, where service actually went from three freights a week  to six or more a week by the time CP exited the island. Not even continued investment and operation by CP could have saved the E&N from what has happened today. The world and the E&N have changed forever along with this forum as those events have unfolded. It may not be the same forum having been through its own battles, but it will continue to be my forum of choice till it disappears as I suspect it will be for many others who have been on these forums for the past decade or more. Our host and moderators on this site should be commended and given a medal for the patience they have exercised with this forum. Thank you for keeping this site up for others to see the amazing history of the E&N. Younger generations such as my kids check in from time to time with their dad to see what the E&N was, even seeing some of their dad's photos that were taken when he was not much older than they are. Thank you again for this site and hopefully this site will be up for many more years to come.          


« Last Edit: Oct 21st, 2016, 1:14am by ENR3005 » Logged
MinionII
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Posts: 516
Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #9 on: Oct 21st, 2016, 10:55pm »
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Not to derail (heh) my own thread, but after reading your post ENR3005, I am left wondering what a proper feasibility study of the Port Alberni Sub would show if the mill in PA was willing to return to rail.
 
Did CP just run the line with minimal maintenance until it was clear the bridges would soon be in need of extensive heavy maintenance, and then slough it off for a smaller operator to wring the last few bucks out of? Were there then and could there still now be sufficient freight car movements/mile to maintain the Port Sub and generate sufficient profit to keep a short-line operator interested? Obviously a major carrier isn't interested unless there is substantial profitability, but if a rail line paid for itself with something left over, surely someone would be interested in operating it.


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ENR3005
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
  Parksville1992Ballast.jpg - 149879 Bytes
« Reply #10 on: Oct 22nd, 2016, 12:51pm »
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on Oct 21st, 2016, 10:55pm, MinionII wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Not to derail (heh) my own thread, but after reading your post ENR3005, I am left wondering what a proper feasibility study of the Port Alberni Sub would show if the mill in PA was willing to return to rail.
 
Did CP just run the line with minimal maintenance until it was clear the bridges would soon be in need of extensive heavy maintenance, and then slough it off for a smaller operator to wring the last few bucks out of? Were there then and could there still now be sufficient freight car movements/mile to maintain the Port Sub and generate sufficient profit to keep a short-line operator interested? Obviously a major carrier isn't interested unless there is substantial profitability, but if a rail line paid for itself with something left over, surely someone would be interested in operating it.

 
I don't think that finding traffic for the line is the complete problem but the long term outlook for sustained traffic is the larger issue for any potential rail operator. The pulp and paper making business is an industry in decline, even with the specialty products the mill currently produces. With todays use of electronic devices to read the newspaper, magazines, books and even the flyer you used to get, this isn't a good source of traffic for any rail operator to gamble their investment on. The mill, currently rated at 340,000 tonnes also doesn't have the output that it used to or does it appear to be running at that capacity. In CP's day, this mill used to produce newsprint which was largely destined for the California market, specifically Los Angeles and was interchanged with UP. That type of traffic is dead which CP probably knew was coming with their team having watched the metrics up to the time of their exit. Any potential operator will need to look to a diversified traffic base to support their investment. The potential exists for lumber, ties, shakes, siding, aggregates and drywall to move over this line too, but developing that traffic may be more challenging given the very limited traffic bases.  
 
Interestingly the maintenance was always higher on this section of the E&N, right up to the end. A significant investment of the line occurred in the early 90s with new ballast which was not the pit-run sandy gravel used on the rest of the railway, this was actual real rock, not crushed but none the less real rock. Heavier rail (100lb) was also installed along with newer ties. Interestingly it was mentioned to me years ago that much of the material may have come from the KVR which was abandoned a few years before. The recycling of the materials would have allowed a cost effective overhaul of the line with CP only having to supply the equipment and labour. I have attached a photo, taken in the fall 1992 at Parkville showing the new ballast along with the hoppers used to haul it. At the time this photo was taken, service was tri-weekly or less as the mill was undergoing a rebuilding which at that time was called the Gen II project. Once complete, traffic on the line almost doubled requiring weekday service along with extras when needed and weekend service at times. The bridges were also regularly maintained along the Cameron lake, one was almost guaranteed to find some sort of maintenance equipment or material stuck in the siding there or beside one of the trestles if you were bold enough to hike that far and had no fear of bears.  
 



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« Last Edit: Oct 22nd, 2016, 1:04pm by ENR3005 » Logged
MinionII
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #11 on: Oct 23rd, 2016, 12:51am »
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on Oct 22nd, 2016, 12:51pm, ENR3005 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
...The pulp and paper making business is an industry in decline, even with the specialty products the mill currently produces. With todays use of electronic devices to read the newspaper, magazines, books and even the flyer you used to get, this isn't a good source of traffic for any rail operator to gamble their investment on...

 
Is pulp and paper GENERALLY in decline? Or has it simply moved overseas? I don't have any tech to back it up, but I thought in the computer age we are actually using more paper then ever before. I could buy newsprint being generally in decline.
 
 
on Oct 22nd, 2016, 12:51pm, ENR3005 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
... Any potential operator will need to look to a diversified traffic base to support their investment. The potential exists for lumber, ties, shakes, siding, aggregates and drywall to move over this line too, but developing that traffic may be more challenging given the very limited traffic bases.

 
Funny thing is, that sort of car load here-and-there would be dropped in a heartbeat by a major carrier, even if it could be done at a profit. It would hurt operating the operating ratio vs hauling 100+ car unit trains from loading terminal to port etc.
 
 
on Oct 22nd, 2016, 12:51pm, ENR3005 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Interestingly the maintenance was always higher on this section of the E&N, right up to the end. A significant investment of the line occurred in the early 90s with new ballast which was not the pit-run sandy gravel used on the rest of the railway, this was actual real rock, not crushed but none the less real rock. Heavier rail (100lb) was also installed along with newer ties.

 
You know, I recall seeing what looked like river rock (smooth, round) used to repair a washout just south of Top Shelf in Duncan. I remember thinking to myself that it would not make for a very solid track structure. As I understand it, the crushed gravel interlocks and holds the track in place while providing drainage. The round rock would provide great drainage, but it would shift and move around with relative ease (George may very well weigh in here...). That said, even river rock would be better than sand with a few rocks in it, which is still better then straight dirt/mud.
 
on Oct 22nd, 2016, 12:51pm, ENR3005 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Interestingly it was mentioned to me years ago that much of the material may have come from the KVR which was abandoned a few years before. The recycling of the materials would have allowed a cost effective overhaul of the line with CP only having to supply the equipment and labour. I have attached a photo, taken in the fall 1992 at Parkville showing the new ballast along with the hoppers used to haul it. At the time this photo was taken, service was tri-weekly or less as the mill was undergoing a rebuilding which at that time was called the Gen II project. Once complete, traffic on the line almost doubled requiring weekday service along with extras when needed and weekend service at times. The bridges were also regularly maintained along the Cameron lake, one was almost guaranteed to find some sort of maintenance equipment or material stuck in the siding there or beside one of the trestles if you were bold enough to hike that far and had no fear of bears.  
 

 
CP has been good about re-purposing items...I think The Crow and The Kettle identified many bridges which were brought in from use in other locations. I know the Niagara Canyon bridge was moved from the CP mainline to the E&N. They wouldn't go so far as to load up on old ballast would they...?
 
Unfortunately I only ever saw 1 port turn. It was in the late 90s or very early 2000s, and it was the longest train I had ever seen on the island.
 
I had better go witness the barge being unloaded/loaded, and the run to Superior before that becomes a thing of the past.  


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George_Harris
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #12 on: Oct 23rd, 2016, 8:14pm »
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Ballast:  There is a maximum percentage of small particles in the AREMA ballast spec, with that percentage depending upon overall gradation and maximum size.  Most ballast specs also include something describing minimum number of broken faces or maximum number of smooth stones or smooth faces on stones.  Some prohibit river rock absolutely or require a minimum size to run through the crusher.
 
Rail:  For quite a few years the average purchase of new rail has been at around 1% of the total track miles of rail, in other words assuming an average life of rail in track of 100 years.  Obviously much rail does not make it that long, but there is a lot that lasts longer.  Generally rail will be in three or more positions over its life.  Put in million gross tons of traffic, good quality AREMA spec rail with good track maintenance and regular grinding can easily last over 1,000 million gross tons is straight and reasonably curved track.
 
Generally it is desirable to have rail of at least 115 lb/yd, or more precisely of the AREMA 115RE section or heavier under current axle loads.  Best to be 141RE if any significant volume of traffic.  I would recommend 132RE as minimum for current axle loads with a low number of trains, or 141RE if any significant volume of trains.


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hillbank
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #13 on: Oct 24th, 2016, 1:25am »
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I like many others had my hopes up when the SVI started hauling poles from Courtenay and that other customers may start using the line again, i agree with ENR 3005 that there is potential for outbound traffic but not large volumes, it would also be good to see more inbound loads coming in even if it was a few cars of dust control or machinery. I was walking the Fiddicks spur a few weeks back and thought it would be a good industrial site that could use rail access, but then i read on this forum that the track for the Parksville industrial site has been torn up.
One source of traffic is contaminated soil, CP hauled gondola loads of it in the 90's. most readers here have probably heard about the contoversy over the soil dumping at Shawnigan Lake, when i attended a meeting there i said it would be nice if the E&N was up and running so the soil could be shipped off the island AND I NEARLY GOT LYNCHED!!! almost everyone there said the line should be torn up for a cycling walking path and that there should not be any noisey polluting trains running. this is what has happened to Southern Vancouver Island a bunch of people who want to  
turn it into a Utopian society where we hold hands and go folk dancing with panda bears in the forest!  I am not saying open coal mines or build nuclear plants, what i mean is people have to accept that we need some industries, believe it or not there are people trying to shut down the facility i work at and its a Recycling yard in an industrial park!
The ICF i think really dropped the ball when they did not sell the fact the the E&N is a green alternative, getting frieght traffic off roads and also getting frieght revenue to pay the bills, some would say that is not thier job but SVI's however the ICF is the face of the E&N. Lets hope for the best and thanks Minion for getting us back to discusions.


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ENR3005
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #14 on: Oct 24th, 2016, 8:29pm »
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on Oct 23rd, 2016, 12:51am, MinionII wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Is pulp and paper GENERALLY in decline? Or has it simply moved overseas? I don't have any tech to back it up, but I thought in the computer age we are actually using more paper then ever before. I could buy newsprint being generally in decline.
 
 
 
Funny thing is, that sort of car load here-and-there would be dropped in a heartbeat by a major carrier, even if it could be done at a profit. It would hurt operating the operating ratio vs hauling 100+ car unit trains from loading terminal to port etc.
 
 
 
You know, I recall seeing what looked like river rock (smooth, round) used to repair a washout just south of Top Shelf in Duncan. I remember thinking to myself that it would not make for a very solid track structure. As I understand it, the crushed gravel interlocks and holds the track in place while providing drainage. The round rock would provide great drainage, but it would shift and move around with relative ease (George may very well weigh in here...). That said, even river rock would be better than sand with a few rocks in it, which is still better then straight dirt/mud.
 
 
CP has been good about re-purposing items...I think The Crow and The Kettle identified many bridges which were brought in from use in other locations. I know the Niagara Canyon bridge was moved from the CP mainline to the E&N. They wouldn't go so far as to load up on old ballast would they...?
 
Unfortunately I only ever saw 1 port turn. It was in the late 90s or very early 2000s, and it was the longest train I had ever seen on the island.
 
I had better go witness the barge being unloaded/loaded, and the run to Superior before that becomes a thing of the past.  

 
Good day all, just responding to a couple posts from the weekend, firstly MinionII's.
 
The pulp and paper industry as a whole for the past two decades is in decline across North America. Most of the operations which remain are modern and efficient or have been modified to provide a specialty product. Many of the remaining mills are running at reduced output such as Port Alberni from what I understand. Port Alberni is now producing a vastly different product than what was being sent out over the E&N.  
 
The ballast was indeed river rock, likely from Fiddicks or the pit at Dunsmuir. Still better than the sandy gravel which shortened the life of ties and likely contributed to some of the wash outs seen along with the current state of the line. They wouldn't have likely reclaimed any from the KVR ballast when it was torn up unless there was stock pile somewhere along the line they needed to cleanup. Materials like this is pretty cheap to begin especially when it isn't sized.  


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ENR3005
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #15 on: Oct 24th, 2016, 8:52pm »
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on Oct 23rd, 2016, 8:14pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Ballast:  There is a maximum percentage of small particles in the AREMA ballast spec, with that percentage depending upon overall gradation and maximum size.  Most ballast specs also include something describing minimum number of broken faces or maximum number of smooth stones or smooth faces on stones.  Some prohibit river rock absolutely or require a minimum size to run through the crusher.
 
Rail:  For quite a few years the average purchase of new rail has been at around 1% of the total track miles of rail, in other words assuming an average life of rail in track of 100 years.  Obviously much rail does not make it that long, but there is a lot that lasts longer.  Generally rail will be in three or more positions over its life.  Put in million gross tons of traffic, good quality AREMA spec rail with good track maintenance and regular grinding can easily last over 1,000 million gross tons is straight and reasonably curved track.
 
Generally it is desirable to have rail of at least 115 lb/yd, or more precisely of the AREMA 115RE section or heavier under current axle loads.  Best to be 141RE if any significant volume of traffic.  I would recommend 132RE as minimum for current axle loads with a low number of trains, or 141RE if any significant volume of trains.

 
I don't suspect CP ever followed any sort of spec for ballast or rail along this line. The river rock was not crushed in any way and in fact I have some photos somewhere which show how outrageous the size of the rock got to which was 8" or more in diameter mixed in with the rest of the rock. The rail is another matter, likely salvaged from other abandoned lines like the KVR and installed on the E&N as it became available. I remember taking spring break in the early 90s and dad driving us out to Little Qualicum Falls for a hike. I remember being horrified driving along the highway to Coombs which parallels the line and seeing rail missing from the line and thinking the line was done at that time. In the days before the internet, sources of E&N information were scarce mostly from magazine like Branchline Magazine which you would have to wait months for to get an update on the line. Fortunately a family friend who lived in Parkville knew a little bit about the operation of the line and relayed they were just changing out rail along a section of the line.  


« Last Edit: Oct 24th, 2016, 8:56pm by ENR3005 » Logged
ENR3005
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #16 on: Oct 24th, 2016, 9:04pm »
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on Oct 24th, 2016, 1:25am, hillbank wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I like many others had my hopes up when the SVI started hauling poles from Courtenay and that other customers may start using the line again, i agree with ENR 3005 that there is potential for outbound traffic but not large volumes, it would also be good to see more inbound loads coming in even if it was a few cars of dust control or machinery. I was walking the Fiddicks spur a few weeks back and thought it would be a good industrial site that could use rail access, but then i read on this forum that the track for the Parksville industrial site has been torn up.
One source of traffic is contaminated soil, CP hauled gondola loads of it in the 90's. most readers here have probably heard about the contoversy over the soil dumping at Shawnigan Lake, when i attended a meeting there i said it would be nice if the E&N was up and running so the soil could be shipped off the island AND I NEARLY GOT LYNCHED!!! almost everyone there said the line should be torn up for a cycling walking path and that there should not be any noisey polluting trains running. this is what has happened to Southern Vancouver Island a bunch of people who want to  
turn it into a Utopian society where we hold hands and go folk dancing with panda bears in the forest!  I am not saying open coal mines or build nuclear plants, what i mean is people have to accept that we need some industries, believe it or not there are people trying to shut down the facility i work at and its a Recycling yard in an industrial park!
The ICF i think really dropped the ball when they did not sell the fact the the E&N is a green alternative, getting frieght traffic off roads and also getting frieght revenue to pay the bills, some would say that is not thier job but SVI's however the ICF is the face of the E&N. Lets hope for the best and thanks Minion for getting us back to discusions.

 
It is disappointing that most in the general public are willing to throw away a valuable asset. Most have no understanding of who actually own railways, thinking they are all owned by the Government such as BC Rail was and therefore think all lines are a endless money pit. All you have to do is look at the fundamental misunderstandings the property owner's along the Arbutus had with CP. The folks looking after the E&N have a real mess which I am not sure they will ever be able to recover from.


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Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #17 on: Oct 25th, 2016, 2:53pm »
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on Oct 20th, 2016, 9:30pm, MinionII wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Luckily my internet handle originated in the 90s
 
Good to see you are still on here George. You always brought down to earth info regarding railroads to the discussions (when they were happening).
No insult intended if taken.  
 
 
I find that most of this new generation have no concept of how anything works. If you need money you ask the government for it as they are a bottomless pit. If that fails start a Go-Fund-Me account and watch the money roll in. Search "Port Alberni" on these funding sites and watch the mind boggling freebees being sought?  
 
I really believe our education system is being lost on the younger generations.  


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Port Alberni or Thereabouts.
George_Harris
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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #18 on: Oct 25th, 2016, 10:18pm »
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on Oct 25th, 2016, 2:53pm, Dennis Dalla-Vicenza wrote:       (Click here for original message)

No insult intended if taken.  
 
 
I find that most of this new generation have no concept of how anything works. If you need money you ask the government for it as they are a bottomless pit. If that fails start a Go-Fund-Me account and watch the money roll in. Search "Port Alberni" on these funding sites and watch the mind boggling freebees being sought?  
 
I really believe our education system is being lost on the younger generations.

None taken.  Don't know about the Canadian side, but much of what passes for education here is more like propaganda with very little in the way of reality checks, particularly when it comes to the most basic of economic realities.


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Dennis Dalla-Vicenza

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Re: Where does the discussion happen?
 
« Reply #19 on: Oct 26th, 2016, 1:42pm »
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on Oct 25th, 2016, 10:18pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

None taken.  Don't know about the Canadian side, but much of what passes for education here is more like propaganda with very little in the way of reality checks, particularly when it comes to the most basic of economic realities.  
We agree again.
 
Time to get back to the possibility of train movement??


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Port Alberni or Thereabouts.
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