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Topic Summary
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 30th, 2005, 4:46pm
First off, has ICF taken control of the E&N as yet? Second. I have heard, reliably, that Dennis Washington and his son were on the island checking out the E&N last weekend. Thirdly. I dont recall who said it but I heard that Wellcox might not be the yard used by the future operator of the E&N, but rather a rebuilt Crofton yard, I'm not sure why. Duncan was mentioned as an alternative. Apparently a sale of land at Wellcox would pay for any improvements at Crofton. What shape is the barge slip at Crofton in? Can RA or whoever go after new( or previous ) clientele yet?
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 30th, 2005, 8:41pm
Personnally I think that the main yard should stay in the Nanaimo area, as it is strategically located halfway on the line. Whether that is at Welcox or near Duke Point. Assuming that more customers are found on top of what comes from Port Alberni, wouldnt it make sense to keep the existing yard first to find those customers before u start to dismantle Welcox.  
I know one thing is for sure, whoever the new operator is going to be. That there will be a lot of activity to try to bring more business to the railway, both passenger and of course freight.
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 1st, 2005, 4:04am
I'm speculating here but would moving the yard to Crofton in any way be advantageous to Norske? That would be a factor. Dont get me wrong, I agree with you on Wellcox's central location being important. But bringing Norske back online might secure the lines future. The E&N only has a future if its financially viable to its operator. Think about it. How big of a deal is it to us as railfans to see a short freight train headed to Victoria. Or the similar recent train to Courtenay. It actually rates as an event here. A RARE event. Much of the E&N rarely sees freight traffic ( The Port Sub sees none), the lifeblood of most railways. Only profitable railways live. This one needs more freight to stay alive.  Even the ICF has no mandate to keep it as a railway. So in my opinion: if change is needed to keep it going, change it. I dont want an E&N trailway. I know my opinion sucks, feel free to hate me for it.
Posted by: CroftonSpur88 Posted on: Jul 1st, 2005, 5:44pm
I think you're a realist, my friend....
Any advantage of having Wellcox as the central location is offset by the value of that land on the Nanaimo waterfront.THe money for track upgrades and re-building the Crofton Spur will have to come from somewhere.  
 
In my opinion, the condition of the track in many places is a ticking time bomb. Double, or triple, the ammount of traffic on the line, and it's inevitable that a major accident will happen.No company in their right mind would assume running the E&N without some improvements to the right of way.
 
Then again, I'm just a dumb roofer, not a business man or a railroad executive...
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jul 1st, 2005, 6:10pm
    I think relying on traffic from Port Alberni is not realistic.  My work takes me to that mill fairly often and from the information I gather on those visits it would seem that the likelyhood of the mill returning to it's former capacity any time in the near future is nil.  No one at the mill I have talked to has ever heard anything about any trains coming there ever again.  They are more worried about the whole operation being shut down.  For those of you who do not know,   Norkse claims it is losing money at both Crofton and Port Alberni, with the newsprint machine at Port Alberni, which used the Koalin clay tank cars, shut down.   The only Island operation currently turning a profit is Elk Falls.   At the moment the cost to shut down Crofton far exceeds the losses incurred by keeping it running, so its fate is in limbo.  The worldwide newsprint market, which Port Alberni served for many years is in a slump.   The Internet, changing lifestyles, and other factors has greatly reduced the market for newsprint in North America.  Competition from South America, mainly Chile, and the far east for pulp production has decimated the demand for local product, with growing markets in China served by foreign product.  It is my personal opinion (not fact, just opinion) that the future of the E and N should not be reliant on Norske shipping by rail.   I think that is a fool's game.   If the railway is to survive it should seek growth industries, not industies in the midst of a twenty year decline.   The tide will turn eventually, but I wouldn't put my eggs in that basket at the moment.
 
A bit of doom and gloom, but I really think whoever runs the tracks is going to have to get creative and "think outside the box".  I look very forward to being proven wrong!
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Jul 1st, 2005, 7:37pm
on Jul 1st, 2005, 6:10pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
    I think relying on traffic from Port Alberni is not realistic.  My work takes me to that mill fairly often and from the information I gather on those visits it would seem that the likelyhood of the mill returning to it's former capacity any time in the near future is nil.  No one at the mill I have talked to has ever heard anything about any trains coming there ever again.  They are more worried about the whole operation being shut down.  For those of you who do not know,   Norkse claims it is losing money at both Crofton and Port Alberni, with the newsprint machine at Port Alberni, which used the Koalin clay tank cars, shut down.   The only Island operation currently turning a profit is Elk Falls.   At the moment the cost to shut down Crofton far exceeds the losses incurred by keeping it running, so its fate is in limbo.  The worldwide newsprint market, which Port Alberni served for many years is in a slump.   The Internet, changing lifestyles, and other factors has greatly reduced the market for newsprint in North America.  Competition from South America, mainly Chile, and the far east for pulp production has decimated the demand for local product, with growing markets in China served by foreign product.  It is my personal opinion (not fact, just opinion) the the future of the E and N should not be reliant on Norske shipping by rail.   I think that is a fool's game.   If the railway is to survive it should seek growth industries, not industies in the midst of a twenty year decline.   The tide will turn eventually, but I wouldn't put my eggs in that basket at the moment.
 
A bit of doom and gloom, but I really think whoever runs the tracks is going to have to get creative and "think outside the box".  I look very forward to being proven wrong!

 
If that is the case then why is Norske looking at going back to rail once the new operator is in place? I have it on good authority that it will happen.
Posted by: CroftonSpur88 Posted on: Jul 1st, 2005, 8:35pm
Tyler wrote
 
If that is the case then why is Norske looking at going back to rail once the new operator is in place? I have it on good authority that it will happen. [/quote]
 
 
That's what we've been hearing for three years now...
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 1st, 2005, 10:28pm
Thanks guys, for not voting me off the forum or whatever it is you do to someone who blasphemes against Wellcox. I've got nothing against it, honestly. I just really want to keep the E&N a railroad, and if it had to be sacrificed to get rail traffic up to do it, then so be it. I take it not all of you think Norske can save it, though. I dont know myself either. But Norske did ship by rail and has kept its facilities to do so. It currently ships in and out by truck, er, lots of trucks. To me it rates as a definite maybe. Other businesses would use rail transport if it didnt look like the line was near abandonment and could get better, more reliable service - even capacity - by using rail. NOT a rumour - That same conversation I was part of recently included that Washington Group had identified up to 25 users of rail transport here not currently being served. Bet you can think of some, too.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 1st, 2005, 11:12pm
on Jul 1st, 2005, 8:35pm, CroftonSpur88 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
That's what we've been hearing for three years now...

 
 
Theres no new operator in place either.  
 
There is probably an element of truth in both sides of this story.  Norske is hurting a bit at Crofton and Port Alberni.  The newsprint market is slack right now.  But they are cyclical markets and likely will come back.  
 
If Norske can ship from Port Alberni to Crofton and directly to the US, bypassing both CP and the congestion on the mainland it will help reduce both shipping costs and times. That is absolutely for sure but whether it wil save them enough to make it worth changing back and make their product profitable is another question.  
 
I think that the new operator will go a long way to determining that.  If they are smart and hungry, market conditions cooperate and they can convince Norske then it will happen.  I think it makes sense, particularly with the skyrocketing value of land in Nanaimo.  
 
The city of Nanaimo is building a convention center downtown and there is talk of a cruise ship dock at the assembly wharf.  The new arena would be perfect on the Wellcox lands, with lots of rom for parking.  
 
 
 
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 2:00am
   One additional thing that has solidified my personal opinion that Port Alberni is not returning to rail anytime soon, is that the last four times I have driven the road there in the past two months, I didn't really see a lot of trucks.   I am used to passing, or being passed by, a whole bunch of them, but recently I didn't notice many at all.  Believe me, I am look for this sort of thing, as I would love to see the Port sub back in service.    
 
   I hope your sources are better than the hearsay I collect Tyler.  It would be great if it happened.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 12:03pm
A lot of good points being made so far. The problem with Crofton, is that there is very little public access.
 
Duke Point would be another good location for a new yard, as I recall, CP had looked at it and surveyed a route.
 
With Welcox, moving back the yard from the downtown area and perhaps building a industrial park served by rail (I believe this was suggested before).  
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 12:26pm
Aaron, you just made my day. That is brilliant. Moving the yard from the valuable, but not income producing waterfront and putting it someplace like an industrial park serviced by rail is an idea that makes sense. Some railways actively market land for sale or lease that is serviced by their line. Check out:  http://www.sryraillink.com/   -go to Industrial Properties.  Keep the good ideas comin'.  Dan.
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 3:53pm
on Jul 2nd, 2005, 12:03pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
A lot of good points being made so far. The problem with Crofton, is that there is very little public access.
 
Duke Point would be another good location for a new yard, as I recall, CP had looked at it and surveyed a route.
 
With Welcox, moving back the yard from the downtown area and perhaps building a industrial park served by rail (I believe this was suggested before).  
 
Aaron

 
I found this document a couple of months back that showed something like this could still be in the works if enough prospective customers could be found. It was put out by the Nanaimo Economic Development Group. I have attached a copy of the document at the bottom of my post.  I am a bit skeptical myself, about the Port Alberni mill coming back to rail service in the near future due to the situation with Norske's bottom line. A company can only run at a loss for so many years. Unless the pulp market improves we will more then likely see the closing of Port Alberni's mill and other unprofitable ones such as Crofton. It is a sad prospect however this has become the age of the internet and cut-throat competion where our pulp is no longer desireable due to higher production costs.  
 
So where does our railway go from here? They need to start looking at alternative traffic. There is a huge demand for our coal right now and there is still plenty of it on the island. Port Alberni could easily become a terminus for this type of traffic that would more then likely be sent over seas. There is the prospect of cement, gravel, plastic pellets and propane traffic to Victoria which has been talked about and debated for years.  Another source of traffic could be the proposed ethanol plant at Cumberland by Courtenay. A similar ethanol plant is coming online at Winfield, BC which will receive raw grain by rail (Kelowna Pacific Railway & Okanogan Valley Railway) and ship the finished product by rail also. When this plant is finished it will generate several thousand cars of traffic for both railways almost insuring their survival which has been in doubt for the past couple of years for both lines. The Cumberland plant if it is built, would be unique in that it would almost require rail service being that Cumerland is inland. I can't see all that raw mateial and finished product being trucked in and out, that would make for one huge mess on the highways. Well thats my food for thought today and below is that document that I was talking about.  
 
 
 
Free Trade Zone
 
At our last EDG meeting John Lucas of Duke Point Terminals Limited brought up
a rather interesting idea that caused a good deal of excitement around the table.
He suggested that Nanaimo might be perfectly situated for becoming a Free
Trade Zone.
 
What is a Free Trade Zone? It is a city or area that brings in raw materials from
another country, adds value to that product in some way, and ships it out again
for resale. Because the product is not resold in the country where the secondary
manufacturing takes place duties and taxes are not levied.
 
To be a Free Trade Zone you have to be located on a main transportation
corridor, which Nanaimo most certainly can be. Lucas’ scheme has many
benefits. He proposes that Port Alberni acquire a couple of container cranes to
attract freighters coming up from California or across the Pacific from Asia. In
bypassing the Juan de Fuca and Georgia Straits, ships can save 20 hours or
almost $25,000 US in travel costs. The goods would be offloaded in Port Alberni
and shipped via E&N Railway to Nanaimo. This would not only revitalize the rail
corridor but also give Rail America some much needed business. The savings to the shipping companies increase considerably when you consider the port charges in Vancouver compared to Port Alberni.
 
What sort of goods could come to Nanaimo for re-manufacturing? Nanaimo has
a skilled workforce particularly in the marine fields. There are Free Trade Zones
in the United States where skilled workers are assembling large motors and
machinery before shipping them out of the country. This is exactly the sort of
thing we could be doing here.Imagine the benefits to Nanaimo in terms of jobs alone! The spin-offs in transportation and in service industries are enormous.
 
At the moment Nanaimo as a Free Trade Zone is only a concept. But Lucas has
already begun talks with various interested parties who have shown a positive
response. Certainly we at EDG are most interested in seeing how this scenario
unfolds.
 
For more information about EDG partners, plans and initiatives, please visit our
website at www.edgnanaimo.com.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 7:18pm
Yes I saw that article before.  
It is an interesting concept. One that could work. There is a lot of traffic potential on the island. Apparently dozens of interested parties are willing to ship by rail, but refuse to do business with CPR and Rail America.
 
Going back to the Welcox discussion. Any changes that might occur, wont for several years. So in the mean time, the main yard stays where it is.
 
It is interesting to note, that this railway is special. How many rail lines does anyone remember having so many people fighting to keep it running for so long. CPR over the years (and VIA) have probably been very fustrated that for everything they have done to shut it down it keeps on chugging along.
 
This little railway isnt dead yet, so when the time comes that it is in the hands of the island, lets make it a symbol of how great our island home really is.
 
 
Long Live the E&N
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 9:12pm
Hear, Hear. Youre damned skippy this Railway aint dead yet. There are still all kinds of uses for it. As trucks become more expensive to operate ( fuel cost+ insurance+ increasing demand for qualified truck drivers), the train moves bulk cheaper. I'm not convinced that trucking (with ferry) is cheaper than barges and trains. I'd like to hear what you think should be moving by ENR instead of by truck.
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Jul 2nd, 2005, 9:32pm
on Jul 2nd, 2005, 9:12pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hear, Hear. Youre damned skippy this Railway aint dead yet. There are still all kinds of uses for it. As trucks become more expensive to operate ( fuel cost+ insurance+ increasing demand for qualified truck drivers), the train moves bulk cheaper. I'm not convinced that trucking (with ferry) is cheaper than barges and trains. I'd like to hear what you think should be moving by ENR instead of by truck.

 
The costs of operating tractor trailers have become increasingly expensive over the last couple of years due to a number of factors, mainly due to insurance costs and fuel. The company that I work with operates a large fleet of trucks across North America and we have watched the cost of insuring our fleet almost double in the past five years. If you factor in the recent jumps in fuel costs you will find that most trucking outfits are not making much money if any right now. Luckly our warehousing and freight division is only a small part of the bigger picture and has not really affected our bottom line as much as other companies. You will find that trucks are not very competitive at all right now with some compaines charging large fuel surcharges much to the annoyance of their customers.  
 
Personally I think the best chance the E&N has is with the Washington Group. Pair the E&N up with their Marine Group and the railway has a fighting chance. The Washington marketing group is ruthless in their pursuit of new carloadings. Over the past four years I watched as they turned an almost  traffic dead (two trains a week) branchline in New Westminster / Lulu Island into a two train a day operation. They recently installed a new spur into a large mill last month that has added considerable traffic to the line. This mill had ripped up their old spur in the mid 1980s when they started shipping all their product by truck and over seas.  Apparently the Washington group helped this new mill find a new customer here in North America and the mill now ships the product to this customer through the new spur they built. This is the type of marketing the E&N needs by going beyond the traditional point A to point B traffic. They need to be looking for possible point C and D traffic for their customers also. This type marketing is something that is lacking in the trucking outfits and even some of the larger railways as you can see with the current state of the E&N. If you can show your customer that you are interested in making sure they are successful by helping them find new customers, it makes for a more amicable working relationship. The guys over at Rail America or the Wasington Group should be taking advantage of the crappy times in the trucking industry to find some new traffic for our railway. I really do hope the Washington Group takes over this operation.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 4:39am
It is a possiblity that Washington Group could be the future operator, but that is only speculation. From what I have heard, thru this forum, is that several groups are interested.  
 
I am well aware of the success of the SRY of BC under the Washington Group. Whatever was used to help the line, should be applied to the E&N.
 
As to what should be hauled by the E&N that is being hauled by truck. I would say anything that is being hauled over the Malahat. Pretty much anything flammable, toxic etc. Anything that is not time sensitive could be hauled by rail. Prehaps having a distribution centre at Langford or Esquimalt served by rail. Also a lot of recyclable material is shipped from Victoria to the Mainland via truck and I am pretty sure that it goes up the Malahat.
 
Campbell River is a  huge market potential that is not served by rail on the island.  
Now this is probably jumping the gun, but if u wanted a true island railway, extend it to Port Hardy and to Tofino via Uculet, where a large resort is being planned. Although Campbell River is probably the most realistic extension at this time.
 
The liberals are funding another study as to what to do about that route, and we all know what the liberals want. They want another highway, a 4 lane bypass, which is not going to solve anything. We have the railway, so why not fund improvements to bring up the E&N to mainline standards.
 
I have heard from people that there is no traffic for the E&N, and there will never be traffic. Thats because no one has really done any real agressive advertising to promote the E&N. The CPR never really bothered to promote any new customers and RA couldnt because CPR wouldnt let them. VIA is run from back east, and is so occupied with improving service over there, that it seems that they dont know we exist.
 
Anyway, its going to be an interesting few months once the new operator is annouced.
 
Aaron
 
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 5:01am
Another thing that would help.
Encourage companies to build their factories or warehouses near the railway, as what Washington Group has done with the SRY of BC. Progressive Rail is another example of a similar operation, where the those that run the railway have been advertising to companies to build along the route. Progressive Rail is based in Minnesota.
 
If companies see that the E&N is more than willing to work with them to ship their product in a timely and efficient manner, then they will want to ship by rail. This is not rocket science, this makes sense.
 
Now passenger service is a whole different kettle of fish. The same idea can be applied. Encourage developers to build residential and commercial projects along the railway, so that customers can walk from home or work and catch the train to any destination. This will only work if the E&N is served by good connecting transit services in each community.
 
For example in Victoria, the E&N can be served by connecting LRT, Rapid Bus, Streetcar and feeder bus routes. The same goes for Nanaimo with its bus routes.  
We have no excuse, this is an island, so we should be actively pursuing sustainable transportation and development practices. This makes sense with our growing elderly and student populations.
 
Aaron
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 5:10am
I almost forgot, here is that website for Progressive Rail.
Let me know what u think. There are some ideas of what the E&N could ship.
 
 http://www.progressiverail.com/
 
 
Aaron
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 11:39am
It would be interesting to actually compare costs between shipping by truck and by rail between any two points on the line. Also between someplace off the island and here. Then we could quantify any savings.  Coastrail, I agree with you about expanding towards Campbell River, though it would be expensive. The area has the potential to be worthwhile for rail service. Isnt there a mill there that takes railcars by barge? Even now the E&N rails pass lots of businesses that could ship by rail but dont. Could we mention transloading for businesses not directly on the line? How about a facility for container shipments in larger centers (Victoria,Nanaimo et al). Lots of former CP and CN trackage is now profitable in the hands of smaller operators willing to work with the lines available resources. So can the E&N.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 11:40am
Just a comment, but the last time is was there, talking to some people they named the Yreka Southern?? as a possible interested party, not sure how far that goes, but i;d thought i throw it out there.
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 2:38pm
on Jul 1st, 2005, 8:35pm, CroftonSpur88 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Tyler wrote
 
That's what we've been hearing for three years now...

 
It WILL happen, just not while RailAmerica is running things.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Jul 3rd, 2005, 8:58pm
While I can see that Norske may not be a long term customer for the railway, I think the point is that right now, they would be a good short term anchor business that can help restore confidence in the railway. They may not be here in ten years, but I'm sure they'll be here for at least another five.
 
I'm sure given the right operator they'd go back to rail.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 4th, 2005, 2:08pm

 
In regards to the Crofton yard idea.....
     The lands near and ajoining the 2 mile Crofton spur are native band lands.  Perhaps a long term lease of their lands will be much cheaper than maintaining the fiasco at Wellcox?  Maybe someone knows something we don't? Also, Norske already has a rail slip at Crofton, which interchanges with whoever they choose, as they are not limited to only CP; they can also interchange with BNSF/CN at Vancouver or Tilbury; or BNSF/UP at Seattle.  So, Crofton makes sence in this case.
 
     If the Washington Group (Southern Railway of BC ex BC Hydro; also Montana Raillink ex Northern Pacific) were to take the line off of RailAmerica's hands,  interchanging is alot easier and faster for Island based traffic: The Tilbury spur (Delta BC) is a hop/skip/jump from the SRY yard (via CN/BNSF bridges) and SRY can interchange with CP, CN, & BNSF all within a mile of their yard, all in one afternoon.  Also, with the Annacis Island industrial area at their complete disposal, raw materials/goods to/from the Island make sence for Washington Group.
 
     Someone mentioned recyclables traveling from Victoria on the Malahat to the Mainland?   Ummm...  there is a trailer barge facility beside the BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal.  Why would trucks drive from Victoria to Nanaimo to get on a barge or ferry there?  Sorry, that makes no economic sence.
 
     I once was talking to someone who thought that Port Alberni should have a container port.  In his idea, this was great because the Asian ships would not have to sail around the Island.  And the economic windfall for Port Alberni would be great. The inlet is deep enough for the ships to sail into.  Port Alberni had even had a CRUSIE Ship in it once!   I said to him that it was a great idea, but I had one question.....   Where were the containers going?   To the mainland!!!  Where else?? He looked at me like I was an idiot.   (At this point I am laughing, which did not help his temper..   )  I then said to him...  That all sounds great, but why would you load all those containers onto a trains, to then either reload them on a ship to take them to the mainland or have to put loaded cars on a barge to sail them to the mainland...   Would it not be cheaper to sail the ship around the island and unload them once only?  This guy stood there completly dumbfounded.  How could his "island intellect" have failed him?
  After this conversation,  I realized then that the world has changed from 25 to 30 years ago, and that unfortunatly the E&N is destined to become a segmented tourist train operation, with a gasoline powered "steam engine" and 3 radio flyer wagons in tow.       *IF* CP/Dunsmuir/Canadian Government of 100 years past HAD connected the Island to the Mainland via Seymour Narrows, his idea would have been gold; but it was not to be.  As much as the E&N has a place in my heart, the simple economic math of today will not allow the E&N to continue, unless major increases of rail traffic occur.  Realisticly, there should be 50 cars coming onto the Island per week and 200 leaving per week (loaded cars I mean). Plus 25 cars moved between Island points. This would sustain a 16 hr/7 days a week operation that would be profitable.    When was the last time this happened?  
     
 
 
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 4th, 2005, 4:51pm
That would have been me about the trucks going up the Malahat. I wasnt sure if they did, obviously they dont. Thankyou for correcting me.
As for the E&N becoming just a tourist line, then we might as well roll out the red carpet for the liberals and their scheme to expand the highway thru Goldstream Park or the Sooke Watershed, because thats where its going to go. I know myself and many others wont let that happen.  
As for the economics of keeping the E&N afloat, no one that I know has aggressively marketed the the use of rail on the island, not CPR, not RA (because CP wouldnt let them) or VIA (the FEDs couldnt give a hoot of what goes on back here, I guess they are too busy bribing their freinds in Quebec). Just because there isnt anything happening on the line at the moment doesnt mean there isnt any freight or passenger potential of the line.
 
Until the operator is announced, until the E&N is in the hands of the ICF, everything we say at this moment is rumour and speculation.  
 
Unfortunately the current state of the E&N doesnt give us much hope. I know that the cycling groups are just itching to get their hands on it for a bike trail. But bike trails arent going to help in the current and future traffic problems on our island roads. We cant stop people from moving here (and a lot are coming), so why dont we promote the E&N as a sustainable way to travel on the island. (refer to my last few posts).
 
Aaron
 
 
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jul 4th, 2005, 6:30pm
Any and all interchange restrictions will be gove with the transfer to ICF, therefore discussion of Crofton vs. Wellcox is moot as far as far as interchange is concerned.  Don't jump out of what you have until you have to.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Jul 4th, 2005, 11:49pm
so when is this great transfer supposed to happen, does anyone know? It would be great if this icf got wellcox, then maybe they could make some $$$ of the property, and put it into the infastructure of the railroad.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jul 5th, 2005, 1:23am
Maybe some 'legal eagle' can provide the facts, but I do not think a railway company can just sell the land it "owns" at market value. There are some technicalities that have to do with government grants for transportation infrastructure and what-not.
 
Does anyone out there really want a condo at Wellcox looking out on the wharehouses and mills?  I think some industry might be better suited to the area and the zoning.  It seems like a good location for a railyard, and Norske won't be in control like it would at Crofton.  I say keep Wellcox for the trains!
 
Pyronova.....   Thank you for the bleak, yet in my opinion, very realistic assessment of the current state of things.  I agree totally that the key to the freight future of the railway is exported carloads of forest products (cut lumber/value added/chipboard/paralams/trusses...etc.) bound for the lumber markets in Chicago, not imported propane and a few cars of llama feed.   The passenger service is another story.  I think the Duncan to Victoria run makes a bunch of sense.
 
The best thing is that we will all see what is going to happen really soon.  I figure if the ties rot any more the lawsuit is gonna kill the whole railway anyway when a RDC full of tourists falls off the view royal bridge onto a busload of nuns.
 
The future is on it's way fellas...and it's coming fast (with slow orders).
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 5th, 2005, 1:34am
Boxcar, I looked for a Yreka Southern and couldnt find one but I found a Yreka Western. They're owned by RailAmerica. Probably not interested.   It would be nice if The ICF would announce something and mean it.
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Jul 5th, 2005, 2:45am
Just speculating here, but with the newsprint plant closed at Port Alberni, Norske no longer has any need to send the Kaolin Clay to Port Alberni from Crofton, right? As that was the only traffic that would be coming out of Crofton for Port Alberni there's really no need to reconnect to Crofton now; and as it is my understanding, that the ICF already owns the CP sections of the E&N which includes the Wellcox barge slip they could very well continue to use Wellcox to serve the Port Alberni Mill and run barges into the USA to BNSF(they could interchange with BNSF in Vancouver too as the Tilbury Spur is actually owned by BNSF and CN, CP just has running rights) from Wellcox.  
 
BTW, the ICF is supposed to be announcing their operator sometime this month.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 5th, 2005, 3:18am
I feel kind of stupid asking this, but does BTW mean (by the way)?
 
Anyway, the newsprint plan can still reopen. The paper industry isnt dead yet. Interestly the computer industry has actually increased paper use, not decreased it.
 
I hope all goes well. I am really curious who they announce as the operator.
 
Aaron
Posted by: Walt_C Posted on: Jul 5th, 2005, 10:37am
on Jul 5th, 2005, 1:23am, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Maybe some 'legal eagle' can provide the facts, but I do not think a railway company can just sell the land it "owns" at market value. There are some technicalities that have to do with government grants for transportation infrastructure and what-not.

 
 This would depend on how the railway originally acquired the land. If it was a straight purchase, then the land can be sold just like any other real estate. If, however, it was acquired under "Eminent Domain", whether it could be sold would depend on the specific terms of the acquisition. Many times, railroad ROW's acquired this way were subject to a provision that once the land ceased being used for railway purposes, it would revert back to it's original owners. This is what kept the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company ( Red Arrow Lines) from bustituting its Media and Sharon Hill trolley lines back in the 1960's. Those two lines survive as rail lines today as SEPTA's Routes 101 and 102.  While I don't know anything about the situation being discussed here, whether or not the land in question could be sold would be subject to the conditions described above.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 6th, 2005, 9:35pm
Well, I have heard, reliably (and some of you probably know or could guess), that ICF is going to announce their rail operator. Washington Group. They own the barge slip at Crofton, the mill already served by them. That seems to be behind the push to reopen the Osborne Bay sub. They're set to spend $50 large upgrading the right of way including the Port sub and the line to Victoria (the north part wasnt mentioned). My source is fairly credible. The ICF is supposed to announce this "soon". Consider this a heads up.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 6th, 2005, 11:28pm
on Jul 6th, 2005, 9:35pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Well, I have heard, reliably (and some of you probably know or could guess), that ICF is going to announce their rail operator. Washington Group. They own the barge slip at Crofton, the mill already served by them. That seems to be behind the push to reopen the Osborne Bay sub. They're set to spend $50 large upgrading the right of way including the Port sub and the line to Victoria (the north part wasnt mentioned). My source is fairly credible. The ICF is supposed to announce this "soon". Consider this a heads up.                    

 
 
It seems like a no brainer the above will be reality; but then again, the CP Dayliner was not to run past 1977 either.....    
 
Clairify me this.....   Was it Washington Group that bought/leased BCRail Marine?  I know they bought the SeaSpan red/white barges.   And what is that thing in the corner of the "W" of the Washington Group's symbol anyways?
 
Tyler:  Could this be how your rumor of SW1200s of SRY/Montana Railink being used on the Island got started a year or more ago:  Washington Group thought about/knew/wanted the E&N and thought about running SW1200s or something to that effect? To continue the thoughts, if RA was using 2 2000 hp units (and sometimes only 1), will we see consits of 3 or 4 SW1200s    I have seen SRY's loco consist pulling the overpass of HWY 1 in Chilliwack - 1 GP-9 & 2 SW1200s     S C R E A M I N G to pull 30 cars over the 2.5-3% grade of the overpass...... I hope we won't hear the same on the Island.
 
 
Keep the ideas flowing......
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Jul 6th, 2005, 11:52pm
on Jul 6th, 2005, 9:35pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Well, I have heard, reliably (and some of you probably know or could guess), that ICF is going to announce their rail operator. Washington Group. They own the barge slip at Crofton, the mill already served by them. That seems to be behind the push to reopen the Osborne Bay sub. They're set to spend $50 large upgrading the right of way including the Port sub and the line to Victoria (the north part wasnt mentioned). My source is fairly credible. The ICF is supposed to announce this "soon". Consider this a heads up.                    

 
This would indeed be goods news in the making and I might have to bite my tongue about my previous comments about the situation with the mill in Port Alberni. I am sure the operation won't create as much traffic as the glory days with CP but you never now  
 
I wonder when they will start operations and what they are planning on using for power as they seem power short these days? Strange things have been happening with SRY's power lately and that has left me wondering what they are planning. I live beside the SRY main at Sullivan Station in Surrey and just watched a couple of switchers roll by my property with about a dozen cars which is odd because this is usually SD38-2 territory. This has been going on for the last couple of days and the power for the night train seems to be the same. I went into New West the other day and found a Green Goat switching the yard instead of the usual pair of yard switchers. Another strange thing I noticed while in New West that the engine house tracks were almost empty with a lot of the road power stuck in the shop which is really strange. I wonder if they are overhauling road power in preparation for this startup I can't see them sending the geeps to the island as they are horrible on the grades here, especially Scott Road hill which is 2.5% in places. I wonder if the SD38s would find a home on the island if the trackage is upgraded as these units were built for BC Hydro's lighter rail days in the 1970s?
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 12:03am
on Jul 6th, 2005, 11:52pm, ENR3005 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
This would indeed be goods news in the making and I might have to bite my tongue about my previous comments about the situation with the mill in Port Alberni. I am sure the operation won't create as much traffic as the glory days with CP but you never now  
 
I wonder when they will start operations and what they are planning on using for power as they seem power short these days? Strange things have been happening with SRY's power lately and that has left me wondering what they are planning. I live beside the SRY main at Sullivan Station in Surrey and just watched a couple of switchers roll by my property with about a dozen cars which is odd because this is usually SD38-2 territory. This has been going on for the last couple of days and the power for the night train seems to be the same. I went into New West the other day and found a Green Goat switching the yard instead of the usual pair of yard switchers. Another strange thing I noticed while in New West that the engine house tracks were almost empty with a lot of the road power stuck in the shop which is really strange. I wonder if they are overhauling road power in preparation for this startup I can't see them sending the geeps to the island as they are horrible on the grades here, especially Scott Road hill which is 2.5% in places. I wonder if the SD38s would find a home on the island if the trackage is upgraded as these units were built for BC Hydro's lighter rail days in the 1970s?

 
 
Being that SD-38's are 6 axles, they could not be a good fit for the Malahat. (curves - ask Tyler about the "dinner" train fiasco with 6 axle units......)
 
Check out this link for available leasing power owed by the Washington Group (Montana Rail Link) that could be used on the Island:
 http://www.montanarail.com/leasing/leasing.htm
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 12:29am
on Jul 7th, 2005, 12:03am, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Being that SD-38's are 6 axles, they could not be a good fit for the Malahat. (curves - ask Tyler about the "dinner" train fiasco with 6 axle units......)
 
Check out this link for available leasing power owed by the Washington Group (Montana Rail Link) that could be used on the Island:
 http://www.montanarail.com/leasing/leasing.htm

 
Thanks for the link. You are more then likely correct that the curves might be a bit tight however SRY has operated the SDs in tight curve territory before. The units operate into Annacis Island whenever they are power short. This line has some of the tightest curves in the lower mainland being that it is mostly industrial trackage. The curves would be comparable to those on the island if not more severe in places. Given the surplus of GP9s and SW1200s that Washington group has on their roster, I imagine this will be the power for the fleet. It would be nice to hear the sound of EMD567s on the island again.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 1:51am
 I had to think twice about posting this part. The person they want in charge here is tied to China Shipping (an unnamed son ).  Seems also that the aim is container traffic over a heavily rebuilt Port sub. The way it was explained to me is that Crofton would be used as a marshalling yard for container cars (he said 300 cars), and another yard would be used for island bound or island based carloads. Duncan was mentioned previously as being considered as were others. Motive power? Anything is speculation. MRL has excess power( some available as lease power ) and SRY doesnt have enough though I gather it might be in transition right now. Didnt MRL order SD70 or 75's recently? I strongly doubt that they would get here, but they might free up other power for other duties. Washington is pretty savvy, he owns the rail barge and has a barge slip here, he has rail equipment and rail management people and is experienced at turning failing shortlines around. He is uniquely qualified to operate the E&N.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 3:03am
How about this for a paint scheme?
 
Aaron
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 3:30am
Or this?
 
Aaron
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 3:39am
on Jul 7th, 2005, 1:51am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 I had to think twice about posting this part. The person they want in charge here is tied to China Shipping (an unnamed son ).  Seems also that the aim is container traffic over a heavily rebuilt Port sub. The way it was explained to me is that Crofton would be used as a marshalling yard for container cars (he said 300 cars), and another yard would be used for island bound or island based carloads. Duncan was mentioned previously as being considered as were others. Motive power? Anything is speculation. MRL has excess power( some available as lease power ) and SRY doesnt have enough though I gather it might be in transition right now. Didnt MRL order SD70 or 75's recently? I strongly doubt that they would get here, but they might free up other power for other duties. Washington is pretty savvy, he owns the rail barge and has a barge slip here, he has rail equipment and rail management people and is experienced at turning failing shortlines around. He is uniquely qualified to operate the E&N.

 
Firstly, the E&N is a Railway from nowhere to nowhere and someplace else nowhere  connected by water.
 
Please read my first post in this thread regarding containers and Port Alberni.
 
The ES70s are replacement for the aging SD45 MRL fleet, as they are set to retire soon, and the ESs are 30% more fuel effcient.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 5:00am
on Jul 4th, 2005, 2:08pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
     I once was talking to someone who thought that Port Alberni should have a container port.  In his idea, this was great because the Asian ships would not have to sail around the Island.  And the economic windfall for Port Alberni would be great. The inlet is deep enough for the ships to sail into.  Port Alberni had even had a CRUSIE Ship in it once!   I said to him that it was a great idea, but I had one question.....   Where were the containers going?   To the mainland!!!  Where else?? He looked at me like I was an idiot.   (At this point I am laughing, which did not help his temper..   )  I then said to him...  That all sounds great, but why would you load all those containers onto a trains, to then either reload them on a ship to take them to the mainland or have to put loaded cars on a barge to sail them to the mainland...   Would it not be cheaper to sail the ship around the island and unload them once only?  This guy stood there completly dumbfounded.  How could his "island intellect" have failed him?
 

 
Hmmmm.  And you completely missed the point of the suggestion.  Time sensitive containers (more and more) waiting a week to be unloaded from frieghters on the mainland.  With a further delay reloading onto railcars.  All of this versus an easy IMMEDIATE unload at Port Alberni, 2 days to the intechange point from there.  A transfer and delivery to the mainland of a container already railcar loaded by a railroad that controls its own access to interchange and bypassing the congestion on the mainland.  You cannot see the value in that?  
 
I am not saying that it will happen.  But it certainly does not deserve the derision that you, in your ignorance, attempted to pile on to the suggestion.  You should be apologizing to the person who made the original suggestion.  At least they were thinking.  
 
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 11:21am
I like your green paint scheme aaron.  It would suit the scenery.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 1:09pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 5:00am, B_Winkler wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Hmmmm.  And you completely missed the point of the suggestion.  Time sensitive containers (more and more) waiting a week to be unloaded from frieghters on the mainland.  With a further delay reloading onto railcars.  All of this versus an easy IMMEDIATE unload at Port Alberni, 2 days to the intechange point from there.  A transfer and delivery to the mainland of a container already railcar loaded by a railroad that controls its own access to interchange and bypassing the congestion on the mainland.  You cannot see the value in that?  
 
I am not saying that it will happen.  But it certainly does not deserve the derision that you, in your ignorance, attempted to pile on to the suggestion.  You should be apologizing to the person who made the original suggestion.  At least they were thinking.  
 

They may have been thinking, but obviously not of time or the big picture with the expansion of Prince Rupert and the extra 1.5 days for the transit off of the Island.  Time sensitive freight?   Do you really need your new TV one day sooner?  
 
And as for the congestion of the Mainland, how can one avoid it by unloading on the Island?   No shortline on the Mainland is completly independant from the Major 3. The Tilsbury spur  joins the BNSF and the 2 bottle necks out of there are the line through Langley (CN/CP) and the crossing of the Fraser under the Pattulo (CN/CP/BNSF).   The slip at Vancouver is already overcrowded by the Port of Vancouver.   Lastly, the final bottleneck is the Fraser Canyon.     Explain how unloading on the Island can be in anyway be 1) cheaper and 2) faster.    
As I said earlier, had anyone connected directly to the Island, the idea is gold.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 1:27pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 1:09pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

They may have been thinking, but obviously not of time or the big picture with the expansion of Prince Rupert and the extra 1.5 days for the transit off of the Island.  Time sensitive freight?   Do you really need your new TV one day sooner?  

 
 
In these days of just-in-time inventory, days really are starting to matter.  
 
 
on Jul 7th, 2005, 1:09pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

And as for the congestion of the Mainland, how can one avoid it by unloading on the Island?   No shortline on the Mainland is completly independant from the Major 3. The Tilsbury spur  joins the BNSF and the 2 bottle necks out of there are the line through Langley (CN/CP) and the crossing of the Fraser under the Pattulo (CN/CP/BNSF).   The slip at Vancouver is already overcrowded by the Port of Vancouver.   Lastly, the final bottleneck is the Fraser Canyon.     Explain how unloading on the Island can be in anyway be 1) cheaper and 2) faster.    
As I said earlier, had anyone connected directly to the Island, the idea is gold.

 
Actually, the point of my post was that you were derisive and went out of your way to put the person down for their idea.   As for unloading,  the question is this.  If we save a day by going to port alberni, unload the ship right away, and deliver already loaded rail cars to the transfer points up to a week earlier, there will be containers and shippers who will benefit from that.  Not all of them but if it is marketed as a priority service, it may develop a market.  
 
Its an idea.  Worth discussing. And not worthy of the negative spin and ridicule that you chose to put on both it and the person who suggested it.  I guess I have just seen too many similar posts from you and got really tired of seeing them go unanswered.   If you dont like an idea, counter it. But posts like "How could his "island intellect" have failed him?" really are not productive.  
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 2:42pm
I agree with the last post. Its an idea that should be looked at. If the rumours about Washington Group are true and possible container traffic on the line, then they must see something we dont.
 
Obviously the Port Sub would have to be heavily rebuilt to allow such an operation to occur. Some of the bridges would have to be replaced or strengthened. Heavier rail and newer ties would have to be used as well. Imagine more trains coming from and to Port Alberni, Victoria, Nanaimo etc. Perhaps an extension to Campbell River. Its a train fans dream come true.
 
Back to reality.
 
I am thinking a lot of transloading would occur along the line. Progressive Rail and Swy of BC have a lot of this occuring along their routes.
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 2:53pm
Firstly, Pyronova, you are right about the ES70's replacing SD45's. That was said to me, I chose not to post it that way. Many of Washingtons SD45's are available as lease units, therefore probably not entirely junk, he is also known to get every last mile out of his equipment. There will still be SD45's on the roster, you can pretty much count on that. Secondly, you can bet he's done his homework on the E&N and sees a future in it or he wouldnt spend a dime on it. Thirdly, there isnt one place on this island I would refer to as "nowhere", islanders love this place.   Paint?   Washington rail group has a paint scheme in place. Our E&N stuff would look more or less like SRY or MRL, except it would say "E&N". PROUDLY!     Thank you, B. Winkler for defending us from negativity, it hasnt helped our cause yet.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 3:38pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 2:53pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Secondly, you can bet he's done his homework on the E&N and sees a future in it or he wouldnt spend a dime on it.

 
Further to that, I would bet that he has an agreement in principal with Norske to start shipping by rail within a set period of time.  Or some other major source of traffic from Port Alberni.  
 
It seems that this is the only way this makes sense.  
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 5:15pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 2:53pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Firstly, Pyronova, you are right about the ES70's replacing SD45's. That was said to me, I chose not to post it that way. Many of Washingtons SD45's are available as lease units, therefore probably not entirely junk, he is also known to get every last mile out of his equipment. There will still be SD45's on the roster, you can pretty much count on that. Secondly, you can bet he's done his homework on the E&N and sees a future in it or he wouldnt spend a dime on it. Thirdly, there isnt one place on this island I would refer to as "nowhere", islanders love this place.   Paint?   Washington rail group has a paint scheme in place. Our E&N stuff would look more or less like SRY or MRL, except it would say "E&N". PROUDLY!     Thank you, B. Winkler for defending us from negativity, it hasnt helped our cause yet.

 
1)  Unless $50 million plus is spent on the complete line from ties, straightening curves and upgrading bridges/trestles, there will never be a six axle or SD45 on the Island.
 
2)  Until the Island either a) recieves a barge load a day or b) is connected by rail to the mainland or c) ships a barge load a day, it is a rock with a railline from nowhere to nowhere.
 
3)  Unless the above happens, my "negativity" is fact based; from observations, reading sources other than this site and other non-railroad sources.  As a former Islander who has woken up and faced reality; it is too bad that Vancouver Islanders do not wake up and realize that there is life off of the Island, and do something about their "toy" railroad.   Vote in a Gov;t with a backbone to get the lumber industry up for rail exports.  Restore a steamer and run it with cruise ship tourists on the line.  B_Winkler - Point your finger at me all you want, but the reality is you have not come up with any ideas, rumors or suggestions that will make any realistic sence.  
 
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 5:37pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 5:15pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 B_Winkler - Point your finger at me all you want, but the reality is you have not come up with any ideas, rumors or suggestions that will make any realistic sence.  
 

 
I have no intention of getting into a flame war with you.  You obviously have anger management issues of your own.  
 
The bottom line is that the Washington Group, the ICF and all of the others who ware working toward rejuvenating the E&N see something in the future.  Of course, you certainly know that they are all wrong, that is very clear in your posts.  
 
The fact is that many small ideas are what is going to work for the E&N,  
 
Norske shipping by rail again.  Possibly to Crofton and barged directly to the US
The Budd cars and commuter rail from Duncan
VIA rail service
A tourist operator that runs a steam train from Victoria to Duncan or Nanaimo.
The folks in Port Alberni running excursions from Port Alberni to Parksville
Containers from Port Alberni to the mainland.
The new mine in Port Alberni.
Selling Wellcox to raise the money for the Crofton Sub and track upgrades.  
 
These and many other suggested both here and elsewhere are positive suggestions.  Some will work, some wont.  But people are going to try.  
And others will cheer them on.  
 
And you will complain and denigrate.  
 
Positive enough for ya?
 
 
 
Posted by: OldShayLogger Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 6:00pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 5:37pm, B_Winkler wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I have no intention of getting into a flame war with you.  You obviously have anger management issues of your own.  
 
The bottom line is that the Washington Group, the ICF and all of the others who ware working toward rejuvenating the E&N see something in the future.  Of course, you certainly know that they are all wrong, that is very clear in your posts.  
 
The fact is that many small ideas are what is going to work for the E&N,  
 
Norske shipping by rail again.  Possibly to Crofton and barged directly to the US
The Budd cars and commuter rail from Duncan
VIA rail service
A tourist operator that runs a steam train from Victoria to Duncan or Nanaimo.
The folks in Port Alberni running excursions from Port Alberni to Parksville
Containers from Port Alberni to the mainland.
The new mine in Port Alberni.
Selling Wellcox to raise the money for the Crofton Sub and track upgrades.  
 
These and many other suggested both here and elsewhere are positive suggestions.  Some will work, some wont.  But people are going to try.  
And others will cheer them on.  
 
And you will complain and denigrate.  
 
Positive enough for ya?
 
 
 

 
 
as a new user here, i have been reading everyones posts.  i must say that island people are quite energetic about their railroad.  from what i have gathered over the last while is that there are many miles of unused road and what should one do with them? it is unfortunate that the economic times are such that a separtated island of railroad can not turn a profit or at least break even.  I understand pyronovas view in that a container reload system in say hawaii to ship to los angleas does not seam viable. bwinkler on the other hand seems to think that any idea will work given a chance.  the concept of boats for railcars is a foregn concept for me and can some one explain how boats make a railroad profitable? especialy if the railroad is soley reliant on boats? what is this connection pyronova had mentioned? a bridge somewhere?
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 6:24pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 6:00pm, OldShayLogger wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
bwinkler on the other hand seems to think that any idea will work given a chance.  the concept of boats for railcars is a foregn concept for me and can some one explain how boats make a railroad profitable? especialy if the railroad is soley reliant on boats? what is this connection pyronova had mentioned? a bridge somewhere?

 
Not quite, I believe they should be considered from a potential business point of view.  Try them only if the numbers work.  Argue against it, but dont ridicule someone for putting it forward.  Some of the greatest ideas in history seemed far-fetched at first.  
 
All access to the E&N is by railbarge.  Being on an island, this is a neccessity.  A bridge would seem to be a long way off, given the geography and expense involved.  
 
However, given the same geography, it is a fact that Port Alberni (on the west coast of Vancouver Island, is a full days sailing closer to the Orient.  Add that to the congestion in the port of Vancouver and it would seem that there is some merit in looking at the idea of offloading in Port Alberni onto railcars and delivering them to the railbarge at Nanaimo or Crofton.  In turn, these already loaded railcars would be fed into the tail system at one of the mainland transfer points.  This would only work for time-critical containers, if it worked at all.  Many factors would have to be considered, including demand, extra costs, re-investment in the rail line and facilities at Port Alberni.  It would cost, but the people buying into the line have the money and the ability to do those cost analyses.  They also have a track record (no pun intended) of making things like this work.  And they are not afraid of investing in infrastucture if they can see a return.
 
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 6:55pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 3:39am, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Please read my first post in this thread regarding containers and Port Alberni.
 

 
I would tend to agree with you about the containers BUT since Port Alberni is so much more closer than Vancouver or even Prince Rupert the container ship can save days on its journey and the faster those ships can unload, load and be on their way, the better. It could be unloaded, loaded and heading back to Asia while a ship bound for Vancouver would still be fiting for a dock and a Prince Rupert ship would probably juat be unloading. The only problem with the planned port at Pt.Alberni is where the heck are you going to put a huge container port that is near the railway?  
 
 
No offence intended here but Pyronova you don't seem to realize that the containers would be loaded onto railcars in Port Alberni, hauled to wherever(crofton or Wellcox), put on a railbarge, railcar and all and interchanged with either CN or CP at Tilbury, or BNSF or UP in Seattle. Once the containers are loaded onto the railcar at Port Alberni they would not be removed until they get to wherever they are going.
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 7:31pm
I wouldn't say Washington Group is automatically the new operator, there is another, local company bidding on the E&N as well. We won't find out until later this month though.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 7:32pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 6:55pm, ENR3870 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
No offence intended here but Pyronova you don't seem to realize that the containers would be loaded onto railcars in Port Alberni, hauled to wherever(crofton or Wellcox), put on a railbarge, railcar and all and interchanged with either CN or CP at Tilbury, or BNSF or UP in Seattle. Once the containers are loaded onto the railcar at Port Alberni they would not be removed until they get to wherever they are going.

 
Well said
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 7:42pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 6:55pm, ENR3870 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I would tend to agree with you about the containers BUT since Port Alberni is so much more closer than Vancouver or even Prince Rupert the container ship can save days on its journey and the faster those ships can unload, load and be on their way, the better. It could be unloaded, loaded and heading back to Asia while a ship bound for Vancouver would still be fiting for a dock and a Prince Rupert ship would probably juat be unloading. The only problem with the planned port at Pt.Alberni is where the heck are you going to put a huge container port that is near the railway?  
 
 
No offence intended here but Pyronova you don't seem to realize that the containers would be loaded onto railcars in Port Alberni, hauled to wherever(crofton or Wellcox), put on a railbarge, railcar and all and interchanged with either CN or CP at Tilbury, or BNSF or UP in Seattle. Once the containers are loaded onto the railcar at Port Alberni they would not be removed until they get to wherever they are going.

 
Firstly, Prince Rupert is closer than Port Alberni
Secondly,  where in PA would these "facilities" go?
Thirdly.....  The top of the list of issue is why unload on the island to go to the mainland?    The whole reason for delay at the moment is that any container trains, regardless of Vancouver, Seattle, San Fran or LA is that they are at capacity.  Everyone here is saying that unloading on the Island makes sence because the containers are on the railcar when introduced to the Mainland.  So what; if there is no line to transport to due to congestion!!!!!! The barged container train can't go anywhere!   The whole laughing matter of the Port Alberni idea is that you are trying to fix a leak in a 12 inch pipe (mianland capacity) with a bandaid (Port Alberni).
    The whole reason for the Prince Rupert expansion is the CN has from Jasper to Prince Rupert 450 miles + of track that is really only used by VIA.   From Jasper to Chicago is double tracked for the majority - plenty of room.    
   But!  The whole matter is that the North American Rail System is at capacity.  All Class I railways are in the middle of trying to double track major routes and upgrade secondary lines to help balance the system.    
   Port Alberni would make sence in the same way as Prince Rupert makes sence IF it were connected to the mainland directly.    
   The real thing that should be addressed here?    Why do we as a society HAVE to have a second or third TV?  a coffee maker in every room?  a laptop for every SUV? 2 SUVs for every child?   If we North Americans were actually satified with what we have, instead of trying to "keep up with the jones' " ,  there would be no need for expanding the North American Rail or Port systems.     Look in your own back yard first.  This is the "Island intellect" I refer to.  No one looks past their own back yard.  Just me me me me what about me??   I need a SUV!  I need this! I need that! - All without regard to the rest of the province, country, continent or planet.
 
I am not trying to offend, only educate.    
 
 
Posted by: vicguy Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 9:03pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 7:42pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
   The real thing that should be addressed here?    Why do we as a society HAVE to have a second or third TV?  a coffee maker in every room?  a laptop for every SUV? 2 SUVs for every child?   If we North Americans were actually satified with what we have, instead of trying to "keep up with the jones' " ,  there would be no need for expanding the North American Rail or Port systems.     Look in your own back yard first.  This is the "Island intellect" I refer to.  No one looks past their own back yard.  Just me me me me what about me??   I need a SUV!  I need this! I need that! - All without regard to the rest of the province, country, continent or planet.
 
I am not trying to offend, only educate.    
 
 
 

 
Can't we keep the topics here "railroad" related? Go preach somewhere else.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 9:24pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 9:03pm, vicguy wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Can't we keep the topics here "railroad" related? Go preach somewhere else.

 
 
I see another fails to grasp the concept of why railroads even exist.
 
To move raw or bulk or heavy items to markets for consumers.   I would like you to find ANY home in North America that does not have some item contained within that has not been transported by rail.  Pre or Post construction/manufacturing. IMPOSSIBLE!
 
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 10:28pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 9:24pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I see another fails to grasp the concept of why railroads even exist.
 

 
No what he is saying is that nobody wants to here your version of why railroads exist.  If I want 4 SUV's, its none of your damn business
Posted by: CroftonSpur88 Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 10:46pm
We should all be grateful that we have a genius like Pyronova to correct  us simple, uneducated folk of our ignorance.Clearly he knows more about running a railway than Dennis Washington. I guess that's why Dennis Washington is a millionaire who's made a fortune in the transportation game, while Pyronova  spends his time starting flame wars on a railroad website.Us morons should realize that Pyro's always right, even when he's wrong.
 
  
 
  I'll just stop now before he runs to Henry again and gets us dumb dudes in trouble.
 
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 10:53pm
on Jul 7th, 2005, 7:42pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Secondly,  where in PA would these "facilities" go?
 
 

 
I am not arguing with you, If you read my post you will see that I asked the same question.
 
 
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jul 7th, 2005, 11:39pm
I can see the smoke rising, thicker than a burning railroad trestle......
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Jul 8th, 2005, 12:09am
on Jul 7th, 2005, 11:39pm, CPRail4744 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I can see the smoke rising, thicker than a burning railroad trestle......

 
Fire extinquisheron standby   lol
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 8th, 2005, 2:24am
Hmmm , I think we should all go on the Jerry Springer Show.
 
First, it wont be up to us what is shipped on the E&N.
Second, it will be up to the new operator as he or she will have the know how and business sense.
Thirdly, we can argue all we want, but we wont know what is going to happen until a new operator is announced
Four, can we stop questioning each others intelligence, we could all be wrong or all be right.
Six, its going to take many ideas, cooperation between many parties and a lot of hard work to make the E&N successfull.
 
So if it means starting commuter service, bringing back steam trains, being innovative with freight operations or parading naked along the track to bring back confidence in rail travel on the island then so be it.
 
Until then, keep up the entertaining discussion
 
Aaron
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jul 8th, 2005, 10:59am
Aaron,
 
well said. Thanx for injecting some sanity back into this thread
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 8th, 2005, 11:04am
on Jul 8th, 2005, 2:24am, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
So if it means starting commuter service, bringing back steam trains, being innovative with freight operations or parading naked along the track to bring back confidence in rail travel on the island then so be it.
 

 
I draw the line at the parading naked thing.  I am way too old for that to have any appeal, either for me or anyone else.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 9th, 2005, 12:16am
Ok, well the parading naked thing was a bit too far.  
 
 
 
But,  I do think that working together on improving the transportation situation on the island will benefit all of us. Not the bickering that seems to consume the politicians and citizens of Vancouver Island. This is especially true in the Victoria area. Lets use this energy at getting things done. This means improving the E&N (commuter rail and freight), improving transit services (all communities), putting in a streetcar and LRT network in Victoria, etc.  
 
Regardless what is said, we have to give the E&N a chance.
 
Aaron
Posted by: torch Posted on: Jul 9th, 2005, 3:17am
my 2 cents worth here is that this hobby of railfanning and rail dreaming  is supposed to be a fun release for most of us.This is where we can escape from our hectic day to day schedule.Lets just cool down. Pyronova sweems more interested in the corporate structure of railroads and seems to be a realist.  Fine.  maybe this board is not for him then. you could always just ignore an antagonist.   cheeerios.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 9th, 2005, 4:06am
Lets do a change up then......  since I am too serious for the majority here......
 
Can we come up with a rock solid list of shipper/receivers in the following catagories: current and possible (either have chosen truck (alternate methods of shipping) or a shipper/receiver that has suspended operations (spur line intact - building deserted) ) .     I figure with a rock solid list (not a what if the E&N were to extend into Port Hardy for Queen of the North pax traffic list) we could extrapulate possible shipping scenarios as well as some $$ numbers.
 
For instance:  We know Top Shelf exists and is current.   They receive X amount of cars per week at say $500 per car in and $500 per car out.    E&N obviously receives $1000 per car barge to barge.  
 
If we have a full list, and since this is a speculation thread, we could come up with some realistic numbers, to satify everyones theories........
 
Posted by: hillbank Posted on: Jul 10th, 2005, 1:22am
Hey thats a good idea...i will start with one item for the list...lumber shipments  
now this has been talked about before and Rail America was looking into it as well including truck/rail reload...the best location for this would be Wellcox the reasons.
1. there is room for trucks to come and go and store lumber.
2. the switching could be done by the yard crew.
3. Wellcox is not to distant from most of the sawmills on Vancouver Island.
4. to build a reload anywhere else there is the need for land and to purchase it would be expensive plus the problem of NIMBYS.
 As you all know alot of lumber used to be shipped by the E&N off the island HOWEVER  things have changed, the mills that did have direct rail access have either closed or have had the spurs removed...Chemainus sawmill is a possible future customer as some of the spur is still intact and i am not sure on the status of track in Port Alberni however from a business perspective if a railroad was to invest in trying to capture the Island Lumber traffic it would make sense to build a reload facility and service A NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS than build/rebuild a couple of spurs.
 Well thats just my thoughts maybe some of you can add some more to this or come up with some $ figures or if all else fails you can napalm me.
 
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jul 10th, 2005, 2:39am
From the little I know of the lumber trading market, the majority of lumber sold to the US enters the States via railcar.  I believe that majority of lumber trading happens in Chicago.  If Home Depot buys 2X4s, I believe they bid on them in Chicago, and then they are distributed from there.  As well, a lot of the traffic heading south from B.C. on BNSF is lumber and wood products, as anyone who has witnessed the late day south-bound in Vancouver can attest to.
 
Having said that.   All those 2X4s in Chemainus likely end up on railcars at some point so it might as well be on the Island.   I think it is entirely possible and realistic for that traffic to come back.   The kicker is that the lumber might be going directly to Asia or California on ships.
 
Being a Vancouverite recently transposed to Victoria, I think there is another factor at work here no one has discussed.  Perhaps it is inline with the "Island Mentality" that Pyronova eluded to.   I am always surprised by the networking, secret handshakes, cliques, back-room deals, and old school working relationships that have such great strength on the Island.  My PERSONAL experience on Vancouver Island is that industry here is a little less cut-throat and bottom line driven, and people co-operate and look out for each other a little bit more.  It makes the place a "hard nut to crack", but once you're on the inside people work together a little more.  If the trucking lines were reasonably affordable, and provided good customer service with a personal touch, it might be hard to steal traffic away.  Sort of a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" type mentality.  If a shipper's business was losing money it would be another story. From what I observe business friendships are strong on the Island, and people tend to like to stick with the status quo, so the new rail operator will have to really offer a great deal to break back into the market.   It would be ideal if they could work with, rather than against the truckers.
 
I like the idea of Pyronova's list.  How many carloads of lumber leave the island via truck?   Is it all perhaps leaving via ship?   If it leaves via ships there may be no hope for rail service so I think this distinction is important.
 
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jul 10th, 2005, 4:03am
Digging deeper a little into the research we have now started, particularily about lumber, how much lumber production is there left on the Island?  Is there a sustainable forest industry still going strongly?  As an interior person,  I probably have a warped sense of how many trees are left, and how much pressure there is from environmental types who want to make the whole island into a national park just for tree huggers .
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jul 10th, 2005, 4:04am
Digging deeper a little into the research we have now started, particularily about lumber, how much lumber production is there left on the Island?  Is there a sustainable forest industry still going strongly?  As an interior person,  I probably have a warped sense of how many trees are left, and how much pressure there is from environmental types who want to make the whole island into a national park just for tree huggers .
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 10th, 2005, 6:38am
on Jul 10th, 2005, 2:39am, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Having said that.   All those 2X4s in Chemainus likely end up on railcars at some point so it might as well be on the Island.   I think it is entirely possible and realistic for that traffic to come back.   The kicker is that the lumber might be going directly to Asia or California on ships.
 

 
Most of the mills on the island converted production to Asian sizes.  About this time, surprisingly enough, lumber shipments on the E&N dropped dramatically. Most of the mills that have survived, still produce for the Asian market and are on tidewater.  
 
The forest industry evolved into the interior mills cutting US dimension lumber and the coastal mills cutting for Asia.  That is one of the reasons that you see more lumber trucks on the ferries to the island than you do heading the other way.  
 
Having said that there are still mills producing for the US market but most of them load directly onto ships.  The 'reloads' have evolved into places like the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf where the lumber is sorted and loaded onto ocean going craft.  
 
Chemainus has a number of reman outfits that remanufacture lumber (planers - kiln dryers etc) and I think that this is usually barged from Stuart Channel.  The lumber mostly comes out of the mills in the Nanaimo/Ladysmith area.  This is why you almost always see lumber trucks on the road between Nanaimo and Chemainus.  
 
If a reload was to be successfully established, I think it would have to be in the Chemainus area.  If the Crofton sub was put back in, it may make sense to load railcars at a reload in Chemainus and barge them directly to the US.  I am sure there is someone out there with a better idea of these numbers than me.  
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Jul 10th, 2005, 1:02pm
ok seems to me that everyone has a say in  this so here is mine.
In one case i agree with pyronova about not making sense to unload & and reload to a barge, it will still take time to unload in pa then down to naniamo switch to a barge then off load at tilbury etc. Now, here is something to thionk about, the average ship holds how many containers? Transfered to rail makes how many trains, and that takes how many barges to get to the mainland...Honestly i don't see how it'll work, but who knows maybe it will. The other thing is this: next time you're out & about driving, notice how many sea cans are actually on vancouver island to various different receivers, if maybe the ships could unload all the ones for van isle lets say, then continue on it could work, but then again logistically doesn't make sense to make 2 ports of call for one load, does it? or on the flip make the container trains in vancouver or whereever and ship them by rail into victoria nanaimo whatever. This i think would be more viable and logistically makes sense.  No one really looses inn this...why? because, trailers (containers) take the barge to swartz bay or naniamo, railcars also have to take a barge...see still the same income there...you'd have to get a top-lift op. creates a job + plus local trucks to haul the containers, more jobs... that would make more sense in my opinion.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jul 10th, 2005, 4:51pm
Good points but I want to point out one thing.  The original suggestion was that the containers going through PA would be those that time of delivery is important.  Being one day closer to the orient AND avoiding the congestion at the Port of Vancouver could mean earlier delivery times for product.  As with anything else, this would be a niche market, certainly not something that would replace Vancouver.  
 
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 10th, 2005, 5:41pm
on Jul 10th, 2005, 4:51pm, B_Winkler wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Good points but I want to point out one thing.  The original suggestion was that the containers going through PA would be those that time of delivery is important.  Being one day closer to the orient AND avoiding the congestion at the Port of Vancouver could mean earlier delivery times for product.  As with anything else, this would be a niche market, certainly not something that would replace Vancouver.  
 

 
Actually, PA is only 8-10 hours closer to the orient.  Any time to be made up would be the waiting time in English Bay or at Point Roberts.   But can a ship unload to rail, run rail, reload to barge and sail to Tilbury or Ballentine in 10 hours?  Probably not. Further to that is the issue of all lower mainland track is at capacity, so when & where can you run your idea of "express" local shipments?
It would be easy as boxcar said to have one ship only for the island....but that boat would have what 25 or 30 ports to p/u from - from Austraila to Russia (south to north) ......     Maybe if Vancouver Island was a seperate colony/country a VI boat could work.
 
If the PA Port idea would have been a viable idea, CPR would have either gone ahead and petitioned gov'ts for partial or whole funding and not leased out the E&N.  CPR always goes the profitable way; it never gives up the gold. Sidebar to this is CPR now has running rights/track agreement with CN from Edmonton to Kamloops, and is petitioning gov't / looking at legal action for the BC Gov't and the Port of Prince Rupert, which CPR has no access to (yet).
 
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jul 11th, 2005, 12:28am
I plead ignorance.  Is there any industries within ear-shot of the E and N that recieve standard shipping containers (Sea Cans)?   I can only recall seeing standard tractor trailers on the Island in any great number.   My guess is that any products heading to the Island that were containerized at one point have been reloaded into 40 Ft. trailers in Vancouver.   What industries, warehoues, or businesses would recieve containers on the Island?
Posted by: hillbank Posted on: Jul 11th, 2005, 2:18am
Hey gang thanks for the input, i forgot to add that between three to five barge loads a week leave Cowichan Bay with Lumber that is reloaded in New West on BNSF and some frieghters that load at Cow Bay are heading to the Eastern Seaboard...Bob mentions the Crofton sub again and i think Crofton would make a good reload facility if there as it has the same assets as Wellcox.
   Now this container thing is getting to me...there is already a container crane at Duke point with the idea that barge loads of sea cans or ships with part loads can load/unload...so why Port Alberni...some of you have made good points and Pyro and Boxcar have both made good counterpoints so are we missing something? could it be the containers will contain a single product? or would they be going to a single customer? or somekind of hotshot? i have not a clue but when my longshoreman friend gets back from holiday i will ask him what he has heard around the union hall.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 11th, 2005, 12:03pm
on Jul 11th, 2005, 12:28am, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I plead ignorance.  Is there any industries within ear-shot of the E and N that recieve standard shipping containers (Sea Cans)?    What industries, warehoues, or businesses would recieve containers on the Island?

 
What if any in the way of "Home Depots" or "Wal-Marts" or any box stores are near the line?  These type of businesses are the ones that have enough sales volume to warrant use of repeated container delivery.  But mind you, usually these stores' inventories is sorted at a central distribution point, then sorted and trucked to each store.  Constant moving inventory.....  Is there a "Wal-Mart" distribution outlet near the line, where they could recieve railed containers?
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jul 12th, 2005, 3:19am
"Sidebar to this is CPR now has running rights/track agreement with CN from Edmonton to Kamloops"  (quoting Pyronova)
 
Thanks, Pyronova for unintentionally answering a question that I have had recently as to why there are so many CP tains heading up the North Thompson from Kamloops these days.   What are  your knowledge sources?  Thanks in advance.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 12th, 2005, 4:34am
on Jul 12th, 2005, 3:19am, CPRail4744 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
"Sidebar to this is CPR now has running rights/track agreement with CN from Edmonton to Kamloops"  (quoting Pyronova)
 
Thanks, Pyronova for unintentionally answering a question that I have had recently as to why there are so many CP tains heading up the North Thompson from Kamloops these days.   What are  your knowledge sources?  Thanks in advance.

 
I believe it was Trains Magazine, or Branchline within the last 2-3 months  (I remember it was only a brief notation about it..........) When I find it, I will scan and PM it to you.....
 
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Jul 12th, 2005, 11:09pm
on Jul 11th, 2005, 12:03pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
What if any in the way of "Home Depots" or "Wal-Marts" or any box stores are near the line?  These type of businesses are the ones that have enough sales volume to warrant use of repeated container delivery.  But mind you, usually these stores' inventories is sorted at a central distribution point, then sorted and trucked to each store.  Constant moving inventory.....  Is there a "Wal-Mart" distribution outlet near the line, where they could recieve railed containers?

 
Lets not forget about the Safeway, Quality Foods and Richardson Food distribution warehouses. Safeway's distribution warehouse in Victoria was a rail customer to begin with and there is a Quality Foods warehouse located between Parksville and Coombs right beside the main to the Port Alberni sub. All the companies use container service for non perishable items and there is no reason why they couldn't be customers again. Safeway received boxcars in Victoria up to some point in the 1980s and Richardson Foods in Nanaimo was a rail user up to the mid 90s.
 
My father worked at the head office / distibution warehouse for Save-On-Foods in Langley up to his retirement a couple of years ago. This operation was recently shut down and has moved to various other sites on Annacis Island.  In it's better days, it was a large operation that used rail and container service quite heavily. CN built a small branch / spur to service this warehouse which was almost 2km away from CN's main line. The warehouse was switched daily by the Port Mann switcher, sometimes twice a day. The Island businesses have nowhere near the same size of operation as the Save-On-Foods center did however there is traffic to be had from these smaller operations if someone would put some work into marketing them.
Posted by: hillbank Posted on: Jul 13th, 2005, 1:47am
Getting back to Pryo's idea of a list i thought i would list spurs that i know are intact but not in use.
mile 9 Langford, this used to be a grocery warehouse then a bakery and recieved loaded boxcars almost until RA took over,  
mile 31.2 Cobble Hill (used to be a siding)
mile 50.73 Chemainus (used to be a siding)
mile 71.1 Nanaimo, Richardson food recieved weekly shipments until the late 90,s  
mile 75.75 North Nanaimo, YES YES I KNOW thats Superior propane but there are two warehouses there that both recieved boxcar shipments until the mid 90's  
mile 76.3 North Nanaimo Madills  
mile 92.2 industrial spur (no switch in place)
mile 126.1 Buckley Bay
mile 137.5 pole yard ( was told switch is gone but track intact)
there was also a spur north of Qualicum near a cement plant but i do not know its current status.
also there are sidings at Esquimalt, Langford, Malahat, Koksilah, Somenos, Cassidy, Wellington, Bryn, Parksville, Dunsmuir, and Courtenay.
Please feel free to add anything else and maybe someone can add any info on the status of spurs in Victoria and the Port Sub.
As for future business for these spurs/sidings some of them like Bryn would be good as there is lots of room  and not too many people nearby and that would cut down on NIMBY syndrome, the spurs with the warehouses are potential but that would also depend on what kind of industries are/would be using them.
Posted by: hillbank Posted on: Jul 13th, 2005, 2:04am
Here's another list, stuff that goes off island by truck/barge that has or can be shipped by rail particularly if it is a long haul.
Pulp and Paper.
Logs
Lumber.
Finished lumber products like moulding, doors, windows frames etc.
Poles.
Scrap iron and other metals.
Garbage.
Coal.
Recyclable materials.
Contaminated soil.  
Ore and Minerals.
Rock
Fish  ( RA ship a couple of reefer carloads from Port Alberni at one time!)
Heavy machinery
This is by no means a complete list and there is other freight  that is shipped in small numbers hey i even saw a navy gun from Esquimalt on a CP flat car heading to a museum in Calgary!
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 13th, 2005, 2:43am
See, we can have a sensable discussion without jabbing each other.  
 
Anyway the list so far seems pretty impressive. I am sure there are many more possible customers up and down the island. The future operator will probably do some major marketing to convince any potential customers that rail is the way to go to ship their products. The key is to be innovative.
 
Keep up the good work guys.
 
Aaron
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jul 13th, 2005, 5:10am
Thanks, Pyro, for your reply re Trains magazine (or branchline) source.   It is probably about time for me to subscribe to "Trains"....
 
By the way everyone, I sure do enjoy reading through all your various thoughts and ideas, so thanks for the stimulating discussions.  Keep up the sharing of knowledge!
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Jul 13th, 2005, 11:18am
Siding at Stockett.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Jul 13th, 2005, 11:51am
Siding at Stockett.
Posted by: hillbank Posted on: Jul 23rd, 2005, 1:58am
Last time i was at Stockett the switches had been removed, however the siding could be rebuilt and there is also remains of a second one, if the E&N recovers and gets back to its "good old days" the new operators will have to build and rebuild a number of sidings for car storage... kind of a nice "catch 22"
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 11th, 2005, 9:15pm
 From what I hear, RailAmerica will cease operations on Vancouver Island on December 31st at 11:59.59 pm. The operation will then be taken over by Washington Group- SRY of BC, effective 12:00 am January 1,2006. Currently, the major sticking points among the interested parties include: the railway belt tax (the province will likely waive, but is currently mired in red tape). CPRail would still like to see everything coming off the island go through Coquitlam. RailAmerica apparently has some property around Parksville they want to sell outright before they get off the island (property was purchased separately after the deal with CPRail- with an eye to building an industrial park). I get the impression that the E&N would be run as an extension of the SRY.
Posted by: save_the_ENR Posted on: Aug 11th, 2005, 10:46pm
Hopefully SRY takes over the ENR.  I believe they have a history of working with Norske, maybe be able to bring them back online as shippers.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 12th, 2005, 12:03am
 They handle rail traffic for Norske right now, albeit by barge. These guys really are the right choice to take on the E&N since they handle so much material by either rail or water. Plus they're in position to improve their barge capacity easily since they also own shipyards in Van & Vic. MRL currently has surplus power too. They are a good fit to an island railway.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Aug 12th, 2005, 2:10am
Hmmm, the last article that I posted here, had Jack Peake mentioning something of a draft agreement with RA. Perhaps them getting off the island on Dec 31, 2005 has something to do with that.  
 
Aaron
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 12th, 2005, 2:25am
let's not jinx it!   Hope this statement is the truth:  http://www.sryraillink.com/vision.htm  
 
The R.O.W. in the photo even looks like a new and improved E and N.
 
This is the kind of smart marketing SRY does: http://www.sryraillink.com/indust_park.htm
 
(Links to rail access business properties with willingness to install spurs}
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Aug 12th, 2005, 12:17pm
>I hear that in their "haste" to get back to Nanaimo after delivering tank cars to >Langford, the engineers on that run pushed the track out of gauge by an inch and >a half in some places.
 
If this were true, I doubt they'd be running the RDC's until the track was repaired. I've not heard anything of this at all. Who's spreading these rumours?
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 12th, 2005, 12:59pm
 Youre right, Jason. I said I couldnt quantify it, nor will I give up my source. Theres nothing wrong with E&N's trackage or any slow orders. I will delete that post.
Posted by: missthealcos Posted on: Aug 12th, 2005, 2:01pm
Washington should have been the ones to take it over originally, never could figure out why they didn't, its such a natural fit...I'm guessing CP's choke hold way of doing things at the time had an impact on any interest...climate seems to be better now....too bad though, things may not have slid so far..
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Aug 12th, 2005, 5:44pm
on Aug 12th, 2005, 12:59pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 Youre right, Jason. I said I couldnt quantify it, nor will I give up my source. Theres nothing wrong with E&N's trackage or any slow orders. I will delete that post.

 
That said, the track isn't in the greatest shape though I did notice the other day while mountain biking the powerline road next to the right of way that the track has been mowed alongside Langford Lake.
 
J\
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Aug 12th, 2005, 7:01pm
I'd like to know who spread rumors like that ,who knows how fast they were going considering it took them 19 hours to get to Victoria and back to Stockett.
 Also consider that those five heavy tankers and units have been the only freight to Vic for some time now and that could bring out some weak spots in the guage.
As for blaming train crews for that ...no way!
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 13th, 2005, 1:35am
Apparently I've blasphemed against RailAmerica (again) and deleting my post wasnt enough to keep from getting flamed. So be it. I said I wouldnt give up my source, since I'm betraying his trust by posting what he and his railroad buddies say in my presence already. In future I'll keep their knowledge to myself.
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Aug 13th, 2005, 2:16am
This thread ain't called "Rumours and Speculation" for nothing...
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Aug 13th, 2005, 2:37am
on Aug 13th, 2005, 1:35am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Apparently I've blasphemed against RailAmerica (again) and deleting my post wasnt enough to keep from getting flamed. So be it. I said I wouldnt give up my source, since I'm betraying his trust by posting what he and his railroad buddies say in my presence already. In future I'll keep their knowledge to myself.

 
I don't think you were being flamed at all and I'm sorry if you thought my reply to you was a flame.  You'd only be flamed if you started suggesting that we carry containers from Port Alberni...
 
Cheers.
Posted by: torch Posted on: Aug 13th, 2005, 10:00am
hey! lets carry containers from port alberni!
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Aug 13th, 2005, 10:16am
on Aug 13th, 2005, 2:37am, Jason King wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I don't think you were being flamed at all and I'm sorry if you thought my reply to you was a flame.  You'd only be flamed if you started suggesting that we carry containers from Port Alberni...
 
Cheers.

 
Sadly, this is too true.  I have been on this board for a long time, first as a lurker and then, as time went on, I tried to be a contributor.  Somewhat naively, I assumed that the folks here really wanted to have an open discussion based on the E&N.  
 
When I brought up the container idea, it was based on something I had read from the (I think) Business Examiner that had a number of business and political people that were looking at the idea.  
 
I thought it had merit but I fully expected a spirited discussion.  What I did not expect was to see the supporters of this idea mocked and ridiculed for even suggesting it.  
 
There are some people on this board who should maybe examine their motives for being here.  As for me, I dont much like the tone this board has taken and am going to back on out for a while.  
 
Bob Winkler
Nanaimo, BC
 
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Aug 13th, 2005, 11:20am
Bob, I brought this container idea up to some people along time ago, plus the idea of tofc up and down the island, that might be a better reality based on the fuel prices out there now.  I think containers would be a good idea(if done properly). my idea was get them marshalled in vancouver for the ones that come to the island, and unload them here, in a centralized location, but i don't agree with the idea of ships tying up in port alberni and having container trains run from there to naniamo just to go on a barge that couldn't hold a full train if it tried. Maybe it would work with something a little less time sensitive, like potash, grain, or sulpher.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 13th, 2005, 12:33pm
 I also made the mistake of posting what I'd heard about container traffic from Port Alberni. Its odd that this keeps coming up despite the derision of naysayers. I admit it sounds farfetched to me too, but this is what I know. Washington group is set to spend $40 to 50 million on upgrades to the line: heavier rail, better ballast; in some places improvements to the grades. What I didnt hear was anything about the north end of the line except one thing that I'll touch on later. Mostly it was the Alberni sub. and down through Crofton. NO way does the mill in Alberni justify that expenditure. What else is in Port Alberni? The way I heard it containers would be loaded directly to rail there, moved to Crofton,barged to Olympia,Washington for interchange with BNSF. Could this be faster? Damned if I know. But I know this, rail frieght headed east from Olympia will travel over MRL. How many times does a unit of Washington Group handle these things, and most importantly does he get paid to do it? The answer is all of them and YES. If y'all dont like this post either Ill delete it too.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Aug 13th, 2005, 3:08pm
Its unfortunate that there are some people that will try to put down anything that comes up.
 
Bob I hope that you dont leave.  
 
I think that there are people out there that are afraid that this idea will work and prove that they are wrong. The E&N for years has be neglected, threatened with abandonment and not given a chance to prove itself.  
 
If Washington Group sees potential in the line and is willing to put money into the E&N (assuming that this is true, and I hope it is) then why is there this argument that continues to surface.
 
The E&N has brought a lot of emotion. We need to stop taking things so personally on this forum. lets try to keep discussions professional as possible. For all we know, washington group could be monitoring this.  
 
We could all be right or wrong.
 
Now to the business at hand.
Now the Alberni sub was only talked about and I would like to hear more about if there is any mention about possible traffic on the northern (courtenay)  and southern (Victoria) parts of the line.
 
Imagine for a second, of dozens of trains a day on the E&N ( I can just hear the cycling groups crying right now)  
 
Aaron
 
 
 
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 14th, 2005, 1:20am
It would be very great if this Rumour about Washington/SRY is the truth.  It seems like a lot of money to spend for a mill that is half shut down.   Does anyone know if fortunes are on the rise for Norske's Port Alberni operation?  Last time I was through the mill it was nothing but bad news.
 
One possibility for the Alberni line, that would tie in nicely with Nanaimo's new push to become a tourist mecca, is excursion passenger service to Port Alberni.   The trip is short enough that you could go there and back in day.   It would be great for Nanaimo and for Port Alberni, and would be a scenic trip.  This service might compliment whatever freight traffic could be added.
 
What do you guys think about the viablility of a trouist train to the alberni valley??
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Aug 14th, 2005, 1:57am
that would be a great lifted spirit for the e&n PA to crofton, that would also eliviate traffic jams in vancouver and at the border, that makes sense to me
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Aug 14th, 2005, 3:04am
I did read on Nanaimos business website, that there was talk of making Nanaimo a free trade zone. The E&N was to play a big part in this, with containers being shipped from Port Alberni to Nanaimo. The business community seemed to be very serious about this. This was a few months ago, I cant remember if I posted the article here or not.
 
aaron
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Aug 14th, 2005, 3:38am
on Aug 13th, 2005, 12:33pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
But I know this, rail frieght headed east from Olympia will travel over MRL. .

 
FSD8014, please forgive my ignorance, What is "MRL"?   You seem to be a good source of info; where or what are your sources, if I may be so bold?
 
B_Winkler, please don't leave, it is everybody here that contributes, including yourself, and  
 
Everybody, again I would like to express my great satisfaction in gathering knowledge about the E&N and getting all the info you all have to share.  It is very satisfying hearing from everybody about the railroad of my childhood days on the Island.  I check the board almost everyday and am very excited if there really is to be a revival for the line.  Thanks all!
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 14th, 2005, 12:34pm
 MRL is Montana Rail Link, Washington groups flagship railway based out of Missoula, Montana. http://www.montanarail.com/  Come to think of it Washington group is based out of Missoula, Montana. http://washcorp.com/  MRL operates over former Northern Pacific trackage between Spokane, Washington and Billings, Montana. BNSF trackage is at either end of MRLs and they are effectively the link between BNSF pacific northwest (west of Spokane) and eastbound (east of Billings).
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Aug 14th, 2005, 2:32pm
I also made the mistake of posting what I'd heard about container traffic from Port Alberni. Its odd that this keeps coming up despite the derision of naysayers. I admit it sounds farfetched to me too, but this is what I know. Washington group is set to spend $40 to 50 million on upgrades to the line: heavier rail, better ballast; in some places improvements to the grades. What I didnt hear was anything about the north end of the line except one thing that I'll touch on later. Mostly it was the Alberni sub. and down through Crofton. NO way does the mill in Alberni justify that expenditure. What else is in Port Alberni? The way I heard it containers would be loaded directly to rail there, moved to Crofton,barged to Olympia,Washington for interchange with BNSF. Could this be faster? Damned if I know. But I know this, rail frieght headed east from Olympia will travel over MRL. How many times does a unit of Washington Group handle these things, and most importantly does he get paid to do it? The answer is all of them and YES. If y'all dont like this post either Ill delete it too.  
Posted by: Coastrail  
 
Guys this is what i think about it all, first I love the E&N, I would love to see it flourish, I would love to work on it one day, but I could see it hard getting customers because of all this talk in recent years of it's inevitable demise, customers want security in making sure their products will be delivered and picked up. Second is the rumor true about the WASH. group? Now for my most important thing, as far as i am concerned this is a chat group, peoples opinions only. Sure there are some people who think they know more and it seems that they belittle others in their posts, and i am sure some out there feel that i do it to. I post strongly only on the things I know to be true, example anything with trucking, i have been in the industry for 10 yrs.  But everything else is just my opinion. I had a good debate with someone on the issues of commuter rail, for me it was fun they got their point across and  i think i got mine across, I personally, don't mean to offend anyone by what i write on here. But the thing i am getting at is these are just opinions, for the most part, and rumors and dreams in alot of it, who really knows what will happen in the future to this line? It, for me, is a fun place to get ideas and see photos, but mostly debate and read others debates. But again MY opinion, and truely what the hell do i know, i am just a In- training CPR conductor!!
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 14th, 2005, 6:08pm
 I'm with you, Boxcar, in how I feel about the E&N. Its been a part of my life as long as I can remember and I want to see it do better. In Victoria (well, Langford), all you ever see are the Budd cars, twice a day. I like 'em but I miss freight trains. I worry that VIA might discontinue the Malahat for some reason- can you picture the line south of Koksilah and north of Parksville being railbanked? We know this is a working railway but public perception misses this. Proof? When crossing signals are activated here people drive through as though it were a mistake. This creates the other public awareness of the railway when trains hit vehicles- making news.  Hey! The last spike was driven on the E&N on August 13, 1886 by Sir John A Macdonald, making it 119 years old yesterday. How'd we miss that?
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Aug 15th, 2005, 5:55pm
I was skeptical at first about containers, but that was before I found out that there is major container shipper seriously looking at Port Alberni.  
 
BTW, some people from SRY were in our class on Friday talking about what it is like to work on a shortline. I brought up the question of whether or not they are one of the bidders for the ICF operator contract, they said that they have expressed interest in the E&N, but have not submitted anything to the ICF. So with SRY saying they are not involved, it begs the question. Who's the operator?? Due to the Belt tax issue we won't find out until September at the earliest. I'm dying to find out who's going to be running things so I can get my application in.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 15th, 2005, 6:41pm
Thats interesting news. My information had ceded operation of the E&N to SRY effective midnight January 1st. I'm not saying either of us is right or wrong, it could be that things havent been totally sorted out yet. Or, perhaps theyre smart enough not to let this out to the public until an announcement is made. BTW, Tyler, my information had China Shipping/ Cosco as the interested container shipper. Who did you hear?
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Aug 15th, 2005, 9:40pm
on Aug 15th, 2005, 6:41pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Or, perhaps theyre smart enough not to let this out to the public until an announcement is made. BTW, Tyler, my information had China Shipping/ Cosco as the interested container shipper. Who did you hear?

 
 
It's possible that they are keeping quiet. I didn't actually hear the name of the shipper, just that it is  a fairly large company.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Aug 15th, 2005, 10:35pm
This is becoming even more exciting as I read these posts. I know they are just rumours.  
 
I do too think that SRY knows more than they are saying.  About that major container shipper having interest in Port Alberni, it sounds really positive. I am assuming that the China Shipping/Costco, is refering to the same store here in North America?'
Someone mentioned about Washington Group spending 40-50million on up grading the Port Sub (if this is true). I am assuming some of the bridges will have to be upgraded substanially or replaced, being that majority of them are wood.
Aaron
Posted by: hillbank Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 1:08am
Cosco-China Ocean Shipping Company
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 1:35am
Whoops,
My mistake, thankyou for correcting me.
 
 
About Crofton, is it big enough to accomodate container traffic? As someone mentioned before (rumor of course) that Washington Group wanted to ship containers from Port Alberni to Crofton.
Aaron
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 2:58am
Wow, I go away for a day and look what happens to my comment about container traffic.  
 
The idea of interchanging with a line in the US is interesting, and I know that there is a shortage space in the ports to take the containers, though more capacity is in the works.  
 
Yes, I am one of the naysayers on the idea but it's only because no one has been able to convince me of how it would save time going into another port, especially when they'd have to be loaded onto rail barges shortly after leaving Port Alberni.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 11:53am
Some large container ships hold 3-4 thousand containers ,ok lets do the math 60 containers out for each train =50 trains at 5 out  of the valley per day =10 days of continuous trains and thats only one way.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 1:01pm
How big will the rail-barge be?   It might break some world records.  
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 1:09pm

 
 
 
So far we have all asumed that the idea of containers at Port Alberni would be containers arriving by sea to then be put on rail to be shipped to many different locations.
 
What if?   the container port is to be the reverse?
 
What if?   the containers are to be filled with - paper? lumber? and other Van Isle products destined for China?  
 
What if?  Port Alberni will stockpile 3000 containers of lumber products for a p/u by container ship every six months or so?
 
 
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 1:56pm
on Aug 16th, 2005, 1:09pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

What if?   the container port is to be the reverse?
What if?   the containers are to be filled with - paper? lumber? and other Van Isle products destined for China?  
What if?  Port Alberni will stockpile 3000 containers of lumber products for a p/u by container ship every six months or so?

 
The underlying problem is still that we're an island. Sure, one could spend millions upgrading the line for the larger trains and building massive rail barges to handle all the extra traffic but would it not be cheaper to simply put that money into expanding a main land based port?
 
As for stockpiling materials for six months before shipping all I can say is that if I were a producer, I'd not want to get paid six months after I've made a product. If I was a purchaser who had pre-paid for something, I'd not want to wait six months for it. Besides, wouldn't any savings not shipping "the long way" via Vancouver be lost in storage charges?
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 3:38pm
on Aug 16th, 2005, 1:56pm, Jason King wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
The underlying problem is still that we're an island. Sure, one could spend millions upgrading the line for the larger trains and building massive rail barges to handle all the extra traffic but would it not be cheaper to simply put that money into expanding a main land based port?
 
As for stockpiling materials for six months before shipping all I can say is that if I were a producer, I'd not want to get paid six months after I've made a product. If I was a purchaser who had pre-paid for something, I'd not want to wait six months for it. Besides, wouldn't any savings not shipping "the long way" via Vancouver be lost in storage charges?
 
Cheers.
 
J\

 
 
I think you have missed my point.
 
Since we have established Port Alberni as a reciever of containers to then ship via rail to the Mainland as basicly unrealistic, and yet a "rumor" of COSCO-CHINA still looking at it as a port....  perhaps our assumption of PA being a reciever is unrealistic and actually COSCO-CHINA is looking for PA to be a shipper.
 
 FACT: More containers are received to North America than are shipped away from North America.  More bulk, raw comodities are shipped to Asia than are recieved to North America.  
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 5:11pm
Until such time as a link from something other than a "secret source" is posted on this issue, I will relegate the idea to the "pie in the sky" bin and think about other subjects.   I cannot see how it would make sense to run unit trains of imports, or exports, over a 50 million dollar rail line to Port Alberni.   It just seems too far-fetched.  
 
Maybe Bill Gates plans to run the E and N as his private 1:1 scale layout.  If he relaid the tracks on the old CN lines, he could get some "loop running" going for the delight of the kids.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 7:18pm
on Aug 16th, 2005, 3:38pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

I think you have missed my point.
 
Since we have established Port Alberni as a reciever of containers to then ship via rail to the Mainland as basicly unrealistic, and yet a "rumor" of COSCO-CHINA still looking at it as a port....  perhaps our assumption of PA being a reciever is unrealistic and actually COSCO-CHINA is looking for PA to be a shipper.
 
 FACT: More containers are received to North America than are shipped away from North America.  More bulk, raw comodities are shipped to Asia than are recieved to North America.  

 
 
So you're saying we transport containers, or raw materials, over to PA from all over and then ship them out from there?
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 10:07pm
 I dont understand why a container port couldnt both ship and recieve containers. Although I dont claim any knowledge of the process, I dont see why the crane/gantry (whatever its called) cant do both. Is there a container facility already at Prince Rupert?
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Aug 16th, 2005, 11:03pm
on Aug 16th, 2005, 10:07pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 I dont understand why a container port couldnt both ship and recieve containers. Although I dont claim any knowledge of the process, I dont see why the crane/gantry (whatever its called) cant do both. Is there a container facility already at Prince Rupert?

 
Yes, a port can load and unload containers. There is a port in Prince Rupert that I believe is being upgraded.
 
Again, my main issue with the concept of containers in and out of PA is the capacity of the rail link to the mainland. If there were a bridge or a tunnel then yeah, it makes some sense but otherwise, I just don't see it.  
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 17th, 2005, 3:00am
 I would agree with you Jason, except that Washington group owns Victoria and Vancouver shipyards; and could build big rail barges faster than a container port could be built in PA. It might take 6 or 8 (maybe 10) years to build a working container facility. Who knows how long it might take to virtually recreate the E&N. They have the money, they are partnered with BNSF- who are partnered with China Shipping. For me, some of the pieces fit, yet something doesnt feel right about it. Maybe the time factor. Maybe the isolationism that has hamstrung the current E&N. Maybe I just cant see the E&N as a unit of international trade. I dunno....
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 17th, 2005, 4:08am
I have been directly involved with the expansion of Fraser Surrey Docks, Deltaport, P & O Ports Vancouver, and the proposed Prince Rupert Facility.   I have seen the facilities as they appear in the design phase, on the drawing board, in operation, and during upgrades. A container port can be constructed from breaking ground to full operation in under two years, after a design phase of less than one year, not including environmental and municipal assesments and approvals.   The gantry cranes are brought from Korea pre-assembled and ready-to-run.  They are just plugged in with giant 15 kilovolt extension cords   The port itself consists of nothing more than a well-organized, perfectly level, parking lot.   The only physical structures that need to be built are the dock-face, an Electrical Substation, Forklift repair facility, staff office and shop, and possible electrical hook-ups for storage of refer containers.  All of these structures are basically pre-designed to standard models.  The rest is just paving and possible track-work if rail is used.
 
The major container ports exist in the location they do for only one reason.  Level real-estate, and lots of it.   Deltaport was constucted on a back-filled tidal flat.  Fraser surrey docks was built on a reclaimed tidal marsh.   P and O ports was built on the ancient burrard salt marshes that were reclaimed as Vancouver was first built.   The Coal facility and proposed container facility at Prince Rupert are located on Ridley Island which was a swamp at the mouth of the Skeena River that provided enough level ground to build the pulp mill (Skeena Cellulose) and Ridley Island terminals.   Anyone flying in to Prince Rupert, or Vancouver for that matter, can clearly see why these facilies are placed where they are.
 
My question:
 
Is there room for such a facility in Port Alberni?  These facilities require huge amount of pavement to move, sort, store, load/unload to rail, load to truck, and set out for customs, these containers.   With the existing lay of the land, in the existing townsite, I would say that the only way to put a modern container facility in PA would be to tip the mill down, or fill in the bay.   Maybe I'm wrong.   Where would this port go?   The dockface at the lumber mill at the end of the tracks is not large enough, from what I've seen of it, to compare to the other facilities being contructed.   Maybe the proposal is for a mini-container port with limited facilities.
 
 
The photo is of new container crane being unloaded at Fraser Surrey Docks in April of this year.   The rust coloured steel tubing are stiffeners for transport (packing foam if you will) that are cut away before the crane is put in service.   The crane was rolled right off the ship onto it's rails at the correct tide level.
Posted by: save_the_ENR Posted on: Aug 17th, 2005, 4:17am
Maybe we are all thinking too big.  The ENR has been viable in the past, so maybe SRY sees potential here.  They've done some buisness with Norske, they own shipyards, and there are other customers on the line(albeit a few).   A major container port seems a bit far fetched.
 
If SRY does indeed have interest in it, perhaps it is just their intention to operate it as it is, if the mills cooperate(PA and Crofton), and superior propane in Victoria starts shipping again.  With CP out of the picture it may be possible.
 
As far as containers go, why is everything shipped on BC Ferries by truck?  If a product comes from out east by train, to Vancouver, why would it not continue its journey by train to the island?  With gas prices and ferry costs so high it might be vialble.  
 
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 17th, 2005, 10:59am
 Cody wrote: "Maybe the proposal is for a mini-container port with limited facilities" This makes sense at all levels. There isnt enough space for a huge facility in PA, coupled with logistics like rail/barge movement to get to real markets. Lets face it-if something huge were going to happen on this rock the media would pick it up. We're all about mediocrity here. I still cant see a big investment in the E&N without some kind of payoff, no matter who takes it up.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 17th, 2005, 8:01pm
B.C. Government proposed contruction project database:
 
http://www.gov.bc.ca/ecdev/down/mpi.pdf
 
Go to page 6 for proposed gravel pit info in Port Alberni.   No other projects are listed.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 17th, 2005, 8:03pm
http://www.eagleaggregates.ca/
 
looks like they will ship via ship/barge
Posted by: RDC1_9050 Posted on: Aug 18th, 2005, 12:30am
What I’m hearing that Washington Rail Group is buying five ex-CN GMD-1BRs
(Rebuild from GMD-1s with B-B trucks) or GMD-1Rs (Rebuild from GMD-1s with
A1A-A1A trucks) for service in BC. They are rumored to be interested purchasing or
leasing a number of GP38-2s. I feel that SRY is doing quite well with units they have, (In
fact three of their SD38-2s are on lease to a railway in Alberta.) so where could these
“new” locomotives be heading for.  
 
Here is a picture on what could happen to these units, if all goes to plan.
 
Say hello to E&N RAIL-LINK and the rebirth of Vancouver Island’s rail transpiration
system.
 
All the original drawings are from The Railroad Paint Shop web-site. They are in
Washington Rail Group Blue and Black with classic E&N Railway logo (Replacing the
big W.) as a nod to the lines history.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 18th, 2005, 10:32am
 I believe there are 5 ex-CN GMD1m's sitting for sale at North Bay, Ontario. Taylor Group has been storing them in the Ontario Northland yard. One is 1170, the last unit used by CN on its Vancouver Island operations. Many of the GMD1's have gone to Cuba recently and it would be nice to keep some in the west here; especially in service on the E&N. The E&N division (CRHS) has been trying to buy the 1170 for some time. http://www.geocities.com/t_welsford/  Tyler, I hope you dont mind my including that link.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 3rd, 2005, 1:02am
 The GMD1 rumour may be true. A report on the Yahoo E&N group would indicate that Washington Group has purchased 5 in Ontario and are sending them to be serviced at Southern Rail of BC (SRY) shops. CN 1170 might be coming home.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 3rd, 2005, 9:21pm
Thats an interesting piece of news (or rumour). I would think that the GMD1s, (assuming they are for the E&N), would be for yard work, as they dont have dynamic brakes and could not work over the Malahat or Port Sub, unless SRY in intending in adding that. It would great to see them back on the island.
 
Aaron
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Sep 3rd, 2005, 9:58pm
The Baldwins did not have dynamic brakes and they worked the Port Sub and the Malahat.  It would be advisable to have DB, but not mandatory.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 3rd, 2005, 10:23pm
[quote author=RDC1_9050  
 
Here is a picture on what could happen to these units, if all goes to plan.
 
Say hello to E&N RAIL-LINK and the rebirth of Vancouver Island’s rail transpiration
system.
 
All the original drawings are from The Railroad Paint Shop web-site. They are in
Washington Rail Group Blue and Black with classic E&N Railway logo (Replacing the
big W.) as a nod to the lines history.       [/quote]
 
 
Hey I like your paint schemes.  
Perhaps changing the blue to a green might work also.
 
Aaron
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 3rd, 2005, 10:30pm
on Sep 3rd, 2005, 9:58pm, CP8673 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The Baldwins did not have dynamic brakes and they worked the Port Sub and the Malahat.  It would be advisable to have DB, but not mandatory.

 
Oh right , I forgot about that. It will neat to see these working trains on the island.
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 4th, 2005, 12:10am
 It would be nice to get pix before they get painted in Washington Group colours. I think 5 is too many for just switcher duty, so maybe not all (or none) are coming here.   But then, as far as I'm concerned SRY has plenty of switchers now. Back when, CN used GMD1s on this island for freight and switching and they were up to the task. I forgot to note that NRE also had six GMD1s for sale so 1170 might not be among them.  Side note question: is SRY making a slug out of ex-Fraser Surrey Docks 8014 an ex CPRail RS23?  There goes my moniker!
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 9th, 2005, 8:58pm
 As for Dynamic Brakes being needed on the island I hear that on one of the current GP38s the dynamics arent working.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 9th, 2005, 9:18pm
 I've heard that Washington Group has bought the assets of CP Containers. Furthermore, I hear they are one of two bidders for CP Ships. Just looking for someone to confirm these things. I'm not trying to imply any part of these things is tied to Vancouver Island.  If true, Washington Group will require a lot of infrastructure assuming that it isnt included in the deal. Space is at a premium on the lower mainland.
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Sep 10th, 2005, 12:43am
on Sep 9th, 2005, 8:58pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 As for Dynamic Brakes being needed on the island I hear that on one of the current GP38s the dynamics arent working.                                                

 
 
It's not like they actually need DB equipped locomotives, not nearly enough tonnage to justify using DB.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 11:46am
 Is Norske the key to Southern Railway coming to the island?  SRY has a "partnership" with Norske Canada, according to WCRA railway news (http://www.wcra.org/railwaynews/april2005.htm ), and moved 8400 carloads of newsprint and specialty paper in 2004. Currently paper product is barged from mills to the Sylvan Distribution Centre where it is reloaded onto special cars for distribution by rail. Product from Port Alberni is trucked out. The E&N was profitable for RA when Norske shipped by rail. Crofton should remain unchanged (barged by Seaspan, a Washington group company).Campbell River could remain unchanged, but could also be a signifigant market for rail service. Too, I've heard that the barge slip at the Campbell River mill needs replacing. Washington Group would spend the money to extend the line if the need is there. I also hear that SRY has identified 25 businesses that would convert to (or back to) rail if the current operator goes. I'm sure Norske is one of these. I've even heard that some of Victorias new car dealers would like to leave their new cars on autoracks until they get to town. Dont mind me, I'm trying to justify the 5 GMD1s that might be headed here. It seems like a lot of power for a railway with the low carloadings that we have. But then I guess they could barge over what they need here as needed.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 12:50pm
SRY does seem the best fit for the island and how cool would it be to see GMD1's back in the island? Easily one of my favourite locomotives.
 
As for extending the line to Campbell River, I just don't see it for one business unless there are perhaps others up there who would use rail.  I suppose that if you factor in the costs involved in operating a barge up there over x number of years, with gauranteed revenue on the new line over x number of years then perhaps it does make financial sense. I still think the costs would be too great but it would be interesting.  
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 3:09pm
 Hiya, Jason. One of the points I've been trying to get across is just how deep Washingtons pockets seem to be. It almost seems as though the current state of the line and lack of traffic (and thus revenue) wont stop them from investing here. I doubt RailAmerica would have done so-even if they werent stifled by CPRail. It seems like Washington would look at just about any expense that would increase rail traffic. Dont get me wrong, Campbell River's paper mill has never had a fixed rail link, therefore in itself doesnt require one, but maybe other businesses in CR could see some advantage in rail service there. All it would take is a few long term contracts that make it profitable and it would happen. This line of reasoning would also apply up and down the line. I guess what I'm saying is Washington is a big time railroader, and must see real potential for the E&N.   If the naysayers are right then nothing justifies keeping the line open between Victoria and Koksilah siding, or Parksville to Courtenay. A low budget operator would only run the part thats profitable and would railbank the rest to avoid upkeeping it. Long term deferred maintainance and old relatively light rail have left much of the line in need of serious investment and SRY seems willing to do so. Remember, the ICF doesnt have a mandate to keep it as a railway, only as a corridor.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 4:42pm
Well, if SRY has deep pockets and is interested in the E&N then yeah, they must see potential that many of use don't see. That said, I can see great potential if they can get Norske back onto rail in PA, and the recent announcement of weed spraying on the entire line would seem to indicate that there are plans for that.  
 
That said, the sheer capital investment an extension to Campbell River would require strikes me as a bit ambitious but I can see potential with new business on the existing line.  Regardless, it will be interesting to see what happens.  
 
Hopefully there's an announcment soon.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: save_the_ENR Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 5:44pm
Are there any potential customers that might ship with SRY which are south of the Malahat, or even in Victoria?
 
Would be nice to see something happen down here!
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 6:31pm
sure there would be you just have to look.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 7:23pm
on Sep 12th, 2005, 6:31pm, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
sure there would be you just have to look.

 
There are a few I can think of but with all the development along or near the right of way, it's going to be tough for a potential company to find somewhere these days that won't bother the CAVEs.  
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 7:28pm
 Well, some of Victoria new car dealers have expressed interest in getting autoracks hauled directly into the city instead of by truck and ferry. SRY seems to be quite willing to lay track into businesses that want to ship or receive by rail( http://www.sryraillink.com/indust_park.htm ). Problem is that the infrastructure that used to serve these customers along the E&N has been removed and now few of the businesses along the route require rail. In some areas the industrial land has been rezoned to like condos and stuff. There are solutions to most problems and SRY seems qualified to handle them. I dont have all the answers and often dont believe what my connections tell me, but the stuff that seems plausable gets posted here anyway. I just hope you guys can make sense of it. Please dont cut my head off if I'm wrong I'm trying to figure it out too.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Sep 12th, 2005, 9:52pm
on Sep 12th, 2005, 7:28pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 Please dont cut my head off if I'm wrong I'm trying to figure it out too.

 
SNIP! Off with his head
 
Autoracks is an interesting concept actually and I'd imagine some sort of offload facility could be built down in the Victoria yard. Can't see that many carloads coming in at once.
 
I thought the idea of a gravel train was quite brilliant and the perfect site did exist here in Langford by the lake but it's all being redeveloped now so I doubt that site is suitable.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 1:00am
Hmmm, heres a freight proposal. Ship all the CAVEs and NIMBYs by boxcar out of Victoria. LOL.  
 
Seriously
 
FSD8014, you bring up an interesting point regarding the autoracks. This would require an extensive enlarging of the only tunnel, straightening or banking of many of the curves and strengthening of the bridges on the E&N.  
 
There are two sites in the Victoria region, Esquimalt and Langford where there is possible sites for industry.  
 
As for the extension to Campbell River, its the last big market potential for rail traffic on the island. Whether that will happen remains to be seen. But it is a real big possiblity.  
 
 
Aaron
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 1:30am
on Sep 13th, 2005, 1:00am, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)

FSD8014, you bring up an interesting point regarding the autoracks. This would require an extensive enlarging of the only tunnel, straightening or banking of many of the curves and strengthening of the bridges on the E&N.  
 
As for the extension to Campbell River, its the last big market potential for rail traffic on the island. Whether that will happen remains to be seen. But it is a real big possiblity.  
Aaron

 
Hmm, hadn't thought about the tunnel but I'd think the bridges are strong enough surely? Perhaps not.
 
As for Campbell River, well, if the industry is up there that could use rail, then that product would have to be trucked to the line to be loaded onto rail for shipment. Strikes me as far cheaper to either:
 
A: Build a small yard and barge slip and load/offload railcars in Campbell River.
 
B: Truck the short distance further to Courtenay and load/offload there. With the new inland highway, Courtenay is a short hop away now.
 
Just playing devil's advocate since I still feel the costs to push the line north are just too high but it would be cool to see it happen.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 1:56am
 J/, I agree with you about the gravel train. Lucrative, but a space hog. Unfortunately the days of large tracts of industrial land adjacent to the railway near Victoria are ending and unless someone grabs whats available soon it'll all end up as condos and strip malls. This place is expensive. It might be worthwhile to develop an industrial site near the line and lay track to it. Still too expensive for my blood. Coastrail, I agree with you about enlarging the tunnel for autoracks; but banking curves and strengthening bridges? I wasnt aware of any weight restrictions on bridges on the Victoria sub and banked curves I usually associate with speed. If I'm wrong here please correct me.    I'm sorry if I led any of you to believe that rail would absolutely be laid to Campbell River, that wasnt my intention. Only to state that they would look at it if the numbers worked.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 3:40am
on Sep 13th, 2005, 1:56am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
It might be worthwhile to develop an industrial site near the line and lay track to it.    I'm sorry if I led any of you to believe that rail would absolutely be laid to Campbell River, that wasnt my intention. Only to state that they would look at it if the numbers worked.

 
Problem is, there's no where really close to the E&N to put an industrial park, other than the current development north of Langford lake that used to be a gravel pit/sorting area which I understand will have an industrial park area though that may have changed. Also, there are major plans for a large residential area there and on the other side of the tracks as well, along with a new parkway that will connect to Can West Mall and, eventually, Sooke Road.
 
As for Campbell River, I don't doubt you at all, just throwing out ideas. No one really knows what's in the cards, except perhaps the ICF and SRY, if they are to be the operators.  
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 11:28am
 Well.. I believe that the ICF owns the CP portion of the line, but didnt RA get something like 10% ownership of that too when they purchased the Port sub? There were specific parts of the line that CP kept 100% control of like the barge slip at Wellcox and the yard at Russels. So who knows how this thing will shake out in the end? Guessing and trying to piece together real information from rumours and BS is all we've got. It would be wonderful if an announcement were made.               Heres a new twist on a familiar theme. I understand that RAs contract with VIA ends (or will be ended) on December 31st at midnight and RA might cease all other rail operations in November.   Hard to believe that this company is playing hardball at the negotiating table. They've made known they want out of here.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 11:44am
 I better clarify that. RA is tied to VIA until the end of the year. They can pull freight service at (I guess) any time. I dont know if they have to give much or any notice to their customers. Hey, crazy thought here but if RA withdrew its freight service wouldnt the ICF have to put an operator here to service the lines customers, I mean they would be responsible for that right? I'd bet that before RA was off the island another operator would be here so that no service disruption occurred. THAT would be interesting!
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 7:32pm
I am wondering if the weed control program is not an attempt by Rail America to add some "curb appeal" to their property for prospective buyers.   Maybe they are spraying to minimize their losses when they leave the Island, and not for the purposes of safe running of trains.  The Port Sub might be worth a little more if it didn't look abandoned, and the Victoria Sub might be more inspiring to investors if it looked like a railway and not a lawn bowling green.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 10:18pm
FSD8014 no need to appologize. The talk of expanding to Campbell River has been talked about for years. You didnt mislead me, I seem to be jumping the gun a bit. It would be cool to see that happen. But the main concern is the current line, especially in the Victoria area, as space for industrial parks is falling. Development threatens the line there. The Port Sub is very important, cant run trains with trees between the tracks. Only the ICF and the future operator knows whats going to happen.  
 
About the autoracks, I forgot about the speed factor, so I guess strengthing the bridges wouldnt be a big concern. I figure the banking of the curves would be important. As well heavier rail and newer ties.
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 10:31pm
Whoops, sorry i meant the banking of the curves would be for the passenger train, and straightening of some of the curves for the long cars, as I believe the autoracks are a little long, 60 or more feet in length. Perhaps someone can clarify me on that.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 13th, 2005, 10:48pm
 I have priced property adjacent to the railway in the Langford area, on average it goes for about $2 mil an acre. Almost too pricy even for strip malls. I couldnt even tell you if Langford wants rail based industry- they seem preoccupied with becoming a "bedroom community". I live here and doubt it.
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Sep 15th, 2005, 2:51am
Thought this might be of interest, the article second from last about RA acquiring more lines:
 
    http://www.trains.com/content/dynamic/articles/000/000/006/153csyxd.asp?  
 
Why are they not doing well on the Island, if they seem to be a prosperous company that is expanding?  Not that I am saying that they should stay, but just curious.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 15th, 2005, 11:25pm
 RailAmerica is not doing well on the island because the contract they signed with CPRail effectively wont let them. I dont have much in the way of detail on the contract, perhaps someone else can enlighten; lets just say it restricts what RA can do here. RA bought the Port sub because it was profitable, and ran the rest of the line by contractual agreement but without the paper mill in Port Alberni shipping by rail the whole line runs at a loss.
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Sep 17th, 2005, 4:06pm
on Sep 13th, 2005, 10:48pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I couldnt even tell you if Langford wants rail based industry- they seem preoccupied with becoming a "bedroom community". I live here and doubt it.

 
The Municipality of Langford is very pro-rail, they realize that rail does have a future on the Island. I could see a couple freight customers coming on line in Langford. They are encouraging developers who are building industrial parks near the railway to offer rail accessible lots. There is also talk of adding another stop for the passenger train at the new residential developments near Goldstream.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 17th, 2005, 9:29pm
on Sep 17th, 2005, 4:06pm, ENR3870 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 There is also talk of adding another stop for the passenger train at the new residential developments near Goldstream.

  Has VIA committed to keeping service on the island or is this to be a commuter stop? Or both?  BTW, did you get hired on to one of the railways since your cndr course? I see youve added a clearance order to your posts. Hows that going?
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 17th, 2005, 11:58pm
I got thinking about it, and I want to appologise for my comments earlier about langford and their developments. I hope I didnt affend anyone.  
 
I was in Langford today, and did some exploring around the old Safeway warehouse. If rail was to be reinstated there, all they have to do is take out the paved area near the loading doors and put back the rails. The road doesnt come close to causing any problems. There is a lot of development occuring near this site. The new Langford Parkway, which will be an extension of Atree Rd will go thru here. Between 2005 and 2008 the parkway will be extended to near Humpback road where another new parkway is to be built from the TCH to Sooke Rd. Its like the current VMP (Veterans Memorial Parkway). There are still many areas in Langford that could support rail based businesses.  
 
Regarding that new station at Goldstream, I have a map that shows what the new development will look like. It doesnt show the station per say, but there is a lot of commerical and residential development planned near the tracks.  
 
I have my doubts that VIA will be around in a few years time on the island.  
 
I am going to contact Langford for more information.
 
I will keep you posted.
 
Aaron
 
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Sep 18th, 2005, 2:33am
Thanks, FSD8014, for your insight regarding my question about RA.
All the talk so far sounds pretty exciting about the possibilities for revitalization of the E&N.   I hope I hope I hope it all comes to something!
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Sep 18th, 2005, 11:32am
so ok i have asked this in past posts  but hopefully someone has an update, when does the official transfer take place, and is RA still gragging their heels? SRY sounds like a runner in the operation of the island, who else could there be? I kinda of have a built up inticipation, of who could be operating there, maybe i could even apply for a conductor, given the right RR takes over.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 18th, 2005, 6:06pm
 Thanks for the kind words CPRail4744, we all hope for the best for the E&N. Coastrail, I wasnt personally offended by your words about Langford, it might be the way Langford is perceived elsewhere. Langford might end up being an important point on the E&N in the future. I'm not sure how that might play out in future but I guess there is still available land near the tracks zoned industrial. I also dont see a long term for VIA on the island though I'm thankful theyre here, I believe much of the E&N would have been railbanked without them. Please dont flame me for that statement, think about how little traffic (besides the RDCs) go to Victoria or Courtenay. Boxcar, I wish someone with the ICF would announce something official- many of us want to know. SRY is the leading candidate to run it, probably the best qualified too. On other forums people talk about other operators in consideration, those operators should be named- maybe they are worth discussion.  Until then: Fact: Washington group owns the railcar ferry. Have a "partnership"with Norske Canada (two mills with E&N rails out of service). Have a history of turning around failing rail lines. Have the money to do so without public backing. We need these qualifications.   Boxcar you can get in line for a conductor job behind Tyler.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 18th, 2005, 9:15pm
FSD8014 I totally agree with your comments regarding VIA. I do too think that the E&N wouldnt be around if there was no passenger service. But I would also like to add that the unfailing support from the Vancouver Islanders over the last 30 years to keep the railway going. For example in the mid to late 70s, CPR wanted to abandon the line north of Parksville when the bridge over the Freek Creek needed repairs. Residents faught hard to prevent that from happening and CPR was forced to repair the bridge. There have been many times that VIA has wanted to end passenger service.  
 
 
Washington Group seems to be a perfect match for the E&N, as has been mentioned many times before. I am unsure of the other potential operators.
 
There is hope for the E&N. As I have said before, there has never been a better time to promote the benefits of rail travel on the island supported by strong multi-modal transportation system in each of the communties.
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 18th, 2005, 10:28pm
 Coastrail, I'm with you on all that. Lots of times I've heard that the E&N was going to shut down or that VIA was going to withdraw passenger service, the countdown has been on many times on this line yet it refuses to die. The people of Vancouver Island and even the politicians have backed it- I firmly believe it still has a service to give to us. 119 years and still limping along through overgrown tracks on rotting ties, I'm amazed by this railways resilience. Things that would have killed most railways, lack of customers, extended periods of deferred maintainence and railway companies that want to abandon the line- we as much as anyone keep this going. Hey, its railfans and tourists that ride the RDCs isnt it?
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 19th, 2005, 1:37am
Ten years ago, I think many would have laughed if someone mentioned container traffic was possible on the E&N. Now with gas prices reaching the stratosphere, its may be a big possibility. The talk of resurecting freight traffic into Victoria was thought to be impossible, but perhaps could be a reality, although we wont know for sure until the new operator is announced by the ICF.  
 
With the talk of improving the flow of goods and passengers up the Malahat (everytime there is an accident), a new study by the liberal government is looking into alternate routes, there should be a push to use the E&N as a viable alternative to highway expansion. If planned and run properly the E&N could be a profitable entity.
 
The E&N has gone thru a lot of mishaps, neglect, poor maintenance, poor management, disinterest from the FEDs, VIA, CPR and now RA.  
 
An extension to Campbell River may be possible, but that is up to the new operator in its ability to search for potential customers there and along the current line.
 
Anyway, my imagination is getting the best of me here, but you never know.
 
Aaron
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Sep 19th, 2005, 2:39am
on Sep 17th, 2005, 9:29pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

  Has VIA committed to keeping service on the island or is this to be a commuter stop? Or both?  BTW, did you get hired on to one of the railways since your cndr course? I see youve added a clearance order to your posts. Hows that going?

 
I hear VIA wants to franchise the passenger train.  
 
I'm still without a job, but I'm currently going through testing for CN and SRY is hiring a couple people for the valley in October, maybe more people if and when they start running the E&N.
 
CN is, according to the HR person in Vancouver hiring at least 75 people for BC(Prince George, Williams Lake, Kamloops, and Vancouver).
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Sep 19th, 2005, 6:20pm
FSD8014, as much as i would love to move home to the island and work on the e&n, leaving cpr's pention plan and profit sharing would be dumb, unless of course it would be to hire on as an engineer, Tyler good luck with SRY, but i would be leary of CN, i have heard their employees aren't treated very well. CP will be constantly hiring, especially out in Calgary, or Edmonton, they can't keep people up in the chuck, but hey it would be a foot in the door.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Sep 19th, 2005, 10:35pm
Tyler I am assuming when you mean VIA wants to franchise the passenger train, they want to contract out the train to a third party? Basically a private firm running the services. If thats true, that will be I think a first.
 
Aaron
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Sep 19th, 2005, 11:23pm
on Sep 19th, 2005, 6:20pm, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Tyler good luck with SRY, but i would be leary of CN

 
The rumors of CN being a horrible place to work are according to the CN employee's I've talked to greatly exaggerated. Besides most of the work as a conductor right now in BC is with CN.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 20th, 2005, 5:03pm
 SRYs GMD1s are being reported in WCRA railway news (http://www.wcra.org/railwaynews/ ) as numbers: 1116, 1163, 1169, 1170 and 1172. Formerly CN units owned by US based Taylor Group. They are to become SRY 1201-1205 and are supposed to come west the week of Sept.6th. If not already here, its the last chance to get pictures of CN painted units before they get Washington corporate colours. Right below that is a note "50 YEARS OF ISLAND BUDD CARS" with a short article.
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 6:30pm
on Sep 19th, 2005, 11:23pm, ENR3870 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
The rumors of CN being a horrible place to work are according to the CN employee's I've talked to greatly exaggerated. Besides most of the work as a conductor right now in BC is with CN.

 
Speaking of CN. I went to their offices at Thornton for testing and an interview. I recieved a call today saying I made it through the interview and pending the results from the medical and background check(which I'm sure I'll be able to get through) that I'll be working for CN.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 6:53pm
good on ya, i guess we will be rivals now...lol.
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 8:48pm
on Sep 22nd, 2005, 6:53pm, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
good on ya, i guess we will be rivals now...lol.

 
LOL.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 22nd, 2005, 9:19pm
 Congratulations, ENR3870. I'm sure I'm not the only guy on this board who envies you right now. Seriously though, you've paid your dues- worked towards this for what probably seems like a lifetime and earned it. I hope its everything its cracked up to be and that you enjoy it. I kinda thought you were holding out for an E&N job. LOL.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Sep 23rd, 2005, 6:19pm
I worked for CN for 8 years up to a few years ago and there is no underestimating how bad the working environment had become after they had privatized and became only concerned about shareholders and the bottom line !.
 If you don't mind working at midnight in Tuktayuktuk in 50 below weather have at it for the first 15 or so years.
Don't try to argue with me because i have lived that dream and i have a few friends there that are still living it are trying to get out anyway they can.
Sorry but it's the truth!
Good luck !
 
TRY FOR CP OR ANY OTHER RAILWAY THAN CN.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Sep 23rd, 2005, 7:41pm
cp so far is great at least here, i will try to transfer to revy and get my engineers ticket then i think i will try to go south after that, but like i said they have a kick ass pention + profit sharing.
Posted by: preservedsteambc Posted on: Sep 23rd, 2005, 9:14pm
on Sep 22nd, 2005, 6:30pm, ENR3870 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Speaking of CN. I went to their offices at Thornton for testing and an interview. I recieved a call today saying I made it through the interview and pending the results from the medical and background check(which I'm sure I'll be able to get through) that I'll be working for CN.

 
Congrats Tyler. I may be working to get my steam engineer's ticket later next year as the heritage groups in the province are actually getting short on crews - the old timers don't last forever. I heard the WCRA may be looking for some one with a mainline steam ticket to run 2860.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Oct 6th, 2005, 7:27pm
hey TY, are congrates in order, did you get on?
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Oct 6th, 2005, 9:22pm
on Oct 6th, 2005, 7:27pm, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
hey TY, are congrates in order, did you get on?

 
Still waiting to hear the results of the medical, should know soon.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Oct 8th, 2005, 11:50am
 Tyler, congratulations on becoming a CN conductor. Where are you posted?
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Oct 8th, 2005, 1:36pm
Kamloops.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Oct 9th, 2005, 12:24am
awesomw ty my buddy is in control of the thompson sub, his name is clayton, if you talk to him tell him i say hi
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Oct 12th, 2005, 1:05am
Way to go Tyler!  Hope the job with CN turns out to be satisfying.
 
Kamloops, eh?  That's where I live.  My house is less than 1 block away from the CN bridge over the North Thompson.  If you ever have spare time in Kamloops and want to chat it up about railroads, send me an email at   pianomattster@hotmail.com  and maybe we can meet for coffee.
 
-- Matt
Posted by: ENR3870 Posted on: Oct 14th, 2005, 11:18pm
Looks like I won't be starting on the 17th, but rather in the second class that starts on Oct 24th.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Nov 8th, 2005, 11:41am
Hey Ty, how long is the course cn puts on. Kamloops you lucky bugger, CTC both ways...nice, no clearence running for you, eh? Do you have tests and stuff to write(classroom) or is it straight training? If you have classroom & tests, if they are like the ones at cp they are pretty easy. My advice though, is find a couple people to study with, it is way easier, oh and Tyler, watch out for those pesky 572's in your teritory, that could get a few. GL with it.  And if you have the chance for student trips try to do yard jobs you learn way more...the road in ctc is like watching paint dry!! BTW, keep this in mind if you ever get the RMR, these people are paying for their seats, you have the best seat in the house, and get paid for it...
Posted by: CNcndr_Tyler Posted on: Nov 8th, 2005, 10:27pm
Looks like there has been a change of plan, I'm actually going to be working out of Vancouver. I'll probably be in a yard for the first few years.
Posted by: CNcndr_Tyler Posted on: Nov 8th, 2005, 10:33pm
on Nov 8th, 2005, 11:41am, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hey Ty, how long is the course cn puts on. Kamloops you lucky bugger, CTC both ways...nice, no clearence running for you, eh? Do you have tests and stuff to write(classroom) or is it straight training? If you have classroom & tests, if they are like the ones at cp they are pretty easy.

 
The CROR course lasts 5 weeks, then I do 45-60 student trips with a yard crew and on the road. A lot of tests, at least one signal test per day(that you have to get 100% on or your fired). The CN tests are a pain in the a**, some of the questions have more than one right answer and you have to pick the best one. They have questions to rules no longer in the CN rulebook or GOI and the only way that I get them correct is thanks to my RAC rulebook that I got from BCIT.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Nov 9th, 2005, 10:19am
yeah alot of them are confusing, cp had some goofy ones as well, the yard  is a good place to start, alot of switching duties.  Good experience for you, which is what i am doing right now.  Cp gave a total of 5 tests with 1 re-write, if failed you were done.  Signals are easy, i have a cheat sheet if you need it, i will try to find it for you, let me know, and give me a fax #.  If you have any ?'s feel free to ask, the railways are different but much the same, oh wait cn has more derailments...lol. Can you transfer with them anywhere? I am looking at Cranbrook or Nelson right now.
Posted by: CNcndr_Tyler Posted on: Nov 10th, 2005, 12:37am
on Nov 9th, 2005, 10:19am, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
yeah alot of them are confusing, cp had some goofy ones as well, the yard  is a good place to start, alot of switching duties.  Good experience for you, which is what i am doing right now.  Cp gave a total of 5 tests with 1 re-write, if failed you were done.  Signals are easy, i have a cheat sheet if you need it, i will try to find it for you, let me know, and give me a fax #.  If you have any ?'s feel free to ask, the railways are different but much the same, oh wait cn has more derailments...lol. Can you transfer with them anywhere? I am looking at Cranbrook or Nelson right now.

 
 
Thanks, but I don't have any problems with signals, I seem to have them down. I'm not that worried about not making it as the BCIT course has really prepared me for the tests. This 5-week CROR course is really more of a refresher while learning all CN's special instructions. One thing I find interesting though, is at CN, we are not required to write down the instructions from a Foreman with Planned Protection( Rule 42) or a TOP. As well, if we're sitting in the siding waiting for a meet for a while we have to inspect our train by walking the train.  
 
I can transfer out of Vancouver, IIRC, only in Western Canada(west of Thunder Bay). For example, I could transfer to Kamloops and keep my seniority, I could even go to Edmonton or Winterpeg err Winnipeg and keep my seniority. I'm not sure about transferring to ex-BC Rail territory as they have different union agreements and different wages. They are all still under the BC Rail agreements and even the new guys CN is hiring for ex-BC Rail fall under BC Rail Collective agreements.  
 
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Nov 17th, 2005, 1:00am
interesting, we have to write out almost everything, especially 42's, and foremans instructions, we don't have to inspect our train on a meet, but the one that is coming at us, each person has to get on either side of it. hey btw were you on the ferry on thurs or fri of last week? Saw a guy w/ what looked like a cn rules book?
Posted by: CNcndr_Tyler Posted on: Nov 17th, 2005, 9:42pm
on Nov 17th, 2005, 1:00am, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
interesting, we have to write out almost everything, especially 42's, and foremans instructions, we don't have to inspect our train on a meet, but the one that is coming at us, each person has to get on either side of it. hey btw were you on the ferry on thurs or fri of last week? Saw a guy w/ what looked like a cn rules book?

 
Yeah, I was on the ferry heading over to the island last Friday. I was on the 1700 sailing out of Tsawwassen.
 
BTW, we still have to inspect the passing train with both guys on the ground. If the train we are supposed to meet is going to take more than a few minutes to get to the location, ie. if we were sitting in the siding for 2 hours waiting for a hotshot to go by, I would have to partially inspect my train, as much as 2 hours will allow. It's a rule E. Hunter Harrison came up with to combat terrorism, so he says. If I see the other guy coming down the track by the time we stop then the hogger and I would do the passing inspection of the other guy.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 19th, 2005, 3:30pm
Sorry to change the subject guys, but does anybody know how many cars the E&N moves per year? Say last year and projected for this year. And what is up with the RDCs always being late, shouldnt there be a bonus from VIA for on time performance? I'm trying to guess how far away from profitability the E&N is.
Posted by: CNcndr_Tyler Posted on: Nov 19th, 2005, 7:13pm
According to the RAC website the E&N moves 900 cars a year, a far cry from the 9000 they were moving in 2000.  
 
http://www.railcan.ca/sec_rac/en_rac_member_profile.asp?id=68
 
BTW, most of the cars for Superior Propane come off our (CN) line. I haven't been out to Tilbury to see if we switch the barge for tank cars for the ENR but I think we leave them there for the CPR guys.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 19th, 2005, 10:50pm
Great link. I'd never seen that one before, thanks. But 900 cars a year? My math isnt so good but theres 365 days in a year.....  That isnt much on a daily/ weekly basis.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Dec 13th, 2005, 7:24pm
so here is what i am thinking, this doesn't look too good for the ol' E&N. I see the writing on the wall.  It seems like the railway will soon be a trailway. From what i see noone really is caring about sustaining rail service and is more interested in other ventures. As for this icf thing they seem to be a joke. I hope someone with facts can prove me wrong, but this is what it looks like to me.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Dec 13th, 2005, 7:54pm
I agree, things don't look good. I keep hearing rumours about SRY being the new operator and that we should "hear something" in January but these rumours are simply that, rumours. Over on the Yahoo! group people are asking why the ICF is being quiet, could be because a deal is about to happen or nothing is happening I guess.
 
Hopefully we get some news in the New Year.
 
On a related note, the commute into town from the Western Communities is sure getting bad these mornings. A commuter rail service is starting to look like a really good idea to me with the developments coming out Langford way like behind Langford Lake. How funny would it be to have the railway abandoned just as the rail line is being torn up... Is that funny or ironic?
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Dec 13th, 2005, 8:56pm
About the only thing i know for sure is that sry bought gmd1's. This so far seems to be the one and only hopeful thing for the E&N, if, of course they are destined there. It is fun to speculate, but damnit, it sure would be nice to find out what the hell is going on for once and for all.  If it is the end hurry up and get it over with, but if revitaization is to occur then why don't they publish it?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Dec 13th, 2005, 10:33pm
I guess it comes down to me to be the pessimist, again. Show me one positive thing the ICF has done towards saving the E&N as a railway. Yes there are agreements in place to take possession of the ROW. But I've seen nothing to show me that they intend to save the railway. As I count it there have been several blown announcement dates, which to date nothing has been said. We have been waiting for a change at the end of December when RA is supposed to leave. Is there a rail operator in place for January 1st? Personally, I'm very tired of waiting for something that clearly isnt happening. Isnt it about time for Jack Peake to let us in on the ICFs true intentions?   Over the last couple weeks the discussion has turned to lifting the rails and fears of conversion to trails- we've all felt it. I fear the worst.
Posted by: CroftonSpur88 Posted on: Dec 13th, 2005, 11:27pm
FSD8014 wrote  "Show me one positive thing the ICF has done towards saving the E&N as a railway. Yes there are agreements in place to take possession of the ROW. But I've seen nothing to show me that they intend to save the railway. As I count it there have been several blown announcement dates, which to date nothing has been said. "
 
I  agree. To me, the whole ICF thing is a bad re-run of the sad sad story of the VIRDI.Rumours of agreements signed, when in fact there were none. Start up dates announced, then postponed, then pissed into the wind.Scroll way back to 2002 on this site and you'll find threads very similer to this, except with VIRDI.
 
While it's assumed as fact that the ICF has signed an agreement with CP, a fellow over on the group of Yahoos E&N site claims to have spoken to three members of the ICF, who told him that, in fact, no agreement has been signed, that CP will not put pen to ink untill the transfer tax boogeyman is dealt with.While I'd almost rather drink poison than agree with anything this gentleman has to say on anything, he is definately not a BSer. If he claims to have phoned and spoken to them, I'm inclined to believe him.
 
I think the land transfer tax issue is a smokescreen. I believe if the ICF was serious about renewing the network they would be raising a hell of a fuss with the BC government, or at least try to garner public sympathy and support to put some kind of pressure on them to speed things up. Something just doesn't sit well with me on the whole subject and I dont believe wer're being told  everthing...
 
Yes, a view of another pessimist. But I have to agree, the writing is on the wall. Get out now and get your pics, before the line turns into, at best, an  industrial switching railway based around Naniamo, or , at worst, a bike trail to work off those Christmas calories.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Dec 14th, 2005, 3:20am
Well actually, I think the ICF is acting much different than VIRDI and the other efforts to save the line who promised the sky without actually having anything. I also have my doubts about the viability of the line however that perception is based on my observations of current operations which, down here on the South Island, isn't much
 
I'm not a businessperson, at least when it comes to something like running a railway but they must see potential. If the line had no potential transportation value, I'm sure the ICF would have simply let it die and then try to gather all the pieces together.
 
I'm not the sort of railfan that believes railways exist solely for me to take pictures of and the ICF has absolutely no obligation to say anything to anyone until they're ready. As you all know from my posts before, I'd rather have silence than live by all the mad rumours that have been flying around. I don't think I've heard them actually give any firm deadlines either other than "we hope to have a deal in place" sort of thing. It's just been rumours about closing dates from those people who claim to be "in the know".  
 
In deals like this it's commonplace to say nothing until you have something to say and I don't believe for an instant that the ICF is trying to hide anything and you know what? Even if they were, if not for them, I'm sure we'd all be out documenting the dismantling of the line by now.
 
And don't get me wrong, it's really fun to speculate based on facts such as we know SRY would be a good fit and it IS interesting they they have bought a number of GMD-1's.  Anyone got any updates on that front btw? Some pictures would be neat to see.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Dec 14th, 2005, 10:07am
i was reading cpr's railtown site at work the other day, and typed in e&N, as far as i read the deal with cp has been signed but they can't go any further cause of this tax issue. Now what is the deal with this tax? because they are a not-for-profit entitiy. are they above paying it? If i was the govn't i wouldn't lift the tax. Just like any other business they should have to pay for the property tax. But it makes it really hard to pay for something if your generating no revenue!!
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Dec 14th, 2005, 11:23am
The rumour is......... ,The belt tax will remain in place and not charged to the ICF but if the ICF would try to sell off any land they have aquired ,the whole amount of tax on the entire line would be billed to them ...........sounds like a good deal to save the line.
Posted by: virailfan Posted on: Dec 14th, 2005, 5:50pm
on Dec 14th, 2005, 10:07am, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
i was reading cpr's railtown site at work the other day, and typed in e&N, as far as i read the deal with cp has been signed but they can't go any further cause of this tax issue. Now what is the deal with this tax? because they are a not-for-profit entitiy. are they above paying it? If i was the govn't i wouldn't lift the tax. Just like any other business they should have to pay for the property tax. But it makes it really hard to pay for something if your generating no revenue!!

The tax involved is not a property tax. Nor is it a tax that was specifically aimed at the railway right of way lands.
 
The E&N Belt Tax covers all of the lands in the original land grant. Its effect on the current situation for the railway would never have been considered when it was introduced.
 
All land transfers in BC will have a property transfer tax placed on them. However, this tax is over and above that one, and is about 10 times higher.
 
That's right, the normal property transfer tax is about 2% of the land value. This tax is 25% of the land value.
 
Forcing the ICF, a non-profit, charitable organization, to pay this tax would be ridiculous.
 
You can read the actual tax law at:
http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat/E/96121_01.htm
 
RS
Posted by: virailfan Posted on: Dec 14th, 2005, 6:11pm
on Dec 14th, 2005, 11:23am, 95XXX wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The rumour is......... ,The belt tax will remain in place and not charged to the ICF but if the ICF would try to sell off any land they have aquired ,the whole amount of tax on the entire line would be billed to them ...........sounds like a good deal to save the line.

 
Sounds like an interesting rumour, but what you are suggesting is currently possible under the law.
 
According to the act, the taxpayer can spread the tax payments over a 10 year period, as long as each annual payment is no less than 1/10th of the total tax due.  
 
Thus, what you are suggesting is already in place. In fact, the law is more lenient that what you are suggesting.
 
I think that any actual reduction of the tax would come from the wording of Part 11.
 
"If before the tax is paid the value of the alienated land is reduced because of fire or other physical disaster, the minister may forgive as much of the tax as the minister considers just"
 
Is there any way it is possible to convince the minister that the deterioration of the right of way is a "physical disaster"? Not likely, but that is about the only way out of paying the full tax, as it is written right now.  
 
 
RS
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Dec 14th, 2005, 11:25pm
Jason. There are pictures of SRY 1200, 1204 and 1205 on the railsnorthwest@yahoo  site. Go to files>shortline.  Have a look, they're at SRYs shops in New West.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Dec 15th, 2005, 2:43am
Excellent, thankyou. Checking it out now.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Dec 18th, 2005, 12:50pm
For what its worth, Jack Peake answered somebody on the ENRailway@Yahoo site recently. While he didnt actually give any information, just the fact that he is paying attention to the islands railfans gives me a little hope. I'll suspend my disbelief in this process for awhile.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Feb 7th, 2006, 11:30am
It has been very quiet around here, and on the railway. Maybe they're sneaking the GMD-1's in secretly at night and hiding them up on the Port Sub. Quick, someone go see if the rails are shiny...
 
J\
Posted by: torch Posted on: Feb 7th, 2006, 5:01pm
well...you  guys  saw  that  one  of  the  gmd-1 s    are painted in  washington colors  now..  and  they  dont  say e&n...   says  sry.    so who  knows  whats  really  good.
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Feb 8th, 2006, 2:46am
Hey Guys,
 
Didn't you hear?  They've barged all the GMD-1's to P.A. in order to test-run an eastbound double-stack container train into Crofton.  Mid-train slaves, dynamometer cars, everything.  Hope someone gets there with a camera....
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Feb 8th, 2006, 12:09pm
Oh, what have I started? I've actually heard they're being tested up at Canfor, in preparation for the extension from Courtenay...
 
J\
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Feb 8th, 2006, 2:58pm
what next a rail bridge to the main land? Who knows maybe even a relocation of roberts bank to port hardy, with a doubled track main line...i wish you guys were serious, oh well we can dream...
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Feb 8th, 2006, 6:37pm
Dreaming? You mean you don't.... Ohhhhhhh! You don't know do you? Haha, well how unfortunate...
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 11th, 2006, 11:00am
Thats odd, I heard surveyors were working on the Saanich peninsula for a connection to the barge slip at Swartz Bay. Or Pat Bay, I forget. lol.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Feb 11th, 2006, 12:52pm
There is also a rumour of coal from north island ,I actually heard that one.
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Feb 12th, 2006, 1:10am
It was Pat Bay.  They are also building a rail bridge to replace the Brentwood Bay ferry, and they are stringing catenary the length of Hwy. 17.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 12th, 2006, 12:14pm
First I've heard of the catenary. Pat Bay makes sense since nobody lives near there. So its probably fair to assume Langford wont be the only town to get light rail transit.  Pat Bay with a connection to Mill Bay- the commuters from beyond the Malahat should rejoice!
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 18th, 2006, 11:01am
Realistically, Railcan reports 900 carloads per year handled by the E&N. Thats 17.3 cars a week on average. Its pretty low. Much of the line gets only Budd railcar traffic; the Port sub gets none. The vast majority of rail traffic is industrial switching around Nanaimo. If the line is sold to ICF (or whoever) the E&N loses its railyard at the Nanaimo barge slip. These are a few things working against it. Worse, we live on an island where ferries deliver trucks every day- the barge goes once a week- not what shippers are looking for. I dont know what the future holds for the E&N, but it seems like only us, its fans, care.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Feb 18th, 2006, 1:44pm
   If there was legitimacy to the 'deal' going through in late February I think someone would have some good information by now.   If you search back through the posts on this board there have been more 'deadlines', 'expected announcements', 'impending sales', and 'new operators' than I can count, right back to the start of this board on Railfan.Net.  Anyone remember "IslandRail", complete with flashy "coming soon" website to sign up new customers and employees to run it's Genesis locomotives.
 
My guess is we can expect the status quo until one of the following things happen:
 
1 - The federal government sharpens it's pencils and pulls the plug on the subsidised VIA 'Malahat'.   I think at that point Rail America would be forced to do something quick.   They might shrink the railway to the customers that are on-line and run it as a smaller shortline.
 
2 - Railamerica decides that it cannot sell it's impotent railway to Port Alberni for anything close to what they paid for it.   RailAmerica might abandon the operations on the Island and become a player in the transfer of the real estate to whatever parties are interested.
 
3 - Someone with a few carloads of money decides to run a commuter rail service, at a loss, with an eye on spin-off profits from ownership of development properties along the line.
 
In an ideal world the railway would find new customers, create losts of traffic, and be a huge success.   I'm still waiting.  
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 18th, 2006, 4:56pm
I know nobody wants to read bad news about our little railway but I kind of fear the next "news". Its been fighting its own extinction for so long that I have grave doubts that it can survive. Unfortunately, it wouldnt take much to actually take it out. RailAmerica doesnt want to be here and neither does VIA. Does Washington group (SRY) ? Maybe what we need to be asking is could it survive as a privately owned shortline and, if so, to what extent?
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Feb 18th, 2006, 11:13pm
I would like to see the government preserve the service for the time being if RA pulls out.   The existing right of way, and the efficiencies and environmental benefits of rail-based transportation, make it a worthwhile investment for future generations.
 
I am a taxpayer, and I don't speed-skate, ride a luge, or follow ice dancing.   If mega-bucks can be spent on building all the infrastructure for the 2010 Olympic games, I think a few dollars can be spent to save the E and N.
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Feb 19th, 2006, 1:27am
"Hear Hear!"  to Cody.  Sometimes I wonder what kind of long term thinkers the powers that be really are...
 
Pshaw to the Olympics - get (or keep) the efficient (or improveable) commuter system in place; that is what I think is better for the long term.  Divert more freight to the rails to clear the truck traffic off the highways.
 
I certainly didn't choose some multimillion expenditure on games in our province.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Feb 20th, 2006, 1:33am
aww come on guys the future of women's hockey depends on a new arena in Vanc. Didn't any one say this before, apparently it's down with health care, education, and infastructure(including railroads) and go biathalon!!
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Feb 20th, 2006, 4:16am
on Feb 18th, 2006, 1:44pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
   
 
3 - Someone with a few carloads of money decides to run a commuter rail service, at a loss, with an eye on spin-off profits from ownership of development properties along the line.
 
In an ideal world the railway would find new customers, create losts of traffic, and be a huge success.   I'm still waiting.  

 
 
As I am fortunate to get to work through Montana in the summer tourist season, I always have one eye on the 70mph I-90 and one on the best all around scenery in western USA : Western Montana.   Why?   Parallel RR trackage of the now abandoned Milwaukee and the NP (now Montana Raillink).   If any of you have never been, you all must travel from Everett WA on Hwy 2 to Spokane, then I-90 to Billings MT.   Everything you see will make you appreciate what the men in the 1880's to 1910 had to do to construct those lines.....    
   Back to my point;   I noticed alot of housing construction/subdivisions being built on the west side of Missoula Montana.  A big gold/brass sign was advertising to the traffic of I-90:  "Prime Contractor: Washington Group Construction" - or something to that effect (70mph and the sign kinda blurr at that speed....)  
 
Hmmm?  
 
Now read this......
 
http://www.wgint.com/about.html
 
I speculate from the above webpage.......  Carloads of $$$ to throw at a transportation infrustructure to move peoples from a bunch of new condos in Wellcox to work at their cushy gov't jobs in Victoria?
 
See here:
 
http://www.wgint.com/submarket.php?id=54
 
Gotta wonder if Cody is on to something............
 
 
 
* * *
 
Another question....  Since Washington group owns the barge service and the old BC Hydro line;  if they were to purchase/lease the E&N;  where would the barge slip be? - Annacis Island?   Washington Group owns a good chunk of it......
 
http://www.sryraillink.com/indust_park.htm   (Click on the Annacis bubble)
 
Second part of the theory...... What goods could be or are now interchanged directly from SRY (BC Hydro) and the E&N ?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 20th, 2006, 10:56am
Firstly, Washington group is already here and firmly entrenched. They are Seaspan barges, including the railcar/ truck ferry. They are Victoria and Vancouver shipyards. They are Southern Railway of BC (SRY). What you dont see Washington group doing are small time projects that wouldnt pay well. This company divested itself of Iowa-Montana Raillink (IMRL) because the margins were too low. You cant put the E&N in the same class of railroad as Montana Raillink (MRL) or Southern Railway of BC (SRY). Already big time and capable of more. Dont you think a company like this would do due diligence before investing here? If there was money to be made hauling railcars from Port Alberni to the barge they would've bought out RA a long time ago. The only way they come and run the E&N is if they are fully subsidised. Its time to smell the coffee, people.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Feb 24th, 2006, 2:39am
There was an announcement on A-Channel news tonight.   I missed the story except for the tail end.   "after the takeover" and a shot of the tracks was all I caught.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 26th, 2006, 9:03pm
I havent found what Cody was referring to, yet, sorry Cody. (We're all awaiting an announcement on the railway) I did hear that the town of View Royal has given the ICF a $50,000 grant though! Thats good news.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Feb 27th, 2006, 12:24am
I searched the A-Channel website but the story was not included in the webpage highlights so I guess that's that.   I wish I had flicked the T.V. on a few moments sooner.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 27th, 2006, 2:43am
It occurred to me tonight that the A-Channel report might have been about View Royals grant to the ICF. The time line is about right. http://town.viewroyal.bc.ca/newsroom/index.php?cmd=news&SUID=&id=239
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 27th, 2006, 11:44am
Did anyone know that the ICF website is up?  http://islandcorridorfoundation.ca/
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Feb 27th, 2006, 7:30pm
on Feb 27th, 2006, 11:44am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Did anyone know that the ICF website is up?  http://islandcorridorfoundation.ca/

 
 
It doesn't work well and has basicly no information.   Most links don't work.
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 27th, 2006, 7:49pm
Really, did you expect it to be any different than what else we've gotten from them in the last few years? The information in it has mistakes- I'm sure someone from this board could've been asked for their rendering (Tyler has a good one on the net). Though it could've been as messed up as the Save on Foods TV ad no-one saw.
Posted by: CN1070 Posted on: Feb 28th, 2006, 12:46am
on Feb 27th, 2006, 7:30pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
It doesn't work well and has basicly no information.   Most links don't work.
 

 
Probably still under construction.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Feb 28th, 2006, 8:57am
This is interesting. From the town of View Royal website: http://town.viewroyal.bc.ca/upload/nwd241.pdf     Its the mayors breifing note to council about the transfer.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Feb 28th, 2006, 11:14am
That is the most informative document posted on this site in the last five years.
 
 
It is funny to think that R.A. has spent more time 'leaving' the Island than they ever spent as a committed rail carrier here.   It's kinda like a bad relationship.   It started with a one-night stand, and seven years later they're still arguing over the kids.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Feb 28th, 2006, 12:16pm
so i wonder what will happen to the 2099?
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Feb 28th, 2006, 12:42pm
So the View Royal PDF was an interesting read. The 2.3 Million donation, as well as annual $250,000 donations are a sign that at least the ICF will have some operating capital, unlike previous groups attempting to take over the line.
 
With Wellcox not being included though, and the clause about a donation being made upon sale of the land, it makes one think about where the railway will have it's base of operations unless this is a long term plan. Crofton rumours starting to make more sense now?
 
Also, no mention of the yard in Port Alberni which I believe CP still owns? And Songhees, that will be interesting to see how that works out.
 
J\
 
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Feb 28th, 2006, 9:11pm
on Feb 28th, 2006, 12:16pm, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
so i wonder what will happen to the 2099?

 
Either it will b e donated to a museum or you will be shaving with it one day
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 21st, 2006, 11:15am
The View Royal pdf., section 2.4 stated that "The ICF/CPR agreement includes a potential donation of a right of way within the Songhees Yard and connecting to the downtown Victoria property which is the VIA station site if CPR can not finalise a donation to the city of Victoria. The remainder of the Songhees yard is expected to be the subject of a sale by the CPR shortly." Firstly, is there any update to the donation of the ROW within the Songhees yard through to the VIA station to the city of Victoria? Secondly, is there a private buyer for the Songhees yard?  http://town.viewroyal.bc.ca/upload/nwd241.pdf
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Mar 23rd, 2006, 11:13am
so i wonder if we'll see an increase in frieght movements?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 23rd, 2006, 7:36pm
There is a report in the Yahoo C-P-R group (message #40069), that reads: "I have it from a source inside the Washington Group that they have purchased the locos for this operation (E&N). The units are now in New West. being refitted."  I guess my question would be are there units in New West being refurbished besides the GMD-1s?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 23rd, 2006, 10:10pm
From an article in the "Westcoaster" (www.westcoaster.ca): (Port Alberni Mayor Ken) "McRae said the ICF has signed a memorandum of understanding with a rail company but said he couldn't reveal that company's name." A note here if you read the article that the sale price of the Port sub is listed as $135 million-its actually $1.35 million.   http://westcoaster.ca:8080/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=473
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 12:14am
Wow, there are so many mistakes in that article I don't what to believe...
 
J\
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 9:50am
A story "Many Options Considered" on the front page of the Nanaimo Bulletin claimed that the Washington Group paid ICF a $50,000 exclusive negotiation deposit to work out a deal to contract private rail service on the island.  
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 9:53am
I dont know about you guys, but I thought that was good. Near the top of the article it states:"The ICF is now negotiating with a rail operator to provide service.", yet towards the bottom says:" ...the ICF has signed a memorandum of understanding with a rail company..." Which is it? Was something leaked? What I glean from all this is that the selection process is down to one potential operator. I agree that the article has mistakes, heck, the ICF website has mistakes-but I think the picture is starting to become clearer. What I dont get is why, now they own it outright, arent they announcing the operator(s)?
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 10:08am
on Mar 24th, 2006, 9:53am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
What I dont get is why, now they own it outright, arent they announcing the operator(s)?

 
Because, most times, while you are negotiating a deal with someone, you do not talk about it in public.  Once the deal is done, or at least done in principal, there will be an announcement.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 10:40am
on Mar 24th, 2006, 10:08am, B_Winkler wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Because, most times, while you are negotiating a deal with someone, you do not talk about it in public.  Once the deal is done, or at least done in principal, there will be an announcement.

I know. "the ICF has signed a memorandum of understanding with a rail operator but said he couldn't reveal that company's name." Perhaps your earlier post regarding a $50,000 payment for exclusive bidding rights qualifies as a "memorandum of understanding"?
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 11:25am
on Mar 24th, 2006, 10:40am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Perhaps your earlier post regarding a $50,000 payment for exclusive bidding rights qualifies as a "memorandum of understanding"?

 
I dont think that 'exclusive bidding rights' does qualify as a memorandum of understanding or, more importantly, any kind of an agreement.  It is simply a method of keeping out potential competition that would likely drive up the price.  
 
Aquiring an operator that knows the local market and has the potential to bring new customers or bring back old ones is way more important.  With RailAmerica, we have seen what can happen when a company pays too much for too little.   I dont thing we want to go there again.
 
Bob Winkler
Nanaimo, BC
 
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 12:18pm
on Mar 24th, 2006, 11:25am, B_Winkler wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I dont think that 'exclusive bidding rights' does qualify as a memorandum of understanding or, more importantly, any kind of an agreement.  It is simply a method of keeping out potential competition that would likely drive up the price.  
 
Aquiring an operator that knows the local market and has the potential to bring new customers or bring back old ones is way more important.  With RailAmerica, we have seen what can happen when a company pays too much for too little.   I dont thing we want to go there again.              

Its been my experience that competition for a given service usually drives the price down while lack of competition does the opposite.  
I agree that an operator with local knowledge and a proven ability to turn around failing shortlines is of prime importance in this instance. RailAmerica didnt screw this up by paying too little for the E&N, they mismanaged the lines biggest paying customer driving them to trucks. FWIW, Norske(Catalyst) now ships by truck from their facility at PA to their railyard at Crofton, transloads to rail and barges to Washington state skipping RA, CPRail and up to a 10 day wait shipping product to market. RA also kissed off the Propane customer in Victoria, were there others? CP had given RA a viable operation but prevented (by contract) going after new customers on their part of the line.
Had the contract to operate the line been more favorable Washington Group probably would have gotten it. They were interested then.
I'm a little concerned that Washington Group is 'playing' the ICF preventing other companys from bidding, that would seem an unfair advantage against the ICF who have no experience running a railway.
 
 
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 12:22pm
on Mar 24th, 2006, 12:18pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Its been my experience that competition for a given service usually drives the price down while lack of competition does the opposite.  

 
How would that work in this case?  If there was another operator bidding to run the E&N rail service how would that bring the price down?
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 12:32pm
on Mar 24th, 2006, 12:18pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

RailAmerica didnt screw this up by paying too little for the E&N, they mismanaged the lines biggest paying customer driving them to trucks.  
 
CP had given RA a viable operation but prevented (by contract) going after new customers on their part of the line.
 
Had the contract to operate the line been more favorable Washington Group probably would have gotten it. They were interested then.

 
You seem to be arguing both sides here.  No doubt that RA mismanaged, but there is also no doubt that CP screwed them.  The short piece of track in Port Alberni.  Controlling access to the railroad.  Preventing RA from going after new customers.  
 
That was my point.  RA paid too much for too little.  There were too many raodblocks and limitations from day one. They would have been better buying the entire operation from bargeslip to railhead (s).  
 
The ICF and their operator are still going to have trouble if they are forced to use Wellcox and the CP access.  The same kind of trouble that RA had.  
 
I am no expert on SRY and it would be nice to hear from someone who is.  If SRY takes over the E&N, can they barge rail cars directly to SRY on the mainland without dealing with CP or CN?   Do they have the ability to ferry rail cars directly to the US from Wellcox or  is that going to be a contractually limited option?  Who owns Wellcox?  Who owns the railbarge dock?  is all of this included in the ICF deal?
Posted by: Henry Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 1:02pm
Thursday March 23, 2006 10:06 am ET
 
BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- RailAmerica Inc. on Thursday said it will transfer  
ownership of its 181-mile E&N Railway to Canada's nonprofit Island Corridor  
Foundation for $850,000 in cash and a $300,000 promissory note.
 
The consideration covers the sale of contract and regulatory rights  
associated with the railway. RailAmerica said it expects to get about $4.3  
million in tax benefits in Canada from the charitable donation.
 
The transfer of ownership is slated for Friday. RailAmerica's E&N Railway  
subsidiary will continue to operate the railroad until operations are  
handed over to a new operator on or before June 30.
 
RailAmerica announced in September 2004 it would sell the E&N Railway  
because of its declining carloads. The company, which bought the railway  
for $11 million in 1999, recognized an impairment charge of $8.7 million in  
the third quarter of 2004.
 
The company does not expect the transaction to affect 2006 financial  
results.
 
The Island Corridor Foundation is managed by 13 indigenous communities and  
six municipalities in Vancouver.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 1:45pm
Bob. Since when does competition drive prices up? Competition between competing companies drives margins down. One will provide more for less- its the basis of a free market economy. This is how Wal-mart or Costco beat out other companies. Show an example otherwise.                   RailAmerica signed the contract that screwed them, Washington Group would not. More incompetent management. You seem to argue that RA was blindsided by the restrictions given them by CPRail- they werent, they signed that document. Neither one of us is arguing both sides of this argument.
Posted by: Pennsy Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 2:21pm
Hi All,
 
We are missing a point here. The competition for the freight hauling business does not have to be another RR. It could be a Truck freight moving outfit.
 
As an example; General Dynamics produced the Phalanx weapon system and shipped it to Norfolk, VA via Union Pacific flat cars. One fine day a truck company makes them an offer that they cannot refuse. Next thing you know, a tractor trailer affair pulls up. The trailer has a depressed center and many, many wheels. It can handle lots of weight. A special fork lift truck shows up, heavy lift fork lift truck, and places a Phalanx unit in the depressed center of the trailer. Riggers attach the unit to the trailer and off it goes. And Union Pacific watches as its contract is terminated.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 2:31pm
That already happened. In this particular case we'd like to see Norske (Catalyst Paper) come back to the rails. Both operations that used to see service by the E&N. Right now Norske bypasses the E&N by truck and then ships by rail.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 2:37pm
on Mar 24th, 2006, 1:45pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Bob. Since when does competition drive prices up?

 
I cannot believe I have to explain this.  
 
The ICF has a rail business.  SRY is interested.  If another company is interested and they both want the contract, they will bid against each other.  They wont bid down.  The dollar value paid wont go down.  It will go up.  
 
This is why the ICF was paid  a $50,000 deposit for exclusive bidding rights.  To avoid competition and keeping SRY's  end price down.  In this case, competition WILL drive prices up.  
 
Companies like SRY negotiate in secret, pay these kinds of deposits and have RFP's worded in their favour all for one reason.  To keep the competition from getting in their and driving the prices up.  Life in the real world.  
 
Bob Winkler  
Nanaimo
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 3:29pm
Okay, okay... I get you now. I had it backwards because I'm an idiot.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 3:32pm
on Mar 24th, 2006, 3:29pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Okay, okay... I get you now. I had it backwards because I'm an idiot.

 
You did have it backwards.  No big deal
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 3:56pm
Its too bad that the line at this time can't support 2 different  RR companies from running the rails, like highways support an infinate number of trucking companies.   Then you would see competition to some degree.  Could you imagine say SRY and Omnitrax both running up and down the  Island servicing 50+ customers?   Plus the RDCs?  What great railfaning it would be!!!!    
 
 
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 4:32pm
The new operator will have all the competition it can handle.  Wont need a second operator to provide that.  
 
The rail-fanning is going to get better this year.  I have my camera ready and am really looking forward to it.  
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 6:29pm
Trucks will provide all the competition the E&N can tolerate. If you can picture Geep nines and GMD-1s (or endcab switchers) in SRY paint moving a lot of freight through the cities and forests of VI you can guess how interesting this railway can be. If you've ever seen an SRY train climbing uphill into Surrey you know what I mean. I'd like to see SD-38s on the Port sub. That'd take some doing.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Mar 24th, 2006, 11:17pm
thing that could save customers from going to truck is this,  there isn't much coming off the island. yes exept for pa, but out of victoria etc. most stuff is trucked in and not much leaving. definatly could be an asset because alot of trucking comapies charge for the ferry both ways to the consignee.
Posted by: xxswitchxx Posted on: Mar 25th, 2006, 11:00am
 hey i heard that the e&n is looking for switchmen.
Posted by: The_fan Posted on: Mar 25th, 2006, 1:36pm
Engineers.........Switchmen could try to send a Resume to florida.....good luck.
A snowball has a better chance.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Mar 27th, 2006, 9:06am
Hey, I heard RailAmerica has sold its E&N holdings and wont be operating here much longer. I'm kidding (a little) but I doubt the E&N is hiring just now. Try SRY in a few months.
Posted by: xxswitchxx Posted on: Mar 27th, 2006, 6:02pm
I was just fishing. but thanks maybe i will try the sry in the spring.
Posted by: xxswitchxx Posted on: Apr 1st, 2006, 3:12am
heard a good reliable rumour, heard cn was going to fire some of the new guys because their not working out, and i heard that they well be hiring soon.  rumour is from a great source. in soon i mean within 2 to 3 weeks.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Apr 1st, 2006, 8:20am
I assume youre phishing again. CN is critically understaffed everywhere. If you go to www.cn.ca/careers and choose from either Vancouver, Kamloops or Prince George you'll find them hiring conductors and mechanics. At Prince George theyre hiring supervisors even. Good people are hard to come by. From the last conductors class that they hired from between a third and half have quit. I got that from another board. In Prince George theyre hiring off the street. Id be surprised if they fired anyone-usually they make the working conditions (from on high) so bad that people quit. In fact I was PM'ed by a CN hogger from Illinois on yet another board about the treatment by CN there. At least theyre consistent.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Apr 1st, 2006, 8:25am
Oh, and I forgot to ask why are you asking on the VI board, CN hasnt had rail operations here since 1989.
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Apr 18th, 2006, 10:06pm
Not sure if this has anything to do with the E&Ns upcoming operation changes, however our new freshly painted SRY GMD1 was missing on the shop track today. Any of you see it taking a ferry ride today? Or did it finally get an assignment elsewhere on SRY's system?
Posted by: missthealcos Posted on: Apr 19th, 2006, 1:58am
There are at least 2 others in Washington blue that I have seen..1201, 1203, 1204...1201, 1203 are or were on the opposite end of the shop..no sign of the others yet...
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Apr 20th, 2006, 1:28am
Maybe we should install webcams at Wellcox and Tilbury so we can all keep track of movements of railbarges across the Strait.  
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jun 1st, 2006, 1:40am
I just got back from Port Alberni after working a two day shutdown at the "Catalyst", formerly Norske, paper mill.  Here is the info I gathered (while also trying to work).  Sorry, no pictures, it was against Catalyst policies, and generally bad politics for our company to be railfanning during a major shutdown.
 
Good News:
 
- All mill tracks (excluding very short sections where roadwork had taken place) are still in place when compared to the site map I was issued.
- Railcar loading and unloading locations are still in place, albeit now fitted for  trucks or used for storage.
-Mill re-configuration and modernization plans have stayed clear of both of the R.O.W.s that run to the East and West of the main mill building.  
-Railcar storage tracks have also been kept clear of permanent structures, though some are cluttered with storage.
-A significant quantity of pulp is being shipped from Crofton to Port Alberni to be turned into paper.
 
Bad News:  
 
- All flangeways are filled with ashphalt to create smooth surface
- all recessed switches removed entirely; dug up and paved over
- bumpers at end of stub tracks blow-torched off at the railhead
- No rumours or any speculation amonst mill maintenance staff of any "return to rail".  It must be a really big secret to some fairly important folks if it is going to happen any time soon.
- The many types and large quantities of the chemical products once required by the mill are no longer needed due to changes in the operation (see below).  A smaller quantity of Hazmat is still being consumed.
 
Concerning the mill operation:
 
- Pulp operation gone for good.  Catalyst Port Alberni is strictly a paper mill now. No pulp will be made at Alberni again.  Machinery has been removed, the Kraft mill has been demolished and the land where it stood will be reclaimed for other uses once the salvage operation, currently underway, is finished.  The former pulp operation has been reduced to concrete slabs and rubble.
- The newsprint machine in still offline with uncertain future.  The rumour is that no newsprint is likely to be made there again unless there are significant changes in the world markets.
- There are two machines left running that are making a marketable product for which there is good demand.  One machine is making coated paper known as "glossy flyer stock" and the other is making what is called 'directory grade paper' such as your phonebook is made from.
 
Anyways,   if any of this info is dead-wrong correct me.   I saw most of it with my own eyes, but some of the details came from conversation with mill workers.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jun 1st, 2006, 10:15pm
I didn't know to ask or look.  It was my first good chance to get access to the entire millsite so I had a lot to take in, while trying to fit 20 hours of work into a 16 hour shift.  Most of my time was spent in the production area of the plant where the pulp, chemical, and paper loading and unloading would of taken place so I didn't get down to the south end where that building would be.  I will look for it next time.
 
There was a bloody awesome hi-res aerial shot of the millsite on the wall in the safety office.  I would of bought it if it were for sale.   It showed the mill in heyday of railcar operations, with tankcars spotted in the chemical tracks that bisect the mill buildings, and boxcars everwhere, all storage and yard tracks packed to the gills, including two full cuts stored in the wye.  
 
Also in the mill site safety orientation video, it showed the mill's red and white end-cab switcher working in several scenes. The instructions were to "watch out for Heavy Equipment while onsite at Pacifica Papers".   The video dated itself well.
 
I was left with the personal impression that the end of rail service at Alberni was a result of many factors, and was not as simple as RailAmerica being a crappy service provider.   It might just have been a victim of the changing times.   As it stands now it could all be put back in service, as far as the millsite trackage is concerned, if there was a need.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jun 5th, 2006, 8:25pm
I was down by Wellcox today and was amazed to see the yard almost completely empty.  The twins were moving 4 tank cars (which they later took up to Superior Propane) and there are 3 or 4 cars way down in the back of the yard, 3 hopper cars  up by the shop and that is it.  
 
The twins came back down by Terminal Park while I was at the bank around 4 o'clock so I assume they waited for the dayliner to go by before they switched out Superior.  
 
Something is about to happen.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jun 6th, 2006, 12:08am
Expect to see a couple of GMD-1's any week now.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 6th, 2006, 1:30am
i hope to be up at nanaimo this summer to check out welcox.
 
yes i am back,
 
after having a hardware failure on my computer in late November then a sewage flood in our basement in early january, i havent been able to respond to the discussion for the past 7 months.
 
but things are about to change
 
its good to be back
 
aaron
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jun 6th, 2006, 1:51am
on Jun 6th, 2006, 12:08am, CP8673 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Expect to see a couple of GMD-1's any week now.  

 
Any advance notice would be great.  I will get some pics and post them.  If not, it will be reliant on luck  
 
Bob
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 6th, 2006, 11:07pm
Aaron, good to have you back. Theres been a lot of talk about commuter rail transit; what do you think?
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 7th, 2006, 2:13am
I have been reading the posts these last few days. It is an interesting discussion. I think it can work. Start small and work up to big. Kind of like an enhanced version of the current service would work well. As for that planned development in Langford, it will help commuter even more in years to come. Now I know there is always those that say we dont have a big enough population to support it. No one  said that the service would carry thousands each hour every ten minutes. At least not now. But if planned properly and run properly (now that the E&N is local hands) I cant see it failing. If the service is successful in taking just 25% of the traffic off the Malahat, then it has done its job. Thanks to all this development, the future of the E&N  has never looked so brighter.  There is an open house taking place next week on the alignment alternatives to the Malahat (ferry, rail and road). This is part of a study being done by the provincial government due out in the fall. I hope that rail has been seriously considered. Commuter Rail would be easier to implement and faster than any highway improvements.  
 
Anyway I will have more to say on this topic in the coming days and weeks.
 
Oh by the way, here is what our premier and enviroment minister said this week;
 
CBC News: Freeway building will reduce green house gases
>
> Premier Gordon Campbell says he's confident building a better network of  
> highways and bridges in the Lower Mainland will help cut greenhouse gas  
> emissions, even as B.C.'s numbers continue to rise.
Environment Minister Barry Penner also argued that improving roads and  
> bridges will eliminate congestion that causes pollution.
 
Funny, I must of missed something. I had no idea that all that freeway building in LA over the last 60 years reduced pollution and congestion. (Notice my sarcasim here) Hey wasnt all that highway expansion in the lower mainland back in the 60's suppose to do the same thing. Those so called improvements to the TransCanada Hwy to Langford and Colwood has done nothing and guess what, now there is serious talk of rail and rapid bus service. Hmmm guess people just never learn.
 
 
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 7th, 2006, 10:50pm
Of course freeways reduce greenhouse gases IF your a sleazy politician and you think your constituents are idiots. In truth many things create greenhouse gas from internal combustion engines to us. At one time bovine flatulence was thought to be a major factor in it. People might actually believe this drivel unless the truth comes out. ' Hey it must be true, I heard it on the news.'
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jun 14th, 2006, 1:28am
On the local community broadcast "daily"show (channel 11) on Shaw there is now a spot that interviews a guy who is hoping to have the old number 11 steam engine in Ladysmith running on the E and N by next summer. The run will be between Ladysmith and Duncan. Jack Peake is also there and saying it is part of the vision for the line.   The guys name is Darwin Generous (interesting name).  He seems pretty serious about it.
Posted by: missthealcos Posted on: Jun 14th, 2006, 1:46pm
You sure the name wasn't Devon Generous?
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jun 14th, 2006, 4:21pm
Perhaps.   Seems more likely, but the show said it was a group of two brothers that are trying the idea out..   Either I read it wrong off the TV Screen, or Shaw made a typo, or Devon's brother is Darwin.   I don't think I would have read Devon as Darwin, but who knows.
 
Who is Devon Generous?
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jun 18th, 2006, 11:50pm
I caught the report again on the Daily show, but missed the name.  This is not some weird joke on my part.  
 
Is the Number 11 even capable of a rebuild?  Are these guys for real, or are they just trying to get on community broadcast?  It is a cool idea if it could fly.  It certainly is closer to Victoria than the live steam in PA and might be a big draw for tourists.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jun 20th, 2006, 11:43pm
I don't know if this means anything or not, but while programming my scanner (Actually, a used Icom F30LT commercial radio that I picked up on E-Bay) with Lower Mainland frequencies and testing it, I was able to pick up the SRY RTC as clear as if he was next door.  Hopefully, this means something is going to happen soon with the changeover.  It would also be nice to have the dispatching done by radio rather than cellphone
 
(For those who don't know me, I live in Victoria.  For comparison, I can sometimes pick up the BNSF Bellingham Sub, but it sounds like they moved their dispatchers from Ft. Worth to Mars.)
Posted by: DuxDucis Posted on: Jun 21st, 2006, 1:34pm
The latest rumour I've heard is that two of SRY's GP9s (#110 & #119) are going to be sent to the Island as early as late July.  They have been taken out of service and are being repainted and receiving other minor repairs/upgrades/adjustments.
 
Documentation is being prepared in the New Westminster RTC Office, including train sheets, OCS clearance forms, and TOP forms.  The Chief RTC and Assistant Operations Manager both visited the E&N in May.
 
I would expect you won't be seeing any GMD1s on the island until late this year if at all.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 21st, 2006, 10:26pm
on Jun 21st, 2006, 1:34pm, DuxDucis wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The latest rumour I've heard is that two of SRY's GP9s (#110 & #119) are going to be sent to the Island as early as late July.  They have been taken out of service and are being repainted and receiving other minor repairs/upgrades/adjustments.
 
Documentation is being prepared in the New Westminster RTC Office, including train sheets, OCS clearance forms, and TOP forms.  The Chief RTC and Assistant Operations Manager both visited the E&N in May.
 
I would expect you won't be seeing any GMD1s on the island until late this year if at all.  

Excellent news, DuxDucis. Kind of nice to have a rumour that originates on the mainland. Documentation is the thing I've personally been waiting to hear about. Theres nothing wrong with a couple GP 9s to pull trains here. I hope to hear 567s soon. Funny how the start date keeps slipping back, though.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Jun 21st, 2006, 10:52pm
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=214223
 
A picture of 110 if anyone is interested.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: ENR_fan Posted on: Jun 21st, 2006, 11:09pm
Thanks for the pic Jason. I like the look of those SRY GP9's, they'll look even nicer w/ shiney new paint! It appears that SRY #119 is trailing SRY #110 in that picture which is both the units indicated by DuxDucis.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jun 21st, 2006, 11:38pm
on Jun 21st, 2006, 1:34pm, DuxDucis wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The latest rumour I've heard is that two of SRY's GP9s (#110 & #119) are going to be sent to the Island as early as late July.  They have been taken out of service and are being repainted and receiving other minor repairs/upgrades/adjustments.
 
Documentation is being prepared in the New Westminster RTC Office, including train sheets, OCS clearance forms, and TOP forms.  The Chief RTC and Assistant Operations Manager both visited the E&N in May.
 
I would expect you won't be seeing any GMD1s on the island until late this year if at all.  

 
 
Thanx for the heads up, and, as I see only a couple of posts from you, welcome to the forum.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2006, 12:11am
on Jun 21st, 2006, 10:26pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Funny how the start date keeps slipping back, though.

 
There would be lots of stuff going on now.  Probably an amazing amount of work with agreements, insurance, business plans and all of the other things required to set up a new company.  
 
All of this before anything is hauled on the E&N.  
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2006, 1:24am
I know, B Winkler. Lots of stuff to do first. But isnt it amusing that each time a date is put forward its a little forward of the last one? Ya gotta have a good sense of humour and a poor sense of time about this!
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2006, 1:34pm
I've heard that by this time next year, we'll have a few more rumours to report about who is expected to be taking over the line in a month or so, hopefully by the fall of 2007...  
 
J\
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2006, 8:17pm
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Railamerica has now spent twice as many years in the process of "leaving" the Island as they ever did actively running the railway as a willing operator.
 
When you compare the date of takeover of operations from CP, to the date of the first embargo by Railamerica, it makes you wonder.
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 4:27am
The weeds and brush will be REALLY tall by the time Fall of 2007 rolls around...
 
Seriously, though, when I took the Dayliner trip in March, the conductor said he would have let me stand up with the engineer more, except they had to be extra vigilant because there were scouts around those days checking out the efficiency of the line, and the crew did not want to be distracted and liable for anything.  I presumed he was referring to SRY scouts.
Posted by: torch Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 8:22am
if you  guys  have  heard, there  is  apparently an  SRY movement  handled by bnsf from trapp yard, to the tilbury ferry dock planned for sunday morning  around 8 am...  monday is e&n barge day  so you  guys be  the judge.  what i just heard from the yahoo group (fitting title) , is  that take over begins july 1st!  hmm.. we ll see....but  this sry movement to tilbury is apparently real .
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 9:02am
on Jun 23rd, 2006, 8:22am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
if you  guys  have  heard, there  is  apparently an  SRY movement  handled by bnsf from trapp yard, to the tilbury ferry dock planned for sunday morning  around 8 am...  monday is e&n barge day  so you  guys be  the judge.  what i just heard from the yahoo group (fitting title) , is  that take over begins july 1st!  hmm.. we ll see....but  this sry movement to tilbury is apparently real .

 
I didn't hear about the move to Tilbury, but I did hear the SRY power was possibly going to arrive "early" as the current E&N power is completely worn out.  It would be great if someone on the other side of the pond is able to check out just what SRY hauls to the barge & posts the details.
 
(I just went & looked at the yahoo postings - both are from peole with "inside information")
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:54am
As to simply why Via and crews do not allow riders up front.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:57am
I wonder if the new paint is SRY colors or E&N green and gold.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 11:37am
This Engineer was killed trying to push people out of the cab while smashing into a cement truck.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 12:07pm
on Jun 23rd, 2006, 11:37am, 95XXX wrote:       (Click here for original message)
This Engineer was killed trying to push people out of the cab while smashing into a cement truck.

 
 
When & where?
 
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 1:18pm
Holtsville 1967 LIRR
Posted by: Baby_Huey Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 5:02pm
on Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:57am, 95XXX wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I wonder if the new paint is SRY colors or E&N green and gold.

 
It would be nice to see them in the Green and Yellow. BTW, you guys will be getting some nice power, those SRY GP9's are very nice units, better engines than the GP38's and our junk, IMHO.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:14pm
Since we're discussing the news from the Yahoo group, it might bear mentioning that 'SRY RTC' on RailsNorthWest has posted this: "July 1st is the planned take over date of the E&N operations by the SRY. Two GP9s, #110-119 are the planned units to be sent to Vancouver Island." So, who alls gonna go watch them offload the barge on June 26th? Besides me, I mean...
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jun 23rd, 2006, 11:29pm
on Jun 23rd, 2006, 10:14pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Since we're discussing the news from the Yahoo group, it might bear mentioning that 'SRY RTC' on RailsNorthWest has posted this: "July 1st is the planned take over date of the E&N operations by the SRY. Two GP9s, #110-119 are the planned units to be sent to Vancouver Island." So, who alls gonna go watch them offload the barge on June 26th? Besides me, I mean...

 
I'd be there but I gotta work and Monday is the one day I cannot trade off or call in sick or otherwise ditch this week, so I have to sit this one out.
 
Posted by: DuxDucis Posted on: Jun 24th, 2006, 1:47am
I think I know that sry_rtc guy  
 
You could almost say the 110-119 are "disposable."  I'm not an engineer or mechanic but there is something electrically different with those two units which prevent them from being mu'd with any other SRY units.  That's why they were on Annacis working the autorack jobs.
 
Where the GMD1s can be mu'd with SRY's other power, which make them more valuable to keep on this side of the Strait.
 
It appears the 110-119 are being repainted into the standard SRY/Washington Group paint scheme.
Posted by: torch Posted on: Jun 24th, 2006, 2:34am
im actually  gonna BE in  nanaimo  that  day  as  im there  for  this  weekend.. i have all the  time in the  world  so if  anybody  is  serious(i usually  get NO takers for  railfan buddies.what gives!)  ,  holler at me!  inbox me. thanks!
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jun 25th, 2006, 1:39am
torch buddy,
 
Can I delegate you    to be a watchdog on Sunday morning to check out the movements?   I am in Kamloops and am just a bit too far away!
 
You da man!
Posted by: Bear_Creek Posted on: Jun 25th, 2006, 1:46am
Torch, you are the man, keep us posted and take photo's. I'm on the road to Yellowknife, so I won't be able to make it.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Jun 25th, 2006, 2:30am
I've put in a last minute request for the day off so if it's granted, I may join you. I'll call you if I do.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: torch Posted on: Jun 25th, 2006, 4:18am
everybody!  i  WILL be at  welcox  on monday..i  cannot  guarentee  that i  will be  there on time  for the  barge switch but i  will try. if  i  do  miss the barge  switch, i WILL  still get  some photos  around the  engine  terminal and  such!     I  cannot be around trapp yard   sunday morn  cus  thats  when im leaving  for  nanaimo.. and  Jason..  definately call me on my  cell,k  cool!   well,  heres  hopin people! If  we  do  see  sry units showin up  at  wellcox, we will know  that its ON!
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jun 25th, 2006, 1:55pm
on Jun 25th, 2006, 4:18am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
everybody!  i  WILL be at  welcox  on monday..i  cannot  guarentee  that i  will be  there on time  for the  barge switch but i  will try. if  i  do  miss the barge  switch, i WILL  still get  some photos  around the  engine  terminal and  such!     I  cannot be around trapp yard   sunday morn  cus  thats  when im leaving  for  nanaimo.. and  Jason..  definately call me on my  cell,k  cool!   well,  heres  hopin people! If  we  do  see  sry units showin up  at  wellcox, we will know  that its ON!

 
 
Hey torch,   when you post the pics, could you please resize them to fit everyones' screen?  thx.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jun 26th, 2006, 1:11am
According to the Yahoogroup, 110 & 119 are now at Tilbury.  Happy barge watching tomorrow
Posted by: CroftonSpur88 Posted on: Jun 26th, 2006, 2:15am
STOKED!!!!
Posted by: ENR_fan Posted on: Jun 26th, 2006, 3:08am
****Very Important**** Make sure all cameras have batteries/film/memory cards... we want pics!!!
I'm in Vic and won't be up that way till next weekend, but I will be sure to stop by the yard and take some pics to add of the new power.
Posted by: KootenayValleyRailway Posted on: Jun 26th, 2006, 2:40pm
any pictures? any pictures yet? its like being a kid in a candy store
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Jun 26th, 2006, 3:09pm
They are here. See the details under my post "SRY is on the Island" though as it's breaking news, not much else to tell yet. Pictures to follow.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jun 26th, 2006, 4:34pm
I have posted my pics from this morning.  I was down watching the barge being unloaded.  
 
They are in the "post your E&N pics"
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 26th, 2006, 11:39pm
Yep those are nice engines. I sure do like the new paint job. Too bad it isnt in a green and yellow similar to the E&N Railfreight. Oh well, at least the E&N is going to have a new operator, so hopefully this is the start of more things to come.  
 
Welcox yard sure looks overgrown.
 
Aaron
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Jun 27th, 2006, 1:07am
maybe they'll get the 2099, i can't see ra taking that with them.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jul 31st, 2006, 5:13pm
Small world.  
 
I worked alongside Darwin Generous on the weekend at the Lehigh / Heidelberg site at Bamberton.  This is the guy I saw on the local news with the plan for a Duncan-Chemainus steam run with teh #11 from Ladysmith.
 
I won't quote all of what he told me about his plans to refurbish the #11 and run it as a tourist steam operation as that wouldn't be fair, but he seems quite serious.   He is a business owner and knows his stuff.  There is a plan for the refurbishment of the boiler and running gear, and plans for rolling stock.    
 
If he pulls it off the visuals would be great.   Imagine driving the Island Highway pacing a steam train!
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jul 31st, 2006, 10:58pm
I can only hope that the Alberni Pacific Railway has a chance to beat him to that goal.  I can hardly wait to ride that Steam Train up over the Hump with it's incredible views of the Alberni Valley, over the trestles around Cameron lake and down Highway 4a.
 
There is just something about riding in a steam train.  Hope the #11 has success as well.
 
on Jul 31st, 2006, 5:13pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Small world.  
Imagine driving the Island Highway pacing a steam train!

Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Oct 8th, 2006, 3:11am
On Saturday Oct 7 2006, I saw a string of about 15 brand-new SRY boxcars waiting in a BNSF siding SW of the New Westminster Bridge.    The interesting thing about these bright RED new boxcars was the "Catalyst" logo on the right side of the boxcar.........  And they are report marked SRY.
 
Hmmmmmm   potential Alberni usage?   Would be nice.......
 
Only the Cell-phone camera available........
Posted by: vicguy Posted on: Oct 8th, 2006, 3:33am
on Oct 8th, 2006, 3:11am, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)
On Saturday Oct 7 2006, I saw a string of about 15 brand-new SRY boxcars waiting in a BNSF siding SW of the New Westminster Bridge.    The interesting thing about these bright RED new boxcars was the "Catalyst" logo on the right side of the boxcar.........  And they are report marked SRY.
 
Hmmmmmm   potential Alberni usage?   Would be nice.......
 
Only the Cell-phone camera available........

 
 
Thanks for the pic! Does SRY serve any Catalyst mills on the mainland? That would be great if they were for Port Alberni.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Oct 8th, 2006, 4:04am
Hmmm, that is interesting.
I am thinking the same thing about Catalyst having possible operations on the Mainland.  
I was told by a collegue that Catalyst isnt going back to rail (he found out from someone in Port Alberni). I cant confirm what he is saying is true or false, but then again there is a lot of things going on behind the scenes that we probably dont know about.  
 
I just hope thta SRY is able to find more freight traffic for the E&N (not just Port Alberni).
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Oct 8th, 2006, 12:28pm
on Oct 8th, 2006, 4:04am, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hmmm, that is interesting.
I am thinking the same thing about Catalyst having possible operations on the Mainland.

Catalyst has a paper recycling plant in Coquitlam. Catalyst leases 900 railcars; most, if not all, are SRY units. Pyronovas' picture is some proof.
http://www.catalystpaper.com/communities/communities_greatervan_division.xml
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 8th, 2006, 7:30am
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On Saturday Oct 7 2006, I saw a string of about 15 brand-new SRY boxcars waiting in a BNSF siding SW of the New Westminster Bridge.    The interesting thing about these bright RED new boxcars was the "Catalyst" logo on the right side of the boxcar.........  And they are report marked SRY.  
 
Hmmmmmm   potential Alberni usage?   Would be nice.......  
 
Only the Cell-phone camera available........  
new to this site and computers but have been reading this site for about two years this is my first post .Port  alberni closed its pulp mill in the nineties and relied on getting pulp from powell river via rail or harmac via truck .When harmac was sold this left only Powell river to supply wet lap pulp by boxcar. When norske bought Powellriver and  Alberni they closed powellrivers pulp mill because they could make enough pulp at croften .I agree that Alberni will not go back to rail  to haul pulp ,Croften has a truck load for this and I dont see this is going to change.    That said  in august or september Alberni anounced it would be closing its ground wood mill and using recycled paper for fibre, coincedently after southern railway  took over the E&N. Alberni  I believe used recycled paper before shipped by rail but not in the quantity that they will need now once they stop using ground wood. I believe this is one of the reasons southern  took on the E&N
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 8th, 2006, 11:15am
Welcome to the Railfan.net forum for Van Isle, Timberland 7.
Interesting observation. I have the impression Catalyst is trying to shut down the #4 paper machine. What do you think?
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 8th, 2006, 12:48pm
I havent  been to the mill in a while but nothing would suprise me. The forest industrie on the coast isnt good . Albernis #3 machine I dont know if it is running  but its the one that uses  a lot of kraft pulp ,#4 and#5 use mostly ground wood recycled paper and clay . When Alberni made this anouncment they said in the future they may build a thermo mechanical pulp mill (TMP). Alberni  and the other mills on the coast are running into low fibre supplys due to all the saw mill closures over the years . Theres talk that the saw mills in Alberni may close in a couple of years.Alberni is at abit of a disatvantage due to its location for barge service this might be good thou for Southern and us rail fans.With Catalyst now having so many paper mills and Albernis location they may shut #4 machine down,Albernis savior is its #5 machine that uses the clay,hence the name Alberni specialty papers.Low fibre on the coast may cause wood chips to be shipped from the interior mills,another good thing for rail fans. Once I figure out this computor stuff I will share my pictures here ,Im supprised that Ieven got my mesage on this forum.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 8th, 2006, 4:25pm
on Nov 8th, 2006, 12:48pm, timberland#7 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I havent  been to the mill in a while but nothing would suprise me. The forest industrie on the coast isnt good . Albernis #3 machine I dont know if it is running  but its the one that uses  a lot of kraft pulp ,#4 and#5 use mostly ground wood recycled paper and clay . When Alberni made this anouncment they said in the future they may build a thermo mechanical pulp mill (TMP). Alberni  and the other mills on the coast are running into low fibre supplys due to all the saw mill closures over the years . Theres talk that the saw mills in Alberni may close in a couple of years.Alberni is at abit of a disatvantage due to its location for barge service this might be good thou for Southern and us rail fans.With Catalyst now having so many paper mills and Albernis location they may shut #4 machine down,Albernis savior is its #5 machine that uses the clay,hence the name Alberni specialty papers.Low fibre on the coast may cause wood chips to be shipped from the interior mills,another good thing for rail fans. Once I figure out this computor stuff I will share my pictures here ,Im supprised that Ieven got my mesage on this forum.

One of the posters on the Yahoo-E&N Railway group who lives in Port is quite adamant that Catalyst will not ship from there by rail again anytime soon. Then again he'd like to see the E&N narrow gauged and run by steam so I cant vouch for his partiality. He does claim to have spoken to whoever is in charge of transportation at Catalysts head office about it and got that answer though.  
As far as computer skills go dont sweat it. I learned just the other day how to make my my posts not look like a long sentence - by accident of course. And I still type with just an index finger.  
The pictures are pretty easy: go to the bottom of 'post a reply' page, click "browse"( that puts you into your pictures file), find the one you'd like to post and click on it. Its title will show next to the "Replace or Attach Image". If you want to resize or preview it, click the appropriate spot on that page. Try it out.
Posted by: Jason King Posted on: Nov 8th, 2006, 5:11pm
Actually that's not quite true. One poster claims to have talked to Catalyst about the return to rail, and it's someone else who suggested the idea of narrow gauging the line from Port Alberni to Parksville and running a steam train on it. That would be Roger who I know personally, and he's quite serious about it. Sell everything buy the Port Sub, rip it all up and re lay the line narrow guage to run cheaply available steam equipment.
 
Cheers.
 
J\
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 8th, 2006, 5:45pm
He could be write I AM JUST SPECULATING . I just think if there going to use that much recycled paper that would be a whole lot of trucks on that highway  and more trucks woudnt  be a popular idea with the locals. Thanks for the help.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 8th, 2006, 10:04pm
One of Catalysts divisions, is the paper recycling plant in Coquitlam. I cant see them needing two but what the hell do I know.  
I'm an idiot. Just the same, happy to have helped.
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Nov 8th, 2006, 11:23pm
welcome  
 
I think you have a very interseting perspective , and you do obiously have some insight into the operations at that mill. I hope you are right!
 
 
on an unrelated note.. i just read this entire thread from end to end.. and it gives you some interesting perspective on how fast things can change here  
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 9th, 2006, 6:49am
Sorry  FSD8014 I think you miss understood me.Alberni said they may build a TMP mill in the future, this uses wood chips but I dont think they will until they have a guaranteed  reliable source of wood fibre . I was not saying they would build another recycle plant but they will be  bring de inked  recycled paper over from Coquitlom once they close there ground wood mill.This would be there main source of fibre other than the trucked pulp from Crofton. That will be a lot of product shipped over there from Coquitlom  by truck or rail. Has anyone heard how this will be transported.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 9th, 2006, 9:43am
No need to be sorry Timberland#7. I'm not upset, I just find this all frustrating. Plus I like to admit I'm an idiot once in a while, that way when I'm proven wrong - see this answer.
Currently, Catalyst is playing hardball with Port Alberni over property taxes and I strongly doubt PA can meet their 50% demand. Port offered 20% if Catalyst would promise not to lay off any employees for a given period of time. Catalyst said no. The threat is to shut down the #4 paper plant. Its like "Cut our taxes by 50% or face layoffs". Port Alberni cant win. I think the province needs to step in. Again, what do I know?  
This is like so many things to do with the E&N, time will tell.
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 9th, 2006, 1:20pm
Yes I understand what Catalyst is up to its not the first time theyve tried this didnt they say this before closing #3 machine . With having such a monopoly on paper mills Catalyst can use threats like that.What would H.R.Macmillan think now. Back to railroads, there still going to need a lot of recycled paper even if they just run one paper machine
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 9th, 2006, 9:09pm
on Nov 9th, 2006, 1:20pm, timberland#7 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Back to railroads, there still going to need a lot of recycled paper even if they just run one paper machine

True, but they have committed to trucks.
Posted by: pa_sub1 Posted on: Nov 9th, 2006, 11:18pm
on Nov 9th, 2006, 1:20pm, timberland#7 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Back to railroads, there still going to need a lot of recycled paper even if they just run one paper machine

 
This is actually false.  The #5 Paper Machine does not use recycle paper and won't in the future.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 9th, 2006, 11:32pm
PA_sub1, what is your take on the mill in PA? More paper or less? Trucks or trains? Other customers in the area? Any reason to reopen the sub?
Posted by: pa_sub1 Posted on: Nov 9th, 2006, 11:34pm
on Nov 9th, 2006, 9:43am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Currently, Catalyst is playing hardball with Port Alberni over property taxes and I strongly doubt PA can meet their 50% demand. Port offered 20% if Catalyst would promise not to lay off any employees for a given period of time. Catalyst said no. The threat is to shut down the #4 paper plant. Its like "Cut our taxes by 50% or face layoffs". Port Alberni cant win. I think the province needs to step in. Again, what do I know?

 
It's worth putting the tax situation in perspective.  The mill in Port Alberni pays around $23 in municipal tax for every ton of product it produces.  The industry average in Canada is between $6 and $10.  So realistically, to level the playing field, asking for a 50% reduction is not outlandish.  The mill is paying the same tax it did when it had 3 paper machines and 2 pulp machines running.  The sentiment out there regarding the government position on the subject is that they would side with the companies rather than with the municipalities.  High municipal tax rates have been an ongoing deterrent to investment in smaller communities.  Port Alberni, to its credit, has offered industrial clients a 10 year waiver on taxes on any investment in the community over $100,000.  Therefore if someone built a new sawmill here, they shouldn't have to pay taxes on the mill for 10 years.
Posted by: pa_sub1 Posted on: Nov 9th, 2006, 11:48pm
on Nov 9th, 2006, 11:32pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
PA_sub1, what is your take on the mill in PA? More paper or less? Trucks or trains? Other customers in the area? Any reason to reopen the sub?

 
Well, here's what I know.  There is a preferred plan forward for the mill that would include 2 paper machines with an investment in the mill's pulping capacity that would help it to become one of the lowest cost producers of paper in North America.  In order to secure the investment, the company has asked the city for a tax reduction as well as asking the union locals for some changes as well.  If the company secures the agreement on the issues, the mill should have some stability for the next 5 years anyway.  There are no guarantees these days as there is significant paper capacity coming on line in China which will inevitably push prices down.  If the company doesn't secure agreement, then the #4 paper machine will eventually shut down.
As for rail, I don't see it coming back to the mill.  The kraft pulp business has gone permanently to truck, and the preferred plan for the recycle pulp is to use none of it here.  That doesn't leave a lot of business to run a railway.  I believe the company plans to sell off the rail yard in the near future.  
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 10th, 2006, 12:34am
I cant make heads or tails of this debate. I checked the Alberni.ca forums and there are several threads about this but no clear direction from the citizens of PA. Example: http://www.alberni.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=6023  One post even says that Catalyst made $110.- a ton on the #4 machine in September. I think I need to think about something else for a while.
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 10th, 2006, 6:31am
Pa sub1 I didnt know that about #5 machine I havent been there in a while but I do believe you.  The tv news clip I saw said they would be using recycled paper but theyve been wrong before.In reality probaly just more trucks over the hump with kraft pulp from Croften. DAMM TRUCKS.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 10th, 2006, 10:52pm
Its not the fault of the trucks, the truckers or the trucking companies, Timberland#7. These are people like you and me trying to provide for their families. When Catalyst decided to go with truck haulage, that was it for rail. The trucks, like the railway simply provide a service. Whos to say what made the decision to change to trucks on Catalysts part. For them its just business, maybe cheaper (or not), maybe the pulp chips werent on active rail. Maybe they were put off by the previous railway companies. Who knows. I dont mean to sound like a jerk but Im a gravel truck driver and a railfan. And try as I might, I cant come up with a plausable scheme to get freight trains to Victoria or elsewhere on VI.
 I did however, hear that SRY will provide occasional service to get things rolling here. In fact what I heard was that SRY offered to service a sawmill on the Malahat (Shawnigan Lake South Rd) that makes flooring and might only load 1 or 2 cars a month. I dont know if the story is true though. It would be an interesting note if proven. Then SRY will have proven everything I've ever heard about them. IE: "personalized, market driven, customer oriented and neutral shortline service."- like it says on their website.
Posted by: pa_sub1 Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 12:55am
One of the things that works against railways acquiring new customers is that they have to acquire land to lay tracks on to service these customers.  Trucks can use existing roads which are funded mostly by the taxpayers.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 1:53am
So with all the bleak news regarding getting freight back to rail from Port Alberni. I guess commuter rail between Victoria Duncan seems to be a more possible venture. I just hope the provincial liberals get off their butts and start attending meetings here to get commuter rail going. With all this building in the south island, rail is going to be seen as a more attractive alternative.  
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 1:58am
In answer to pa_sub1: This is true to a point. Not all roads are open to heavy trucks due to weight restrictions or local bylaws. Road repairs and upgrades are also paid for by taxpayers. The E&N Railway didnt originally have to pay for any land, as it came with a land grant giving it (or the Dunsmuirs) nearly half the island. Now any changes require reacquiring land that is increasingly expensive. The railway at one time was a public works project of sorts, now its a private business and as such has to pay its own way.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 2:05am
on Nov 11th, 2006, 1:53am, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
So with all the bleak news regarding getting freight back to rail from Port Alberni. I guess commuter rail between Victoria Duncan seems to be a more possible venture. I just hope the provincial liberals get off their butts and start attending meetings here to get commuter rail going. With all this building in the south island, rail is going to be seen as a more attractive alternative.  
 
Aaron

I had the impression that there was or is a backer for the commuter concept, but I'm not sure how far that backing goes. Another impression was that SRY has given the concept a high priority.
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 4:16am
You took me to seriously FSD8014 I was being facetious.More like damm trucks, foiled again .I too once made a living driving truck and understand there importance especialy with local delivery. You will never see tracks layed to some ones house for concrete and gravel supplys.What gets me is industries  that have been here for decades that haul bulk materials on our roads when theres a rail line right beside it empty. Some of the problem is what pasub1 said about property also industries dont like to be tied to one frieght  supplier they like the competivenous between the many different trucking  companies. If they dont like your service theres a dozen other companies willing to make them happy  unlike a rail provider .When ICF took over the rail line I thought  they might open the rail line up to any rail company that wanted to compete for any haul ,but that might be to complicated. That sure would be good for us rail fans if that ever happend thou.The other thing thats been bugging me about trucks and the E#N  land grant is before logging companies used there own private roads or the railroad now they just come to the nearest public road and haul there logs down it past the layed off saw mill worker that pays for those roads.I say no private wood down public roads use the railroad or there own road unless  there taking it to a local sawmill.They could have reloads similar to woss all up and down the island. My index finger is sore I better take a break.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 10:18am
LOL, so youre the other guy on this board typing with an index finger. Youve also brought up some interesting points. I agree that many industries that easily could use rail dont. Some spurs still go to some former customers. I presume its up to SRYs marketing dept. to go after these customers and try to convince them to come back to rail. This might prove difficult, as CPRail chased away many customers and prevented RA from getting them back, so the trucks are a fixture. Another point is lumber. Currently, a signifigant amount of all privately owned logs are exported away without any processing. This has effectively screwed many mills and thus, jobs. A great source of revenue for the E&N and other railways used to come from moving finished lumber to market. Until the government changes the policy that sends logs and jobs offshore I dont forsee any improvement there.  On a related note, I havent heard of any loads being delivered to National Silicates in a while. (Well, I cant recall anyone chasing a Parksville turn recently.) Do they still recieve railcars?
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 10:21am
to make it feasable to run, the easiest way to obtain a customer would be to service one spot, like a re-load. cars come i in and trucks take it off to the local market. Slegg handles alot of wood products otr from the mainland. I still think that tofc would work if maketed and done right.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 10:58am
Ive thought that for a few years myself. Slegg would be a good customer to base that concept on. I'd still bet that SRY will try to get some kind of industrial park with (potential) rail service. This concept has worked well for both SRY and MRL.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 1:11pm
on Nov 11th, 2006, 2:05am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

I had the impression that there was or is a backer for the commuter concept, but I'm not sure how far that backing goes. Another impression was that SRY has given the concept a high priority.

 
As far as I know, the WestHills Developer is the main private backer and pushing hard to get this commuter project going. I was told a while back that the developer was willing to buy the railcars themselves, but I cant confirm this.
 
 
Aaron
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 1:20pm
on Nov 11th, 2006, 10:58am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Ive thought that for a few years myself. Slegg would be a good customer to base that concept on. I'd still bet that SRY will try to get some kind of industrial park with (potential) rail service. This concept has worked well for both SRY and MRL.

 
There are several sites for possible rail industrial parks; the Welcox yard, north Nanaimo along TCH, south Duncan near Top Shelf, west of Langford and along the Esquimalt Naval Docks.  
Also depending on how motivated SRY is, a possible spur to Duke Point.
 
But I am sure SRY is looking at these sites as well.
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 11th, 2006, 3:30pm
Aaron, its interesting that you brought up the Westhills development. I have been working there as a contractor fairly steadily for a few months, except that its now called "Lakewood Estates" and being built by "Associated Building Credits"(essentialy the same co.). There is talk of a station being built on the site but nobody I've talked to there knows where. Next time I'm in the office I'll stare a little longer at the proposed site map. The site is still being built to LEED Gold standards and still includes rail based transit toward Victoria to the best of my knowledge. I dont know if the same ownership is still in place, I cant recall the mans name but hes in his eighties.
As far as locales for industrial parks go, I dont know about Wellcox, I thought Nanaimo had it earmarked for condos or something like that. West of Langford are fairly small plots surrounded by homes, malls and whatever is going next to the new Langford Parkway - and much of that has been sold. I dont know whats planned for the former Dept. of Highways (Mainland Hwy Mtce) property (owned I believe by Chew (as in the Excavating co.). On the east side of the tracks by Langford Lake is a fair size lot zoned industrial. Ive talked to one of the owners and it is a proposed old age home for most of it and a park named after the wife of Henry Eng for the rest. Another possible site is the Songhees First Nation near Admirals Rd. Likely available as a long term lease. Im not familiar with the others.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 12th, 2006, 1:47am
Dan, is there an office for the public to visit for the Lakehills Development? I would sure like to check out the plans for the site. There was a website for the Westhills Development a while back, but I am not sure if its still current.
 
Its interesting to note. I was looking back over the past year on this forum for the rumors and speculation and boy a lot of entertaining discussions. I remember the long chats about container traffic from Port Alberni to Nanaimo or Crofton. A lot has changed since last summer.
 
Aaron
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Nov 12th, 2006, 1:32pm
on Nov 11th, 2006, 4:16am, timberland#7 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The other thing thats been bugging me about trucks and the E#N  land grant is before logging companies used there own private roads or the railroad now they just come to the nearest public road and haul there logs down it past the layed off saw mill worker that pays for those roads.I say no private wood down public roads use the railroad or there own road unless  there taking it to a local sawmill.They could have reloads similar to woss all up and down the island.

 
This concept is not foreign to the Washington Group;   There is a Log Reload about 20 miles east of Missoula Montana, right on the Main Line of Montana Rail Link.   There is always a couple of cars being loaded everytime I travel past it.  I have seen the cars loaded heading west through St. Regis, Mt. (which is 100+ miles west of the reload) heading to unknown location (Spokane maybe?).
 
Canadian Pacific/CPRail used to have a system with Comox Logging/Crown Zellerbach where loaded log cars would interchange at Ladysmith to travel to MacBlo at Chemainus.   It would probably would not take much for something like this somewhere else on the E&N to happen again.
 
I like your idea of no loaded log trucks on HWY 19/19a and 1.  Can the government force logs to rail?  Those logging companies sure pay a lot in taxes.........  
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 12th, 2006, 2:20pm
on Nov 12th, 2006, 1:47am, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Dan, is there an office for the public to visit for the Lakehills Development? I would sure like to check out the plans for the site. There was a website for the Westhills Development a while back, but I am not sure if its still current.
 
Aaron

Aaron, there is as on site office (an Atco type) behind Starbucks on Jacklin Rd. but I dont think its readily open to the public. If there is another one I dont know where it is. I hope the website is still up.
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Nov 12th, 2006, 2:20pm
on Nov 11th, 2006, 10:18am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 On a related note, I havent heard of any loads being delivered to National Silicates in a while. (Well, I cant recall anyone chasing a Parksville turn recently.) Do they still recieve railcars?

 
almost every friday, if not , then they do it the following monday afternoon  by the looks of things they have gone from 1 car / week  to 2 cars / week , and now sometimes 3 cars even
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 12th, 2006, 3:31pm
on Nov 11th, 2006, 10:18am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
 On a related note, I havent heard of any loads being delivered to National Silicates in a while. (Well, I cant recall anyone chasing a Parksville turn recently.) Do they still recieve railcars?

That same night CLC fan reported 3 cars being delivered to National Silicates in the E&N Movements thread. I digress...
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 11:45am
i agree that more traffic should go by rail, unfortunatly someone would suffer, for every truck out there that provides a roof over someones head and meals on the table. A happy medium would be nice, because as you know work out there is in short supply.
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 12:48pm
Well its not like the truck drivers are doing that well anyways .. most of them were struggling to get by as soon as gas went above a buck, and while it is sad to see... thats business.
 
 
Back to potential customers... i was looking on Parksville's website at the airial map of the city, and right by National Silicates and the Parksville industrial spur is quite a large industrial park (which isnt fully developed) ... with plenty more room for rail access and development .... i am sure thats going to be up there on the list because that kind of development is right up SRY's alley  
 
http://city.parksville.bc.ca - Mouseover "discover parksville" and click maps
 
load the orthophoto , turn everything else off in the menu on the left
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 2:26pm
on Nov 13th, 2006, 11:45am, boxcar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
i agree that more traffic should go by rail, unfortunatly someone would suffer, for every truck out there that provides a roof over someones head and meals on the table. A happy medium would be nice, because as you know work out there is in short supply.

Please dont talk about taking work away from trucks, I bought a new one in August. I cant afford a train...
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 5:13pm
i saw a 70 tonner for sale for about 6000 bucks a few months ago  
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 6:12pm
Is it ready for interchange? Could I get running rights on the E&N? Dont get me wrong, I'd enjoy railroading but I'm stuck with the truck for now. And I can legally operate one. You didnt mention the 3 CRS20s CN has on their website for bids. Those I could get into.
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 6:29pm
probably not, all it said underneath was "Needs work"  ... lol   anyways ... would anyone really notice if you went out on a jaunt on the PA sub?  
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 7:00pm
what kind of truck do you own fsd?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 7:12pm
'07 Western Star, C-15/475, 18 spd, 20 & 46s, Air ride. Nahanni rigout with a h/l gate and T-450 floor. Actually ordered to be a self load logger. Wonderful truck. My 2nd Star. Is this off topic?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 13th, 2006, 7:17pm
on Nov 13th, 2006, 6:29pm, Chris_C wrote:       (Click here for original message)
probably not, all it said underneath was "Needs work"  ... lol   anyways ... would anyone really notice if you went out on a jaunt on the PA sub?  

 Chris, I know I probably wouldnt get caught but I dont think I could do it even in a hirail P/U.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 15th, 2006, 3:04am
A new member on the yahoo group suggested hauling garbage on the E&N from the communities along the rail line to the mainland. I add to the suggestion of why no haul recycling material as well. Perhaps shipping it to Port Alberni to be made into finished products like new cans, glass jars, boxes and then shipping it to the mainland to be used by companies for their products.
 
Aaron
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 15th, 2006, 8:02am
As far as log truck reloads go I thought this would be feasable , for a while  Werhauser closed its north west bay dry land sort and shipped  all the logs to Chemainus.This made the yard to busy at once and made the haul to long for the drivers. If they used rail the haul would have been considerably shorter and they could run a day shift and a night crap unloading rail cars. How ever now that IPD saw mill is gone I think they are going to make that  a dry land sort because they can load logs wright onto ships with out touching the water witch makes the logs more valuable.There is no rail line to IPD. Maybe when fuel goes through the roof this will become veasable for timber west to ship logs to shoal island again via croften spur.
Posted by: CN7023 Posted on: Nov 15th, 2006, 10:59am
Most of the logs for shoal island come from the cowichan woodlands, to the south of cowichan lake, which has a subdivision with no rails. That makes it pretty hard to bring logs in by rail, but it is a very smart idea.
 
If there were still rails on the cowichan sub, i have no doubts that SVI could convince them to move logs to shoal island by rail. you could move more logs in one shot than trucks can do in the course of an entire day. unfortunately it's just a big pie in the sky idea now
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 15th, 2006, 11:04am
As far as the log reloads go, the concept is quite successful on the Englewood Railway and has been since trucks took over the hauls to active cutblocks. Regardless, the logs get dumped in the saltchuck and towed to processing. That said, in many ways the system would have to be different on the E&N (SRYVI). SRY is quite adept at moving lumber and owns hundreds of centrebeam flatcars and actively markets transloading along their line on the mainland. On VI, we send a lot of our logs to foreign countries without processing. Here, for the most part, logs are trucked to tidewater to be loaded for export. Logging companies arent going to add another reload point just to ship by rail. Its inefficient to handle products more often than necessary, and few places on the island are very far from water. At other places logs are processed, but how many have a connection to the E&N? Several have rail service by barge but no connection to the E&N. There are a few who might benefit from such a connection but that is a marketing (logistics) question. SRY does have one trick to play, however. SRY/Washington Group probably has a better marketing program than most small to medium sawmills on the coast. SRYs ability to find new markets for new customers might be their 'ace in the hole'. I know if I were in a position to have someone else find customers for my products I'd be all over it. Especially if they were competitive in pricing for transportation and could gaurantee on time shipping. The extra marketing is a bonus on top.
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 15th, 2006, 1:42pm
Yes most of the logs for Shoal island come from the Cowichan valley. I believe Jack PEAKE has said he would like to see the rails return to Lake Cowichan. If you drive down that highway you could see why.I was thinkig more of the logs in the Comox valley shipped south.I agree rehandling is more costly but I was thinking more like having one big sort instead of a bunch of them up and down the Island on valuable land .Having one big one for timberwest and one for Island timberlands I am sure would be more cost efficiant.These are just my pie in the sky ideas untill  the public start a uproar about the trucks on the highways and polliticians make new laws I dont think much will change. The good thing is now that the rail line is more secure with the ICF  and fuel going through the roof we may live to see this.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 15th, 2006, 3:44pm
I'm going to add an industrial site that is along the E&N. I didnt know about it until today but if you go down south Shawnigan Lake road to where the level (?) crossing is you will see a smallish industrial development with a stone company and 1 or 2 sawmills, The area nearby has been cleared and could see future development. Its really near the Malahat siding. Whats odd about the location is that the best access is by rail, the road in either direction from there sucks for truck transport. I'm not sure but doesnt the lake end have a low bridge? The other end is halfway up a steep hill on the Malahat.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 16th, 2006, 8:25pm
Apparently Catalyst Paper is going to make an announcement tomorrow concerning their Port Alberni Paper division. I've been following what the town has been blogging on a local forum( http://www.alberni.ca/forums/) and it seems Catalyst has taken a hard line towards the operation. I dont have both sides of the story as yet, but assume an announcement will clear things up. I dont hold out much hope for a return to rail (to put it mildly) but I'll be looking for the announcement just the same.
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Nov 16th, 2006, 9:21pm
well hopefully it clears up everything ... as much as i would like to see them return to rail... i think the future of this line is going to be more along the lines of 85% revenue from the Vic sub, 15% on the Alberni Sub ... basically the opposite of the past just due to population & development trends
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 16th, 2006, 10:04pm
I hope that something comes up for the Alberni sub. I'm sure that SRYs sales team have been "beating the bushes" for customers all over the line. Is Weyerhauser a dead end? How committed is Jack Peake to rail tourism?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 20th, 2006, 11:21am
Another report on the Alberni.ca forum claims that "an announcement" is coming from Catalyst "today". Incedentally, I found a report on Catalysts' website that the Port Alberni mill was to convert from groundwood pulp to recycled paper pulp in an effort to cut costs and improve supply. So it seems that that report in this thread may be true. Alberni residents seem resigned to losing jobs at the mill there, FWIW.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 20th, 2006, 8:23pm
The A-Channel news had on a piece about this. The news from Catalyst was that they wont invest to upgrade the Port Alberni mill. There was no comment on whether jobs might be lost. Link: http://www.cbc.ca/cp/business/061120/b1120119A.html
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Dec 26th, 2006, 10:26am
on Dec 26th, 2006, 1:59am, CLC Fan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Goto this link: http://www.fpnnews.ca/

 
I would be reluctant to accept anything written or posten by the 'so-called' Friends of Plan Nanaimo.  This group has consistently shown that they will do or say anything to further their cause.  Their cause is to prevent the Nanaimo Conference Center.  Judging by the last municipal election, most of them are also looking to get elected to Nanaimo city council.  
 
This is a political group with a poorly hidden agenda.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Dec 26th, 2006, 1:58pm
Wellcox yard in it's current state and all of the trackage is protected just as it was a part of the actual corridor.
There is only a small section that could be developed, and heck why not ,it would help spruce up the area as well as add security
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jan 18th, 2007, 12:27pm
I heard on CBC radio yesterday that Catalyst is cutting further production (and jobs) at the Alberni site.   I think the dream of freight trains to the mill is pretty much dead.   The only silver lining is that Catalyts plans on subdividing and selling a large chunk of their industrial land holdings there.   If there is a hope for freight traffic on the line, it will be from whatever development might occur on that property.    
 
Hopefully not condos...."the Millyards"  
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jan 18th, 2007, 9:00pm
The CEO & CFO have resigned from Catalyst over a rift with Third Avenue Management over the direction Third Avenue is taking the company. Dont worry about Mr Horner and Mr Leverton though, their severance packages are described as a "golden parachute" valued at $4.8 mil and $1.6 mil each. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070116.RCATALYST16/TPStory/Business
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 18th, 2007, 10:13pm
on Jan 18th, 2007, 9:00pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The CEO & CFO have resigned from Catalyst over a rift with Third Avenue Management over the direction Third Avenue is taking the company. Dont worry about Mr Horner and Mr Leverton though, their severance packages are described as a "golden parachute" valued at $4.8 mil and $1.6 mil each. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070116.RCATALYST16/TPStory/Business

 
Yeah I heard about that. Doesnt bold well for freight coming back to rail on the Port Sub. The softwood deal, and apparent downturn in the asian market hasnt helped either.
 
I keep my fingers crossed.
 
Aaron
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jan 19th, 2007, 1:29am
Well, according to a quote in that link: Sophisticated fund managers dont buy a third of a company without some idea of the strategic direction they're heading,"-"The quickest, simplest short term return to Third Avenue would come from selling Catalyst."  I concur.
I tend to think the mill, the town and the railway would be best served by a change in mill ownership. A new approach; one that isnt adversarial in nature, might benefit all concerned. A kind of partnership between the mill, town, and transportation would be beneficial. Probably wont happen, however as Third Ave. seems to have dug in over this and seems to want to keep Catalyst for now feeling it is undervalued. Time will tell.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: May 15th, 2007, 9:52am
Any of you guys get the WCRA railway news? You might recognize the island content, as it seems to come from this forum. If you can access it (don't know if you have to be a member or not) check out the "New freight on SVI", "Vancouver Island Budd car changes" and "Englewood update". That last one sounds real familiar.  
lol
Posted by: sry110 Posted on: Jun 3rd, 2007, 11:32am
hi all
 
This weekend i went to my step father job, the back door was open. there was a track. form that track i could saw the propane tank car. do anyone no if the harbourcity star already recive roll of paper by train or tank car of ink?
 
thanks
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 3rd, 2007, 2:50pm
I believe the track is just used for Superior Propane. I'm not aware of any newspapers on the island that receive product by rail. If I'm wrong (and I'd rather see this turn out to be another customer), please correct me.
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Jun 3rd, 2007, 2:56pm
It is not out of the question for companies like this to get cars of paper, in Calgary, the herald and North hill news get about 4 to 6 car loads per week of paper. Just wondering if the harbourcity star has a spur?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 3rd, 2007, 7:13pm
Just looking at that area on Google Earth and no, the Harbour City Star does not have a dedicated spur but the Superior Propane spur seems to run behind their building, indeed behind that entire complex. I suppose its possible to drop a carload of printing supplies behind the propane cars but can't tell if the building has an access door or dock for railcar shipments.
On Google Earth the location is at: Pointer. 49degrees 11' 49.96"N  123degrees 59' 03.35"W at an elevation of 329ft. The Google Earth image has been updated and looks way better. There are six cars on the Superior spur and you can see the ties clearly. Pretty good.
Posted by: ENR_fan Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2007, 6:43pm
I drove up island and back from Victoria today and saw that there was a construction notice on  highway #1 north of Duncan which indicated that on June 27th the highway #18 (the one that goes to Lake Cowichan) rail crossing was being upgraded and that there would be a detour in effect. They must be putting in gates or something more substantial in at the crossing because as I recall that crossing has only simple cross-bucks and red flashers.
I also noticed, when I was heading south, a shipment of rail ties on a tractor trailer going south out of Nanaimo on the highway and I thought it might be going to the construction on the above mentioned rail crossing, however the truck ended up stopping short into a Chemainus lumber warehouse... however they still may end up on the E&N somewhere. Also does anyone know what that new large warehouse type building going up in Ladysmith is about? It’s right beside the E&N ROW, just north of the rusting rail equipment in the center of town, perhaps a new customer?
Posted by: andrewjoystick Posted on: Jun 22nd, 2007, 7:54pm
SRY has been doing that at railroad crossings a lot on the mainland lately. They close the roads down for 24 hours, dig up the crossing, replace all the ties and sometimes the rails and put in concrete inserts around the rails. That is most likely what they are doing at that crossing. If they plan to install crossing gates then they will most likely install the wiring and equipment for those at the same time as well.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 11th, 2007, 12:52am
It would seem that Via 6135 has left IRSI. This doesn't mean I have any idea when it might be due back on the rock here. But I did trip over a couple of pix of 6135 in a train consist on the MacTier sub dated June 30th. http://www.dualflagrrphotos.com/ follow links: gallery, June 30 - scroll down about halfway. (Theres also a couple of pix of a BC Rail SD40-2 #765 in the hockey stick scheme there. Theres even an Expo 86 decal on the fuel tank!)
Anyways, it seems like 6135 is westward bound. Ah, WTH, heres the pic: http://www.dualflagrrphotos.com/DSC06047.jpg
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 19th, 2007, 1:31am
The union representing VIA employees has issued strike notice for Sunday, July 22nd at 12:01 AM. This will affect maintenance, cleaning and train crews. Its possible that there will be no Dayliner Sunday and until this is resolved.
 
http://www.cbc.ca/money/story/2007/07/17/viarailnotice.html?ref=rss
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Jul 19th, 2007, 1:42am
on Jul 19th, 2007, 1:31am, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Its possible that there will be no Dayliner Sunday and until this is resolved.

 
 
Will it? Considering both the maintenance and operations are contracted out?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jul 19th, 2007, 1:52am
I guess there are no VIA employees on the island then. I stand corrected.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jul 19th, 2007, 10:07am
The only actual Via Rail employee on Vancouver is the ticket agent in Victoria.  Train crews have been CP/RailAmerica/SRY.  Mechanical CP/Point Hope/Herzog.  Probably have to buy your tickets on the train or from a travel agent.  That's all.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 16th, 2007, 1:43am
A few people have mentioned on this forum over the years the possibility that there would be aggregate movements on the E & N when the Metchosin (Construction Aggregates) gravel pit closes.   I did some work for C.A. last week and they are shutting the doors in December.   The are making bare minimum repairs and investment in their infrastructure as they have less than a year left.   The reclamation work has begun on the West pit and will continue for several years as they turn the pits into a new waterfront community.
 
So............I personally do not see how this will generate loads for the E & N.  The C.A. gravel and crushed stone products were loaded directly to barges for shipment off Island, with the few exceptions being places on the Island that were set up to accept barges from them.
 
I am not sure how them shutting down would tranlate into loads for the railway........but I thought I's revive the rumour in case there is something I'm missing.    
 
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Aug 16th, 2007, 7:58pm
on Aug 16th, 2007, 1:43am, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
A few people have mentioned on this forum over the years the possibility that there would be aggregate movements on the E & N when the Metchosin (Construction Aggregates) gravel pit closes.   I did some work for C.A. last week and they are shutting the doors in December.   The are making bare minimum repairs and investment in their infrastructure as they have less than a year left.   The reclamation work has begun on the West pit and will continue for several years as they turn the pits into a new waterfront community.
 
So............I personally do not see how this will generate loads for the E & N.  The C.A. gravel and crushed stone products were loaded directly to barges for shipment off Island, with the few exceptions being places on the Island that were set up to accept barges from them.
 
I am not sure how them shutting down would tranlate into loads for the railway........but I thought I's revive the rumour in case there is something I'm missing.    
 

Did any material from C.A. ever become used in local asphalt road construction?   What is the local paving stone supplier; and could the E&N/SRY-VI become a supplier?
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Aug 16th, 2007, 8:44pm
As a gravel trucker around the West Shore, I hope my insight qualifies. The Con-Ag pit has been a major supplier of sand and various sizes of aggregates on the south island. And while the sand pile there looks huge (even I think so), they've refused to supply sand in large quantities to at least one major customer and are no longer supplying aggregate for concrete to anyone but Lafarge (part of the consortium that owns them). I've even heard they were out of 3/8 "torpedo" completely. The result of this is the sheer number of gravel trucks and trailers hauling that stuff to Victoria over the Malahat. Sand comes from a few places between Cobble Hill and Duncan. I'm not sure what products come from a pit near Nanaimo Lakes, but I know guys hauling from there.  
In the end the expense of a facility to unload railcars and transfer to trucks within the Victoria area will kill any hopes of moving aggregate by rail. The property to do this is too scarce and expensive. Trucks use public roads between existing gravel pits and distributors or Concrete Companies. The transport of aggregate by rail may or may not be cheaper, but the ground to transfer materials at is the plans downfall.  
 
on Aug 16th, 2007, 1:43am, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
A few people have mentioned on this forum over the years the possibility that there would be aggregate movements on the E & N when the Metchosin (Construction Aggregates) gravel pit closes.   I did some work for C.A. last week and they are shutting the doors in December.   The are making bare minimum repairs and investment in their infrastructure as they have less than a year left.   The reclamation work has begun on the West pit and will continue for several years as they turn the pits into a new waterfront community.
 
So............I personally do not see how this will generate loads for the E & N.  The C.A. gravel and crushed stone products were loaded directly to barges for shipment off Island, with the few exceptions being places on the Island that were set up to accept barges from them.
 
I am not sure how them shutting down would tranlate into loads for the railway........but I thought I's revive the rumour in case there is something I'm missing.    
 

Posted by: Cody Posted on: Aug 16th, 2007, 11:58pm
Thanks for the inside scoop FSD8014.  I was told they are barge-only now from a guy working there, but I have no idea how reliable my source is.  
 
As far as the mining is concerned I think they are now only processing crushed blast-rock products from their blasting face which might explain the lack of certain aggregate products that are made from true gravel (glacial till).  The remaining pure till reserves are all outside the property now, or under their residential development lands.  Maybe 3/8 torpedo fits that category  The rock crushing plant is still running full tilt.
 
As far as that big pile o' sand is concerned.   There is speculation it will be used for grading and filling the new neighborhood, and perhaps for extending the existing beach along the waterfront.   That might be why they are not too keen to sell it off.
 
There is still an active and thriving gravel pit near Victoria at Butler Brothers on Keating Cross-Roads in Central Saanich.  There are huge aggregate and limestone operations on Texada Island that can barge to Victoria locations such as Butler's downtown Bay Street operation as well as a brand new aggregate operation at Port MacNeil on the North Island.
 
It seems unlikely that the E & N would be running unit aggregate trains when there is still good waterfront access for this material in Victoria.   Cement trains to Trio Readymix at Esquimalt siding seem a higher likelyhood for new business to me.
Posted by: torch Posted on: Aug 19th, 2007, 2:13am
hey clc... was this flat car  sitting around port alberni for a long time or something? or  did it  come over somehow from wellcox? do you know? thanks..--m
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Aug 19th, 2007, 2:20am
Hey Moka, I think it was one of the flat cars that was used when CPR was logging on the Port Sub a few years ago. IIRC they used a track mobile to haul the cars over the Port Sub which later broke down. I believe Alberni Pacific Railway hauled the logs out for the CPR.
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Aug 19th, 2007, 4:38pm
I was up at the engine shed in Alberni last week talking to one of the members and explained that they are going to load the flat car with 50 yards of pit run .They will load a skidsteer on the flat car as well to push of the pit run into the wash out up the track.
Posted by: torch Posted on: Sep 6th, 2007, 8:45am
APPARENTLY   there is an ex CN  GP-9 headed to vancouver island soon in ownership of a "vancouver island railtours"    !?!  anybody know anything about this? said to have planned storage of this unit in a 'secured place' in parksville...the old fmc spur maybe?  I just got this info off the yahoo.com groups railsnorthwest. they say the unit is westbound on the way to SRY trapp for repairs.
Posted by: North49 Posted on: Sep 6th, 2007, 9:42am
I'll keep an eye out at the Trapp for this CN unit you speak of...
Posted by: mike_enr Posted on: Sep 6th, 2007, 11:41am
on Sep 6th, 2007, 8:45am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
APPARENTLY   there is an ex CN  GP-9 headed to vancouver island soon in ownership of a "vancouver island railtours"    !?!  anybody know anything about this? said to have planned storage of this unit in a 'secured place' in parksville...the old fmc spur maybe?  I just got this info off the yahoo.com groups railsnorthwest. they say the unit is westbound on the way to SRY trapp for repairs.

 
That's very interesting. It would be quite unbelievable at this point if the Port Sub were to be rehabilitated.
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Sep 6th, 2007, 1:58pm
on Sep 6th, 2007, 8:45am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
APPARENTLY   there is an ex CN  GP-9 headed to vancouver island soon in ownership of a "vancouver island railtours"    !?!  anybody know anything about this? said to have planned storage of this unit in a 'secured place' in parksville...the old fmc spur maybe?  I just got this info off the yahoo.com groups railsnorthwest. they say the unit is westbound on the way to SRY trapp for repairs.

 
It was at Lynn Creek yesterday.
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Sep 6th, 2007, 4:25pm
Here she is, in all her glory.
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Sep 7th, 2007, 12:14am
Here she is at Lynn Creek today. I guess it came right through Thornton on 301 as I hauled it back to Thornton today
Posted by: torch Posted on: Sep 7th, 2007, 5:09am
are you runnin' away with CP 's engines again,tyler?  LOL   Thats what it looks like in the pic.
Posted by: sry110 Posted on: Sep 7th, 2007, 10:38am
hey guys
 
i was just wondering what kind of passenger train she will haul. Is there any passenger car on the island.  
 
 
 
               
               Émile Mathieu
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Sep 7th, 2007, 12:58pm
on Sep 7th, 2007, 10:38am, sry110 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
hey guys
 
i was just wondering what kind of passenger train she will haul. Is there any passenger car on the island.  

 
 
Not yet, but the coaches will probably go over with the 7059.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Sep 7th, 2007, 2:10pm
anyone have any ideas on who they're for?   the Vic commuter lline?  Cowichan?  Alberni Pacific?
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Sep 7th, 2007, 3:47pm
on Sep 7th, 2007, 2:10pm, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)
anyone have any ideas on who they're for?   the Vic commuter lline?  Cowichan?  Alberni Pacific?

 
Definitely not for commuter rail, other than that I can't say.
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Sep 7th, 2007, 7:29pm
on Sep 7th, 2007, 2:10pm, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)
anyone have any ideas on who they're for?   the Vic commuter lline?  Cowichan?  Alberni Pacific?

 
None of the above, beyond that, wait and see...
Posted by: sry110 Posted on: Sep 8th, 2007, 12:13am
hey guys
 
about 7059 she was in quebec city 3 year ago.
 
here is a picture
Posted by: sry110 Posted on: Sep 8th, 2007, 12:14am
second
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Sep 8th, 2007, 2:11am
on Sep 7th, 2007, 5:09am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
are you runnin' away with CP 's engines again,tyler?  LOL   Thats what it looks like in the pic.

 
I had a CP 9600, a CEFX Bluebird AC4400, a CN SD60F, a CN SD70I, a CP 9500, a brand new ES44AC, and the 7059, all 7 units went to Thornton.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Sep 8th, 2007, 5:34pm
I recall Glenn mentioning that a GP-9 was being bought for excursion use here, and while I don't think he gave any specifics as to ownership or anything I seem to recall the unit needed a main generator or something like that. That might have been on a different unit, though. I didn't ask for a unit number.
Does this arrival have anything to do with the CN caboose being sought on the Yahoo page a while back? It might still be there at the bottom of some pages, I've dumped my Yahoo membership so I'm not sure.
 
This is the rumours & speculation page, right?
Posted by: blackdog Posted on: Sep 9th, 2007, 7:40am
Let's speculate really positively! Someone, or a small group, with a bit of cash wants to start up a tourist train operation. Where better than the Island? It has tourists already, and scenery, and an under-used railway run by a group (the ICF) which presumably wants to see it used more. I guess it operates what we in the UK would call 'open access' too. In other words, if you've got a train, a business plan and you're able to pay the access charges, you can apply for a licence to operate.  
Could this be for the Arrowsmith Explorer? With a start-up date next season?
CHRIS LEIGH
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Sep 9th, 2007, 2:23pm
there was mention that they wanted to do a test run this fall
Posted by: endivisioncrha Posted on: Sep 11th, 2007, 12:40am
on Sep 9th, 2007, 7:40am, blackdog wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Let's speculate really positively! Someone, or a small group, with a bit of cash wants to start up a tourist train operation. Where better than the Island? It has tourists already, and scenery, and an under-used railway run by a group (the ICF) which presumably wants to see it used more. I guess it operates what we in the UK would call 'open access' too. In other words, if you've got a train, a business plan and you're able to pay the access charges, you can apply for a licence to operate.  
Could this be for the Arrowsmith Explorer? With a start-up date next season?
CHRIS LEIGH

 
VIRX 7059 is in SRY shops for a wheel change out and compressor repair and servicing.
It will be eventually moved, when SRY can get it over too the Island to Parksville to the former FMC site, that will be the new home for VIRT.
It is owned by Vancouver Island Rail Tours.
Can't say anymore right now, just be patient.
 
Glenn
VIRT
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Sep 11th, 2007, 9:35am
Interesting ,SRVI would have to crew it at that location.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Sep 11th, 2007, 2:44pm
on Sep 11th, 2007, 12:40am, endivisioncrha wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
VIRX 7059 is in SRY shops for a wheel change out and compressor repair and servicing.
It will be eventually moved, when SRY can get it over too the Island to Parksville to the former FMC site, that will be the new home for VIRT.
It is owned by Vancouver Island Rail Tours.
Can't say anymore right now, just be patient.
 
Glenn
VIRT

 
 
Who or what is Vancouver Island Rail Tours?
 
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Sep 11th, 2007, 11:04pm
on Sep 11th, 2007, 9:35am, 95XXX wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Interesting ,SRVI would have to crew it at that location.

Obviously. Though I wonder if SRVI crews will be the head end crew only like CN does with the Rocky Mountaineer. With VIRT providing customer service and train staff.
Posted by: endivisioncrha Posted on: Sep 21st, 2007, 1:23am
on Sep 11th, 2007, 9:35am, 95XXX wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Interesting ,SRVI would have to crew it at that location.

Yes,SRVI, would crew the train, but any new train business must be approved by the ICF and SRVI, to move forward.
This would provide more work, for SRVI crews, so lets hope it gets the go ahead.
Posted by: sry110 Posted on: Oct 27th, 2007, 11:08am
Hi guys
 
I was outside last night and i heard a train horn. Its was around 11:00.
 
Anwone have an answer for that.
 
Émile mathieu
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Oct 27th, 2007, 4:32pm
on Oct 27th, 2007, 11:08am, sry110 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hi guys
 
I was outside last night and i heard a train horn. Its was around 11:00.
 
Anwone have an answer for that.
 
Émile mathieu

 
errr   Where do you live, or rather, what town/city were you in at 23:00?
 
 
Posted by: sry110 Posted on: Oct 27th, 2007, 5:34pm
on Oct 27th, 2007, 4:32pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
errr   Where do you live, or rather, what town/city were you in at 23:00?
 
 

 
Hey pyronova
 
i live in the west wood lake area (Nanaimo). I was out side at 23:00
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Nov 26th, 2007, 12:34am
It has been pretty quite on here. On the island news they showed the Port alberni diversification summit meeting that took place this weekend. The mayor said they want more tourism and to be reconected by the rail line to the east coast of the island to there deep sea port .Thats good news when you have your local goverment pushing to re establish your rail conection.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Nov 26th, 2007, 11:07am
I'd like to see Port Alberni find a way to combine the deep sea port facility and rail transportation to the east side of the island. I'm not suggesting a container port, but rather to access tourists from cruise ships and market the 'heritage railway' to them. Of course, if a container port became feasible, I certainly wouldn't object.
Port can't really expect all tourists to drive over the hump to see what they can offer to entice tourists. They should have better marketing and a "destination". The steam railway over the mountain pass could be that. Why else do people go to Skagway, Alaska? Think about it.
on Nov 26th, 2007, 12:34am, timberland#7 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
It has been pretty quite on here. On the island news they showed the Port alberni diversification summit meeting that took place this weekend. The mayor said they want more tourism and to be reconected by the rail line to the east coast of the island to there deep sea port .Thats good news when you have your local goverment pushing to re establish your rail conection.

Posted by: CNslavecamp Posted on: Dec 21st, 2007, 11:41am
Just wondering if someone could get a look at the new building being built around mile 1.2 out of Vic, It appears to be angled an graded in such a way to get me thinking a new shop could be on the way for the Budds.
 
This is purely speculation guys, If you live around there get some pics and post them.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jan 14th, 2008, 2:30am
This could be really interesting.  
The premier is set to announce a multi billion dollar investment in transit. It has been guessed that infrastructure and reduction of greenhouse gases are behind the announcement. Much major improvement to skytrain on the mainland as well as bus only lanes even in Vic. I wonder if the LRT system will get investment?
Have to wait until the announcement tomorrow.
 
http://www.canada.com/globaltv/bc/index.html  (don't know how long this link will stay up - if someone can tiny-url it that'd be good)
See what you think.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jan 14th, 2008, 3:55am
Hate to be a party pooper,  but I not so sure the Esquimalt and Nanaimo will be included in the spending spree:
 
    I saw an interview on Shaw on Friday with our transportation minister Kevin Falcon    where he was asked bluntly whether or not the E & N would get funding in the billion dollar transit plan. He replied that there will be no funding until a sound business plan is developed for the service.  He went on to say that the taxpayers of the province would not stand for funding going toward an unprofitable, underutilized service.    The interview cut to Jack Peake who said that the ICF would develop a business plan, but at the same time Jack acknowledged there were more players that just the ICF involved (VIA for instance).
 
As I have said before.........these boom times are a good time to spend money on the future to make sure we have efficient, well-built infrastructure to weather recessions and keep life affordable.   I say make the improvements now.   Those Colorado Railcar DMU's just got a lot cheaper with the Canadian dollar parity.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jan 14th, 2008, 3:45pm
Cody's right. Victoria is going to get high speed dedicated bus lanes. $14 billion to spend on Transit solutions and we're getting more, & faster buses. I think this ends any speculation on the area getting LRT for the foreseeable future  
I actually had some hope that something might come of this. Oh well.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jan 14th, 2008, 9:20pm
The figure Jack Peake stated on the show the ICF needs to implement commuter service on the E&N (50 million), is ironically almost exactly the budget for the new highway interchange in Langford.
 
All hail the mighty car!!!
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jan 15th, 2008, 1:10am
The announcer on CBC radio included the the phrase "more trains" in the mix that the funding would contribute to.  No details, though, and the whole segment was from a Lower Mainland point of view.
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: Jan 15th, 2008, 12:13pm
Definitely a story with a Lower Mainland emphasis.  "More trains" in this context means more Skytrain or LRT.  I haven't heard anything yet suggesting that more money is being put into heavy or conventional rail.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jan 15th, 2008, 8:00pm
on Jan 14th, 2008, 9:20pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
All hail the mighty car!!!
All hail the coming of $1.50 a litre gasoline!!! ( Coming soon! ) Then lets revisit light rail transit.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jan 15th, 2008, 9:03pm
on Jan 15th, 2008, 8:00pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

All hail the coming of $1.50 a litre gasoline!!!

You mean its not here already?
 
My truck burns propane. Since 1999:  29.9 to 85.9 today.
2.87 times increase.    Must be nice to have wages increased accordingly.......  
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 15th, 2008, 11:04pm
on Jan 15th, 2008, 8:00pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

All hail the coming of $1.50 a litre gasoline!!! ( Coming soon! ) Then lets revisit light rail transit.

 
Well they way things are going, that $1.50 a litre gasoline may come sooner than u think.
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jan 16th, 2008, 12:33am
Am I the only one who suddenly wants to get into politics? I'm incompetent and out of touch with reality. Would you vote for me?
The $14 billion is spent and accounted for, Aaron. This figure will only go up as projects go over budget and lower mainlanders sue over the construction screwing up their lives. (railfans love NIMBYS) Lets not forget how much of that announcement was actually new news. The pundits guessed at the majority of the projects and the Canada line is well under way. Kelowna seems to have gotten something they might not have foreseen. The lower mainland got the lions share as usual. The island got shafted as usual. The premier hasn't paid attention to the islands needs.
So, what else is new?
Actually, in a way, this isn't all bad news. A lot of people weren't looking for much from the economy after 2010. These are mega projects until 2020. Thats a positive note isn't it?
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 16th, 2008, 8:55pm
I know, it just sucks, there was no mention of rail for us. But it would seem that those working on the business plan for the E&N are not going to give up.
 
Sorry for the political rant.  
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 16th, 2008, 9:28pm
Lets hope the members of that Commuter Rail Group which includes ( ICF, SRY, Langford, Westhills Development, View Royal, etc.) have better luck in convincing the government for funding, perhaps the Feds will be easier?
Posted by: CrashNational Posted on: Jan 19th, 2008, 6:00am
on Dec 21st, 2007, 11:41am, CNslavecamp wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Just wondering if someone could get a look at the new building being built around mile 1.2 out of Vic, It appears to be angled an graded in such a way to get me thinking a new shop could be on the way for the Budds.

 
Either that or (god forbid) a freight customer, maybe? Or shops for the new commuter equipment
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jan 19th, 2008, 1:50pm
Had a quick glance at it while driving by the other day. I'd say its a warehouse or distribution building still under construction. Its pretty big. Hard to tell from my angle if its on grade for rail service, but it might be above it. There had been a lot of fill at that property in the last while.
I'd like nothing better than to see service to Victoria, but I don't know if this is it. I'll look again though.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 19th, 2008, 5:45pm
what road is this near? Mile 1.2 would put that near Devonshire Rd? I might check it out myself.
Posted by: ENR_fan Posted on: Jan 19th, 2008, 7:05pm
on Jan 19th, 2008, 5:45pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
what road is this near? Mile 1.2 would put that near Devonshire Rd? I might check it out myself.

Yep that's where it is. Last time I saw the site it looked like it was just going to be a wearhouse w/ road access because the road and rail have different grades, however I haven't seen it lately and lots could have changed.
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Jan 24th, 2008, 9:54pm
I stopped by the construction site at mile 1.2 this afternoon. From surveying the site, I observed that a spur could go directly into the warehouse if the switch was sited back near the road crossing. The grade into the building would be fairly steep, with a couple of tight curves to negotiate the power poles on site.
 
I then spoke to one of the workers, who told me that the wall through which I envisioned rail cars entering the building would not have any openings. He then told me that there were two more buildings planned for the site, one on either side of the building currently under construction. The building closest to the intersection (Devonshire at Fairview) could conceivable have rail service, as it is fairly close to grade level, however, the power poles would need to be realigned, and it would make for a fairly tight clearance with the mainline.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jan 30th, 2008, 10:59pm
I did some work at Lafarge's Victoria depot today.   I spoke with their maintenance guy about the rail service in Nanaimo.    He told me the product is all fly-ash for mixing with concrete.   They are planning on phasing out the rail service if they find the budget to build a fly-ash unloader for barges.   His only comment was the rail service was unreliable.  I have no idea of this fellows authority to comment on the state of affairs.
 
Anyways - not the happiest rumour I ever heard,  but it made me wonder if SRY still struggles with the interchange with CP at Tilbury.   SRY doesn't strike me as unreliable.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jan 31st, 2008, 3:40am
on Jan 30th, 2008, 10:59pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I did some work at Lafarge's Victoria depot today.   I spoke with their maintenance guy about the rail service in Nanaimo.    He told me the product is all fly-ash for mixing with concrete.   They are planning on phasing out the rail service if they find the budget to build a fly-ash unloader for barges.   His only comment was the rail service was unreliable.  I have no idea of this fellows authority to comment on the state of affairs.
 
Anyways - not the happiest rumour I ever heard,  but it made me wonder if SRY still struggles with the interchange with CP at Tilbury.   SRY doesn't strike me as unreliable.

Ummmmm   This infers that they get some rail service into Victoria?  
Or is this just the unload product at Wellcox?
Posted by: MinionII Posted on: Jan 31st, 2008, 4:47pm
LaFarge transloads to truck right in Wellcox yard.  
 
I wonder if Lafarge and Columbia Fuels teamed up, could it be economically feasible to run trains over the Malahat...transload at Langford siding or something.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jan 31st, 2008, 8:33pm
No rail service to Victoria,
 
All the fly ash is transloaded to trucks at Wellcox, though a good portion of it gets used in Victoria.   They also supply Butler Brothers with fly ash.
 
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Feb 14th, 2008, 9:49pm
The I.B.E.W Local 230, the union that represents the rail workers at SRY-VI, has announced they spent six days negotiating for the next year of service on the Island.  The Local 230 newsletter indicates that Southern is looking for a long-term Collective Agreement once the current year is up.
 
Sounds promising...
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Feb 14th, 2008, 10:49pm
on Feb 14th, 2008, 9:49pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The I.B.E.W Local 230, the union that represents the rail workers at SRY-VI, has announced they spent six days negotiating for the next year of service on the Island.  The Local 230 newsletter indicates that Southern is looking for a long-term Collective Agreement once the current year is up.
 
Sounds promising...

 
If Southern is looking for a long term deal, then they must know that future is bright for the E&N (freight and passenger).
 
That is a good sign.
 
I know we have debated the future of our little railway many times,but I am sure that you will all agree when I say that things are starting look up.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 8th, 2008, 2:08pm
Been reading a few posts on yahoo group, and it seems that 6148 is taking its sweet time to get to Moncton, apparently it hasnt left Vancouver yet.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Mar 8th, 2008, 7:27pm
Actually, it's been and is back in Vancouver.  How long it takes to get back home is anyone's guess, however.
Posted by: Balto Posted on: Mar 8th, 2008, 10:24pm
Well here's 6148 sitting in Vancouver taken in afternoon.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Mar 12th, 2008, 12:04pm
Is it just me, or is this concept of sending RDC back to the maritimes for repair and overhauls totally rediculous?   How 'bout we fly the "Budd" specialists out from Moncton to save us?  
 
It's not exactly a super high-tech piece of equipment - '50s technology with '90s electronics engine controls - big deal.   Looks like beaurocratic waste at a glance.   Don't think the concept is "carbon-neutral" either.
 
Support Island industry - keep the Budd home-grown!
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Mar 12th, 2008, 3:52pm
on Mar 12th, 2008, 12:04pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Support Island industry - keep the Budd home-grown!

 
 
Indeed.
Posted by: endivisioncrha Posted on: Mar 14th, 2008, 1:14am
on Jan 30th, 2008, 10:59pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I did some work at Lafarge's Victoria depot today.   I spoke with their maintenance guy about the rail service in Nanaimo.    He told me the product is all fly-ash for mixing with concrete.   They are planning on phasing out the rail service if they find the budget to build a fly-ash unloader for barges.   His only comment was the rail service was unreliable.  I have no idea of this fellows authority to comment on the state of affairs.
 
Anyways - not the happiest rumour I ever heard,  but it made me wonder if SRY still struggles with the interchange with CP at Tilbury.   SRY doesn't strike me as unreliable.

 
SVI, won't go after more traffic, as they say the tracks cannot support frequent freight trains with heavier loads, thats why we haven't seen any service or increase in traffic south of Duncan.
The suggestion of a Southern Rail of BC rail/truck barge slip at Annasis Island I have heard that it might support BNSF traffic from the closing of the BNSF barge slip, and the SVI service would just be a added service to bypass Tilbury.
Posted by: BCOL764 Posted on: Mar 30th, 2008, 4:20am
Saw the 6148 today. They've removed even more seating to put the wheelchair accessible washroom in. What I don't understand is why does 6148 still have a snack bar if it is going to stay locked up? It's such a waste of space, space that could be used for extra passenger seating. They could probably get 3 more rows in if they took the snack bar out, and a couple on the other side if the storage area was taken out. Any more modifications and that car will be standing room only lol.
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Mar 31st, 2008, 12:15am
on Mar 14th, 2008, 1:14am, endivisioncrha wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
SVI, won't go after more traffic, as they say the tracks cannot support frequent freight trains with heavier loads, thats why we haven't seen any service or increase in traffic south of Duncan.
The suggestion of a Southern Rail of BC rail/truck barge slip at Annasis Island I have heard that it might support BNSF traffic from the closing of the BNSF barge slip, and the SVI service would just be a added service to bypass Tilbury.

I talk to my brother who is in the Cement Business, I asked him about the possibilty of fly ash being moved by barge, he did not think it was something that would happen soon if at all. First thing you have to get the fly ash to the barge, I understand that the flyash comes from an area that does not have barge service so it has moved by truck or rail to the barge, you have to have a barge loading facility. At present they do not have a barge to carry flyash, so one would have to be built. They would have to have a barge facility on Vancouver Island to unload the product, my brother asks the question were on  the Island is there a cheap piece of water front property were you could build it. He thinks the railcar delivery is working quite well. I hope he is right.
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Mar 31st, 2008, 2:00am
There are two, maybe three, barge unloading locations in the Victoria that could handle the fly-ash with some changes (proper conveyors, piping etc).
 
Lafarge already has the barge-unloader.   They just don't have the infrastructure to direct it to a seperate silo (the currently unload barges of cement using compressed air).   You put the barge in the same place, just pump the product to a different bin.  
 
I'm not being a nay-sayer, but if you spend time around the working waterfront of Victoria, you realize a whole bunch of barges are unloaded every week at the Larfarge/Butler complex, the Ocean concrete operation, and the asphalt plant.    Bamberton near Mill Bay is still actively unloading product from barges as well.   The waterfront real-estate is not the issue.  Other factors may keep the railcars coming (hopefully).
 
Fly ash is a by-product of coal-fired power plants and was considered a waste product until someone figured you could mix it with concrete as a cheap binder/filler.   It also works well for the railways as they get both inbound and outbound loads (coal/ash) from the power plants.    As most coal fired plants are inland, maybe the railcars will keep their advantage.
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Apr 1st, 2008, 1:41am
on Mar 31st, 2008, 2:00am, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)
There are two, maybe three, barge unloading locations in the Victoria that could handle the fly-ash with some changes (proper conveyors, piping etc).
 
Lafarge already has the barge-unloader.   They just don't have the infrastructure to direct it to a seperate silo (the currently unload barges of cement using compressed air).   You put the barge in the same place, just pump the product to a different bin.  
 
I'm not being a nay-sayer, but if you spend time around the working waterfront of Victoria, you realize a whole bunch of barges are unloaded every week at the Larfarge/Butler complex, the Ocean concrete operation, and the asphalt plant.    Bamberton near Mill Bay is still actively unloading product from barges as well.   The waterfront real-estate is not the issue.  Other factors may keep the railcars coming (hopefully).
 
Fly ash is a by-product of coal-fired power plants and was considered a waste product until someone figured you could mix it with concrete as a cheap binder/filler.   It also works well for the railways as they get both inbound and outbound loads (coal/ash) from the power plants.    As most coal fired plants are inland, maybe the railcars will keep their advantage.

My brother still feels it would be an expensive proposition to put in place, He believes a new barge would be required and there still is the problem of loading the barge on the mainland side. Plus the flyash is used on the North Island, so if you unload it in Victoria it would have to be trucked to the North Island. One of the supporters of ICF is Lararge, so I hope they are happy with the present arrangement. Track crew working in the Courtenay area to-day, replacing missing bolts at rail joints. Tie extractor is is parked in the pole spur at mile 137 to-night. Did not see any new ties put in yet, maybe tomorrow. No pole cars this week so far.
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Apr 1st, 2008, 11:36am
Lafarge have a barge barge slip and silo in comox that they stoped using years ago. It is still there so if they wanted to do that I
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Apr 1st, 2008, 11:39am
Lafarge have a barge barge slip and silo in comox that they stoped using years ago. It is still there so if they wanted to do that I think they would have already done that.  I believe that they truck  all there cement powder  north from Victoria
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Jun 16th, 2008, 8:11pm
A little blurb from Langford. A major bus interchange located along the E&N should be news.
Any possibilities for Light Rail Transit here?
http://www.cityoflangford.ca/newsarticle.asp?TopicID=524
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jun 18th, 2008, 10:07pm
on Jun 16th, 2008, 8:11pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
A little blurb from Langford. A major bus interchange located along the E&N should be news.
Any possibilities for Light Rail Transit here?
http://www.cityoflangford.ca/newsarticle.asp?TopicID=524

I heard something that BC Transit is going to be putting on a Daily Commuter Duncan to Victoria Service ? ? ? ?
Posted by: BCOL764 Posted on: Jun 18th, 2008, 10:37pm
on Jun 18th, 2008, 10:07pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

I heard something that BC Transit is going to be putting on a Daily Commuter Duncan to Victoria Service ? ? ? ?

 
 
I heard that too, using Suburban coach versions of the Novabus LFS buses.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 19th, 2008, 11:17pm
As I am sure u are aware. BC Transit has be asked by the Transit Commission to do a more detailed study of the rapid transit options to the Westshore. This is also due to the fact of the huge opposition the busway project.
 
Here is a link.
 
The options that are going to be looked at are; BRT, LRT, DMU Commuter Rai (E&N).
 
http://www.busonline.ca/regions/vic/news/commission/pdf/cmtg-ra-482.pdf
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 19th, 2008, 11:18pm
on Jun 16th, 2008, 8:11pm, FSD8014 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
A little blurb from Langford. A major bus interchange located along the E&N should be news.
Any possibilities for Light Rail Transit here?
http://www.cityoflangford.ca/newsarticle.asp?TopicID=524

 
 
The results of the new Westshore Rapid Transit Study should be interesting, and could well lean toward use of the E&N and or LRT.
Posted by: wx732 Posted on: Jul 5th, 2008, 4:57am
(From today's TC...)
 
Today marks the 60th anniversary of the last day of streetcars in Victoria and the end of an important era in this city.  
 
Many people are unaware of the role streetcars played in the development of Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula. In 1888, civic leaders had the vision to desire an efficient public transportation system which would help promote residential and commercial growth. Within two years, Victoria had a five-mile streetcar system. This would eventually grow to more than 50 miles, allowing passengers to commute between downtown and places like Deep Bay, Esquimalt, Beacon Hill Park and Oak Bay.  
 
However, potential high maintenance costs, which were largely caused by years of neglect, and the flexibility of buses resulted in the streetcar system declining and eventually being shut down.  
 
Sixty years later, the congestion on Victoria's roads, especially for commuters, demands that streetcars be considered once again. The best choice would be to use the existing E&N Railway. The tracks are in place and transit service could easily be scheduled around the operation of the Dayliner.  
 
All we need is for current civic leaders to stop vacillating about how to solve our traffic problems and show the same leadership demonstrated by civic leaders 120 years ago.  
 
Stan Dzbik  
 
Victoria  
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 5th, 2008, 4:05pm
Potentially we could have both streetcars (trams)/LRT within the core and commuter rail on the E&N. Portland is a good example of a similar system that could be built here. As the price of gas goes up, the cost of living goes up, and the talk of sustainability on the island, rail makes more and more sense.
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 6th, 2008, 12:50pm
Historic station work will be done in '09
Robert Barron, Daily News
Published: Saturday, June 21, 2008
 
Despite delays in the restoration work at Nanaimo's historical E&N Railway Station, Doug Backhouse is still confident the work will be completed on schedule by the end of 2009.
 
Backhouse, executive director of the Island Corridor Foundation, owners of the station that was gutted by fire in August 2007, said a design team is still collecting information on the station and the ICF is making sure it has the funds in place to pay for the work before it begins.
 
"Quite a bit still needs to be chewed on but we're optimistic work will soon begin," Backhouse said Friday.
 
"Our insurance will cover the approximately $2 million that's expected to complete the repairs but the design costs (estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars) are not covered by the insurance so we have to ensure we can cover these."
 
The fire at the Selby Street station, built in 1920 and classed as a federal heritage building, caused extensive damage to the station's structure.
 
VIA Rail was the only tenant at the time of the fire.
 
Backhouse said the ICF has some core funding that could be used to help pay for the design costs, but the foundation also has other priorities that require funding, like the ICF's campaign to raise $103.8 million to rebuild Vancouver Island's long neglected E&N Rail corridor.
 
Backhouse said the ICF has met with many MPs, MLAs and community and business leaders to present their case to viably upgrade the 290-kilometre rail line to bring the corridor up to North American standards, and 2,200 people to date have signed on in support of the campaign at the ICF's website at www.ourcorridor.ca.
 
First Nations, business and community leaders joined with the ICF and Southern Railway of Vancouver Island in April in a coalition to urge funding for upgrades on the corridor.
 
The proposal calls for an integrated transportation system that connects buses to trains, park and ride facilities and the use of bicycle and walking paths along the rail corridor.
 
RBarron@nanaimodailynews.com
 
250-729-4234
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Jul 10th, 2008, 8:30pm
Here is the Government of Saskatchewan helping their shortlines:    
 
Thunder Rail receives funding from government
The Arborfield Thunder Rail will receive a helping hand, thanks to a provincial grant from the Government of Saskatchewan totalling almost $30,000 for repairs. This is part of a larger grant of $500,000 spanning across six shortline railways in the province.  
 
By Tyler Clarke
Journal Staff
Wednesday July 09, 2008
 
Thunder Rail receives funding from government
By Tyler Clarke
Journal Staff
The Arborfield Thunder Rail will receive a helping hand, thanks to a provincial grant from the Government of Saskatchewan totalling almost $30,000 for repairs. This is part of a larger grant of $500,000 spanning across six shortline railways in the province.
This grant is in response to the fast-dilapidating nature of shortline railways, thanks to larger railway companies such as CN not taking proper care of them before leaving them to smaller shortlines.
"Because they were abandoning these tracks they didn't maintain them very well," Highways and Infrastructure Minister Wayne Elhard said.  
 
An added difficulty is that these shortline railways must be maintained by groups of smaller farms, an expense Elhard said can be difficult to afford. The Thunder Rail track directly serves about 35 farms.  
"The cost is so substantial that unless they're making large operating profits they cannot maintain them," Elhard said, adding that each railway has to match the government's grant before receiving it.
About $35,000 is spent on the Thunder Rail per year in basic maintenance costs. They receive the government grant as a price-match, so after spending $30,000 they are eligible for the full amount.
"We're all pretty happy because it can bring our track up to a higher standard with regards to things like safety," Arborfield Thunder Rail president Francis Rodier said.
The government hopes that this grant assists not only the agriculture sector, but potentially countless others as well. Minister Elhard cited the Carlton Trail Railway for its shipment of forestry products, as well as others for assisting ethanol production and other industries. The Thunder Rail will service Can Pro, which specializes in canola products like fish food, with Rodier estimating an additional 300 cars per year of use.  
Minister Elhard also cited railways for emitting less greenhouse gasses than truck traffic, as well as cutting down on traffic congestion.
"We could have spent more money, but we had a $500,000 budget," Elhard said, adding that he plans on looking into further grants in coming years. "It's money well spent due to their contribution to the economy."  
The grant's seed was planted in March, when the Shortline Railway Association approached the government for assistance, citing just why they found the improvements necessary. The government responded by late May with the initial announcement of the funds, which the shortlines later applied for.  
Six shortlines were awarded portions of the $500,000 grant. Recipients other than Arborfield include Carlton Trail Railway with almost $200,000, Great Western Railway Ltd. with about $150,000, Southern Rails Cooperative with about $85,000, Fife Lake Railway Ltd with about $20,000, and Red Coat Road and Railway with more than $10,000.  
"The shortline railway industry has been very receptive to this program," and it is important to both rural and urban economies, Elhard said.
The Thunder Rail shortline runs about 20 miles between Arborfield and Crooked River.  
 
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Jul 11th, 2008, 2:53am
Sure would be nice if the B.C government thought the same way.  I spent many years maintaining highways in B.C, I now understand from some of my former co-workers that Highways Maintenace Contractors are having a difficult time coming up with the money to repair failed pavement surfacces because of the increse cost of asphalt. I understand the cost has almost doubled in the last few years. Rail is looking like it may be the way to go in the years to come.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jul 12th, 2008, 1:06am
on Jul 11th, 2008, 2:53am, tfctrains wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Sure would be nice if the B.C government thought the same way.  I spent many years maintaining highways in B.C, I now understand from some of my former co-workers that Highways Maintenace Contractors are having a difficult time coming up with the money to repair failed pavement surfacces because of the increse cost of asphalt. I understand the cost has almost doubled in the last few years. Rail is looking like it may be the way to go in the years to come.

 
Asphalt?  Most provincial highways I see these days are seal coated......  Cheaper way to go?
Posted by: CN7303 Posted on: Jul 12th, 2008, 2:09am
Cheaper unless the contractor does a piss poor job of seal coating the road surface like they did on the Cowichan Highway. Then the government foots the bill to fix or replace everyone's windsheilds. Though I doubt they'll ever make that mistake again.
Posted by: thehighwayman Posted on: Jul 12th, 2008, 11:30am
on Jul 12th, 2008, 1:06am, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Asphalt?  Most provincial highways I see these days are seal coated......  Cheaper way to go?

 
I couldn't believe my eyes two years ago when I saw that the Coquihalla had been "re-paved" by chip-sealing! And then I read about the problems with the Lake Cowichan Highway.
Is this bozo (nazi?) Campbell insane?
Is everything about the Olympics?
As someone who grew up in BC, but now lives in Ontario, I just can't believe what I see going on out there!
Will
Posted by: missthealcos Posted on: Jul 12th, 2008, 2:42pm
on Jul 12th, 2008, 11:30am, thehighwayman wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I couldn't believe my eyes two years ago when I saw that the Coquihalla had been "re-paved" by chip-sealing! And then I read about the problems with the Lake Cowichan Highway.
Is this bozo (nazi?) Campbell insane?
Is everything about the Olympics?
As someone who grew up in BC, but now lives in Ontario, I just can't believe what I see going on out there!
Will

 
Trust me, it is as bad as it looks from the outside, and yes, everything is about the Olympics, nothing else matters. Yes, he is Insane...as are the people who keep on voting for him.
 
At least the Coquihalla has lines on it for about the first time in 5 years...no shoulder markers yet(last time I was ther anyway, a few weeks ago), but at least there was SOME indication of where the lanes are for once. It's a disaster otherwise, as are most other highways in BC that don't directly lead to Whistler. Try #3 from Hope to the west gate of Manning park on for size, what a mess.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Aug 21st, 2008, 9:13pm
Talking to Jack Peake couple of weeks ago, he said that SRYVI is projecting about 22,000 carloads on the E&N once upgrades are done. It seems that they have been doing a lot of searching on the island for potential customers (which includes coal hauling, lumber products, and other bulk commodities). I am not sure if any container traffic is included, but I wouldn't be surprised if any such service is pursued by SRY.
 
Edit:
Just out of curiosity, when was the last time the E&N handled that many carloads in one year. I am going to guess the early 90s.
Posted by: cn7066 Posted on: Aug 21st, 2008, 9:54pm
on Aug 21st, 2008, 9:13pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Talking to Jack Peake couple of weeks ago, he said that SRYVI is projecting about 22,000 carloads on the E&N once upgrades are done. It seems that they have been doing a lot of searching on the island for potential customers (which includes coal hauling, lumber products, and other bulk commodities). I am not sure if any container traffic is included, but I wouldn't be surprised if any such service is pursued by SRY.

 
22,000 carloads? Wow, the ENR in 2001 while they still had the Port Alberni traffic moved only about 8,000 carloads.
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: Aug 22nd, 2008, 2:17am
Excellent.  These are the kind of firm projections they need to get the provincial gov't on side.  Sounds like they've really been beating the bushes to drum up business.  Of course, we always knew the business was out there . . .  
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Aug 30th, 2008, 1:46am
Rumour, I understand, the rate charged to the company shipping poles out of Royston, has increased 25% recently making it almost impossible for them to make a buck you may want to get your pictures soon!
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Sep 5th, 2008, 8:37pm

 This was in today's Vancouver Sun and  mentions the Southern Railway third paragraph from the bottom on a proposed rail barge ramp. The federal election promises start!!!
 
Port terminals to trade in roadways for seaways
Derrick Penner, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, September 05, 2008
Metro Vancouver port terminals aim to take 650 trucks per day off congested Metro roads with a series of new shortsea shipping routes that will trade waterways for roadways to move cargo around.  
 
The federal government on Friday announced it will spend $20 million from its Asia-Pacific Gateway initiative to help port operators and municipalities build up to $43.5 million worth of facilities and infrastructure in seven separate projects.  
 
"Better use of our waterways through shortsea shipping can help alleviate congestion, facilitate trade, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase overall transportation efficiency," Lawrence Canon, federal minister of transport, infrastructure and communities said in a press release.  
 
 
Email to a friend
 
Printer friendly
Font:****The seven are a series of linked barge facilities at existing terminals and road improvements that will create a transportation network capable of handling 120,000 containers per year.  
 
Federal funding will be contingent on reaching contribution agreements with the companies and municipalities involved as well as completion of required environmental assessments, but the projects include:  
 
- The Fraser River shuttle will see the Coast 2000 distribution centre on the south arm of the Fraser River in Richmond build a barge ramp and dock able load and unload shipping containers for transport to and from port terminals. Cost: $10 million, $5 million from the federal government.  
 
- The Deltaport shortsea berth project will see TSI Terminal Systems build a barge berth as part of its Berth 3 expansion. Cost: $4.7 million, $2.35 million from the federal government.  
 
- The Vanterm shortsea berth will see TSI Terminals convert the existing Berth No. 7 at its Burrard Inlet terminal into a shortsea barge berth capable of handling containers and a ramp for roll-on-roll-off truck traffic. Cost: $3.9 million, $1.9 million from the federal government.  
 
- The Mountain View Apex Container Terminal, which will see Seaspan International build a shortsea access point allowing it to move freight by barge including containers and tractor trailers in a roll-on-roll-off fashion. Cost: $14 million, $7 million from the federal government.  
 
- The Southern Railway of B.C. rail barge project will see Southern Rail build a rail-barge ramp at its terminal on Annacis Island capable of handling rail cars and tractor trailers. Cost: $10 million, $4.6 million from the federal government.  
 
- The City of Richmond will build a new four-lane section of road between Wireless Way and Highway 91 to improve traffic flows. The federal government will support construction with a $750,000 contribution.  
 
- The Corporation of Delta will build left-turn lanes on Nordel Way at Brooke Road and Shepherd Way to reduce congestion. The federal government will support construction with a $1.1 million contribution.  
 
depenner@vancouversun.com
 
Posted by: FSD8014 Posted on: Oct 17th, 2008, 8:04pm
A rail referendum question is attached to the civic election ballot in the City of Langford. I haven't checked the other communities listed as part of the C4CR group, but I would assume that they also have it.
Be sure to get out and do your civic duty on November 15th.
 
http://www.cityoflangford.ca/newsarticle.asp?TopicID=562 (just below the list of candidates)
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Nov 10th, 2008, 10:32am
Its amazing that when there is a will to fund that governments can find a way to. Here is the latest on the Wakefield train in Quebec.
 
Ottawa switches tracks on funding rules to aid 'Petit Train'
Harper government to provide $2-million to fix rails of the Wakefield Steam Train, a major tourist draw in Tory riding  
 Article  Comments (34)  DANIEL LEBLANC  
 
From Monday's Globe and Mail
 
November 10, 2008 at 5:08 AM EST
 
OTTAWA — The Harper government rewrote the rules of an economic development program in order to pay for a $2-million project in a Conservative Quebec riding that would otherwise have been left out.
 
Ottawa announced last week that it will provide one-third of the funding to repair the tracks used by the Wakefield Steam Train, a major tourist draw in western Quebec that was grounded earlier this year after a series of landslides.
 
However, the money comes from a federal program, called Major Economic and Tourism Facilities, that was created this year to fund projects in the poorest parts of Quebec.
 
While some areas of the Outaouais are covered by the program, the railway line is in a previously ineligible part of the region, much of it in the riding of Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon.
 
A senior official at Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Marc Boily, said that in order to fund the steam train, the program's criteria were redrawn by the agency's previous Conservative minister, Jean-Pierre Blackburn. Mr. Boily said the decision to change the program's criteria came after Mr. Blackburn was informed about the problems faced by the 101-year-old train, which traverses a scenic route from Hull to the village of Wakefield in the Gatineau Hills.
 
"The minister asked for the program to be modified ... to allow for funding in the event of 'acts of God' in areas that are not part of the program," Mr. Boily said. "This is not a case of funding something that was ineligible. It's that the program was adapted."
 
In a recent interview, Mr. Blackburn, who has since been shuffled to National Revenue, defended the rule change as good policy, saying he viewed his job as finding solutions to complex problems.
 
He added he had been asked by Mr. Cannon to help find a way to get the train running again.
 
"The local MP was my colleague, Mr. Cannon, and he was asking me whether there was something that could be done," Mr. Blackburn said.
 
Mr. Cannon praised the deal when the federal funding was officially announced last week.
 
"This tourist attraction is of strategic importance for the Outaouais and Pontiac regions, and that is why the government of Canada is proud to be a partner in its restoration. It has the potential to generate significant direct and indirect economic spinoffs, which is particularly critical in this time of economic uncertainty," he said.
 
Torrential rains first caused a landslide below the tracks used by the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield Steam Train, which was built in Sweden in 1907, in July of last year. Another landslide near the tracks in May led to the suspension of the service.
 
The incidents dealt a major blow to the tourism industry in the Outaouais, where thousands of tourists embark on the train in Gatineau and spend their dollars in shops and restaurants in picturesque Wakefield.
 
Faced with a repair bill of about $6-million, the company that owns the train tried to sell it for use on steadier ground elsewhere. No buyer was found, and politicians of all stripes spent months trying to find a way to keep the "Petit Train" in the region.
 
In their recent announcement, the provincial, federal and local governments each agreed to foot one-third of the repair bill, meaning that Ottawa's share will be about $2-million.
 
Earlier this year, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty made a surprise pledge to run train service from Toronto to Peterborough, Ont., along a route through a number of Conservative ridings. The opposition derided the plan as the "pork-barrel express."
 
Posted by: bcrailfan Posted on: Nov 18th, 2008, 11:34am
There is a great article in the Times Communist today that makes a very strong argument for our Island's rail line.  Apparently all sorts of politicians are banding together regardless of political stripes all in an effort to convince Victoria that now is the time for upgrades to our rail line.  Definitely good news.  Worth a read.
 
Ben
Posted by: thehighwayman Posted on: Nov 18th, 2008, 11:50am
on Nov 18th, 2008, 11:34am, bcrailfan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
There is a great article in the Times Communist today that makes a very strong argument for our Island's rail line.  Apparently all sorts of politicians are banding together regardless of political stripes all in an effort to convince Victoria that now is the time for upgrades to our rail line.  Definitely good news.  Worth a read.
 
Ben

 
Please post the link .... or at least the headline so we know what to look for.
thanks
wdm
Posted by: thehighwayman Posted on: Nov 18th, 2008, 11:53am
on Nov 18th, 2008, 11:34am, bcrailfan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
There is a great article in the Times Communist today that makes a very strong argument for our Island's rail line.  Apparently all sorts of politicians are banding together regardless of political stripes all in an effort to convince Victoria that now is the time for upgrades to our rail line.  Definitely good news.  Worth a read.
 
Ben

 
Never mind previous message .... here's the link:
 
http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=030abfef-a8e9-480e-945b-efb7459485d4
 
Commuter rail should be priority, all-party committee says
Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist
Published: Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The Island's E&N train tracks should be upgraded with a view to developing commuter rail service, the province's all-party finance committee says.
 
In a budget priorities report released yesterday the select standing committee on finance, made up of Liberal and NDP MLAs, said the track project should be a capital spending priority.
 
read the rest at the link above ....
wdm
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 18th, 2008, 8:53pm
That is definitely great news. More pressure on Campbell and Falcon.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 25th, 2008, 8:35pm
Just received this on the Yahoo thread from a gentlemen named Dennis in Port Alberni. Looks like good news to me.
 
Quote:
Was at a gathering the other evening and was told some good news about
the E & N for a change. Well two things good for the benefit of Port
Alberni anyway.
 
#1 - There is a good chance of daily freight movements beginning
between Courtenay and Port Alberni. The infrastructure improvements
will be handled at either end by ICF and the rail bed improvements by
Southern Rail. A press release is pending but just awaiting a couple
of contracts being finalized.  
 
#2 - The #113 out of Woss should be repatriated to Port Alberni fairly
soon and it will be the locomotive that the "Cameron Crawl" will be
powered by in the near future.  
I know I got contrary information from a fellow poster on this list
but being I know who I was chatting with at the wine and cheese I was
at I will stick my money on them if there is to be any betting.  
 
Looking forward to hearing both steam and diesel powered rail
movements pass by three sides of my home soon.
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Nov 25th, 2008, 8:54pm
If this is true... obviously good news indeed.
 
However, anyone care to speculate on what possible freight movements/contracts there could be between Courtney and PA? I'm guessing that this could be the old rumour of coal trains between the Courtney area and PA... hopefully this is something different. (not that there is anything wrong with coal trains, but I just feel that this is a long way off... and just talk).
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Nov 25th, 2008, 9:05pm
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WAWMEESH G. HAMILTON/Alberni Valley News Candidates, family members, city officials and the curious gather at city council chambers Saturday night, waiting to hear how different city council will be for the next three years. As it turned out, there is only one new councillor, John Douglas.  
 
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By Wawmeesh G. Hamilton - Alberni Valley News
 
Published: November 20, 2008 1:00 PM  
Updated: November 20, 2008 3:16 PM The 2008 civic election is in the books, and Ken McRae has been elected mayor of Port Alberni for a third term, handily defeating challengers Jen Fisher-Bradley and Jacques Savard.  
 
McRae won decisively with 2,386 votes, more than doubling Fisher-Bradley’s 1,079. Jacques Savard had 308 votes.
 
McRae was back to business Monday morning, and his goals for this term are clear.
 
“The economy and jobs are our priorities,” McRae said. “We want to preserve what we have, and add to it as well.”
 
“Adding to” means diversifying the economy, something McRae said council will be working on closely with economic development officer Pat Deakin.
 
Major economic announcements regarding Southern Rail and the development of Sterling Field can be expected shortly. He added that he hoped to begin discussions with Catalyst about the 108 acres of land they have available.
 
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Nov 25th, 2008, 11:54pm
"... Southern Rail and the development of Sterling Field..."
 
 
Interesting. Anyone know more about what and where Sterling Field is?
 
 (I Googled it, but couldn't find out any more.)
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 26th, 2008, 12:42am
on Nov 25th, 2008, 8:54pm, Speeder wrote:       (Click here for original message)
If this is true... obviously good news indeed.
 
However, anyone care to speculate on what possible freight movements/contracts there could be between Courtney and PA? I'm guessing that this could be the old rumour of coal trains between the Courtney area and PA... hopefully this is something different. (not that there is anything wrong with coal trains, but I just feel that this is a long way off... and just talk).

 
There are no details of what freight will be shipped, but as Dennis said from yahoo group, a press conference is pending as soon as a couple of contracts are signed.
 
I would assume forest products related.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Nov 26th, 2008, 1:04am
With that kind of volume, it has to be forest products.  It can't be coal as there are no coal operations active nearby, and Quinsam ships all its stuff by sea I believe.
 
Could it be TimberWest - Oyster River  "TimberWest's Oyster River operation manages over 110,000 hectares of land on Vancouver Island, which stretches from 10 km south of Gold River to 30 km north of Port Alberni."
 
My god... could we depending on log exports to revive our rail line?  Oh the bitter bitter irony.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 26th, 2008, 1:42am
Another update from Dennis, He said
 
Quote:
Let me reiterate that the freight movements I have mentioned will be
unlike anything the Island has seen before. Like in multiple multiple
car movements daily. It could be some of the BCIT graduates could be
hired right here in town.  
 
If it all happens as relayed to me the E & N will be putting in and
reinstalling many of the passing sidings on the north end and the Port
sub.
Posted by: KootenayValleyRailway Posted on: Nov 26th, 2008, 6:30am
This is almost to good to believe but I have no doubts that it can and will happen.
Posted by: wx732 Posted on: Nov 26th, 2008, 6:21pm
Assuming I have my math done right, I know Dennis quite well.  
 
 I would take anything said  right now to be with a grain of salt,  not because of the source, but because of the economic climate.  If you want examples, take a look at Mackenzie, where they thought the pulp mill was coming back...and now clearly isn't.  
 
For traffic in the multi train, large unit trains...well, I think coal is more likely than timber.  How much did Catalyst(*) take in the 80's when they got the chips by rail?  (as in the logging ops that have been recently posted on here, along with the chip strike in the mid 80's?)
 
I doubt you would see huge volumes of raw logs moving by rail to PA, because I can't see it being more cost efficient than booming them around.  Rail wins over truck, ship wins over rail...and if you were loading raw logs, then booming them around to San Juan Harbour (Port Renfrew) and loading them makes as much sense as shipping them to PA and loading them...as would having the ship come into the inside.  (basically, anywhere would make as much sense...why ship by 3x modes instead of 2x?)
 
It all comes down to cost of transshipping...but hopefully, it all does work out.  It would be great to see the Port Sub repaired & put to use, it would also be equally good to see regular use of the line south for heavy cargo as well.  Mostly, I think that it is the fact that CP managed to drive away so many costomers and SRVI is saddled with remarkably poor infastructure to be able to recapture them with.  (it's competing with the government, in essence...which is why RA lost the battle...must be smarter than Gov, 'cause you ain't going to out spend them!)
 
  Mind too, I don't see how there is not a gravel train in operation over the 'hat right now...there is NO way that it is cost/enviornmentally efficient to run multi Super B's over the hat 6x a day to get gravel, and that is happening (as one person on here can attest!)
 
James
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Nov 26th, 2008, 8:43pm
I still can't figure out how it is cheaper to haul anything on the east coast of the island to the west coast of the island by rail.  Movements by water/barge is so much cheaper........ and larger volumes as well per trip.
That said, if it is true, WOW!  and GREAT!
 
Westmin mines in Campbell River is closing to a skeleton crew, btw, approx by end of December.
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 26th, 2008, 11:24pm
According to Dennis, this new freight service being discussed DOES NOT involved raw logs.
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Nov 26th, 2008, 11:57pm
Interesting news however I would doubt if it is forest product related. Mining is also dead for the most part. The proposal for the Ethanol plant in Cumberland outside of Courtenay is not dead and is the only potential new source of car loadings I can think of, in fact I would put money on it. If this project was to move forward this would bring a considerable amount of traffic to the E&N potentially inbound and outbound. Low-grade wheat stock could be off loaded into covered hoppers for shipment to the manufacturing plant in Cumberland. Ethanol would then be shipped back to Port Alberni to a storage facility until ready to be loaded onto ships for shipment elsewhere. The E&N would essentially act as a pipeline for the plant. Rail is essential for a plant like this to operate if not impossible to operate without from what I have read. Don't believe me, check out the below site and what the Ontario Government has been doing to encourage development of this industry with funding and grants and the comment that rail service is "critical" in order for an Ethanol plant to operate. Maybe our Provincial Government has been working behind the scenes to encourage the project with special funding and grants of their own as it would be sure to create several new jobs for many areas of the island. Just what is needed in bad economic times prior to a provincial election. I have also pasted what was said on the site as I found it quite slow to load.
 
http://www.railcan.ca/sec_new/en_new_archive.asp?yr=2006
 
Ontario Railways can play Important Role in Province’s Ethanol Industry    
Ottawa - With the Government of Ontario recently announcing funding and operating grants for new ethanol plants in the province, railways could play a big role in the sustainability of Ontario’s emerging ethanol industry.
 
“I don’t know of an ethanol plant that isn’t going to be located on a railway line,” said Tom Cox, the chair of the Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative. “It is absolutely critical to have railway access.”
 
The ethanol plant funding is all part of the Ontario Ethanol Growth Fund and a mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by blending ethanol in the province’s gasoline. What it means for the railway lines is more industrial business.  
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Nov 27th, 2008, 12:16am
Here is a shot of what an Ethanol Plant looks like. It would sure create a lot of traffic. Note the rows of tank cars on the right hand side of the screen.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 27th, 2008, 12:48am
Mining could be a possibility in the future (long term), as coal traffic was mentioned on ICF website. Also I think the forestry industry is not dead, and could still be an important customer for the E&N. Of course the current economic climate puts everything in question.
 
I would suspect that there would be significant upgrades to the port sub to accomodate this sort of traffic, because the current condition of the line even with minor upgrades wouldnt be able to handle large amounts of traffic.
 
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Nov 27th, 2008, 9:23am
Mind too, I don't see how there is not a gravel train in operation over the 'hat right now...there is NO way that it is cost/enviornmentally efficient to run multi Super B's over the hat 6x a day to get gravel, and that is happening (as one person on here can attest!)  
 
James  
 
Current track condition could not handle that amount of traffic over the hat,
When funding is achieved you may see it then.
 
Every other week there is a super frieghter being loaded in Nanaimo with Lumber and or raw logs ,In the week leading up to this there is non stop lumber being trucked into Nanaimo from where ? I would guess a lot from Alberni ,Cowichan and other Rail access areas.
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: Nov 27th, 2008, 5:03pm
Maybe mining isn't dead and I should quit betting money my wife has already spent. I hate rumours and prefer to look at the facts however it is neat to read the speculation that has been going on in the various posts. Reading through the Yahoo forum some of the members speculate that it may be coal moving over the line and that the Port Alberni sub could be returned to operation in a month with a small army of men. I can't find anything on the internet about any sort of proposed development in the area however there is no reason why something couldn't be in the works. China still has a need for large amounts of Western and Australian coal. If coal was moving out of Cumberland to Port Alberni it could almost cut off two shipping days that would otherwise be spent navigating an empty bulk freighter to Cumberland. Two days is equal to several hundred thousand dollars of lost revenue ontop of a non-revenue return trip from Asia which could justify the use of a railway to expedite the process.  However until someone comes forth with a news release or some other hard evidence I still think the Ethanol plant proposal might be the E&Ns last chance at gaining some major traffic. The Cumberland Township is still working to make this project a reality.  
 
Even if both projects don't pan out, there is no reason why the mill in Port Alberni couldn't return to rail. The Arrowsmith Explorer project may provide enough enhancements to the rail line to justify additional funding to bring it up to freight standards.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:07pm
I too thinks its coal, but ethanol fuel would be a big customer, and if Cumberland does get that rolling, there will be so many trains, we wont know what to do.  
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:13pm
Just to add to my last post. If it is coal and Dennis is right about many train shipments, then I would suspect, that signals would have to be installed and the sidings would have to be not just put back in but lengthened as well. Then add ethanol trains to that and hopefully forest products, its going to be one busy sub.
 
But wouldnt it take more than a month to install a coal receiving facility at Port Alberni, and install a branch line to the coal mine?
 
something to think about
 
Aaron
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:28pm
on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:13pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Just to add to my last post. If it is coal and Dennis is right about many train shipments, then I would suspect, that signals would have to be installed and the sidings would have to be not just put back in but lengthened as well. Then add ethanol trains to that and hopefully forest products, its going to be one busy sub.
 
But wouldnt it take more than a month to install a coal receiving facility at Port Alberni, and install a branch line to the coal mine?
 
something to think about
 
Aaron

Lengthened sidings yes.  CTC no and a waste of cash.  
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:29pm
This is an exert from the Our Corridor website. No this is not the confirmed news we have all be hoping for. This has been on the site since it went online in March.
 
Read it carefully.
 
Quote:
• Rail operator Southern Railway of Vancouver Island (SVI) is developing opportunities to ship bulk products such as coal through Port Alberni, which can be transferred to deep sea freighters for customers throughout the Asia Pacific region
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:31pm
on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:28pm, CP8673 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Lengthened sidings yes.  CTC no and a waste of cash.  

 
 
Then I would assume the radios they use now will be like CTC, only they would radio in their location?
 
Out of curiosity, why would CTC be a waste of cash?
 
Cheers
 
Aaron
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:42pm
Another exert from the Our Corridor website
 
Quote:

• Restoration of the rail corridor to modern standards could trigger hauling to market an additional $1 billion a year in forest products alone, such as lumber and paper, and value-added lumber and veneer products.
 
• Other businesses have identified a further $2.4 billion in agricultural supplies, fertilizers, sand and gravel, coal and steel, bio-fuel and gas, chemicals and waste materials that could be carried by rail each year.

 
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.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 9:49pm
Isn't Quinsam  located by Campbell River? Is this the origin of the possible coal trains that is being speculated on Yahoo Groups?
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 10:11pm
on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:31pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Then I would assume the radios they use now will be like CTC, only they would radio in their location?
 
Out of curiosity, why would CTC be a waste of cash?
 
Cheers
 
Aaron

Using OCS to control train movements works fine.  CTC signalling would not be needed anywhere on the north part of the line.
 
Lets see waste the money one non essential signals or spend it wisely on improving track conditions on a larger portion of the railway.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 10:19pm
on Dec 1st, 2008, 10:11pm, CP8673 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Using OCS to control train movements works fine.  CTC signalling would not be needed anywhere on the north part of the line.
 
Lets see waste the money one non essential signals or spend it wisely on improving track conditions on a larger portion of the railway.

 
I agree.
I would definitely spend the money on the latter, improving track conditions on the larger portion of the railway.  
Posted by: cn7066 Posted on: Dec 1st, 2008, 11:49pm
on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:31pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Then I would assume the radios they use now will be like CTC, only they would radio in their location?
 
Out of curiosity, why would CTC be a waste of cash?
 
Cheers
 
Aaron

 
CTC is very expensive to install and maintain and only works well on high traffic lines.
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Dec 4th, 2008, 1:10am
on Dec 1st, 2008, 9:49pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Isn't Quinsam  located by Campbell River? Is this the origin of the possible coal trains that is being speculated on Yahoo Groups?

Coal from the Quinsam mine is trucked to Campbell River, then loaded on a barge, the barge is towed to Texada Island, where it is off loaded and then reloaded on a frieghter for it's trip to wherever Japan? They did try a trial run on the E&N a few years ago. They trucked it to Courtenay from the mine and loaded on railcars for a trip to the states, the people in Coutenay flipped, YOU ARE NOT LOADING COAL IN MY BACK YARD. I also understand the US didn't like the idea of Canadian coal being used in Washington state.
Posted by: wx732 Posted on: Dec 4th, 2008, 6:24pm
2 comments:
 
CTC/proper signalling...not of necessity required, depending on the level of traffic.  IIRC, traffic volumes of greater than 8 trains/hr are needed to justify the cost/complexity of a fully signaled railway.  Not likely to happen
 
Below 4 trains/hr, certainly, there are bits which you want to automate, but do not require the whole shooting match of signaling.  And I highly doubt we are talking of even 1 train/hr on most points of the E&N  (at 22 000 carloads/month, you are talking 30 cars/hr passing any given point...or somewhat smaller trains than used to run on the port sub historically...at 22 000/year, you are talking of .3 cars/hr passing any given point...)
 
 the people in Coutenay flipped, YOU ARE NOT LOADING COAL IN MY BACK YARD. I also understand the US didn't like the idea of Canadian coal being used in Washington state
 
IIRC, Quinsam is under quite strict environmental issues for the transshipment of the coal due to the way which it transports it.   The load out is done via Super B's and a mine/forestry road...specifically because of load concerns.  If there is enough demand to move the load out, how far exactly is it in km to get the railway to the end of that road?  (anyone know?)  Again, if you could reduce the transshipment, that might make it financially viable to move the coal by rail.
 
(and I presume it is coal we are talking about...I can't see much else that would make sense...coal, or other similar product.  It isn't going to be Copper, because the weight of what is mined isn't that high...)
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 4th, 2008, 8:18pm
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).
 
 
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Dec 4th, 2008, 11:46pm
on Dec 4th, 2008, 1:10am, tfctrains wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Coal from the Quinsam mine is trucked to Campbell River, then loaded on a barge, the barge is towed to Texada Island, where it is off loaded and then reloaded on a frieghter for it's trip to wherever Japan? They did try a trial run on the E&N a few years ago. They trucked it to Courtenay from the mine and loaded on railcars for a trip to the states, the people in Coutenay flipped, YOU ARE NOT LOADING COAL IN MY BACK YARD. I also understand the US didn't like the idea of Canadian coal being used in Washington state.

 
 
I think we need a "qualifier" as to when this coal shipment took place.   I have followed the E&N since 2000 and I do not recall any coal shipments.   When was this "few years ago"?
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:32am
on Dec 4th, 2008, 11:46pm, Cody wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
I think we need a "qualifier" as to when this coal shipment took place.   I have followed the E&N since 2000 and I do not recall any coal shipments.   When was this "few years ago"?
Iam quessing but I would would say late 90's. I think they made one trip into the states, to a coal fired generator in Washington State. The empty train returned to Courtenay but I do not thing it was reloaded. The cars sat in Coutenay for a while before they were removed. The loading took place right at the end of track, north of fifth street. The track as since been removed.
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:38am
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
Posted by: Cody Posted on: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:43am
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.
 
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Dec 5th, 2008, 1:49am
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.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Dec 5th, 2008, 2:28am
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!
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 5th, 2008, 8:19pm
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.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Dec 6th, 2008, 1:17pm
Word on the street is that pole train operations will resume in January.
 
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Dec 6th, 2008, 8:01pm
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.
Posted by: wx732 Posted on: Dec 18th, 2008, 8:39pm
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
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Dec 30th, 2008, 2:38pm
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.
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Dec 30th, 2008, 3:42pm
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.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Dec 30th, 2008, 6:10pm
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
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Dec 30th, 2008, 8:51pm
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.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 4:21am
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.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 2:12pm
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.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 8:59pm
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.
 
 
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jan 2nd, 2009, 10:20pm
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.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 3rd, 2009, 11:25pm
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.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 1:54pm
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.
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 4:14pm
could this grade been used by comox logging they had many grades in merville area
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 5:37pm
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.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 6:04pm
on Jan 6th, 2009, 4:14pm, timberland#7 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
could this grade been used by comox logging they had many grades in merville area
Actually we were driving much closer to the bottom of Mount Washington at the time in area west of the new four lane highway. At one place  there was an indication the work just stopped. Almost like they were planning on continuing. It looked too smooth and too large a radius curve to be a logging line.  
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 8:27pm
on Jan 6th, 2009, 1:54pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
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.

 
Now that is interesting, I will have a look see on Google Maps. The detail is pretty good, perhaps it will show the grade.
 
Where exactly is Bevan Wetlands?
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 8:29pm
on Jan 6th, 2009, 5:37pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)
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.  

 
I will double check his books; Vancouver Island Railroads and  his other book on Logging Railways ( I cant remember the name). There are lots of maps and I will have a peek.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 9:35pm
on Jan 6th, 2009, 8:27pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Where exactly is Bevan Wetlands?
About a 1/3 of the way to Campbell River from Courtenay on the new highway and close to where the pipeline for Courtenay's water supply passes under the new highway.  
 
About here is the area ---- sorta. http://tinyurl.com/9yc3l2 You'll have to look around and I'm off to a meeting. I'll be back later to see if you find something.  
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 10:33pm
on Jan 6th, 2009, 9:35pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)

About a 1/3 of the way to Campbell River from Courtenay on the new highway and close to where the pipeline for Courtenay's water supply passes under the new highway.  
 
About here is the area ---- sorta. http://tinyurl.com/9yc3l2 You'll have to look around and I'm off to a meeting. I'll be back later to see if you find something.  

This area is probably 100 feet higher in elevation than the line on Courtenay.  The CR extension would stay in the valley; following the various creeks/ rivers in the area.  
 
The grades west of the HWY are former logging railway grades.
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Jan 6th, 2009, 10:50pm
[quote author=Pyronova link=board=Vancouver;num=1120164410;start=560#565 date=01/06/09 at 22:33:09]
This area is probably 100 feet higher in elevation than the line on Courtenay.  The CR extension would stay in the valley; following the various creeks/ rivers in the area.  
 
The grades west of the HWY are former logging railway grades. [/quote
Yes, you are right, the E&N rightaway is at a much lower elevation than that, north of the Courtenay River it followed Condensory Road and was also right next to the Comox Logging Railway almost to Headquarters Camp. For anyone that knows were the old Dove Creek school is, the Comox Logging Railway is just to the west of that, It is now the one spot trail, it is looked after by the Regional District. Right beside that is the proposed E&N rightaway to Campbell River. It goes right throu a friend's yard. He says they do not have any rights to it now , because they did not pay the taxes for it in the thirties. The Comox logging line is owned by the Ministry of Highways.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Jan 13th, 2009, 2:42am
Lead article in today's AVTimes was mentioning the resigning by the ICF of the SVI and in the story they mentioned possible coal movement to Port Alberni from a developing new coal mine in Union Bay.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 13th, 2009, 8:18pm
on Jan 13th, 2009, 2:42am, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Lead article in today's AVTimes was mentioning the resigning by the ICF of the SVI and in the story they mentioned possible coal movement to Port Alberni from a developing new coal mine in Union Bay.

 
 
 Cool
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Jan 13th, 2009, 8:29pm
on Jan 13th, 2009, 2:42am, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Lead article in today's AVTimes was mentioning the resigning by the ICF of the SVI and in the story they mentioned possible coal movement to Port Alberni from a developing new coal mine in Union Bay.

 
This is exciting news, although to my understanding, there is nothing in writing as of yet, and any coal hauling operations wouldn't start until 2012 at the earliest.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Jan 13th, 2009, 9:03pm
on Jan 13th, 2009, 8:29pm, CN7059 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
This is exciting news, although to my understanding, there is nothing in writing as of yet, and any coal hauling operations wouldn't start until 2012 at the earliest.

 
True but the news is better than "nothing is going to happen" isn't it?
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 13th, 2009, 9:11pm
on Jan 13th, 2009, 2:42am, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Lead article in today's AVTimes was mentioning the resigning by the ICF of the SVI and in the story they mentioned possible coal movement to Port Alberni from a developing new coal mine in Union Bay.

 
Does this deal hinge on both the FEDs and Province forking out their share of the upgrading money? I would assume so, but then I am unsure of the condition of the Port Sub.
 
I guess the ICF could use their portion of the 103million for that section first.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Jan 14th, 2009, 2:49am
What would happen if say only 45 million was forthcoming from the various levels of government?  
 
Would just the north end get fixed?  
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Jan 14th, 2009, 12:31pm
Any amount of funding would mean:
 
Step 1 - replacing as many ties as needed on the whole Vic sub to keep to safe standards.
 
The other steps will follow.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jan 14th, 2009, 1:47pm
on Jan 14th, 2009, 12:31pm, 95XXX wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Any amount of funding would mean:
 
Step 1 - replacing as many ties as needed on the whole Vic sub to keep to safe standards.
 
The other steps will follow.

 
There was some talk about the proposed VIRX having a passenger train excursion off of the cruise ships (similar to the old Pacific Wilderness) from Downtown to Malahat & back....   However someone quoted a SRY-VI/ICF person saying that the line can't support a once or twice daily train (hello VIA-RDC!) due to track conditions.    
Unfortunately with the way the American economy has gone as of late (which is probably 75-90% of the 'ship's passengers), I think this will be on hold for some time.   The people aren't travelling in big numbers anymore. The Rocky Mountaineer has laid-off (fired) over 50 staff since October, and its' bookings are down another 35% from last year's downturn of 40%.  Gray Line of Banff has closed it's doors, which was part of the Rocky Mountaineer family of companies (40+ tour coaches). Rumour is that Gray Line of Victoria (also part of the RMR family) is close behind. Ouch to the tourist market!
So basically I'm suggesting that unless there becomes some significant freight traffic to Langford or even Victoria over the 'hat to help offset the cost of tie & rail refurbishment, I doubt we will see any significant maintenance let alone upgrades south of Top Shelf in Duncan.....   which means no passenger excursions available to the fewer cruise ship passengers.
So....  how can we (ha ha ha) change the world's economy (ha ha ha)to make everyone rich (ha ha ha) again so they will travel to help fund (ha ha ha) our little railway?     Anyone?
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jan 14th, 2009, 3:08pm
I wouldn't panic yet on the E&N rehab work.  However, If things were in my hands I'd speed up Mr. Falcon's study of the rail alternative.
 
There is a consensus among the major cities, the provinces, and Feds that one of the wisest uses of stimulative expenditure during the current crisis is transportation infrastructure.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 14th, 2009, 8:28pm
on Jan 14th, 2009, 2:49am, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
What would happen if say only 45 million was forthcoming from the various levels of government?  
 
Would just the north end get fixed?  

 
 
I would say fix the north end first (I would assume that ICF and SRVI would concentrate on that first), if it means bringing a lot of freight traffic. It would make a lot of sense. The $45million you mentioned, is that a for sure thing or just rumor?
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Jan 14th, 2009, 8:51pm
Aaron just meant that as a 'food for thought' type comment. I just made the number up otta my own little old head.  
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 15th, 2009, 11:20pm
on Jan 6th, 2009, 9:35pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)

About a 1/3 of the way to Campbell River from Courtenay on the new highway and close to where the pipeline for Courtenay's water supply passes under the new highway.  
 
About here is the area ---- sorta. http://tinyurl.com/9yc3l2 You'll have to look around and I'm off to a meeting. I'll be back later to see if you find something.  

 
I have been studying Google Maps aerial photo of the area between Courtenay and Campbell River and so far havent found any sign of an extension of the E&N. I will keep on looking
Posted by: bcrailfan Posted on: Jan 17th, 2009, 2:05am
I spent the first five years of my career as a heli pilot flying out of Campbell River.  The network of old rail lines in that area is truly mind boggling.  There are so many old rail lines between Courtney, Campbell River, Upper Campbell Lake and Sayward that its hard to keep track of where one starts and where another one ends.  I love Robert Turner's VI Railroads book but the maps in it barely scratch the surface of what was once there.  There are trestles and log dumps in just about every lake out behind Campbell River.  From what I have seen from the air of the previous rights-of-way, it would be an incredibly easy job to connect Campbell River with Courtney.  Of course the land ownership issues would most likely make the task a very difficult one but as far as the right of way and grades are concerned it would be a piece of cake.
 
For the record, I don't want to sound like a poor sport but I just can't see the line being extended beyond its present northern terminus (no matter how geographically easy it would be).
 
Just my thoughts and observations.
 
Ben
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 17th, 2009, 6:31pm
on Jan 17th, 2009, 2:05am, bcrailfan wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I spent the first five years of my career as a heli pilot flying out of Campbell River.  The network of old rail lines in that area is truly mind boggling.  There are so many old rail lines between Courtney, Campbell River, Upper Campbell Lake and Sayward that its hard to keep track of where one starts and where another one ends.  I love Robert Turner's VI Railroads book but the maps in it barely scratch the surface of what was once there.  There are trestles and log dumps in just about every lake out behind Campbell River.  From what I have seen from the air of the previous rights-of-way, it would be an incredibly easy job to connect Campbell River with Courtney.  Of course the land ownership issues would most likely make the task a very difficult one but as far as the right of way and grades are concerned it would be a piece of cake.
 
For the record, I don't want to sound like a poor sport but I just can't see the line being extended beyond its present northern terminus (no matter how geographically easy it would be).
 
Just my thoughts and observations.
 
Ben

 
 
Google doesnt show a whole lot in terms of rows, unless I have maps to reference them.
 
I really do feel that an extension to Campbell River is really possible. There is a huge untapped market of passengers and freight up in that region for the railway.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Feb 27th, 2009, 7:13pm
Heard that a 12 axle sad errrr.......  depressed car with 700 000 lb Tranformer coming Feb 28 Sat noonish,
 
Record breaking car is the word.
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: Feb 27th, 2009, 8:52pm
Or should that be track-breaking?
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Mar 10th, 2009, 10:22pm

  Here is both the federal and  provincial governments that can see the benefits in fixing infrastructure of the Compagnie de chemin de fer de l’Outaouais tourist line:  
 
  Government of Canada awards $1.9 million to Compagnie de chemin de fer de l’Outaouais to repair the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield railway line  
 
 
Gatineau, Quebec, March 9, 2009 −The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, and the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Pontiac, today announced the awarding of $1,940,000 in non-repayable funding to the Compagnie de chemin de fer de l’Outaouais. This funding will go toward the work required to repair the Hull-Chelsea-Wakefield railway line.
 
This project, which will necessitate a total investment of $5.8 million, will be carried out in partnership with the Government of Quebec, the municipalities concerned, the Conférence régionale des élus and Outaouais Tourism. In May 2008, a landslide brought the steam train, the only one of its kind still operating in Canada since 1992, to a complete stop. Its famous locomotive 909, built in Sweden over 100 years ago, is seen as a distinctive symbol and trademark of the Outaouais region.
 
“We had to support this tourist attraction. The steam train alone is featured in 40 percent of all the tourism packages sold by Outaouais Tourism. It attracts more than 55,000 people annually and generates $10 million in spinoffs. To that you have to add 80 direct jobs, not to mention indirect jobs, for example, in Wakefield businesses,” said Minister Lebel.
 
“Since the landslide, there has been general agreement among regional economic stakeholders that a strong consensus had to be found and a complete financing package set up. Both conditions had to be met to get the train back on track as soon as possible. The  “petit train de Wakefield”, as it is known in the region, is an important tourist draw for the Outaouais and strengthening the regional economy is essential to get through these tough times,” explained Minister Cannon.
 
This contribution to the Compagnie de chemin de fer de l’Outaouais has been awarded under the Community Diversification program’s Major Economic and Tourism Facilities initiative which helps devitalized regions and communities develop facilities and promote short- and medium-term economic growth.
 
Tourism is a promising niche for the Outaouais region, as are high technology and the processing of agri-food and wood products. It is in these priority sectors that Canada Economic Development has decided to focus its development efforts by supporting projects that will have an impact on both the region’s urban areas and rural belt.
 
 
 
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Mar 11th, 2009, 8:17pm
I guess in a nutshell if we want the funding for the E & N we have to set up a separatist party west to ensure the west gets the same considerations that the quebecois seem to get all the time. Is that PC enough for here?
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Mar 11th, 2009, 11:41pm

 Its been said before on this forum our problem is not with the feds but our own provincial government. Mr Falcon has other interests.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 12th, 2009, 1:05am
I vote we form the People's Republic of Vancouver Island. We should demand our own language, own currency and get to make up half of the opposition to the Federal Government and everything we demand has no baring or will help the rest of Canada. Gee I think that sounds just like Quebec.
 
 
 
 
Until we realize that we are just as important as those in Vancouver and stop giving in to the notion that we dont deserve it , we will never get ahead.
 
Regardless of who is in power, Liberal or NDP, Conservative, Green, etc., you will always find politicans that will screw it up.
 
The Liberals will always have a love affair with Vancouver.
 
Unfortunately to get any sort of interest in funding for the E&N, LRT or transit or any infrastructure project on the island, we have to play politics.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Mar 12th, 2009, 1:52am
on Mar 12th, 2009, 1:05am, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I vote we form the People's Republic of Vancouver Island. We should demand our own language, own currency and get to make up half of the opposition to the Federal Government and everything we demand has no baring or will help the rest of Canada. Gee I think that sounds just like Quebec.
 

There used to be a small organization in the 1970's called "VILO"- Vancouver Island Liberalization Organization.  Main economy was exporting canabis.....
 
Quote:

Until we realize that we are just as important as those in Vancouver and stop giving in to the notion that we dont deserve it , we will never get ahead.
 
Regardless of who is in power, Liberal or NDP, Conservative, Green, etc., you will always find politicans that will screw it up.
 
The Liberals will always have a love affair with Vancouver.

Vancouver = population   population = votes   votes = power.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 12th, 2009, 1:11pm
on Mar 12th, 2009, 1:52am, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Vancouver = population   population = votes   votes = power.

 
Im not denying that fact that Vancouver has a larger population than us. I just think that we should not  be ignored for major infrastructure project funding.
Posted by: missthealcos Posted on: Mar 12th, 2009, 2:43pm
Kevin Falcon and Gordon Campbell are the two biggest problems with everything in this province. I'd like to know at exactly what point Kevin Falcon became an expert on all things transportation..oh wait, he didn't, he just listens to conultants(who are generally ignorant, especially when it comes to rail of any description..they don't know much past "choo choo", or that it's "old"), who usually with something to gain somewhere, and then thumps his chest as he crows about what he's going to do, how we are going to take it and like it, and that's the way it is.
 
 
Hmmm, 6 million 2009 dollars, to ensure a tourism "trademark" of the region continues....
 
Gee, anyone remember a little operation known as the ROYAL HUDSON although, in that case, we all know it had more to do with Mr. Campbells devious need to rid us of the railway, thanks for everything Gordo!
 
It has less to do with Island vs. anywhere else, than it does BC vs. everywhere else!
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 12th, 2009, 3:07pm
on Mar 12th, 2009, 2:43pm, missthealcos wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Kevin Falcon and Gordon Campbell are the two biggest problems with everything in this province. I'd like to know at exactly what point Kevin Falcon became an expert on all things transportation..oh wait, he didn't, he just listens to conultants(who are generally ignorant, especially when it comes to rail of any description..they don't know much past "choo choo", or that it's "old"), who usually with something to gain somewhere, and then thumps his chest as he crows about what he's going to do, how we are going to take it and like it, and that's the way it is.
 
 
Hmmm, 6 million 2009 dollars, to ensure a tourism "trademark" of the region continues....
 
Gee, anyone remember a little operation known as the ROYAL HUDSON although, in that case, we all know it had more to do with Mr. Campbells devious need to rid us of the railway, thanks for everything Gordo!
 
It has less to do with Island vs. anywhere else, than it does BC vs. everywhere else!

 
I agree.  
 
Actually Campbell is pro rail, but only if its in Vancouver.  
 
Unfortunately we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Voting in the NDP on the island wont help us, especially if they are still the opposition, and voting in Liberals on the island wont guarantee they will pay more attention.  
 
Bad mouthing the Liberals wont help either (I am guilty of that ), so we have to play nice but be firm. As the election draws nearer, we need to keep on the candidates, NDP or Liberal.
 
In regards to the 6million for the railway in Quebec. The FEDs would bend over backwards to do anything to keep Quebec happy.
 
We need to be pro-active, not reactive. As the saying goes, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Something that I am learning to do.  
 
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 12th, 2009, 8:15pm
Some interesting news regarding Infrastructure funding from the Liberals.
 
 
 
Quote:

Vancouver Island left out of $174 million in funding for highways
 
Vancouver Island was left out of $174 million in federal and provincial funding announced Thursday for highway projects across B.C., and there’s still no word on money for the E&N rail line.
 
The latest government money is destined for five improvement projects in B.C.’s southern interior region, including work to widen and realign the Trans-Canada highway and build two new bridges.
 
The announcement drew quick fire from Island MLAs in Opposition, who say the Island has needed highway work since flooding earlier this year washed out roads to Sooke and Port Renfrew.
 
“I think it’s clear that this government is still obsessed with projects on the Lower Mainland and Olympics-related projects only, and that is to the detriment of communities here,” said Maurine Karagianis, Esquimalt-Metchosin NDP MLA.
 
Government tried to sidestep the criticism, saying more money is on the way and some is headed to the Island.
 
Federal Infrastructure Minister John Baird, who made the funding announcement at the legislature, said he’s been discussing the Island with B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon and “there will be some good news coming.”
 
“The minister and I just met for an hour and discussed a range of infrastructure needs around the province, a few of them were here in Victoria and on the Island, and we’ll be coming forward in very short order with additional investments,” said Baird.
 
Meanwhile, a group of Greater Victoria politicians converged at the legislature to lobby Falcon for money to upgrade the E&N rail line for commuter transit.
 
The Island Corridor Foundation — which has run the railway since 2006 in partnership with municipalities and First Nations — believes a commuter rail project could be launched for as little as $15 million. The 290 kilometres of rail runs on two tracks, from Victoria to Courtenay and Parksville to Port Alberni.
 
Late last month, mayors from around the region joined provincial and federal Opposition politicians to call on government for money to complete the project.
 
Falcon said government is studying the idea.
 
“One of the things I told them is the study we’re doing is very important for the federal government because they need a business case, and said we’d get that business case ready, bring it to the federal government to see if there’s federal interest,” said Falcon.
 
“I can tell you there’s a number of projects we’re working on now that we’ll be signing off on shortly that include some significant projects for the Island.”
 
rfshaw@tc.canwest.com
Posted by: missthealcos Posted on: Mar 12th, 2009, 9:18pm
on Mar 12th, 2009, 3:07pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I agree.  
 
Actually Campbell is pro rail, but only if its in Vancouver.  
 
Unfortunately we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Voting in the NDP on the island wont help us, especially if they are still the opposition, and voting in Liberals on the island wont guarantee they will pay more attention.  
 
Bad mouthing the Liberals wont help either (I am guilty of that ), so we have to play nice but be firm. As the election draws nearer, we need to keep on the candidates, NDP or Liberal.
 
In regards to the 6million for the railway in Quebec. The FEDs would bend over backwards to do anything to keep Quebec happy.
 
We need to be pro-active, not reactive. As the saying goes, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." Something that I am learning to do.  
 
 

 
 
Yep, I can't argue with any of that. I'm just a bit too bitter. Good that there are some who have been able to train themselves to be a bit more diplomatic than I would be!
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Mar 13th, 2009, 12:45am
I saw the mayors on TV tonight on A Channel and I thought their presentation was an ND rally. Just because Kevin Falcon doesn't fawn all over the E & N as the NDs are doing now in opposition doesn't mean the NDs will do any better when in power.
 
Andrew Petter was informed time and again that ripping up the rails on the Goose was the wrong thing to do but he went ahead with it anyway. He destroyed the most viable commuter route on the Island which was still over 60% intact but because the NDs in opposition are now promising you rail aid when they get re-elected just ask them why their party ripped up the rails instead of funding commuter rail 18 years ago.
 
Politicians (Mayors, Councillors, MLAs and MPs) will all tell you exactly what you want to hear when they are attempting to garner your vote. Where was Keith Martin's stance when he was both an Alliance MP and now a Liberal MP. He was in power under both regimes and did bugger all under both stripes and continues to bleat like the sheep he is.
 
Don't be lulled into complacency by people promissing you the moon, especially if they are not astronauts.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 13th, 2009, 1:37am
All parties are full of BS to some degree. Both sides make promises, its not just some sort of NDP thing.
 
We cant go back and complain what happened or didnt happened 18 years ago.
I agree, that the NDP missed a glorious chance to put in LRT, but all we can do now is move forward and not repeat past mistakes.
 
The liberals are in power   and they are the ones that we must concentrate our efforts to get them to properly fund infrastructure improvements (E&N, Transit and LRT/Tram) on the island.
 
Things happen for a reason, and 18 years ago the time wasn't right for rail in the City, now it is, and we must make every effort to not make this opportunity go to waste.
 
Rail will return to this city and region, the E&N will be reborn, and the many groups, businesses, MLAs, councillors, individuals (like myself) will do everything in our power to make it a reality, I promise you that.
 
And now I must go to sleep and dream of taking a  steam train trip to the moon.  
Posted by: boxcar Posted on: Mar 13th, 2009, 8:20pm
i think it's funny, that the government is in victoria and they get overlooked the most
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Mar 14th, 2009, 1:25am
Good thoughts and insights you all have...I like your decision to be diplomatic, Aaron.  Courtesy and respect may win the day, even against odds that seem insurmountable.
 
I remember voting Liberal several years ago (dodging the rotten tomatoes from some of you     ) because I thought the NDP were destroying the economy of the Province, as well as the fact that I like and respect my local MLA.  But then I saw the wanton destruction of "Beautiful B.C." 's environment by the rampant highway expansion and unnecessary road "improvements", the "sale" of B.C.Rail, and the stupid Olympic fever, and have grown more and more frustrated and disenchanted.
 
Sure, my own business has done well in these last few years of economic properity, but then things like the carbon tax come along, and wipe it all out, especially when one is self employed and relies on a durable 4x4 all year long (40,000 km a year) and any kind of commuter service or green transport is out of the question for my line of work.
 
Sorry I am rambling, but I of course support totally any kind of rail-based
replacement of the over-dependence on vehicles on all the routes, and applaud you all who hope to see the day of common sense reigning again.
 
That's my rant for the day.  Thankyou.  
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Mar 15th, 2009, 4:14am
on Mar 13th, 2009, 1:37am, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
All parties are full of BS to some degree. Both sides make promises, its not just some sort of NDP thing.
Agreed 100% and this will continue forever.  
 
Quote:

 
We cant go back and complain what happened or didnt happened 18 years ago.
I agree, that the NDP missed a glorious chance to put in LRT, but all we can do now is move forward and not repeat past mistakes.
 
The liberals are in power   and they are the ones that we must concentrate our efforts to get them to properly fund infrastructure improvements (E&N, Transit and LRT/Tram) on the island.
Exactly and it is for this very reason I keep harping about people putting credibility into opposition party promises. When in opposition one can make all the promises they want to because there is no way they can be held accountable for these promises because they just say the ruling government won't co-operate.  
 
Quote:

 
Things happen for a reason, and 18 years ago the time wasn't right for rail in the City, now it is, and we must make every effort to not make this opportunity go to waste.
 
Rail will return to this city and region, the E&N will be reborn, and the many groups, businesses, MLAs, councillors, individuals (like myself) will do everything in our power to make it a reality, I promise you that.
 
And now I must go to sleep and dream of taking a  steam train trip to the moon.  
 
 
Just watch out for non astronaut pilots.      
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 15th, 2009, 12:35pm
I think we can all agree, that creating and protecting jobs for islanders is important. Improving the E&N (for freight and passenger), supporting our local businesses and industries will go a long way to making that happen. Also improving the social and environmental aspect of our society will help people live longer and be happier. On an island there is no excuse not to strive to make us self-sufficient.
 
Now back to the rail issue.
 
Improving our island railway goes beyond politics. The E&N has for too long been used as a political tool in its entire 123 years of existence and I think its time to use it as tool to better the lives of all that live on the island.
 
Food for thought.
 
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 15th, 2009, 1:21pm
A couple of  interesting articles that I think u will all be interested in. These are from the C-Fax website.
 
Quote:
PROVINCE GETS BEHIND RAIL IMPROVEMENTS
 
Mar 12, 2009
 
THE PROVINCE IS NOW ON BOARD WITH POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE E&N RAILWAY.
 
VICTORIA MAYOR DEAN FORTIN SAYS THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOW COMMISSIONED A BUSINESS PLAN.
 
“Finally we got the money, we got that commitment from the provincial government to put their 5 hundred thousand dollars in to make this business plan work. Let’s see what it says and lets make this go forward.”
 
FORTIN IS LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FALL WHEN HE SAYS THEY WILL HAVE A TANGIBLE PLAN FOR THE PROJECT.
 
“They’ve put out the terms of reference, they’re hiring people - got the advisory committee. We’ll have something in the fall that we’ll have in our hand that we can go and sell and it sounds like it will be an easy sell.”
 
FORTIN AND A DELEGATION OF SOUTH ISLAND MAYORS MET WITH THE TRANSPORTATION MINISTER TODAY TO TALK ABOUT UPGRADES TO THE E&N RAILWAY.

 
 
 
Quote:
MAYORS PITCH E&N TO TRANSPORTATION MINISTER
 
Mar 12, 2009
 
THE MAYOR OF VICTORIA SAYS A DELEGATION OF SOUTH ISLAND MAYORS GOT A POSITIVE RECEPTION TODAY, WHEN THEY MET THE TRANSPORTATION MINISTER TO PITCH IMPROVEMENTS TO THE E&N RAILWAY.
 
THE ISLAND CORRIDOR FOUNDATION WANTS MORE THAN 100 MILLION DOLLARS TO UPGRADE THE LINE SO THAT IT CAN BECOME A COMMUTER RAIL ROUTE.
 
DEAN FORTIN SAYS MINISTER KEVIN FALCON GAVE THE GROUP A FAIR HEARING TODAY...
 
"good positive news...the minister sees all of those, uh, elements, and is supportive. He's looking for a strong business plan, which they've just commissioned, and will come out early in the fall, and that'll allow us the tools to go to the federal government and get their infrastructure money"
 
NINE MAYORS WENT IN TO THE MEETING WITH A JOINT MESSAGE. FORTIN WAS COMMENTING ON THE C-FAX NEWSLINE PM SHOW THIS AFTERNOON.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 15th, 2009, 1:26pm
Another Article.
 
Quote:
Rail needed to move massive transformers
 
Undertaking shows value of railway, say Island supporters
 
By Darrell Bellaart, The Daily NewsMarch 14, 2009
 
 
 
Operators of the E&N Railway can take some credit for keeping the lights working on Vancouver Island.
 
When the B.C. Transmission Corp ordered two huge transformers from a U.S. manufacturer to put at a hydro substation in Duncan, they were moved by rail.
 
Because of their massive size -- one weighs 202 tons and the other, 182 ton -- rail was the logical choice. Bridges, utility lines and highway weight restrictions all posed obstacles to moving them by road. On March 6, the monstrous items were moved to Duncan, where they were loaded onto flatbed trucks and carried the last two kilometres to the substation on Sprott Road. It's being cited by E&N supporters as an example of why rail is needed.
 
Island politicians are currently lobbying senior governments to help share the cost of long-overdue rail bed improvements estimated at more than $100 million.
 
While the units could have been moved by highway, it would have created massive problems for movers and headaches for other users of the Trans-Canada Highway.
 
"They knew in advance it was too big. It has to do with bridges and overpasses and also weight on the highway," said Don McGregor, general manager of Southern Rail of Vancouver Island Ltd., which operates the E&N.
 
"We think it's an important point for the future of transportation on the Island and not just freight.
 
"There's commuter rail, excursion travel, tourism and inter-city passenger rail traffic as well."
 
The move was a massive undertaking. Huge cranes were used to load and unload the monoliths on the Vancouver side, where they were barged to the Island, in Nanaimo and at their final destination. At several points the load cleared overhead bridges by just centimetres.
 
"People were asking me: 'What's your Plan B?' I was saying: 'It will be Plan A, there is only one option and that's rail.'"
 
Rail usually makes the job easier when BCTC needs to move electrical equipment of that size and scale.
 
"Moving it by rail does save time and money," said Mike Witherly, BCTC spokesman.
 
"One of the reasons, it saves time, when it goes on the road you have to go and move the phone lines and hydro lines. So there is a general issue of public convenience, because it's big, it's slow on the road and we're moving lines."
 
The provincial government is working on a feasibility study weighing the economic benefits of improving the track. The study is expected to be completed later this year,
 
DBellaart@nanaimodailynews.com
 
250-729-4235
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
Posted by: torch Posted on: Apr 26th, 2009, 4:13am
Hey guys.  torch here   reporting from the mainland. Listen. SRY is rumored to be going ahead with their new barge facitlity on Annacis and its no real secret that in the meantime they are looking at using BNSF's downtown vancouver barge slip which currently services the coastal mills that ship by rail. They apparently would be shipping the e&n bound cars by way of the BNSF slip which would eliminate the need for the tilbury headache as its become a real problem for shipping times and money-wise to have to rely on cp,cn and bn to get the cars to tilbury slip and back. SRY would as well be handling the mill traffic that BN has held onto for so long. If this happens  soon,which it is rumored to, I will definately get some fotos of 'incoming e&n frieghts' in the downtown van area. It will be sad as  a railfan to not have BNSF downtown anymore but SRY could shake things up a bit in the exciting depeartment. What this all means is that  SRY will finally have a 'direct' route to the e&n which could spell new traffic as potential customers on the island would be able to rely on having thier goods arrive in a more timely fashion. Anyhow, chew on that, dicuss if you will. It apparently really is going down any day now.
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Apr 26th, 2009, 11:31am
on Apr 26th, 2009, 4:13am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hey guys.  torch here   reporting from the mainland. Listen. SRY is rumored to be going ahead with their new barge facitlity on Annacis and its no real secret that in the meantime they are looking at using BNSF's downtown vancouver barge slip which currently services the coastal mills that ship by rail. They apparently would be shipping the e&n bound cars by way of the BNSF slip which would eliminate the need for the tilbury headache as its become a real problem for shipping times and money-wise to have to rely on cp,cn and bn to get the cars to tilbury slip and back. SRY would as well be handling the mill traffic that BN has held onto for so long. If this happens  soon,which it is rumored to, I will definately get some fotos of 'incoming e&n frieghts' in the downtown van area. It will be sad as  a railfan to not have BNSF downtown anymore but SRY could shake things up a bit in the exciting depeartment. What this all means is that  SRY will finally have a 'direct' route to the e&n which could spell new traffic as potential customers on the island would be able to rely on having thier goods arrive in a more timely fashion. Anyhow, chew on that, dicuss if you will. It apparently really is going down any day now.

 
 
Yes, I heard this too over the weekend. Apparently the latest shipment of poles that came down the E&N a few days ago was transported (on the mainland side) via the new route. My source told me that the poles were delivered in Quebec in a matter of days.
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: Apr 26th, 2009, 12:02pm
on Apr 26th, 2009, 4:13am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
SRY is rumored to be going ahead with their new barge facitlity on Annacis and its no real secret that in the meantime they are looking at using BNSF's downtown vancouver barge slip which currently services the coastal mills that ship by rail. They apparently would be shipping the e&n bound cars by way of the BNSF slip which would eliminate the need for the tilbury headache as its become a real problem for shipping times and money-wise to have to rely on cp,cn and bn to get the cars to tilbury slip and back.

 
I'd have to presume then that the BNSF vancouver barge slip is compatible railwise with the Carrier Princess and Princess Superior?
 
And any chance of getting railcar shipping more frequently between the island and the continent via this new slip?
 
Jon
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Apr 26th, 2009, 12:15pm
I've noticed that BNSF no longer has yard goats in the Lower Mainland (only GP-30,35 & 38s) so I am not surprised.....    
This would be good for SRY as well.... Their business is way down; many locos sitting for weeks at a time.....
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Apr 26th, 2009, 12:18pm
on Apr 26th, 2009, 11:31am, Speeder wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
Yes, I heard this too over the weekend. Apparently the latest shipment of poles that came down the E&N a few days ago was transported (on the mainland side) via the new route. My source told me that the poles were delivered in Quebec in a matter of days.

 
I should clarify... I was not referring to the new barge slip, but about SRY bypassing CP completely (with last week's pole cars).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Apr 26th, 2009, 12:47pm
on Apr 26th, 2009, 12:02pm, joncalon wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I'd have to presume then that the BNSF vancouver barge slip is compatible railwise with the Carrier Princess and Princess Superior?
 
And any chance of getting railcar shipping more frequently between the island and the continent via this new slip?
 
Jon

 
 
http://forums.railfan.net/forums.cgi?board=BC;action=display;num=1149737599
 
Check out this thread for many pics of the BNSF slip on Burrard Inlet.   The slip is between Ballentine Pier and Roger's Sugar on the south shore of Burrard Inlet.
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: Apr 26th, 2009, 2:34pm
on Apr 26th, 2009, 12:47pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Check out this thread for many pics of the BNSF slip on Burrard Inlet.   The slip is between Ballentine Pier and Roger's Sugar on the south shore of Burrard Inlet.  

 
I thought that was the one.  Looked up and down all of Burrard Inlet on Google Maps and found that one first.  It appears (from my point of view, I'd love to see a close up of the barge slip, though I doubt I'll ever get one of those since it's damn near impossible to get that sort of shot without being a railway employee) to have three straight tracks onto the barge, which won't work on the Vancouver Island service since the Wellcox slip has a three-way turnout and requires the outer tracks to bend towards the centre track.  I'm reasonably certain a lot of the barges have three straight tracks on the deck, no curves, which makes them incompatible  with the Wellcox slip...
 
Greatly appreciating corrections,
 
Jon
Posted by: torch Posted on: Apr 26th, 2009, 10:38pm
I dont  believe the BN dock is  compatable  with the carrier princess and superior  so I  imagine it would be railbarges like those already in service to the mills.   Today when I was out chasing the royal hudson in new west  I saw the "e&n "   train being pulled by CP to tilbury.  Definately the  same mix of cement hoppers,grain and propane  but heads up.. there appeared to be one chemical tank that looked to be neither a propane car  nor the bio diesel tanker. No pole cars on this train.   Downtown vancouver has been serviced for the last few weeks by a  BNSF   gp-30(39m rebuild) and another 39. The remaining BNSF sw  switcher looks to have gone south today  as I saw it downtown this morning where it had been stored out of service but was gone when i returned this eve.  I will keep my eyes and ears peeled for e&n related developments. Hey pyro..the good news is that this creates two new SRY road jobs. one between new west and  vancouver and the other between new west and hundington to handle the island's and mills  cars to the border. Im not sure how much e&n traffic will still be interchanged with CP but surely some of it will be as the grain most likely originates from the praries and the poles go to quebec.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 15th, 2009, 5:38am
Well well... the end of an era  happened in vancouver last night. The last BNSF job in downtown Vancouver and I happened to luck out and be  around to see it. A crew member informed me of this. It was very unceremonious. I follwowed them back to their downtown yard after they finished pulling the barge . I even helped a crew member take down the large 'BNSF VANCOUVER YARD ' sign   which he offered to me as a keepsake and I accepted.   How does this relate to the E&N? Well SRY is now the proud operator of downtown Van   former BNSF duties as of this upcoming week .  Its been noted here that the duties include E&N traffic throo the downtown barge slip thus (hopefully) ending some of the difficulties in getting cars back and forth between welcox and the mainland.  So now we  will watch it unfold. I know this isnt the forum category for BN talk but I hope you guys can make an exception because this directly affects the fate of the E&N. Im posting a pic of the BN crew about to tie up,bringing to a close of 100 years of great northern related operations into downtown vancouver. I will start a new thread with pics and info soon of e&n traffic on THIS side with sry. Could be interesting.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 15th, 2009, 5:41am
'Thats it'!  Me with sign. Now time for improved E&N connections. Cross your fingers ,everybody!
Posted by: blackdog1 Posted on: May 15th, 2009, 8:08am
Well done! A real nice souvenir going somewhere it's appreciated.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: May 15th, 2009, 12:29pm
All of SRY Vancouver Island traffic will now go through the BN slip, except the E&N traffic which will continue as per until the annacis island slip is built , and at that time all Island traffic will move to Annacis.
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: May 15th, 2009, 2:02pm
Why will E&N traffic continue to route through Tilbury?
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 15th, 2009, 6:27pm
From what I heard  it  is  supposed to go throo downtown vancouver barge slip now. Who knows for sure though ? this is  railway stuff so  anything is subject to changes. I thought it would make  sense to do that and  was one of the factors in sry  taking over this operation.
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: May 16th, 2009, 5:01pm
Heard a rumour today that SRY bought (or is buying)  the remaining 6 or 7 Budd cars from CP for the island.  
 
Can anyone confirm, deny, etc?
 
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 16th, 2009, 7:26pm
thats news to me. I wasnt  aware that cp  even had  any RDCs left.   Via?
Posted by: vicguy Posted on: May 16th, 2009, 7:49pm
Gossip time: I heard SRY bought 6 RDCs from VIA and 1 more from another source to be leased back to VIA for service on the island. The RDCs will be based in Nanaimo and serviced in New West.  An RDC will leave Nanaimo in the morning for Victoria, and then continue on with the regular route and then return to Nanaimo at the end of the day. Or so the rumour goes.
 
I've learned over the years not to believe anything until I see it when it involves rumours and the E&N!
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: May 16th, 2009, 11:55pm
Does VIA even have any RDC's left, besides the 6 in service to sell to SRY? I would think they would have to come from Industrial Rail Services if, IF, SRY bought the RDC's.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 17th, 2009, 1:09am
SRY in the passenger biz? haw..  but hey, stranger things have happened... ie, SRY on the ISLAND.
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: May 17th, 2009, 1:16am
on May 15th, 2009, 2:02pm, Dayliner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Why will E&N traffic continue to route through Tilbury?

 
As discussed (somewhat undefinitively) over on the VI Rail Slips thread, it's likely due to incompatibility of the rail layout at Wellcox.  The barge slip in downtown Vancouver has three straight track leads onto the barges which works for all the barge-served bits of railway out on the island, however, Wellcox's slip requires the three tracks on the barge to curve towards the centre of the vessel (well, the centre track is straight because it's already at the centre).  Annacis will likely feature this, and Tilbury does as well.
 
So long story short, the tracks on the ships serving Wellcox don't mate up to the downtown Vancouver slip.
 
Jon
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: May 17th, 2009, 1:23am
on May 17th, 2009, 1:09am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
SRY in the passenger biz? haw..  but hey, stranger things have happened... ie, SRY on the ISLAND.

 
In actuality, SRY is in the passenger biz.  They're operating the VIA RDC's on the island under contract to VIA.  The only VIA employee on the island is the ticket agent in Victoria.
 
And as to the rumours, I know I've heard Jack Peake that he's wanting VIA to give the ICF their funding for the RDC's and then hand the entire shebang over to the ICF to run the trains the way the ICF wants to.  And that would definitely mean the morning train from Victoria to Courtenay and the afternoon train back down will either be eliminated and replaced with more service centering on Nanaimo, or supplementing the existing schedule with other runs.  
 
I personally love the idea of what they're wanting to schedule, but to date, the problems have been funding, funding and funding.
 
Unless the BC Liberals are going to finally open up their wallet and hand the ICF their portion of the upgrades, I have my doubts that we're gonna see those extra RDC's out to the island.  I know the IRSI folks have RDC's ready to refurbish, and likely where the SRY would get them from.
 
Jon
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 17th, 2009, 3:48am
Good breakdown. Makes sense.  I dont really get too riled up over the  rumors  and my comment about 'sry in the passenger biz' was more humor based than anything. I do realize they run the dayliner already.  As for the barge slip scenario  I already posted that the two slips do not match up. Some bagres/ships,however, have a track layout that enables them to service both types of slips. This involves having two extra switches on the bridge deck , similar to the one in this pic.
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: May 17th, 2009, 7:50pm
To add fuel to the fires of speculation . . .  .  Here's a picture taken this afternoon of dear old Doris at Allied Shipyards in North Vancouver, where's she's been for three or four weeks now.  I don't know what exactly is been done to her, but I have seen welding taking place on the main deck.  I'm speculating that perhaps the track arrangement is being modified precisely as shown the picture in the previous post.  That would make her able to serve both the Vancouver and Wellcox slips.
 
Torch, your post couldn't have been more timely.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 17th, 2009, 11:37pm
Nice pic!   I saw the Doris  down there  yesterday too  and was  wondering what was going on with her.  She is my  favorite coastal rail/truck ferry.
Posted by: missthealcos Posted on: May 18th, 2009, 1:12am
I've also heard this rumour about SRY buying RDC's, and that they are from Via, and include the Sudbury-White river cars(lots of use for an RDC-4 on the Island!),  which makes not alot of sense....but the version I heard also included something about the White River train being converted to conventional.  I'm not one for rumours, and never believe anything railway until I see it, but I have heard this one. Me thinks if there is any truth at all to it, that it has gone through a few speculative "revisions", which many railfans are famous for.  
 
I think for now, all that can really be figured from it is that SRY may have purchased some RDC's from somewhere, and the E&N would be the logical reason..but even then,  commuter service in the valley is also reasonable speculation...if they want to try and run commuter on the valley line, RDC's are the way to do it, without spending a fortune on all form and no function right off the bat.
 
Other than IRSI, which would be the most obvious source for well rebuilt cars, there are, as far as I know,  still 3 or 4 sitting at the TMC, which did belong to farmrail, but never went anywhere (6130 being part of the group to farmrail, and only one to go anywhere, last pic I saw of it, it had finally been stripped of all of it's Via identity, including the stripes), and there is also the IRSI demonstrator. Hmm, who knows! Then of course there are the ones that went to Texas, which, if they're for sale, would make an awful lot of sense for service in the valley, and the E&N.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: May 18th, 2009, 1:31am
on May 18th, 2009, 1:12am, missthealcos wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I've also heard this rumour about SRY buying RDC's, and that they are from Via, and include the Sudbury-White river cars(lots of use for an RDC-4 on the Island!),  which makes not alot of sense....but the version I heard also included something about the White River train being converted to conventional.  I'm not one for rumours, and never believe anything railway until I see it, but I have heard this one. Me thinks if there is any truth at all to it, that it has gone through a few speculative "revisions", which many railfans are famous for.  
 
I think for now, all that can really be figured from it is that SRY may have purchased some RDC's from somewhere, and the E&N would be the logical reason..but even then,  commuter service in the valley is also reasonable speculation...if they want to try and run commuter on the valley line, RDC's are the way to do it, without spending a fortune on all form and no function right off the bat.
 
Other than IRSI, which would be the most obvious source for well rebuilt cars, there are, as far as I know,  still 3 or 4 sitting at the TMC, which did belong to farmrail, but never went anywhere (6130 being part of the group to farmrail, and only one to go anywhere, last pic I saw of it, it had finally been stripped of all of it's Via identity, including the stripes), and there is also the IRSI demonstrator. Hmm, who knows! Then of course there are the ones that went to Texas, which, if they're for sale, would make an awful lot of sense for service in the valley, and the E&N.

 
That is interesting, and to add to the speculation. I am sure we are all interested to know what the E&N Study (being done by the Ministry of Transportation) results are going to be.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: May 18th, 2009, 4:27pm
Can someone remind me when the fabled "E&N Study" is slated to be shelved tabled?
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: May 18th, 2009, 8:09pm
on May 18th, 2009, 4:27pm, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Can someone remind me when the fabled "E&N Study" is slated to be shelved tabled?

 
I heard it is to be completed in september
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 19th, 2009, 4:11pm
SRY took over BNSF's downtown and barge operations in vancouver today. Lets hope this bodes well for the future of the e&n. SRY really must be serious about the island.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: May 20th, 2009, 1:03am
Maybe it has something to do with that coal company wanting to move coal out of the Cumberland/Buckley Bay area.
 
I did a little digging last weekend and posted some more information about the coal finds on my blog.
 
Coal Trains still coming to Vancouver Island?
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: May 20th, 2009, 1:49am
Interesting article in the Alberni Valley Times
 
http://www2.canada.com/albernivalleytimes/news/story.html?id=12afb6bc-8c5c-4866-8fdb-46ac5b354187
Posted by: ENR3005 Posted on: May 20th, 2009, 1:55am
on May 17th, 2009, 7:50pm, Dayliner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
To add fuel to the fires of speculation . . .  .  Here's a picture taken this afternoon of dear old Doris at Allied Shipyards in North Vancouver, where's she's been for three or four weeks now.  I don't know what exactly is been done to her, but I have seen welding taking place on the main deck.  I'm speculating that perhaps the track arrangement is being modified precisely as shown the picture in the previous post.  That would make her able to serve both the Vancouver and Wellcox slips.
 
Torch, your post couldn't have been more timely.

 
I also have seen the welding being done while visiting a project in the area. I have not been able to get close enough to see what is being done however I suspect that the track layout is being modified, probally to a similar layout that the Haida Transporter used which was able to work both slips.
Posted by: vanislrailway Posted on: May 21st, 2009, 9:23pm
MAJOR CHANGE IN STORE FOR VICTORIA RAIL TERMINAL
 
http://www.cfax1070.com/newsstory.php?newsId=9142
 
Looks like its decided it will be moved.
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: May 22nd, 2009, 12:22am
on May 21st, 2009, 9:23pm, vanislrailway wrote:       (Click here for original message)
MAJOR CHANGE IN STORE FOR VICTORIA RAIL TERMINAL
 
http://www.cfax1070.com/newsstory.php?newsId=9142
 
Looks like its decided it will be moved.

 
While it sucks that the depot will be moved, the current depot would not work well for commuter rail. Heck, Pacific Wilderness had a hell of a time with the downtown station. Remember the trains stretched out over bridge?  
 
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: May 22nd, 2009, 1:52am
on May 22nd, 2009, 12:22am, bcr4604 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
While it sucks that the depot will be moved, the current depot would not work well for commuter rail. Heck, Pacific Wilderness had a hell of a time with the downtown station. Remember the trains stretched out over bridge?  
 

It more than sucks, it is a pee poor idea. I was a member of the E&N Steering Committe of the day that fought to have the E&N station moved back downtown from Esquimalt, it made a big difference in ridership. People did not have to find there way out to the station in Esquimalt, people could see and hear the train, it is a form of free adervertising. I believe that it will be a big mistaken.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: May 22nd, 2009, 12:47pm
The mayor wants to see the station moved closer to Douglas St.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: May 22nd, 2009, 12:49pm
Downtown access is just as important to intra Island passengers as commuters.  Removing downtown passenger rail access in this day and age is indefensible and very wrong headed.
Any forward looking enlightened council would fight this tooth and nail.
 
The E&N property is worth its weight in gold to the Island.  It connects with 85-90% of the population.
 
All of us should be working to ensure this does not happen.  I am sure the ICF can and does have something to say.  The City of Victoria should not be able to take the biggest diamond out of the crown while everybody else watches.
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: May 22nd, 2009, 1:51pm
Re moving the downtown station:
 
I could see this coming a mile away. I think we're going to have to face the simple fact that a new bridge with the railway will be more expensive than one without. Guess which option the city will likely opt for?
 
Let's be realistic and look and the road-only bridge scenario. As bad as that may seem, what would be far worse would be falling back to the station at, or near its old location back in the '70s (near the roundhouse by Catherine St.).  
 
If there is to be a road-only bridge (and I hope this is not the case), then it is essential to have a fall-back position. This would be a new station only a few metres to the west of the new bridge. At least then it would literally be only a stone's throw from the old Pandora station site.
 
We could potentially lose all of the right of way from the roundhouse to the bridge, if the station gets relocated back in the old yards. And I'm sure some developers would find this new land of considerable use
 
 
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: May 22nd, 2009, 5:24pm
My thinking was if you move the station to the Vic West side of the bridge(not necessarily by the roundhouse) there would be more room to include a transit exchange. However if the mayor wants to move the station up to Douglas St that would work too, most of the transit routes use Douglas st. But I just don't see trains running up and down Pandora any time soon.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: May 23rd, 2009, 2:19am
on May 22nd, 2009, 5:24pm, bcr4604 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
My thinking was if you move the station to the Vic West side of the bridge(not necessarily by the roundhouse) there would be more room to include a transit exchange. However if the mayor wants to move the station up to Douglas St that would work too, most of the transit routes use Douglas st. But I just don't see trains running up and down Pandora any time soon.

I would agree with this.  Station just on the other side of the bridge and set it up so the rail bridge can be added if/when commuter service requires it
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: May 23rd, 2009, 3:26am
there is always the possibility of putting a new transit hub on the site of the current health foods warehouse. You know that triangular piece of land just before Esquimalt Rd goes under the rail bridge.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: May 23rd, 2009, 12:36pm
We should be focused on ensuring the line continues to go downtown., There is no alternative to that.  Any other approach will diminish ridership.  You go to where the greatest number of people wish to go.  That may mean pushing rail to Douglas street.  Let's fight and plan for rail's best advantage.
 
Usually, the second most attractive aspect of rail use after speed/time is downtown access.  There are very few North American cities, excepting some western Canadian ones, that in modern times have removed rail entry to centre city.  In Canada we had a Federal program to remove downtown rail used, most notably, in Edmonton and Saskatoon.  This is now recognized as a short sighted failure because of the lost heavy rail commuter capacity or light rail conversion potential.
 
There are few other N.Am. cities without downtown rail.  Detroit is the only one that comes to mind.  Rail commuting is near impossible and non expandable there.  Buses must meet every incoming train.  The commute home is the worst - getting first to the bus.
 
Loss of downtown access is loss of the rail advantage.  Make the trip seamless anything less is at best, 2nd best.
 
Transit planners would think we have rocks in our head for even entertaining a notion where the majority of commuter rail users begin or end each trip with a bus.  The one vehicle aspect of a commuter trip is extremely important.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 12:38am
on May 23rd, 2009, 12:36pm, cobblehillian wrote:       (Click here for original message)
We should be focused on ensuring the line continues to go downtown., There is no alternative to that.  Any other approach will diminish ridership.  You go to where the greatest number of people wish to go.  That may mean pushing rail to Douglas street.  Let's fight and plan for rail's best advantage.
 
Usually, the second most attractive aspect of rail use after speed/time is downtown access.  There are very few North American cities, excepting some western Canadian ones, that in modern times have removed rail entry to centre city.  In Canada we had a Federal program to remove downtown rail used, most notably, in Edmonton and Saskatoon.  This is now recognized as a short sighted failure because of the lost heavy rail commuter capacity or light rail conversion potential.
 
There are few other N.Am. cities without downtown rail.  Detroit is the only one that comes to mind.  Rail commuting is near impossible and non expandable there.  Buses must meet every incoming train.  The commute home is the worst - getting first to the bus.
 
Loss of downtown access is loss of the rail advantage.  Make the trip seamless anything less is at best, 2nd best.
 
Transit planners would think we have rocks in our head for even entertaining a notion where the majority of commuter rail users begin or end each trip with a bus.  The one vehicle aspect of a commuter trip is extremely important.

 
Oh I completely agree with what you said. Someone on a letter to the editor (TC I think), suggested the E&N Tracks should stop in Langford and have bus or light rail take passengers the rest of the way. A stupid idea, in my view, and what would be the point? Making the commuting journey seamless is essential if we are to revamp our cities.
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 2:56am
on May 24th, 2009, 12:38am, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Oh I completely agree with what you said. Someone on a letter to the editor (TC I think), suggested the E&N Tracks should stop in Langford and have bus or light rail take passengers the rest of the way. A stupid idea, in my view, and what would be the point? Making the commuting journey seamless is essential if we are to revamp our cities.

 
 
The motive would likely be the "rails-to-trails" lobby.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 3:16pm
on May 24th, 2009, 2:56am, Speeder wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
The motive would likely be the "rails-to-trails" lobby.

 
I don't think the writer was connected to the bike lobby.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 10:27pm
anybody know  about a  gravel reload spur being built somewhere in langford? this is  a rumor i just heard in addition to the 'sry buying RDCs' rumor. and yes,i realize that years ago people were talking about the possiblilty of gravel trains but this is a new rumor.    Anyone?
Posted by: vicguy Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:05pm
Torch, I heard that Stu Young bought a piece of property north of Jacklin Road to be used as a gravel trans-load. There is a new industrial park along the E&N just before Humpback Road and there is a large empty lot right beside the tracks, maybe that's going to be it?
Posted by: endivisioncrha Posted on: May 24th, 2009, 11:57pm
on May 24th, 2009, 10:27pm, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
anybody know  about a  gravel reload spur being built somewhere in langford? this is  a rumor i just heard in addition to the 'sry buying RDCs' rumor. and yes,i realize that years ago people were talking about the possiblilty of gravel trains but this is a new rumor.    Anyone?

 
Torch:
I have asked the question to some SVI employees about the spur, and they have not heard anything about any plans. If there is any plans they are being tight lipped and I guess we will have to wait to see if any construction takes place. But, I can't see SVI doing anything until they get a long term contract in place,first.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 25th, 2009, 1:13am
True.  Like I said. Its only  a rumor that I heard  but  an interesting one. Ans I think its feasible.  Tight-lippedness I can see as  well   as nobody knew that SRY was taking over BNSF trackage downtown Vancouver so they could have immediate ferry access via the old bn barge slip. And yet it happened  and  from what Im now hearing it involved an agreement and a hefty sum. I would surmise that things are  really cooking now. Wouldnt be  surprised to see an SRY agreement in the near future that goes beyond three years.  SRY guys that I know  havent heard about a LOT of  happenings that came about.
Posted by: vicguy Posted on: May 25th, 2009, 1:31am
on May 25th, 2009, 1:13am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
. I would surmise that things are  really cooking now.

 
I hope you're right! It does seem like everything is coming together, SRY/SVI are doing the right things.  
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 25th, 2009, 5:26am
It sure does, Vic guy. Keep them fingers  crossed. Im still waiting on the word of wheter or not e&n traffic will commence barging out from downtown van. Some fans think that wont happen until the annacis slip is built. Fair speculation but from what Im hearing on the buzz is that SRY is not looking at downtown van/burrard barge slip as  temporary. We'll see.
Posted by: CN7303 Posted on: May 25th, 2009, 11:44am
I think it's common sense to look at the downtown barge slip as more than temporary. If you don't have to spend 11 million dollars to build a new one then why do it? It would cost considerably less for Seaspan to add new track arrangements to their rail barges than it would cost to build a slip.
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: May 25th, 2009, 7:31pm
on May 25th, 2009, 11:44am, CN7303 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I think it's common sense to look at the downtown barge slip as more than temporary. If you don't have to spend 11 million dollars to build a new one then why do it? It would cost considerably less for Seaspan to add new track arrangements to their rail barges than it would cost to build a slip.

 
You make a good point, though I'd have to ask if the trackage to reach the slip would have any bearing on the decision to build on Annacis or not.  Yes, SRY is servicing the barge slip, but who exactly owns the trackage leading to it?  Did BNSF sell the trackage to SRY or are they maintaining ownership and giving SRY the trackage rights?
 
At least on Annacis Island, all the trackage is owned by SRY and thus there wouldn't be any legal/cost ramifications, like who the traffic would have to be routed through from beyond the slip...
 
Jon
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: May 25th, 2009, 8:21pm
on May 25th, 2009, 7:31pm, joncalon wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Yes, SRY is servicing the barge slip, but who exactly owns the trackage leading to it?  
Jon

 
The BI line is joint BNSF-CN trackage.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 27th, 2009, 2:49am
Is the  b.i. line  really  joint owned by cn/bn ?  Thought I heard someone else say that too. Now how come w.c.e moves to and from the via maintainence center seemed to only ever ask for Bnsf pilots? Probably a question for  a different  forum, huh..  lol  still curious. Tyler?
Posted by: CPR_9199 Posted on: May 27th, 2009, 3:35am
I was reading on a website last night they are looking to purchase 8 more rdcs from irsi to be refurbished and used on Vancouver Island and in other parts of Canada.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 27th, 2009, 6:53am
SRY apparently did buy trackage from BNSF. Exactly how much of the track I do not know.  I hope to hear details soon but it was a decent sum of money.
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: May 27th, 2009, 9:58pm
on May 27th, 2009, 2:49am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Is the  b.i. line  really  joint owned by cn/bn ?  Thought I heard someone else say that too. Now how come w.c.e moves to and from the via maintainence center seemed to only ever ask for Bnsf pilots?

 
Easy, because CN tells CP/WCE where to stick it, they're not going to pay a hogger 8 hours for the few minutes it takes to pilot the deadhead move. BNSF is alot easier to deal with than CN.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 28th, 2009, 5:47am
Ahh.  Cool,  thanks Tyler.  I appreciate the info.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 29th, 2009, 5:07am
This is for joncalon and anyone who was curious about the compatibility of barge decks between the barge slip downtown van and the welcox slip. It looks as if its been proven already. Im just learning about some of the seaspan barges. The one is this pic i believe is barge 931. I didnt see who the photographer was,sorry.  This is off the superloads website that cn 2141 happened upon. Check it out: Offloading at welcox. I posted this in the thread as a continuation of the rumors regarding whether e&n traffic could in theory be handled from the ex-bnsf slip in downtown vancouver which has 3 straight tracks on the slip.
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 29th, 2009, 5:11am
Showing the track on the barge and its compatibility with the welcox slip (and also the ex-bnsf slip in van)
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: May 29th, 2009, 4:23pm
I noticed today that Seaspan Doris has moved from Allied Shipyards next door to the Canexus rail slip.
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: May 29th, 2009, 6:59pm
on May 29th, 2009, 5:07am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
This is for joncalon and anyone who was curious about the compatibility of barge decks between the barge slip downtown van and the welcox slip. It looks as if its been proven already. Im just learning about some of the seaspan barges. The one is this pic i believe is barge 931. I didnt see who the photographer was,sorry.  This is off the superloads website that cn 2141 happened upon. Check it out: Offloading at welcox. I posted this in the thread as a continuation of the rumors regarding whether e&n traffic could in theory be handled from the ex-bnsf slip in downtown vancouver which has 3 straight tracks on the slip.

 
Thanks a bunch for posting those pics Torch...Certainly answers a few questions to say the least!
 
Now, would Seaspan start using the barges to transfer stuff between Wellcox and Downtown or continue using the Carrier Princess and Princess Superior?
 
Jon
Posted by: torch Posted on: May 29th, 2009, 9:32pm
Yeah I was pretty surprised to find out there was barges with only one  track entering the barge and then splitting out 5 ways. Looks like a small railyard!   Im not sure what is  gonna happen but i wouldnt be surprised if they keep using tilbury for a spell.  Its so hard to find out whats really going on these days with railways even if one  knows employees. They keep hush. And  I guess it has some merrit to it,what with all us "crazy railfans".. haha. jkng.   The latest I heard confirmed is that the ex-bnsf slip in downtown vancouver is now owned by southern railway of vancouver island.. Not just SRY.  I found that interesting. I wonder what changes they have made to the Doris,if any.
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Jun 9th, 2009, 11:50pm
on May 18th, 2009, 1:12am, missthealcos wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I've also heard this rumour about SRY buying RDC's, and that they are from Via, and include the Sudbury-White river cars(lots of use for an RDC-4 on the Island!),  which makes not alot of sense....but the version I heard also included something about the White River train being converted to conventional.  I'm not one for rumours, and never believe anything railway until I see it, but I have heard this one. Me thinks if there is any truth at all to it, that it has gone through a few speculative "revisions", which many railfans are famous for.  
 
I think for now, all that can really be figured from it is that SRY may have purchased some RDC's from somewhere, and the E&N would be the logical reason..but even then,  commuter service in the valley is also reasonable speculation...if they want to try and run commuter on the valley line, RDC's are the way to do it, without spending a fortune on all form and no function right off the bat.

 
Not trying to fuel the fires of rumour, however, I have heard from a knowledgeable source (someone who works in the field) that SRY has indeed purchased several RDCs. (<== fact)  
 
They did not specifically mention how they would be used, however, I presumed from our conversation that they will be used on the island (<== speculation).
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jun 10th, 2009, 12:15am
on Jun 9th, 2009, 11:50pm, CN7059 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Not trying to fuel the fires of rumour, however, I have heard from a knowledgeable source (someone who works in the field) that SRY has indeed purchased several RDCs. (<== fact)  
 
They did not specifically mention how they would be used, however, I presumed from our conversation that they will be used on the island (<== speculation).

 
 
I went noodling around the Washington Group website... and came upon this description of their "Transportation" services.
 
Transportation
 
"Some of the most visible operations of The Washington Companies are in freight transportation throughout the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain region. Montana Rail Link operates the southern rail route across Montana. Southern Railway of British Columbia is a major link between port facilities and transcontinental railroads, and Southern Railway of Vancouver Island provides contracted passenger rail service on Vancouver Island. The Washington Marine Group of companies, a Canadian consortium led by Seaspan International Ltd., is integral to the commerce of British Columbia, supplying ship building and repair services, commercial ferry service, and coastal tug and barge transportation. The Washington Companies' extensive involvement in the transportation industry demonstrates a commitment to serving industries that require a dependable partner to get their products to market. "
 
and inside:
 
"Southern Railway of British Columbia Limited (SRY) is a regional railroad in the B.C. Lower Mainland handling over 73,000 carloads annually. The line services New Westminster through the Fraser Valley to Chilliwack. SRY owns over 125 miles of track, of which 75 miles are mainline, and interchanges at six locations with three North American Class I railroads: Canadian Pacific, Canadian National and BNSF. A subsidiary, Southern Railway of Vancouver Island, operates scheduled intercity passenger service from Victoria to Courtenay on behalf of VIA Rail Inc.
 
If this is a reflection of their own perception of SVI then...?
Posted by: vicguy Posted on: Jun 10th, 2009, 12:24am
on Jun 10th, 2009, 12:15am, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
If this is a reflection of their own perception of SVI then...?

 
I think they forgot to mention something........
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 10th, 2009, 12:58am
At this point, until the E&N Study is completed in September. Thats Phase One of the study. Phase Two of the study will depend on results of Phase One. Then between now and then, its going to be a waiting game.  
 
The hiring of Graham Bruce as new head of the ICF and rumors of SRY buying RDCs for use in BC sure add fuel to the fire.
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Jun 10th, 2009, 1:50am

 My, my, our federal government seems to have deep pockets for some railways but probably the Manitoba government was on side.
 
Canada's Keewatin Railway obtains federal funds to upgrade passenger service
The Canadian government recently announced it will provide $5.2 million in federal funding for the Keewatin Railway Co., a passenger and freight railroad owned and operated by three First Nations communities. The railroad will use the funds to improve passenger-rail service between The Pas and Pukatawagan, Manitoba.  
 
Keewatin Railway will use $4.1 million in Economic Action Plan funds to rehabilitate track, acquire a locomotive and other rail equipment, and construct a locomotive repair facility in The Pas and a new station in Pukatawagan. The railroad also will use $1.1 million from Transport Canada's Regional and Remote Passenger Rail Service Class Contribution Program to replace ties and culverts.
 
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jun 10th, 2009, 12:34pm
Comparing the Manitoba line to  the E&N is comparing apples and oranges.  The Manitoba rail leads to a very isolated region without all weather roads.
 
Before a lot of the mines closed the tri-weekly mixed train would often consist of 100 hopper cars with a coal heated CN combine or coach on the rear.  There were usually more passengers to The Pas than would ride the daily Malahat.
 
The line is no longer supported by the mines so the Feds must step in owing to the social necessity (there is a legal definition) of ensuring transportation services to an isolated community.
Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Jun 10th, 2009, 8:55pm
The money to be given to a rail service in that cause is a good use. I grew up in a very small isolated town that had one way in and one way out. If the road went out of service (and some times it did) things had to be flown in or brought by boat. So i support that.
 
  But what i can't stand is the millions of dollars spent building trails next to the E&N! All the money in the last few years spent on those trails alone could have fixed the rails by now.  
 If the different city's paid to have there part of the line fixed the cost could be shared. All of the city's served by the line would benifit.  
the highways are getting very busy, and expanding highways would cost alot more then upgrading the rail bed.
 
anyways thats my rant  
 
Rails not trails.
I like trails don't get me wrong, i just like rails more.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jun 11th, 2009, 3:27am
on Jun 10th, 2009, 12:15am, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
I went noodling around the Washington Group website... and came upon this description of their "Transportation" services.
 
Transportation
 
"Some of the most visible operations of The Washington Companies are in freight transportation throughout the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain region. Montana Rail Link operates the southern rail route across Montana. Southern Railway of British Columbia is a major link between port facilities and transcontinental railroads, and Southern Railway of Vancouver Island provides contracted passenger rail service on Vancouver Island. The Washington Marine Group of companies, a Canadian consortium led by Seaspan International Ltd., is integral to the commerce of British Columbia, supplying ship building and repair services, commercial ferry service, and coastal tug and barge transportation. The Washington Companies' extensive involvement in the transportation industry demonstrates a commitment to serving industries that require a dependable partner to get their products to market. "
 
and inside:
 
"Southern Railway of British Columbia Limited (SRY) is a regional railroad in the B.C. Lower Mainland handling over 73,000 carloads annually. The line services New Westminster through the Fraser Valley to Chilliwack. SRY owns over 125 miles of track, of which 75 miles are mainline, and interchanges at six locations with three North American Class I railroads: Canadian Pacific, Canadian National and BNSF. A subsidiary, Southern Railway of Vancouver Island, operates scheduled intercity passenger service from Victoria to Courtenay on behalf of VIA Rail Inc.
 
If this is a reflection of their own perception of SVI then...?

This has been on their site for well over a year......
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jun 11th, 2009, 3:35am
on Jun 9th, 2009, 11:50pm, CN7059 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Not trying to fuel the fires of rumour, however, I have heard from a knowledgeable source (someone who works in the field) that SRY has indeed purchased several RDCs. (<== fact)  

 
 
One should not forget the large push to return passenger service from Chilliwack to Surrey/New Westminster.
 
I would speculate that this run may be a more likely scenario for the purchased RDCs (btw which RDCs have been purchased and where are they now?).   More population....
BTW where are the Coal Gons we saw in New West marked SRY and whats going on with the supposed coal mining ops on the Island?
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jun 11th, 2009, 2:31pm
I have heard from an SRY senior executive and a middle manager that ICF and SRY would like to take over passenger operations from VIA.  This appears to make business sense if the railway is to move away from strictly tourism and toward being one of the Island's transportation solutions.  
 
An additional factor at play here is the retention of the funds by the SRY and ICF that  go off Island with the present VIA arrangements.  Having that money here might make passenger service viability a little bit more possible.
 
This brings up some interesting questions.  With the exception of regional commuter operations and tourist operations (e.g.Rocky Mountaineer) are other passenger rail operators free to operate in Canada when and where they want?  I'm not sure what the legislation says, and, will it have to be changed?
 
Presently the VIA fare structure, reservation, and ticketing system are geared to tourism through a heavy bias for advance ticket purchase by credit card.  Impulse non reservation riders, the kind you want to capture in a transportation system, are discouraged because the immediate use purchase price is so high.  As well, VIA has been discouraging impulse riders by stopping the sale of tickets 5-10 minutes in advance of train departure.!!!  In VIA's ideal world there would be no ticket purchase at the station before departure.  All tickets would be purchased on-line at a minimum of 2 weeks before travel. Additionally, I do not think that VIA has any discounted multiple ride or reduced fare commuter tickets.
Posted by: MinionII Posted on: Jun 11th, 2009, 7:43pm
Man that fee structure is backwards...the tickets sold immediately prior to departure should be discounted to fill any remaining seats after the reservations/advance ticket seats are filled.
 
You would think that VIA doesn't want to provide service on the Island...
Posted by: torch Posted on: Jun 12th, 2009, 7:00am
So my speculation about SRY really getting into the passenger biz might not be too far off the mark after all!    I've been hearing various rumblings about this and many other things SRY from over on this side in  Vancouver. Mark my words  SRY is really trying to have a viable go at reviving things both on the island AND in the lower mainland. They just took over operations in downtown from BNSF and besides switching the barge they have taken over a dwntown freight customer and already have a brand new customer setting up shop in false creek flats! All this after only a few weeks. With the new barge slip being built and the ex-bnsf slip the possiblilities for the island's rail  look to be promising.     Finally.
Posted by: andrewjoystick Posted on: Jun 12th, 2009, 1:20pm
If all this talk about SRY buying RDC's and taking over passenger operations is true then it would be interesting to see what an RDC would look like in SRY paint.
Posted by: torch Posted on: Jun 12th, 2009, 3:43pm
It'd  probably look close to  a BC RAIL  rdc.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 12th, 2009, 9:23pm
Well I heard SRY is going after the maintenance contract for the RDCs, which expires this year. So perhaps all this leading up to something.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jun 13th, 2009, 12:45am
on Jun 11th, 2009, 3:35am, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
BTW where are the Coal Gons we saw in New West marked SRY and whats going on with the supposed coal mining ops on the Island?

 
On point 2:
 
http://www.complianceenergy.com/news/press_releases/PDFs/09_05_26_PR.pdf
 
"Vancouver, B.C., May 26, 2009
Compliance Coal Corporation dba Comox Joint Venture (“CJV”) has just received an exploration permit from BC’s Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources to drill up to 53 holes (15,000 meters) on the Raven Underground Coal Project.  
 
The primary objective of this year’s exploration program is to increase the 39.0 million tonnes of  
measured and indicated resources by upgrading the 59.0 million tonnes of inferred resources. In addition, extensive coal quality sampling and testing will be conducted including washability, carbonization, and petrographic tests. The Raven Coal deposit is inherently a High Volatile A Bituminous metallurgical coal and the testing will help determine the ultimate wash plant process and forecasted plant yield and the coal’s suitability for sale on the international metallurgical, thermal and PCI coal markets. In addition, this summer’s program will include hydrogeological sampling including the installation of six piezometers and two pump tests. Gas desorption canisters and geotechnical samples will also be taken to assist in mine design.  
 
In addition to this summer’s exploration program, the CJV has also hired AMEC Earth and Environmental to prepare an environmental assessment on the project. AMEC has initiated its environmental baseline monitoring including hydrology, surface water quality, wildlife, and fisheries. The CJV expects to file a project description with BC’s Environmental Assessment Office in June 2009 and is targeting to file an application for an environmental assessment certificate in the second quarter of 2010.  
 
All of the activities leading up to a production decision will be funded from the $7.0 million held in the CJV’s bank account. "
 
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jun 13th, 2009, 7:06pm
Sometimes it's the simplest searches ("SRY BNSF") that give you the most interesting results:
 
http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?15,1940591
 
"BNSF and predecessor companies have provided service to a barge slip in the Vancouver harbour for over 70 years. Mainly providing services to pulp mills on the BC coast these barges carry any number of dangerous commodities along with finished product. Changes are in the wind for barge service in the Vancouver area.  
 
A new barge slip is being built on SRY track on Annacis Island in the Fraser River. The new barge slip will be able to handle most of the rail to barge traffic in the region. With the coming Winter Olympics next February in 2010 one of the security requirements is the removal of dangerous goods being transported by barge past the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center that will house worldwide media during the Olympic Games.  
 
With an eye to the future and to get a foothold on the Vancouver waterfront SRY bought the business from BNSF. Tuesday May 19 was the first day of operation for SRY crews. Under the guidance of BNSF pilots a pair of SRY SW900's set out from Glen Yard to learn their new chores. "
 
Many pictures at the link.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jun 13th, 2009, 7:14pm
Also found this report looking at, and seeming to recommend, a heavy-rail DMU based passenger/commuter service between Langley and Scott Road station on the SRY line.
 
http://www.scribd.com/doc/515139/DRL-Solutions-Interurban-Report
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: Jun 15th, 2009, 7:42am
on Jun 13th, 2009, 7:06pm, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Sometimes it's the simplest searches ("SRY BNSF") that give you the most interesting results:
 
http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?15,1940591
 
"BNSF and predecessor companies have provided service to a barge slip in the Vancouver harbour for over 70 years. Mainly providing services to pulp mills on the BC coast these barges carry any number of dangerous commodities along with finished product. Changes are in the wind for barge service in the Vancouver area.  
 
A new barge slip is being built on SRY track on Annacis Island in the Fraser River. The new barge slip will be able to handle most of the rail to barge traffic in the region. With the coming Winter Olympics next February in 2010 one of the security requirements is the removal of dangerous goods being transported by barge past the Vancouver Trade and Convention Center that will house worldwide media during the Olympic Games.

 
The winter games aren't that far away...
 
Is the Annacis barge slip already under construction, and if not, how long will it take to become operational?  The games are not much more than 8 months away and usually these things aren't that quickly built...  Though, I do have to remind myself that Vancouver typically has a 12 month construction season unlike here...
 
Jon
Posted by: torch Posted on: Jun 15th, 2009, 11:28pm
I asked an SRY engineer friend of mine about it.  Hasnt  started being built yet.  He told me location of the proposed slip is going to be the south west  side of alex fraser bridge.  Man,they better get crackin!
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jun 16th, 2009, 2:15pm
on Jun 15th, 2009, 11:28pm, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I asked an SRY engineer friend of mine about it.  Hasnt  started being built yet.  He told me location of the proposed slip is going to be the south west  side of alex fraser bridge.  Man,they better get crackin!

Err  North West? Annacis Island?
 
South West of the AFB is the location of the Tilbury slip.....
Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Jun 16th, 2009, 10:29pm
i heard a rumor today that Seaspan is moving to Dukepoint and Welcox and the whole wharf, Sawmill area will be develoved??
 
I highly doubt that cash will be provided by the city to move the yard and build a line to dukepoint. I'm all for it if they build a new line and yard to take pictures of. sure would hate to see welcox go.
 
Any one else heard this rumor or similar??
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: Jun 16th, 2009, 10:48pm
on Jun 16th, 2009, 10:29pm, ENRFAN wrote:       (Click here for original message)
i heard a rumor today that Seaspan is moving to Dukepoint and Welcox and the whole wharf, Sawmill area will be develoved??
 
I highly doubt that cash will be provided by the city to move the yard and build a line to dukepoint. I'm all for it if they build a new line and yard to take pictures of. sure would hate to see welcox go.
 
Any one else heard this rumor or similar??

 
I've definitely heard the rumours and wistful thinking of redeveloping Wellcox and having the ferry slip somewhere else (like Crofton where the E&N did have a spur to at one point) that already has a slip.
 
Duke Point on the other hand is news to me.  Having said that though, are we certain that Seaspan isn't just going to relocate their trailer operations to Duke Point and keep the rail infrastructure at Wellcox?
 
Jon
Posted by: andrewjoystick Posted on: Jun 19th, 2009, 1:52am
I was talking to a new neighbor today and found out that he just so happens to work for the company that got the contract to construct the new barge slip on Annacis Island. He says that they've been working on it for almost 2 weeks now with dredging almost done and pile driving should start pretty soon. It is in fact being built southwest of the Alex Fraser Bridge.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Jun 19th, 2009, 3:05am
on Jun 19th, 2009, 1:52am, andrewjoystick wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I was talking to a new neighbor today and found out that he just so happens to work for the company that got the contract to construct the new barge slip on Annacis Island. He says that they've been working on it for almost 2 weeks now with dredging almost done and pile driving should start pretty soon. It is in fact being built southwest of the Alex Fraser Bridge.

You must mean south west of the North end of the Alex Fraser Bridge?
Posted by: andrewjoystick Posted on: Jun 19th, 2009, 4:32am
Now that I've looked at the area in Google Earth, I see what you mean. So it would be west of the Alex Fraser Bridge on the north side of the river (south side of Annacis Island).
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jun 24th, 2009, 12:14am
I have been hearing that the E&N Station will stay near the downtown core, either at the Junk buildings beside the current bridge or go up Johnson St.
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Jul 10th, 2009, 10:59am

 Another World - -  
 
Federal, provincial governments pony up funds for Canadian short-line upgrades
Earlier this week, the Canadian and New Brunswick governments announced plans to provide the New Brunswick Southern Railway up to $18 million to cover half the cost of proposed infrastructure improvements.
 
The 226-mile short line plans to replace, upgrade and improve rail, ties and bridges, and upgrade terminals in Saint John and McAdam, New Brunswick. The railroad also proposes to upgrade mainlines between Saint John West and the New Brunswick-Maine border, and McAdam and St. Stephen. The short line is the only railroad with direct connections from Atlantic provinces to U.S. northeast markets, according to the New Brunswick Southern Railway.
 
“In total, this project will deliver an estimated $10.6 million in wages and benefits over the next two years,” said New Brunswick Southern Railway President Jim Irving in a prepared statement. “In addition to sustaining 40 jobs at the railway, we anticipate hiring 35 to 40 people for the duration of this project."
 
The Canadian and New Brunswick governments “clearly recognize” the importance of short lines to the national and provincial economies, said Cliff Mackay, president and chief executive officer of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), which represents the interests of more than 50 railroads.
 
"The RAC encourages other provinces to partner with the federal government and short line railways to invest in short-line infrastructure,” he said.  
Posted by: thehighwayman Posted on: Jul 10th, 2009, 3:48pm
on Jul 10th, 2009, 10:59am, don432001 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 Another World - -  
 
Federal, provincial governments pony up funds for Canadian short-line upgrades
---> snip <---
“In total, this project will deliver an estimated $10.6 million in wages and benefits over the next two years,” said New Brunswick Southern Railway President Jim Irving in a prepared statement.  
---> snip <---
and short line railways to invest in short-line infrastructure,” he said.  
  

 
The real story is the bit I have left between the two "snips."
The NBSR is owned by the Irving family ....  governments ask "how high" when the Irvings say "jump."
 
Will
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Jul 11th, 2009, 3:20am
...Too bad the Dunsmuir family isn't around to tell the B.C. Liberals to "jump"...
Posted by: Demian Posted on: Jul 15th, 2009, 6:43pm
Good day all.
 
Today the SRVI had two highrails and an excavator working all day on the south side of the Admirals Rd/Colville Rd. crossing next to the dockyard. They appear to have dug out and graded an apx 200 ft long by 10 ft wide swath paralleling the mainline. I am curious to know if anyone knows what this is intended for. It's interesting because about two weeks ago I noticed a group of 5 or 6 MOW personnel surveying in this exact location. Perhaps they are building a platform for the dayliner? Or maybe preparing for some type of heavy offload to the shipyard? Of course this is all speculation on my part. It may in fact amount to nothing. But I am always crossing my fingers for something exciting down here in Victoria to happen.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 15th, 2009, 7:56pm
I do know that the Esquimalt Business Assoc. is very supportive of having a rail station near that site. There was an article about a year ago on it.
Posted by: MinionII Posted on: Jul 15th, 2009, 8:20pm
Probably something to do with this...
 
http://www.cordovastation.ca/news/09071506.htm
Posted by: Demian Posted on: Jul 15th, 2009, 8:26pm
Thanks for the info Coastrail. The size of the area and location would definitely make sense for a passenger platform.  I will keep an eye on things and see what transpires.
Posted by: Demian Posted on: Jul 15th, 2009, 8:38pm
Oops! I missed that last post from Minion. That's the CFAX evidence right there. Well you never know they may also try and put in a passenger platform while all the road construction is going on. It's funny I remember in the early 90's when CP relaid all that area of track including the crossing with continuous welded rail. It was great because there was a work train down in Vic for a week and I remember them dumping ballast and ripping out all the old rails.
Posted by: CP8673 Posted on: Jul 15th, 2009, 8:43pm
on Jul 15th, 2009, 8:20pm, MinionII wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Probably something to do with this...
 
http://www.cordovastation.ca/news/09071506.htm

Yep it's part of a total re-do of the intersection.  SRY does their part first according to what I read in the Lookout a month or so back.
 
It has nothing to do with any new platform
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Jul 16th, 2009, 1:03am
Well the good new is, another road crossing with barriers. The more barriers on crossings the better, for obvious reasons.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 25th, 2009, 1:45pm
I find this article interesting. It has some merit on this forum. I have left bold a section of the article, that I think deserves discussion.
 
The Cassidy area is unique on the Island, said Island Timberland's senior land manager.
 
"Nowhere else on Vancouver Island do you find a major highway, a railway and an airport all in the same area," said Stephen Henderson.
 
"The Victoria airport doesn't have a railway link, neither does Comox but we could have one here with no problem. We think there's an opportunity that should be explored," he said.
 
"Look at Vancouver. They are spending several millions of dollars just to connect a light rail link to the airport there and we already have an existing railroad right by our airport."

 
Your thoughts please.
 
Cheers
 
Aaron
 
Quote:
Cassidy: Rural to village centre?
Mix of residential and light industrial under consideration
Walter Cordery, Daily News
Published: Saturday, July 25, 2009
 
Island Timberlands has started holding public meetings in Cassidy to see what type of support there may be in the community for a village centre.
 
The company hopes to develop a mixed-use project on 68 hectares of land it owns close to the airport. Island Timberlands envisions a residential component to its concept as well as an area set aside for light industrial activities that will bring much-needed jobs to Cassidy.
 
If residents approve of the plan, which is still only a concept, company spokeswoman Makenzie Leine said the project would bring some amenities to Cassidy that it lacks.
 
 
"For the most part, the majority of people who live in Cassidy can't find work in Cassidy and by bringing light industrial activity to the area, we hope there will be opportunities to employ some local people," Leine said.
 
The company is working with the Regional District of Nanaimo and the surrounding community to come up with a development plan that will also bring more green space to the area.
 
"The official community plan process has identified there is a shortfall in the Cassidy community and there is lack of amenities," said Leine. "There's no transit, no parks, and a lack of public meeting places, and the majority of people need to drive to get to work. The project is being progressed with a pattern of development that will be trying to address these needs."
 
The Cassidy area is unique on the Island, said Island Timberland's senior land manager.
 
"Nowhere else on Vancouver Island do you find a major highway, a railway and an airport all in the same area," said Stephen Henderson.
 
"The Victoria airport doesn't have a railway link, neither does Comox but we could have one here with no problem. We think there's an opportunity that should be explored," he said.
 
"Look at Vancouver. They are spending several millions of dollars just to connect a light rail link to the airport there and we already have an existing railroad right by our airport."
 
Joe Burnett, who represents Cassidy on the RDN board, has followed the plan with interest. "Right now, there's nothing tangible, no real plan to examine, because they are consulting with the public first," he said.
 
But Burnett said he is impressed with the company's decision to include the public in the "very early" stages of discussion, and is also pleased the company seems to be abiding by the RDN's regional growth strategy.
 
On the RDN website, the organization outlines its growth strategy which encourages "mixed-use communities that includes places to live, work, learn, play, shop and access services."
 
Leine said Island Timberlands plan will do exactly that.
 
"In our opinion it is consistent with the vision of the OCP . . . it also complements the greater regional strategy.
 
"We feel we are tying together the economic, environmental, and social desires" of area residents," she said.
 
WCordery@nanaimodailynews.com
 
 
© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2009
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Jul 26th, 2009, 3:12am
Its amazing that Island timberlands ( werhauser) talks jobs when they export them to the usa every day by raw log exports. This is the first thing they tell you when they want something that shoudnt happen.You have a rural comunity that some big corporation whants to dump a big city right in the middle of it. Never mind any official comunity plans or minunum lot sizethey want and will propably get the smallest lot size to make the biggest buck.These lands are formally mac blo lands aquired when werhauser bot them now theyve log them and now want to make a quik buck for the share holder the same plan that timberwest has.Alot of these lands were aquired by H R Macmillan in the 1950s after they were already logged by there previous owners.H R was Canadas first forester and seen the subsainability in the forests. something island timberlands and timberwest dont see.So if there so concerned about jobs start using substainable logging practices and using logs were they come from rather than whashington state. That said I am not against any type of air port rail conection just huge U.S. corp.We need long term base industrial jobs not short term construction jobs the kind we use to have before the americans took over our forest industry.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 26th, 2009, 10:48pm
I agree with u. But on the flip side, it seems that Timberwest is reaching out to the community.
 
I will keep on this story and keep everyone posted.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jul 28th, 2009, 6:59pm
Thanks Mr. Coastrail (Aaron) for posting the article from the Nanaimo paper on the Island Timberlands proposal for Cassidy. Here's my rant on the subject.  I look forward to some good discussion.
 
This is just the beginning of what will be a long hard fought campaign by the largest E&N land grant holders, Island Timberlands, TimberWest, and John Hancock Life Insurance to make the last bit of money from their land base adjacent to settlement.  It will be interesting to see how creative they get in coming up with pipe dreams and schemes to sell property.  After all, their prime objective is maximum profit for share or unit holders. [If you want to skip the analysis and see how all of this effects the E&N railway skip to nearer the bottom.]
 
Most of these lands have been logged off two or three times and can bring a bigger return by selling as opposed to waiting 50-100 years for a new timber crop.  The money invested at 3% is probably a better deal than waiting for the timber.  Think of the cost of harvesting in 2060 when fuel is conservatively $5.00+/liter.
 
 As well, it is known that continuous mono cropping will not work over the long haul.  You can't plant corn or potatoes year after year in the same field and expect high yields.  Also, good forest managers know the future is not about clear cutting naturally propagated or large plantations.  Selective cutting which maintains something approaching old growth character and ecology will probably slowly be instituted over the next 100 years.   As the island populates the permissive attitude to wide open clear cutting and the problems it creates (fish, wildlife, drainage, erosion, silt loads, water quality and quantity, etc.,etc.) will find less acceptance.   We've already seen that some markets will not buy from clear cut operators.
 
Island tourism and retirement are marketed on the basis of a mythological Pacific Northwest existing up to the time of early settlement that the timber companies have transfigured into a semi industrial landscape.  To see the real thing we now have to go to parks and set-aside areas.  There are also niche markets for golf and gated communities.
 
The timber companies will probably want to move quickly to dispose of land for several reasons.  And in the process they will get very creative in inventing development concepts to move things along.
 
1.  TimberWest and Island timberlands in 2007/8 added real estate experts in timberland divestment to their executive ranks.  These people are experienced and helped the timber companies in the US southeast (Florida, Georgia, Texas) sell off their lands for development.
 
2. Emerging water supply issues on the Island underly  the need for urgency to divest.
 
3. Emerging fuel costs and climate change mitigate against further suburban and rural sprawl that current developers know how to do best.  This form of development yields the highest returns for raw forest land sales yields.  This type of development will not be allowed in more progressive jurisdictions in the near future.  Sprawl is simply not  a sustainable development form.  At some point it will not be an option.
 
4. As the baby boom, and baby boom echo, bubbles begin to diminish in about five years the North American real estate market for first, second, and third homes will contract.  This will be offset to some degree on Vancouver Island  by retirement  purchasing.
 
5.  The province currently has a business friendly government and has granted many concessions to the industry.  The industry will try to "make hay while the sun shines".
 
6. Real estate is easy money requiring no machines, infrastructure, or labour.
 
7.  The Coastal forest industry is not healthy.  It is increasingly reliant upon such controversial practices as hygrading for valuable species, more log exports, and asset sales.
 
Jeffrey Rubin, recently retired president of CIBC World Markets (the CIBC mergers and acquisition arm) in his book Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller:  Oil and the End of Globalization has said that sprawl will simply be an obsolete development form.  It will not be fashionable nor sustainable.  The cost of mobility will be too expensive to make this kind of development practical.  As well, sprawl requires very expensive utility networks that are inefficient, costly and make big footprints.   Current suburban tract developments will be the next ghettos with low rents and low incomes.  People with education and money won't stick around unless their property is unique or has special attributes, e.g. ocean frontage, that justify the higher taxes and operational costs.  Rural poverty has never ceased and seems poised to rise.
 
So what does all of this mean for the E&N.  I think a bigger and better E&N should not include additional suburban/rural sprawl but rather denser existing centres near stations.  Rail transit developments across North America, beginning with post war Toronto, have reinforced the wisdom of densifying existing residential and employment nodes around stations.The present proposal appears to be driven by the location of Island Timberlands "surplus" land and not efficient environmentally responsible development in the context of global warming  and fossil fuel consumption.
 
I think there may be areas held by the forestry companies that are appropriate to development be it  residential, commercial/industrial, recreational.  Cassidy is not one of them.
 
[i][/i]
Posted by: Firejackel Posted on: Jul 29th, 2009, 6:04pm
I see the development of a city center type area for Cassidy as a possible good idea with regard to the the expansion of the airport and connecting flight travel with rail travel. With Cassidy being "Nanaimo's airport" this would be an excellent place to make a connectin with the Dayliner. If Cassidy made this development near the airport and close to the rails, people could fly in from Vancouver do a little shopping or whatever while waiting for the train in the morning to Nanaimo north or in the afternoon to Ladysmith south.  
 
The current expansion of the airport will include an extension of the runway of 1600' giving a total length of 6600'. This extension will allow Cassidy airport to handle larger aircraft (CRJ's) with increased capacity of passsangers. Also, the additional lighting will increase landing capabilities during times of fog or reduced visibility (fewer diversions).
 
I know, coming from an islander who has moved to Calgary and flown home numerous times, how much of a pain it can be to fly into Cassidy. You, land in the middle of nowhere. Having a rail connection and an area to shop or wonder while waiting for a train or a plane is going to be a great benifit to the community.
 
John
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jul 29th, 2009, 11:15pm
Of course, until they grow a brain at Cassidy and put in IFR capability so that planes don't constantly have to divert to Victoria during the fall/winter/spring I think the flight/rail possibilities are largely nil.  but that's just IMO from someone whos had to drive to Victoria far too many times in the past and goes now flies only from Comox or Victoria.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 30th, 2009, 12:19am
Well I wouldn't dismiss the rail/airport idea right away. As the population grows and gets older, better connections between Nanaimo and the mainland (besides BC Ferries) will be needed. I will watch this with interest.
 
But on the other side of the coin, with all this talk of climate change and the economy, flying is being questioned more and more. Rail and faster passenger ferries will have to be looked at more seriously in the near future.
Posted by: timberland#7 Posted on: Jul 30th, 2009, 1:56am
I am all for a rail passenger conection with the airport, the more train passengers the better. One draw back is the train goes to Courtenay and Victoria were they already can land planes all year round. Wouldnt you also need alot of trains running to meet the scheduling of the flights.That said we dont need Island timberlands mega project just a station stop and a schedule that works.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jul 30th, 2009, 12:19pm
I'm all for a train stop at the airport.  It's a good fit.  Perhaps the Cassidy stop can be re-located or a new stop created opposite the airport.
 
I'm not for the creation of another town by the airport for all the reasons I previously wrote about.  Besides if the airport is expanded to accept regional jets and 737's who will want to live beside it - not many.
 
Plane travel will not be as universally available and used if one subscribes to peak oil which most experts now accept.  All travel in the future will be expensive, it's another opportunity for government to off load their historical responsibilities.  Government currently puts billions in highways, and this won't be transfered to railways.
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: Jul 30th, 2009, 2:06pm
on Jul 30th, 2009, 1:56am, timberland#7 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
One draw back is the train goes to Courtenay and Victoria were they already can land planes all year round.

 
Yes, but the train also runs through Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Duncan, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Parksville and Qualicum Beach where they can't.
Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Jul 30th, 2009, 8:48pm
Yes, but the train also runs through Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill, Duncan, Chemainus, Ladysmith, Parksville and Qualicum Beach where they can't.
 
That is a good point BCR4604
 A better thought out scheduale using the three rdc's based at different locations would be a good start.
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jul 30th, 2009, 9:31pm
I agree, I think our first priority should be existing stations in existing towns, then expand from there.
 
The Cassidy project is long term, and even then its only an idea.
 
Actually I have been working on some drawings for ideas at the stations in Victoria, Duncan and Nanaimo, when I am done I will either post them here or post them on the website (if its done).
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Aug 16th, 2009, 2:43am
The coal mine stuff marches on:
 
http://www.complianceenergy.com/news/press_releases/PDFs/090813_CEC_News_Release.pdf
 
"On August 12, 2009 BCEAO issued a Section 10 Order for the Comox JV’s Raven Underground Coal Project on Vancouver Island, BC. This Order is an acknowledgement by the British Columbia Government that the Raven Project is reviewable under the Environmental Reviewable Projects legislation and requires an environmental assessment certificate prior to obtaining mining permits.  
 
The Project Description outlines the Comox JV’s proposed underground coal mine with an annual clean coal production rate of up to 1.5 million tonnes over a projected mine life of 20 years. Since an underground mine development is being proposed, the surface footprint will be relatively small with the proposed surface structures consisting primarily of a coal preparation plant and related facilities, electric substation, and maintenance and administration buildings. Other infrastructure: the inland island highway, high voltage power lines, a railway, and gas pipeline are close at hand and the project would include short (2-4 kilometers) interconnections to each of these as required. "
 
There is more information in the linked PDF
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Aug 18th, 2009, 11:35pm
Comox Valley Echo had a "raft" of details about the coalmine in the area, including potential shipping points identified by the company at Gold River, Texada Island, Duke Point and Port Alberni.
 
http://www.canada.com/Coal+mine+will+need+full+environmental+assessment/1906221/story.html
Posted by: endivisioncrha Posted on: Aug 19th, 2009, 11:36pm
Have heard starting this Saturday the rail barge will deliver cars to the Island from now on instead of Mondays.
SVI will have a yard crew on hand to unload and load barge.
Posted by: CN7303 Posted on: Sep 5th, 2009, 7:54pm
Has anyone heard anything new about the barge slip under construction on Annacis Island? Or has someone over on the mainland actually laid a pair of eyeballs on it to verify if it is actually being built?
Posted by: andrewjoystick Posted on: Sep 5th, 2009, 8:38pm
I managed to get a glimpse of it last week when traveling over the Alex Fraser Bridge. From what I could see, the pile driving has been done and the roadbed for the track(s) leading to the slip has been done. As far as I can tell, all that's left is to build the actual ramp structure and lay the track(s) leading to it.
Posted by: CN7303 Posted on: Sep 6th, 2009, 2:51am
on Sep 5th, 2009, 8:38pm, andrewjoystick wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I managed to get a glimpse of it last week when traveling over the Alex Fraser Bridge. From what I could see, the pile driving has been done and the roadbed for the track(s) leading to the slip has been done. As far as I can tell, all that's left is to build the actual ramp structure and lay the track(s) leading to it.

 
 
Would it be possible to get any pictures at all? Or is the area pretty secluded?
Lol I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to areas around Vancouver.
Posted by: andrewjoystick Posted on: Sep 6th, 2009, 1:03pm
From what I could see, it is not easily accessible without trespassing. It is possible to get shots from the Alex Fraser Bridge's west sidewalk if anyone on the mainland feels up to walking or cycling onto the bridge.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Sep 15th, 2009, 9:12am
News of the Compliance Energy / Comox Joint Venture coal project marches on.
 
This was in the Globe and Mail yesterday:
 
<blockquote>
The Raven mine, expected to cost between $100-million and $150-million to build, would produce primarily metallurgical, or coking, coal for making steel.
 
According to a project description filed with the province, steel mills in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan would be the main customers for the mine's coking coal. Lower-value thermal coal would go to Asian customers and cement manufacturers in Canada and Washington State.
</blockquote>
Posted by: vanislrailway Posted on: Sep 15th, 2009, 4:19pm
Just Speculation but on the news last night they said the BC Government might not have the money to put into the blue bridge replacement in Victoria, wondering if that means the E&N will get a no for that project next.  All that money looks like it was spent in Vancouver and the areas around them.
Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Sep 15th, 2009, 8:50pm
well that sure doesn't suprise me.
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: Sep 17th, 2009, 12:51am
New power for the coal trains? All 412,000 lbs of it. Blank drawing of SD70ACe is by Michael Eby and is available on his website http://trainiax.net

Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Sep 17th, 2009, 9:40am
SD70 ace !! as a rail fan those are my favorite locomotive. I love the 70 mac and CN's SD75I!! Nice looking units, Have you had the chance to work with any of these locomotives?  
 
I love that paint scheme Tyler, Last time I was on the port sub I was looking at the track thinking about how it could be realigned to run these Locomotives. Unfortunatly a lot of work would have to be done to run those awsome Machines. But they would definatly be able to haul all that coal!
Posted by: MinionII Posted on: Sep 17th, 2009, 4:17pm
While on vacation my wife and me spent a night in Livingston. We had dinner at Montana's Steak & Chop House, which is right beside the MRL yard. While there, a long general merchandise fright with a few BNSF C44-9s on the front rolled in and stopped. After dinner, we went to the end of the yard where the front of the train was to get some pictures of the front end power. I didn't realize it, but they were tacking a few SD70s onto the rear of the train. After a few minutes, the train departed. After the racket of the front end locomotives diminished, we heard a huge racket coming up. The pushers must have been near full throttle, because it sounded and felt like the world was coming to an end. It was the best train experience on that trip.  
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: Sep 17th, 2009, 4:58pm
on Sep 17th, 2009, 9:40am, ENRFAN wrote:       (Click here for original message)
SD70 ace !! as a rail fan those are my favorite locomotive. I love the 70 mac and CN's SD75I!! Nice looking units, Have you had the chance to work with any of these locomotives?

 
I've run the DC traction version, the SD70M-2. Those things are beasts, loud and uncomfortable. Their saving grace, large cabs and can they ever pull. They'll out pull an older SD70I or SD75I.  
 
Quote:

I love that paint scheme Tyler, Last time I was on the port sub I was looking at the track thinking about how it could be realigned to run these Locomotives. Unfortunatly a lot of work would have to be done to run those awsome Machines. But they would definatly be able to haul all that coal!

 
Or my HO scale E&N Railfreight C40-8W.  
Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Sep 17th, 2009, 8:44pm
An HO scale C40-8W painted for the E&N?? thats cool do you have any pictures of it?
Posted by: bcr4604 Posted on: Sep 17th, 2009, 8:58pm
on Sep 17th, 2009, 8:44pm, ENRFAN wrote:       (Click here for original message)
An HO scale C40-8W painted for the E&N?? thats cool do you have any pictures of it?

 
I'm not finished painting it yet, will have photos in the model RR thread when it's finished.
Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Sep 17th, 2009, 9:47pm
Right on
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Oct 23rd, 2009, 9:13pm
Interesting update on the Compliance Energy Coal mine development near Bowser.
 
Here is a video done by a mining investment analyst (?) this summer:
 
http://resourceworldtv.com/video/d0aace61615ab26/Analyst-Site-Visit-Compliance-Energy-TSXV-CEC
 
And here's the latest progress report/Press Release from Compliance Energy.
http://www.complianceenergy.com/news/press_releases/PDFs/091020_CEC_News_Release.pdf  
 
Looks like their drilling has been pretty successful as far as proving the reserves they're hoping for.   You can see the exploratory drilling spots here:
http://www.complianceenergy.com/projects/raven_coal/exploration.shtml
 
Construction of the mine is currently on track for Q1 2011.
 
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Oct 29th, 2009, 11:27am

Here is today's Times Colonist article on route change proposal of the Dayliner:
 
 
 'Wrong way' rail may be righted
 
The E&N Rail Dayliner could soon be turned around -- starting up-Island in the morning and heading south from Nanaimo into Victoria for its first run of the day instead of the other way around.
 
"It's something we're definitely working on," said Graham Bruce, executive director of the Island Corridor Foundation, which owns the rail line. "There's a number of pieces to make this all work together. I think it's quite plausible."
 
Bruce said the change could take place as early as six months from now.
 
Currently, one 90-passenger car leaves Victoria each morning and travels to Courtenay before making a return trip at the end of the day. Islanders have complained for years that the train is going the wrong way and missing potential commuter traffic.
 
Both Bruce and View Royal Mayor Graham Hill, the capital region's representative on the Island Corridor Foundation, say turning the train around could be particularly attractive to residents in Cobble Hill and Shawnigan Lake. Hill said about 240 Department of National Defence employees live in Cobble Hill and could take the train to CFB Esquimalt.
 
"There's an uncertainty in some people's minds of how viable this is, but if you get people to vote with their backsides in seats to illustrate what the uptake could be, that may eliminate some of the uncertainty," Hill said.
 
Bruce said the foundation and its rail operator, South Island Rail, are in discussions with Dayliner operator Via Rail about the expanded service.
 
Foundation representative Doug Backhouse told Capital Regional District directors yesterday that plans are well underway to add a second passenger train to carry commuter traffic to downtown Victoria from Langford.
 
The idea would be to operate two trains out of Nanaimo. The first might leave at 6 a.m. for the capital region, then turn around for its trip to Courtenay.
 
A second train could leave Nanaimo shortly after that, carrying another load of people to the capital region, and then operate back and forth between Victoria's downtown and Langford over the course of the day before heading back to Nanaimo.
 
Both Backhouse and Bruce say there is potential for excursion rail as well, with one run possibly linking up with a new cruise-ship terminal in Nanaimo and taking people to Cameron Lake.
 
Funding is now in place for the $2.4-million restoration of Nanaimo's rail station, destroyed by fire two years ago.
 
Backhouse said the discovery of a significant coal deposit near Union Bay could bring significant commercial rail traffic between Union Bay and Port Alberni if mining begins. "That's very significant, because that provides a lot of the economic horsepower to sustain the rail corridor going forward."
 
bcleverley@tc.canwest.com
 
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Oct 29th, 2009, 7:56pm
I don't mean to be cynical here, but...
 
 
I know there's been talk of 1) having the Dayliner operate from the other direction, and 2) having a Victoria-Langford commuter run for a while now. But, is the ICF actually any closer to these goals? Or is this just a wishful-thinking?
 
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Oct 29th, 2009, 9:48pm
I would see this as a positive thing.
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Oct 30th, 2009, 12:09am
on Oct 29th, 2009, 9:48pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I would see this as a positive thing.

 
So would I
 
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: Oct 30th, 2009, 10:34am
Many on this board will remember that CP tried something like this in the middle 70s.  The Dayliner left Nanaimo for Parksville (no service north of Parksvile in those days) very early in the a.m., returning south for a late morning arrival in Victoria.  It then left Victoria in the late afternoon for the return trip to Nanaimo.  The service north of Nanaimo was pretty much useless, but in the core market between Nanaimo and Victoria it did provide a practical day-return service to Victoria.  Ridership--never high in those days--went down the toilet.  
 
With the highest population density on the Island, Victoria and environs provided (and probably still does provide) the largest and best potential market for rail passenger service.  So it has always made sense, from a marketing point of view, to ask, "What works for the Victoria market?" instead of "What works for the up-Island market?"  For years, what worked for the Victoria market was a day-return service based in Victoria.  
 
Having said that, this is welcome news.  Things have changed in the last 35 years--for one thing, the population all along the route of the E&N has grown dramatically, so the market everywhere is now bigger.  The potential Victoria market now includes people living as far north as the Cowichan Valley.  But the passenger service will always have to be focused on the needs of the largest population base on the Island.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Oct 30th, 2009, 1:31pm
I see the proposed scheduling changes as a great step forward.  However, this will all be dependent on VIA going along with things. Or perhaps, is it time to part ways with VIA as the operator.
 
The current VIA fares will ensure that any scheduling or service changes undertaken to increase ridership and provide convenience will fail.  I just looked up the >1week advance purchase fares for seniors from Cobble Hill to Nanaimo and return(134Km).  The best I can do is $75.80 per person. Taxes are included but tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable.  This boils down to $0.56.6 (56.6 cents) per passenger kilometer.  That is an absolutely atrocious fare and even at  a group rate would not be competitive with the full costs (depreciation, insurance, etc.) of operating a private auto.
 
VIA operates a tourist business and Vancouver Island needs a transportation business.  Unfortunately, our provincial government, for ideological reasons, only subsidizes transportation where it is forced to do so.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Oct 30th, 2009, 1:46pm
Lower fares  
 
Easier, local access to tickets.
 
Commuter discounts including train passes for commuters.  
 
 
Put these things together with more service and you have a chance.  
Otherwise you are just shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Oct 30th, 2009, 1:49pm
I just went to Via's site and got an advanced booking regular adult fare Cobble Hill -Nanaimo return for $42.
 
I would try again.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Oct 30th, 2009, 5:47pm
Sorry, my mistake, I put in for two seniors fares instead of one.  However, my argument still holds true, 28.3 cents/Km (senior rate) 31.3 cents (adult) is still very very high based on advance purchase fares of $37.80 and $42.00 respectively.  For seniors there appears to be no advance purchase incentive or savings.  
 
It should be noted that the HST will add about $2.52 to the seniors' fare.
   
The Greyhound fares for the same trip are as follows:
 
7 Day Advance Purchase    $27.50+GST
Non Refundable        $31.45+GST
Refundable Fare       $36.45+GST
 
Non advance purchase
 
Non Refundable Senior      $34.50+GST
Refundable Senior   $40.50+GST
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Oct 30th, 2009, 6:39pm
I find it interesting that the Greyhound is cheaper for seniors. In my experience, a student fair on the dayliner from Victoria to Nanaimo is cheaper than the Greyhound.
 
EDIT:
 
Just did a quick search on their respective websites.
 
Student fare:
 
Greyhound 20.39  Via 17.85
 
Seniors:  
 
Greyhound: 20.40  Via 18.40
 
That's using the economy supersaver fare, which is non refundable. Greyhound fares are also non refundable, unless you pay slightly more for a refundable ticket. In my experience, paying on board the train (or on board the bus), the train is still cheaper, although both train and bus are slightly more expensive if you pay at the time of departure.
Posted by: farronhill Posted on: Nov 12th, 2009, 4:36am
I thought some here might find it interesting to see some people's vision for our roundhouse, which they call a "decommissioned locomotive repair  facility":
 
http://www.livingroundhouse.info/
 
They won an award for this plan, but ... the turntable becomes a water cistern? etc.
 
Enjoy!
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 12th, 2009, 10:00pm
And they took out the passing siding?
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Nov 13th, 2009, 12:39am
unfortunately this idea won't happen, but it is interesting.  
Posted by: torch Posted on: Dec 29th, 2009, 1:26am
Sry's  new barge slip on Annacis island is  apparently  set to begin use after this week.   Hopefully this will be  a tool in imporoving freight traffic on the E&N.  Keep your eyes and senses peeled.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Dec 29th, 2009, 1:46pm
on Dec 29th, 2009, 1:26am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Sry's  new barge slip on Annacis island is  apparently  set to begin use after this week.   Hopefully this will be  a tool in imporoving freight traffic on the E&N.  Keep your eyes and senses peeled.  

I keep meaning to "stage a break down" on the Alex Fraser Bridge to get a good aerial photo of the slip.....
Posted by: torch Posted on: Dec 29th, 2009, 6:45pm
I know, huh! It looks like it may be  difficult to ever get  a  real good peek at it. Im wondering if its viewable from the  other side of the  river. Perhaps along river road near the Alex Fraser bridge?
Posted by: Brushcutter Posted on: Dec 29th, 2009, 9:13pm
There are walkways on both sides of the Alex Fraser bridge that I've used.  It is a bit of a hike from the southwest end of the bridge to where the good photo locations looking down on the slip are.  The hike south from the northwest end of the bridge is shorter but can be, let's say "unpleasant", if the wind is blowing from the sewage treatment plant.
 
To "stage a break down" would likely result in the right off of your vehicle or worse  given the way people drive the bridge especially if attempted during daylight when the slip is in use.
 
 
on Dec 29th, 2009, 1:46pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

I keep meaning to "stage a break down" on the Alex Fraser Bridge to get a good aerial photo of the slip.....
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Dec 29th, 2009, 11:38pm
on Dec 29th, 2009, 6:45pm, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I know, huh! It looks like it may be  difficult to ever get  a  real good peek at it. Im wondering if its viewable from the  other side of the  river. Perhaps along river road near the Alex Fraser bridge?

 
 
For all the times I've taken the 640 bus along river road, I have never actually seen the slip. I think that photographing the slip from ground level would involve some form of trespassing.
Posted by: cn8863 Posted on: Dec 30th, 2009, 12:11am
on Dec 29th, 2009, 11:38pm, CN7059 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
For all the times I've taken the 640 bus along river road, I have never actually seen the slip. I think that photographing the slip from ground level would involve some form of trespassing.

 
About as easy to see from River Rd as the Tilbury slip.
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Dec 30th, 2009, 12:14am
Maybe I'm looking in the wrong spot then. I'm not from the mainland, so I only have a rough idea of where these things are.
Posted by: mike_enr Posted on: Dec 30th, 2009, 12:58am
The site can be accessed at the south end of Derwent Place, shown with the circle on the photo. It looks like there is access to the barge slip site through a utility access path. I didn't walk through as it was an active construction site at the time, but I hope to head back as it looks like there would be access to take photos.
Posted by: torch Posted on: Dec 30th, 2009, 1:59am
From what I hear   tommorow (wed) is the last day that SRY switches the ex-bnsf  barge slip downtown van.  Then the change is made to the new slip.
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Dec 30th, 2009, 3:34am
on Dec 30th, 2009, 1:59am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
From what I hear   tommorow (wed) is the last day that SRY switches the ex-bnsf  barge slip downtown van.  Then the change is made to the new slip.  

The new slip can be seen VERY easily from River Rd in Delta.
Look behind the fish processing plant near the River Rd / Nordel intersection.
Posted by: torch Posted on: Jan 3rd, 2010, 3:35am
Today (as in sunday) is the first switch of the new annacis barge slip. From what I heard  this is traffic bound for e&n   .  Perhaps they have scuttled the nanaimo slip switch time around again? Anyhow, just giving you guys a heads up.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jan 13th, 2010, 1:04am
So apparently some pretty interesting information came out at last nights Council Meeting in Port Alberni.
 
A citizen came forward and asked Mayor and Council about the effect a coal handling facility would have on tourism prospects in the City.  
 
I asked the guy what he asked and how the Mayor responded (as I didn't actually see the meeting) and he said:
 
Quote:
[The Mayor] did say that he had been talking to one of the proponents of the mine trying to convince him that Port Alberni was the best port for the coal. He tought he had convinced this guy. I don't know if he actually had. He also mentioned that if the coal was trucked to Port it would mean 3 trucks an hour 24 hours a day. Yikes! Another enormously fat man got up and said he figured there would be one coal train a day. That doesn't sound too bad to me from a noise perspective. From a coal dust perspective, I have no idea. That's about it.

 
According to another another person who saw the meeting:
 
Quote:
[The Mayor] said he had met personally with the coal company with HFN and Tseshaht---yesterday was when he said the meeting took place and that they all agreed it would be in Port Alberni.
 
He spoke as if it was done deal.

 
And according to a member of the media who I chatted with about it...
 
Quote:

Wow, exciting stuff with the coal.  
 
Ken said it's just the start of the process, but after a meeting yesterday (Monday) that there was no doubt that the people want it shipped out of Port Alberni, the other options were duke point, texada and somewhere else. There should be some drilling happening soon under the assembly dock to see what it can handle. The ICF is having their 1st meeting on thursday to talk about upgrading the rail lines. If the coal was shipped by truck, there would be about 3 trucks/hour, 24/7, that's a heck of a lot of trucks. Sounds positive!

 
So there's your scuttlebutt for tonight!
 
Fingers Crossed
 
Question I have is... where's the "Assembly Dock".  My gut feeling is that it is some part of the Port Authority docks between the Marine Discovery Center (just south of Harbour Quay) and the Somass Mill.
Posted by: vanislrailway Posted on: Jan 23rd, 2010, 5:11pm
so who do you think will buy it and what do you think there plans will be?  Bay View wanted towers and the roundhouse to be a market, what will the next owners do?
Posted by: vanislrailway Posted on: Jan 28th, 2010, 4:07pm
Massive Bayview Residences project for sale in "billion-dollar" deal
Properties have attracted potential investors, Alberta developer says
By Carla Wilson, Times Colonist January 22, 2010
 
http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Massive+Bayview+Residences+project+sale+billion+dollar+deal/2471895/story.html [url][/url]
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Jan 28th, 2010, 4:54pm
I hope that any plans for this site DO NOT in anyway impinge on the railway.
Posted by: cn8863 Posted on: Jan 28th, 2010, 4:58pm
I have a sinking feeling the roundhouse will end up like the CPR roundhouse on False Creek. The old Drake St. roundhouse.
Posted by: missthealcos Posted on: Jan 29th, 2010, 3:31pm
on Jan 28th, 2010, 4:58pm, cn8863 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I have a sinking feeling the roundhouse will end up like the CPR roundhouse on False Creek. The old Drake St. roundhouse.

 
 
Yep, I think I'd count on it
Posted by: endivision Posted on: Feb 23rd, 2010, 12:44am
http://www2.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/story.html?id=793a962e-a1b3-4c17-9c45-d44ec672b914
Posted by: torch Posted on: Feb 23rd, 2010, 4:39am
I would assume its just the  SRY geeps powering this train.
Posted by: endivision Posted on: Feb 23rd, 2010, 7:02pm
on Feb 23rd, 2010, 4:39am, torch wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I would assume its just the  SRY geeps powering this train.

 
Yes, SVI geeps are the power ,and the coaches are from West Coast Rail Association from Squamish.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Feb 23rd, 2010, 7:21pm
In the future, the dinner train might be powered by #113 from Port Alberni or even the BC Forest Discovery Shay.  It would be nice to see some good rolling stock for this resident on the Island.
Posted by: CPR_9199 Posted on: Feb 24th, 2010, 3:53am
113 isn't in Port Alberni nor will it be for a long time.
 
Posted by: joncalon Posted on: Feb 25th, 2010, 9:39am
on Feb 23rd, 2010, 7:02pm, endivision wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Yes, SVI geeps are the power ,and the coaches are from West Coast Rail Association from Squamish.

 
Have to admit, the date chosen sucks big time for me.  If I didn't already have travel plans to Moose Jaw for that weekend, I would've booked a flight from Calgary and participated in the event!
 
I'm hoping there will be at least one or two of you taking pictures of the train and posting them here?
 
Jon
Posted by: vanislrailway Posted on: Mar 30th, 2010, 2:23pm
Rails to Trails to Roads....................   Really ^Y^
 
Plan to move Galloping Goose Trail draws squawks
 
Developer wants to reconfigure trail so part could be used as road
 
http://www.timescolonist.com/Plan+move+Galloping+Goose+Trail+draws+squawks/2742734/story.html [url][/url]
 
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Apr 24th, 2010, 11:51pm
on Feb 24th, 2010, 3:53am, CPR_9199 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
113 isn't in Port Alberni nor will it be for a long time.
Just read an article posted elsewhere debating your point.  
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Jun 17th, 2010, 4:28pm
Looks like we're loosing a key selling point of commuter rail, direct access to the downtown core.
 
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Victoria+told+Johnson+Street+Bridge+rail+crossing+find+funding+elsewhere/3166540/story.html
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Jun 17th, 2010, 5:30pm
on Jun 17th, 2010, 4:28pm, CN7059 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Looks like we're loosing a key selling point of commuter rail, direct access to the downtown core.
 
http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Victoria+told+Johnson+Street+Bridge+rail+crossing+find+funding+elsewhere/3166540/story.html

 
 
I knew this was going to happen!  
 
Now watch "them" want the E&N right of way immediately to the west of the Blue Bridge too.
 
If we lose the rail bridge, then we absolutely have to draw a line in the "sand" at the other side of the bridge... and I mean a few feet on the other side.  At least then the new station will only be a stone's throw from the old station.
 
It's vital that the railway does not get beaten back to the Round House area!!!
Posted by: endivision Posted on: Jun 17th, 2010, 6:57pm
CRD needs to put some cash into the railway and the Blue Bridge, just like they did when they approved the $22 million towards a bike trail beside the tracks, and ICF doesn't even get a penny for the use of its right of way,and not one cent went into the railway infrastructure.
Commuter Rail is all talk with politicians, no one has yet stepped up to the plate and put the money down!
 
on Jun 17th, 2010, 5:30pm, Speeder wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 
I knew this was going to happen!  
 
Now watch "them" want the E&N right of way immediately to the west of the Blue Bridge too.
 
If we lose the rail bridge, then we absolutely have to draw a line in the "sand" at the other side of the bridge... and I mean a few feet on the other side.  At least then the new station will only be a stone's throw from the old station.
 
It's vital that the railway does not get beaten back to the Round House area!!!

Posted by: Cody Posted on: Jul 4th, 2010, 10:54pm
I guess the positive side of things is that none of the politicians seem too eager to be seen as the short-sighted morons who eliminated the commuter rail option.   They might want the rail bridge gone, but they are looking for a way to blame someone else (the feds need to pay for it yada yada yada etc etc)  If the legacy of Dean Forton's team is to build a majestic new bridge, they must also in the back of their minds be considering that they may first and foremost be remembered as the fools who cut the rail link short.      
 
Does anyone actually believe that commuter rail is not in the future?     It may be 20 years off, but it is coming for sure in my mind.    It makes too much obvious sense.     Half a million people traffic-jammed in rapid busses and Prius's does not really seem as logical in the long term.
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Aug 9th, 2010, 7:29pm
Here is an example of everyone working together on funding:
 
 
 
Feds, province commit $30 million to short line railway
 
By: Northern Ontario Business staff
 
 
Ottawa has come through with some much-needed cash for track improvements to keep the Huron Central Railway rolling.  
 
Sault Ste. Marie MP Tony Martin has confirmed from federal Transportation Minister John Baird that $15 million earmarked for the northeastern Ontario short line railway is on its way.
 
For the second consecutive year, communities along the North Shore of Lake Huron and industrial shippers such as Essar Steel Algoma and Domtar were facing a looming Aug. 15 deadline to keep the railroad open.  
 
“I was told (Aug. 5) by phone (that) the federal government will honour its commitment, they are aware of the August 15 deadline for the expiry of the current agreement and that the details are being worked out,” said Martin in a news release.
 
Ottawa's funding commitment releases a matching $15 million previously set aside by the Ontario government for the Huron Central to make repairs and upgrades to track beds and bridges along the 305-kilometre-long Sault Ste. Marie-to-Sudbury line.
 
“The only really complicated issue here has been getting Ottawa and Ontario on the same page at the same time and I congratulate the federal government for making this good investment,” said Martin.
 
Area municipalities, alongside Martin and his New Democrat colleagues Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing and Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault, had been pressing Baird to honour his earlier funding promise.
 
Hughes said having a viable short line railway in place keeps extra transport trucks off the Trans-Canada Highway.
 
“Businesses can breathe a sigh of relief and equally as important communities can be reassured that our roads won't be subjected to more transports which would have increased the risk of accidents.”
 
Last year, Ottawa and Queen's Park teamed up to funnel $3 million as a stop-gap measure to the Huron Central after the Montreal-based carrier announced it was pulling service from Sault Ste. Marie and Espanola because of declining freight volumes and deteriorating track conditions. The railroad agreed to a one-year temporary service agreement which included undisclosed commitments from Essar and Domtar
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Aug 24th, 2010, 4:10pm
$30 million for over 200 miles of railway so I guess its real easy to justify $110 million for the 100 or so miles of the Island railway.  
 
BTW what is it called now that the E & N doesn't exist?
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Aug 24th, 2010, 7:15pm
I always enjoy your positive statements
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Aug 24th, 2010, 8:55pm
on Aug 24th, 2010, 4:10pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
$30 million for over 200 miles of railway so I guess its real easy to justify $110 million for the 100 or so miles of the Island railway.  
 
BTW what is it called now that the E & N doesn't exist?

 
Check your facts Garrett.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huron_Central_Railway
http://www.islandrail.ca/?page_id=132
 
Huron Central is 305km (190mi), Island Rail is 289km (180mi)
 
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Aug 24th, 2010, 9:14pm
on Aug 24th, 2010, 8:55pm, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Check your facts Garrett.
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huron_Central_Railway
http://www.islandrail.ca/?page_id=132
 
Huron Central is 305km (190mi), Island Rail is 289km (180mi)
 

This is exactly how people get the wrong ideas about our railway, if you want to bash make sure you have your facts straight, otherwise  
 
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Aug 24th, 2010, 9:44pm
on Aug 24th, 2010, 9:14pm, 95XXX wrote:       (Click here for original message)

This is exactly how people get the wrong ideas about our railway, if you want to bash make sure you have your facts straight, otherwise  
 

 
Indeed.  Nothing bugs me more than not dealing with facts, no matter what the issue.
 
Another salient fact to Garrett's point...  
 
The $110 Million for the Island railway would most likely be split three ways between the Province, ICF/SRY and Feds, just as the $30 million for the Huron Central line was split between Ontario and the Feds.  So actual cost to each would be closer to $36 million vs. $15 million for the Huron Line which is in a lot better shape and is getting much less extensive upgrades than what the ICF is asking for.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Aug 24th, 2010, 11:24pm
Chris you can butt kiss the ICF all you want but that still ain't going to get them money. As an aside I rounded off the length of the railroad and you are making much ado about 10 effing miles.  
 
The ICF does not need to upgrade to the standards they are looking for as all they have to do is fix the bridges and get underway. 39 foot bolted rail is quite sufficient for the island and its speed restrictions.  
 
Name me all the railroad expertise on the ICF board please as I think they are both politically and opportunistically inept. Otherwise they wouldn't have paid so much for their position the appointed you to as I think you are way overpaid.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Aug 24th, 2010, 11:32pm
Actually you were off by 80 miles.
 
But you know, whatever.  Why bother with you.
Posted by: CroftonSpur88 Posted on: Aug 25th, 2010, 12:49am
LOL yeah Dennis, we've known for years from when you haunted the Yahoo board with this rubbish(which, funny enough, is when the post count started to go down the toilet) that you don't think the E&N is viable. Unless, of course,  it has something to do with some steam engine relic running on it then all of a sudden all it's problems are solved...
 
SRY consistantly tells us that upgrades are needed to bring traffic back on line.  Not only to keep the infrastructure workable but also to display to potential shippers that the railway is here to stay. Dennis Washington didn't build an empire by making unwise business decisions. The fact that he's even involved on the Island shows that the line is saveable and has the potential to be a money making operation. But then again, what the hell does he know about running a railroad    
 
Then again, some people find it easier to be pessimistic and crap all over an idea. Saves them the trouble of having to think creatively, and outside the box.
 
But, although I've never agreed with Dennis, he has a right to his opinion, and at least it's in the appropiate thread. Dennis has ranting down to a fine science  
Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Aug 25th, 2010, 12:50am
i'am going to agree with Mr. Owner on this one. i don't believe that the whole ICF board is really interested in the rail line. I think that alot of it is for show and political reasons. If the said municipalities and other members cared then why not chip some money into the railway's maitence. What about all the money spent on the trails along the railway?? holy cow thats alot of money. Ive tried to contact the ICF and offered my volunteer time to do my part. I take my railroad hobby seriously and enjoy the research. They told me the best thing I could do was sign a pettion. We all know how well those work.  
 
The whole line could see more traffic with some smaller scale improvements. (mainly bridge upgrades.) the ICF staff really doesn't know much about rail movements other than what they have been told by "profesionals" with out passion where is the motivation. I can't see why the railroad can't handle more freight traffic in the past two years I have seen alot of new customers thanks to SRY being inovative with the exsisting infastructure.  
 
The ICF has however been pretty good with bringing the E&N into the frontgound. They also did a great job in ropeing the SRY into handleing rail operations.
 
thats my rant.
Posted by: endivision Posted on: Aug 26th, 2010, 2:21am
Speaking of the bridge replacement, I heard that the old bridge which could be reused went to a scrapper,now why would they ship it to a scrapper when it could maybe be reused elsewhere on the E&N,does not make sense,I hope the ICF reclaims it for reuse.
 
on Aug 25th, 2010, 12:50am, ENRFAN wrote:       (Click here for original message)
i'am going to agree with Mr. Owner on this one. i don't believe that the whole ICF board is really interested in the rail line. I think that alot of it is for show and political reasons. If the said municipalities and other members cared then why not chip some money into the railway's maitence. What about all the money spent on the trails along the railway?? holy cow thats alot of money. Ive tried to contact the ICF and offered my volunteer time to do my part. I take my railroad hobby seriously and enjoy the research. They told me the best thing I could do was sign a pettion. We all know how well those work.  
 
The whole line could see more traffic with some smaller scale improvements. (mainly bridge upgrades.) the ICF staff really doesn't know much about rail movements other than what they have been told by "profesionals" with out passion where is the motivation. I can't see why the railroad can't handle more freight traffic in the past two years I have seen alot of new customers thanks to SRY being inovative with the exsisting infastructure.  
 
The ICF has however been pretty good with bringing the E&N into the frontgound. They also did a great job in ropeing the SRY into handleing rail operations.
 
thats my rant.

Posted by: joncalon Posted on: Aug 26th, 2010, 9:06am
on Aug 26th, 2010, 2:21am, endivision wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Speaking of the bridge replacement, I heard that the old bridge which could be reused went to a scrapper,now why would they ship it to a scrapper when it could maybe be reused elsewhere on the E&N,does not make sense,I hope the ICF reclaims it for reuse.
 

 
Bridges usually end up going to the scrapper because they're always built for specific circumstances.  If they're re-used it's because those specific circumstances are located elsewhere.
 
In this case, the bridges on the E&N are likely all needing foundation work instead of deck replacement...
 
Jon
Posted by: cycledude Posted on: Aug 31st, 2010, 1:45pm
Rumour has it these will be in place as we speak:
 
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: Aug 31st, 2010, 5:55pm
A pity they couldn't have been shipped by rail!  
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Sep 1st, 2010, 1:14am
on Aug 31st, 2010, 1:45pm, cycledude wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Rumour has it these will be in place as we speak:
 

 
In place now (see my other post). From what I can see, those (re-enforced) concrete girders are for the cycle path bridge. The new rail bridge (now also in place) is traditional steel girder.... (or at least that's how it appears now).  
Posted by: andrewjoystick Posted on: Sep 4th, 2010, 11:03pm
Just heard that SRY employees voted 96% in favour of going on strike yesterday. I'm not sure if SVI employees are included in that or not but a lack of rail service at the Annacis barge slip could definitely mess things up on the Island.
Posted by: ENRFAN Posted on: Sep 5th, 2010, 1:09am
that sucks. damn unions.
Posted by: cn2220 Posted on: Sep 5th, 2010, 1:15am
SRY and SVI are different unions and work under different collective agreements. SRY are CUPE, SVI is teamsters(TCRC). I'm sure SRY will find scabs to run some trains though and they could always have CP run out to Tilbury.
 
I will say this, I want no union/company politics on this board. This is not the place.
Posted by: thehighwayman Posted on: Sep 5th, 2010, 1:44am
on Sep 5th, 2010, 1:15am, cn2220 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

I will say this, I want no union/company politics on this board. This is not the place.

 
Amen!
 
Will
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Sep 6th, 2010, 1:04am
on Sep 5th, 2010, 1:15am, cn2220 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
... scabs....
 
I will say this, I want no union/company politics on this board. This is not the place.

 
 
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Sep 6th, 2010, 3:13am
on Sep 6th, 2010, 1:04am, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 

 
I see your point, but in Tyler's defence, scab is a fairly common term that can be used without derision.
 
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/scabs
Posted by: cycledude Posted on: Sep 12th, 2010, 2:56pm
Rumour has it I won't be cycling thru Dunsmuir's Cut in this lifetime.  
 
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Sep 12th, 2010, 8:49pm
on Sep 12th, 2010, 2:56pm, cycledude wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Rumour has it I won't be cycling thru Dunsmuir's Cut in this lifetime.  
 

 
Where exactly is "Dunsmuir's Cut"? Is it on the curve just past the 4 Mile bridge (heading towards Helmcken)?
Posted by: cycledude Posted on: Sep 14th, 2010, 11:54am
Affirmative. M4.1 to be exact.
Posted by: CPRail4744 Posted on: Sep 14th, 2010, 11:42pm
Nice "Then and Now" pair of pics!
Posted by: vanislrailway Posted on: Oct 1st, 2010, 7:35pm
Just was reading on the CBC news Gordo said Langly a sky train route and Victoria gets rapid buss transit.   http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/10/01/bc-campbell-ubcm.html [url][/url]
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Oct 1st, 2010, 11:55pm
on Oct 1st, 2010, 7:35pm, vanislrailway wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Just was reading on the CBC news Gordo said Langly a sky train route and Victoria gets rapid buss transit.   http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2010/10/01/bc-campbell-ubcm.html [url][/url]

 
Yet they could probably do both with heavy and/or light rail for 1/3 the cost.  But no.... gotta pander to the entrenched interests.
Posted by: CPR_9199 Posted on: Oct 4th, 2010, 4:34pm
Why use rail when translink gives the liberal government the biggest bribes in the province?
Posted by: CN4019 Posted on: Oct 4th, 2010, 6:45pm
on Oct 4th, 2010, 4:34pm, CPR_9199 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Why use rail when translink gives the liberal government the biggest bribes in the province?

 
 
You mean you didn't know that it's the Province of Vancouver? I thought everyone knew that anything outside of the lower mainland no longer exists.
Posted by: cycledude Posted on: Oct 13th, 2010, 12:11pm
Rumour has it there's a new station shelter at Admirals Road Xing.
 
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Oct 30th, 2010, 3:16pm
I am not sure if this is news or speculation but is is the link for ICF's application for "Funding Submission for Essential Safety Upgrades & Repairs to the Vancouver Island Rail Corridor".
 
 
http://www.islandrail.ca/2010/10/26/nanaimo-victoria-service-plan-announced/svi-infrastructure_twatts-submission-oct-15/
 
It's interesting reading.
 
 
Don
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Nov 24th, 2010, 1:06am
http://www.islandrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/SVI-Infrastructure_TWatts-Submission-Oct-15.pdf
Posted by: MinionII Posted on: Nov 24th, 2010, 1:44am
on Nov 24th, 2010, 1:06am, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
http://www.islandrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/SVI-Infrastructure_TWatts-Submission-Oct-15.pdf

 
Page not found for me...
Posted by: Piglet Posted on: Nov 26th, 2010, 3:35am
I might be wrong but I did see two TTX pole cars westbound through Edmonton around noon on the 25th so I hope they are headed for Royston.
Posted by: tfctrains Posted on: Nov 26th, 2010, 11:29am
on Nov 26th, 2010, 3:35am, Piglet wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I might be wrong but I did see two TTX pole cars westbound through Edmonton around noon on the 25th so I hope they are headed for Royston.

Sounds good, I wonder if they will be on the barge on Monday, we are only seeing loaded cars leaving Royston every 2 weeks. It would be great to see more cars available, there are hundreds of poles in each pole yard that could be shipped if the cars were or are available.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Dec 5th, 2010, 12:18pm
on Nov 24th, 2010, 1:44am, MinionII wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Page not found for me...
Isn't that funny? Send a couple of questions to them about questions you have and the presentation disappears. I didn't think my questions were unanswerable either. Strange, very very strange.  
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Dec 5th, 2010, 6:49pm
The link does work, but for some reason the link from this forum wont directly connect to the pdf file.
Posted by: CN7059 Posted on: Dec 5th, 2010, 8:57pm
on Dec 5th, 2010, 6:49pm, Coastrail wrote:       (Click here for original message)
The link does work, but for some reason the link from this forum wont directly connect to the pdf file.

 
The server might be checking the referrer before allowing access. Try copying the link and pasting it into the address bar manually.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Dec 5th, 2010, 9:43pm
It's always dangerous to link directly to files on the web, because filenames can easily be changed rendering the direct link useless even though the file itself is there.  Not a big surprise that the filename has changed considering the old one had "thingy" in it
 
 
URLs on the other hand, rarely change because web blogging/content software makes it more difficult to do so (for good reason, consistency, etc)
 
Here is the proper webpage with the link (poor web design hard to tell it's actually a iink to a file).... it's the words right above the feedback form:
http://www.islandrail.ca/2010/10/26/nanaimo-victoria-service-plan-announced/svi-infrastructure_twatts-submission-oct-15/
 
And here is the VIA Rail Potential Report
http://www.islandrail.ca/2010/10/26/nanaimo-victoria-service-plan-announced/via-final-report-oct-25-2/
Posted by: MinionII Posted on: Dec 6th, 2010, 12:00am
I must be special...I still get a page not found error...
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Dec 6th, 2010, 12:14am
on Dec 6th, 2010, 12:00am, MinionII wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I must be special...I still get a page not found error...

 
For the link I posted or on the Island Rail website itself?
 
If its for the link I posted just go to the main website www.islandrail.ca
 
click on "Continue Reading NANAIMO-VICTORIA SERVICE PLAN ANNOUNCED"
 
and then scroll down about 3/4 of the way down the page and you will find the links to:
 
"Funding Submission for Upgrades and Repairs
 
Report on VIA Service Potential"
 
each will take you to the page with the links to the actual documents. (again, horrible web design)
 
They are PDF documents so make sure you have Adobe Acrobat.  If you still have trouble just email me and I'll attach the documents to  an email for you.
 
chrisale@gmail.com
Posted by: Cabguy Posted on: Dec 6th, 2010, 12:29am
People will have heart attacks if they think they will have to buy Adobe Acrobat for this Chris. The free Adobe Reader should work just fine.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Dec 6th, 2010, 1:15am
on Dec 6th, 2010, 12:29am, Cabguy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
People will have heart attacks if they think they will have to buy Adobe Acrobat for this Chris. The free Adobe Reader should work just fine.

 
lol.  yes thats what meant.
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Feb 12th, 2011, 1:52pm
was down at Wellcox today.  This sign is posted on the fence along the road above the yard.  53 acres is a lot of ground.  Anyone have any information on exactly what is for sale?  
Posted by: Brakeman302 Posted on: Feb 12th, 2011, 2:53pm
I heard that it's all up for sale and it is C.P that is selling it. Don't quote me on that being the absolute truth. Just heard bits and pieces from different people.
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Feb 12th, 2011, 3:20pm
I would assume it is a chunck of this land...
 
http://maps.nanaimo.ca/data/property/696420020916115012200000.html
 
it mainly consists of the Wharfs and paved area
 
 
here is the Railroad's if anyone is interested
 
http://maps.nanaimo.ca/data/property/046620020813112941930000.html
 
Posted by: Speeder Posted on: Feb 12th, 2011, 3:27pm
53 acres is a lot, but Wellcox is much bigger then 53 acres. I'm guessing, but it's likely that the parts for sale are the waterfront areas in the (unused) south east section.
 
As for ALL of Wellcox being up for sale... is that really very likely? Considering that this "minor" unannounced piece of news would put the kibosh on any future plans for the whole railway. Including the application for moving the Dayliner terminal from Victoria to Wellcox.
 
Anyway, one way to find out is to phone up the real estate guy listed and ask him exactly what is for sale.
Posted by: SRY1202 Posted on: Feb 28th, 2011, 11:43am
Anyone have any thoughts on the new leader of the Liberals? Is there any glimmer of hope from having Christy Clark as the new Premier, or do the chances of the ICF getting any cashola still remain slim to none?
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: Feb 28th, 2011, 4:16pm
The real question now is who will be the next Minister of Finance?  Could well be Kevin Falcon, which suggests that things might not change very much.
Posted by: SRY1202 Posted on: Mar 15th, 2011, 1:31am
Turns out Falcon did end up as the Finance Minister. I think our only saving grace is that Blair Lekstrom was made the Minister of Transportation, he is probably one of the only Liberals that you could actually trust.
Posted by: Dayliner Posted on: Mar 15th, 2011, 6:28pm
True, but remember that in BC, "transportation" is a synonym for "highways".
Posted by: vicguy Posted on: Mar 27th, 2011, 8:53pm
I stopped by Wellcox Yard today and was surprised to see this transload track being used again. The 3 cars were CN and there was 2 more empties in the string of cars to go to the mainland so I guess this has been going on for awhile. Anybody know what's being unloaded and for whom? Nice to see another new customer.
 
Posted by: Damien Posted on: Mar 27th, 2011, 11:11pm
Nice pic Chris  
 
I haven't been able to get up that way in some time. It's good to see that SRVI is still busy acquiring new or old transload customers in the yard. It makes you wonder how many additional customers might exist if the ROW was up to standard. Does anyone know who the cars are for?
Posted by: enr3004 Posted on: Apr 6th, 2011, 12:15am
Look like the same cars that were going to Dunsmuir for the fertilizer?
Posted by: endivision Posted on: May 25th, 2011, 10:07pm

News Story on ICF
http://www.bclocalnews.com/news/122621904.html
Posted by: IHGB Posted on: Jun 17th, 2011, 1:36pm
Track is being removed in Courtenay today  on the old CP transport siding.
They said the rail trail was going BESIDE the tracks not ON the railbed.
 
I guess more icf smoke and mirrors is at work.
Posted by: emilydm Posted on: Jun 28th, 2011, 1:46pm
So this happened on the mainland this morning - http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Barge+crashes+into+Westminster+train+bridge+closing+rail+link/5017176/story.html . This means no rail traffic can get on or off Annacis Island where SRY's barge slip is, for quite a while. Will they have to go back to using Tilbury?
Posted by: SRY1202 Posted on: Jun 28th, 2011, 2:23pm
on Jun 28th, 2011, 1:46pm, emilydm wrote:       (Click here for original message)
So this happened on the mainland this morning - http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Barge+crashes+into+Westminster+train+bridge+closing+rail+link/5017176/story.html . This means no rail traffic can get on or off Annacis Island where SRY's barge slip is, for quite a while. Will they have to go back to using Tilbury?

 
 
Maybe the old BN slip downtown if it's still there. I haven't been to Vancouver in a while, but I'm sure they've got their options. I also can't see the Rail companies letting that bridge be out of service for too long. Too much money involved no to fix it quickly.
Posted by: cn2220 Posted on: Jun 28th, 2011, 3:31pm
The slip at Tilbury is still there. AFAIK the old BNSF slip downtown isn't compatible with the rail ferries that service the E&N.
Posted by: grobrailman Posted on: Jun 29th, 2011, 8:56am
Christy came through with 7.5 million dollars "promised" by the provinical government.....a step in the right direction...from a provincial Liberal.....I hope the Federal Conservatives will match this 7.5 million...I would say the chances are very good.
 
Gord.
Posted by: Piglet Posted on: Aug 2nd, 2011, 1:54am
Not sure its headed for the island but I did see a blue pole car rolling west through Edmonton while I was putting my set together at work this afternoon so we could see one coming over soon I would hope.
Posted by: vanislrailway Posted on: Sep 29th, 2011, 12:40pm
Well the vultures are flying around looking to make the line a rail-trail for bikes.  I know they have the trail on one side already but they could brag they have a double lane two ways then.
Take pictures guys.  Even one day if the line gets fixed we can show how bad it really got.  
Posted by: CPR_9199 Posted on: Sep 30th, 2011, 3:17am
They can shut down our railway when they pry it from our cold,dead hands!
Posted by: blackdog1 Posted on: Sep 30th, 2011, 7:27am
on Sep 30th, 2011, 3:17am, CPR_9199 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
They can shut down our railway when they pry it from our cold,dead hands!

 
Rhetoric is all very well but is anyone actually DOING anything? Like REALLY trying to get info out of the ICF? Does Canada have a Freedom of Information Act?
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Oct 1st, 2011, 2:14am
I don't know that there is any requirement for the ICF to publish anything.
 
Checking the Canada Corporations Act Part II
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/cd-dgc.nsf/eng/cs02167.html
 
Quote:

All corporations, both large and small, must hold at least one annual meeting of members every calendar year and not more than 15 months after its previous annual meeting1

 
So who are members of the ICF exactly?  All of us on Vancouver Island?  Or only the directors/communities involved?
 
because...
 
Quote:

Each corporation is required to prepare annual financial statements for examination by the auditor. These statements will be presented to the members at the annual meeting along with the report of the auditor.

 
If the public is not a member, then it has no automatic access to the financial statements unless it is in the ICF Charter or Letters Patent or something of that sort which they do not seem to be required to show off.
 
Quote:
Record Keeping
 
The corporation is to keep the following records in the custody of the secretary or another officer specially charged with that duty (sections 109 and 112 of the CCA):
 
a copy of the Letters Patent, any Supplementary Letters Patent and all by-laws of the corporation;
the names of all persons who are or have been members;
the address and occupation of each such person while he/she is a member, as far as can be ascertained;
the names, addresses and occupations of all persons who are or have been directors, and the dates upon which each became or ceased to be a director; and
minutes of all members' and directors' meetings.
The corporation is also required to keep adequate accounting records at its head office

 
Posted by: Piglet Posted on: Jan 2nd, 2012, 3:53am
Just sitting here watching a vid on last runs on the island.  It was interesting that on the day of the last trip on the CN to tidewater, the CP freight from Victoria passed north bound as the GMD1 sat on the line above it.  What I found interesting were over 4 boxcars and at least 3 tank cars plus caboose (those were the days).  One wonders what businesses that used to receive their shipments by rail were represented by that train and when did they stop their rail service.  Just an interesting series of thoughts as we start the year.
Posted by: vanislrailway Posted on: Jan 4th, 2012, 2:44am
Well it was a rumor but I checked it out and it is true.  The Roundhouse is being cleaned out and I guess stuff has been chucked and trucked.  What they did save I guess is in storage somewhere but I was told a lot got chucked from the old stuff that was no good to them but would have been good for a museum or collection.
Posted by: bigcreekcowboy Posted on: Jan 5th, 2012, 2:56pm
OK my turn for a rant. This rant is aimed directly at several members of this forum. I live in the Interior and I am on the outside looking in but I still have a fascination with the railways of Vancouver Island. I also have a few opinions.  
 
The E&N is in great peril and the biggest threat now is that, from what I can see, there are three factions fighting for power. So much energy gets wasted on all this infighting. The next biggest threat are the dreamers. I have dreams too. But it is going to take a thousand small steps to get there, not one giant leap. The first priority must be making the track passable, not a complete rebuild. Just fix up the track enough to get the Budds back. Then start finding customers. If the freight can not be found the railway will not survive. If industry can not be found along the tracks, land must be saved from development for rail/truck facilities. As each new customer is found there will be a little more income that can be invested in rebuilding. Heavy rail and commuter trains are a dream. The population and the need is questionable. How can we expect politicians to take rail seriously when we have cries for millions and millions of dollars in a time of fiscal cutting by all levels of government? It is easier to ask for money when there are solid examples of success that however small can be shown. An avalanche often starts with a single snowball
 
One more request. Please keep discussions on topic. Now the infighting has spilled on to another topic for videos and pictures. It is frustrating to try and do research and have to sift through infighting of various members. I am now going to sit back and await the blasting from various individuals on this forum. However, I can feel better now that I've said my word and hopefully a few will agree.
Posted by: thehighwayman Posted on: Jan 5th, 2012, 3:07pm
on Jan 5th, 2012, 2:56pm, bigcreekcowboy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
OK my turn for a rant. This rant is aimed directly at several members of this forum. I live in the Interior and I am on the outside looking in but I still have a fascination with the railways of Vancouver Island. I also have a few opinions.  
 
The E&N is in great peril and the biggest threat now is that, from what I can see, there are three factions fighting for power. So much energy gets wasted on all this infighting. The next biggest threat are the dreamers. I have dreams too. But it is going to take a thousand small steps to get there, not one giant leap. The first priority must be making the track passable, not a complete rebuild. Just fix up the track enough to get the Budds back. Then start finding customers. If the freight can not be found the railway will not survive. If industry can not be found along the tracks, land must be saved from development for rail/truck facilities. As each new customer is found there will be a little more income that can be invested in rebuilding. Heavy rail and commuter trains are a dream. The population and the need is questionable. How can we expect politicians to take rail seriously when we have cries for millions and millions of dollars in a time of fiscal cutting by all levels of government? It is easier to ask for money when there are solid examples of success that however small can be shown. An avalanche often starts with a single snowball
 
One more request. Please keep discussions on topic. Now the infighting has spilled on to another topic for videos and pictures. It is frustrating to try and do research and have to sift through infighting of various members. I am now going to sit back and await the blasting from various individuals on this forum. However, I can feel better now that I've said my word and hopefully a few will agree.

 
Well said!!!
I live in Ontario these days, but the E&N is still near and dear to my heart, having grown up around Hayward Junction and Duncan.
Your comments are right on the mark!
 
Will
Posted by: B_Winkler Posted on: Jan 6th, 2012, 10:39am
I live in Nanaimo, love the E&N, have posted many pics here.
 
I dont visit this forum very often any more because of the same sniping and infighting.  Life is too short to try and follow it.  
 
Bob Winkler
Nanaimo, BC
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Jan 8th, 2012, 2:34pm
Bravo Big Creek Cowboy! What you wrote echoes my sentiments well.  
 
As I see it though, no one in political or financial circles wants to spend the  money needed to keep the E&N alive as a railway. Decades of deferred maintenance have reduced the line to a pitiable state and the money to fix it is now a political 'hot potato'.  
 
I can't help but wonder what damage was done by the ICF wanting $103.8 million initially for things like continuous welded rail "throughout" the line when they could apparently get by with $15 million. Can't be good for credibility.    
 
Why can't they just spend the minimum amount necessary to bring the line back to an acceptable standard? Whats called "Relay rail (and ties, suitable to be relaid where necessary)" are a cheap alternative to SRY's preferred yellow cedar ties and new rail. Lets get on with saving the railway before the opportunity passes.  
There will always be skeptics, (some are even on this board) and we all have different opinions on which direction the ICF and SRY should go in future. But the time to work together to save the line is now.
 
Posted by: grobrailman Posted on: Jan 9th, 2012, 4:37pm
Well said, thanks....."time to work together".
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jan 9th, 2012, 6:23pm
On a positive note, I was across from the Nanaimo station today and it is looking really fantastic. The outside patio area even has ports for the Dayliners to let off its passengers.   It will be truly first class.
 
I wasn't there long enough to get a pic sorry... But it's a great example of staying positive and getting things done.
 
On another note.   There is heavy fish traffic these days from the plant in Ucluelet and off the ships in Port Alberni.  Didn't someone say once that RA shipped fished out of Alberni?
Posted by: don432001 Posted on: Jan 17th, 2012, 7:05pm
It's always interesting when other regions receive funds for railways improvements and the E&N continues along as usual.
 
 
Port of Saguenay
17 January 2012
Saguenay, Quebec
 
The Government is committed to supporting initiatives that improve trade while fostering economic growth and employment. To this end, the federal government announced that it would provide up to $15 million over two years to support the construction of a rail link and intermodal rail yard at the Port of Saguenay in Saguenay, Quebec. The project is expected to be completed by March 31, 2014.  
The project will help improve the performance, capacity and competitiveness of maritime facilities, in addition to facilitating interprovincial and international trade and improving the competitiveness of Quebec and Canada. It will also foster investment, economic growth and job creation, and increase the competitiveness of Northern Quebec businesses by providing them with transport options that reduce their environmental impact. According to the Port of Saguenay authorities, the improvements are anticipated to generate 125 jobs.
 
The improvements to the Port’s infrastructure – funded in part through Transport Canada’s Gateways and Border Crossings Fund – will help advance the flow of goods.  The Fund supports transport infrastructure projects in order to develop and exploit Canada’s strategic gateways, trade corridors and border crossings.
 
These improvements also support Canada’s Continental Gateway initiative, which aims to create a transport system that is viable, integrated and globally competitive in terms of international trade in order to support economic growth in Quebec, Ontario, and throughout Canada.
 
The project, which is estimated to cost $36 million, consists of the construction of a 12.5-kilometre rail link from the Roberval & Saguenay Railway line to the Port of Saguenay. The project will also include the construction of an intermodal rail yard at the port, including storage and handling areas, as well as railway tracks needed for transit operations.
 
 
Posted by: SRY 128 Posted on: Jan 18th, 2012, 11:23am
Why cant this be the E+N...
 
The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society was started by a group of devoted preservationists who, in 1992, banded together and proposed to fix and operate a short section of the former New York Central line from Thendara south to Minnehaha. New York State approved the four mile demonstration and on July 4, 1992, the Adirondack Centennial Railroad ran its first train. With a positive response from the public, New York State allowed the railroad to operate again in 1993. In July of 1994 the Adirondack Centennial Railroad became the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, and New York State has extended the permission to run each year since.
 
With the support of individuals, corporate and foundation sponsorships, and large measures of support from government leaders, we have returned nearly 70 miles of track to passenger service, acquired and refurbished enough equipment to provide comfortable, safe, regular seasonal service between Memorial Weekend and Thanksgiving, and carried 600,000 tourists and outdoor enthusiasts to experience some of the most pristine mountain terrain in remote areas of the Adirondacks. All with minimal impact on the environment.
 
Our operation has spurred the restoration or reconstruction of historic stations in Holland Patent and Remsen, New York, and the people of Tupper Lake are now rebuilding their railroad station.
 
The Preservation Society that operates the railroad is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation chartered by the New York State Department of Education. The Railroad is staffed by 150 volunteers and only a few full, and part-time employees.
 
WHERE WE WILL GO - Our goal now is ...  
• To initiate development of rail and coordinated trail based education and historical projects
• To complete the restoration of the remaining track between Saranac Lake and Carter Station, north of Old Forge
• To restore service between the end points of Lake Placid and Utica.
 
The recognition we have achieved in national and regional magazines for our preservation and reconstruction efforts will allow us to begin the next step. However, if the Society is to continue to preserve and develop the historic and educational potential of the Utica to Lake Placid rail line, your financial support is also critical. Please consider one of the following levels of involvement.
 
http://www.adirondackrr.com/
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4yto4lC6VE&feature=g-all-u&context=G2a8fa97FAAAAAAAANAA
 
Have a dedicated hand full of paid staff 4 or 5 with prevous RR experance and people managment skills...and a dedicated force of volunteers up and down the island...and all the staff from the manger to the train crew be able to do everything...change ties...minor repairs....track work...and everyone works together to run, maintain and preserve the E+N....seems simple..(most of which (people) are here now) focus on what needs to be done first....get it up and running...then run basic frieght on days that need it to be run, other days work on track maint and then work on a psg train....
 
Just my 2 bits if this whole ICF/SRY thing flops...I hope it doesnt but we have to have a plan B right?
Posted by: CPR_9199 Posted on: Jan 18th, 2012, 1:28pm
We have to do what Harmac and CHECK tv did.
 
The icf cannot be trusted to do anything since they think they have the right to be a "secret society".
 
SRVI is saying nothing about making a contribution towards improving the line themselves and in the time they have been here have put no effort into gaining new customers.
 
The icf should be disbanded and a new group which is open to allow PUBLIC meetings and is ACCOUNTABLE to taxpayers should be formed to run things.
 
Mary Ashley works for a bank and she is one the main proponents of sneaking around behind our backs and keeping everything secret so she is the first one that should be gotten rid of.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jan 19th, 2012, 12:21am
I disagree.
 
ICF as a model is the right one, it need not be changed.
 
The proceedings and organization were not always so closed... that came about afterwards.
 
Be constructive.  Keep trying to engage, and be part of the process and open it up.  It will happen.
 
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Jan 19th, 2012, 1:02am
on Jan 5th, 2012, 2:56pm, bigcreekcowboy wrote:       (Click here for original message)
OK my turn for a rant. This rant is aimed directly at several members of this forum. I live in the Interior and I am on the outside looking in but I still have a fascination with the railways of Vancouver Island. I also have a few opinions.  
 
The E&N is in great peril and the biggest threat now is that, from what I can see, there are three factions fighting for power. So much energy gets wasted on all this infighting. The next biggest threat are the dreamers. I have dreams too. But it is going to take a thousand small steps to get there, not one giant leap. The first priority must be making the track passable, not a complete rebuild. Just fix up the track enough to get the Budds back. Then start finding customers. If the freight can not be found the railway will not survive. If industry can not be found along the tracks, land must be saved from development for rail/truck facilities. As each new customer is found there will be a little more income that can be invested in rebuilding. Heavy rail and commuter trains are a dream. The population and the need is questionable. How can we expect politicians to take rail seriously when we have cries for millions and millions of dollars in a time of fiscal cutting by all levels of government? It is easier to ask for money when there are solid examples of success that however small can be shown. An avalanche often starts with a single snowball
 
One more request. Please keep discussions on topic. Now the infighting has spilled on to another topic for videos and pictures. It is frustrating to try and do research and have to sift through infighting of various members. I am now going to sit back and await the blasting from various individuals on this forum. However, I can feel better now that I've said my word and hopefully a few will agree.

 
I agree on some points, but, as a dreamer, I am no threat to this railway. As for commuter rail, its not a pipe dream but a reality that should not be ignored. No one is suggesting spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the line. But the problem is, its going to take millions to fix the line. The population and need is not questionable but something to build on. If over 6,000 people take the Cowichan Commuter Bus service into Victoria every month, then there is a need. That doesnt even include the hundreds more each day that commute into the CRD. That is a market that could be tapped into.
 
The FEDs and provincial government have never taken anyone seriously on this island regardless of the project in question. As for fiscal responsibility, tell that to the FEDs who spent hundreds of millions on more airforce jets.
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Feb 1st, 2012, 11:57am

 
 
E&N on the cusp of transformative success
 
 
 
 
It has taken many years and studies, but railway edging closer to rebirth
 
 
 
By Graham Bruce, Times Colonist February 1, 2012  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
When native and municipal leaders came together to protect and acquire the E&N Railway corridor, they understood the complexity of the task at hand.
 
In forming the Island Corridor Foundation, they created a structure that could accept the land transfer from the Canadian Pacific Railway and work to achieve eight objectives - one of which is to encourage modern-day passenger and freight rail services on Vancouver Island.
 
To do that, the foundation realized the need for a capable short-line rail operator, so it engaged Southern Railway of British Columbia, one of the best short-line operators in North America.
 
A subsidiary of SRY, Southern Rail of Vancouver Island, has worked with the foundation to develop an overall long-term infrastructure plan that forecast a $100-million cost for upgrades to the line.
 
Discussions with the provincial and federal governments led to the Ministry of Transportation commissioning a study to review the proposed upgrades and the potential for passenger and freight growth.
 
The report concluded there was potential - but that the foundation should take an incremental approach to infrastructure investment while improving rail service and building demand.
 
With the professional services of Southern Rail, the foundation developed a $15-million infrastructure plan, and called for an improved Via Rail passenger schedule as the first phase of improving rail service and building demand. The plan was released in October 2010 and submitted to the federal and provincial governments.
 
This common-sense business approach helped secure a $7.5-million commitment from the provincial government, and convinced it to release $500,000 to complete the bridge and trestle engineering audit.
 
The bridge audit will be complete by mid-February. A manageable result should inspire a contribution from the federal government.
 
Millions of federal dollars have been spent on rail in other parts of Canada, while little has gone into the Island railway, even though one of the greatest land giveaways in history was used to entice us colonials into Confederation by having a railway built.
 
The plan for passenger service improvements, released in October 2010, called for the train to be turned around, with an early-morning southbound train.
 
Ridership on the Malahat Via train had experienced a 10 per cent growth over the last three years of operation, despite the general opinion that it was operating in the wrong direction.
 
Via Rail is considering the new schedule and the additional gross operating cost of about $500,000.
 
Increased passenger revenues are expected to cover the additional operational cost.
 
This initial rail improvement plan isn't complicated, nor is it expensive in the costly world of transportation systems.
 
Who knows? With a little success, taxpayers of the Capital Regional District may find that this little railway could provide the opportunity for a cost-effective transportation alternative in the near future.
 
So here we are, after visionary leadership to protect this corridor and volumes of studies, in sight of doing something historic - and now in good old Island tradition we will start throwing stones at each other.
 
For several years, the foundation's directors have worked hard to meet varied objectives and evolve into an efficiently run organization while managing competing demands and interests.
 
This kind of focus will ensure a future for rail on Vancouver Island.
 
Graham Bruce, the chief operating officer of the Island Corridor Foundation, has served as minister of municipal affairs and minister of labour.
 
More information about the Island Corridor Foundation is at www.islandrail.ca.
 
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
 
 
Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/cusp+transformative+success/6083679/story.html#ixzz1l9M8KDK5
Posted by: CPR_9199 Posted on: Feb 1st, 2012, 1:23pm
VISIONARY LEADERSHIP?
 
WHAT AN IDIOT!
 
Posted by: VIRX_7059 Posted on: Feb 1st, 2012, 3:39pm
Yes, indeed but a very slippery and deceptive idiot. The present state( no passenger service), and poor condition of the railway speaks volumes to the type of leadership, representation, and management the railway has suffered, as opposed to this recent slick cover up and distraction from reality.  
Posted by: cycledude Posted on: Feb 2nd, 2012, 12:57pm
Hi Piglet,
Thanks for the reminder about Wilkie's Tidewater SUB photos.
The RoW is still there for anyone wanting to walk it: Tidewater Railtrail
Bill
P.S. Cycling the Tidewater SUB
Posted by: SRY 128 Posted on: Feb 2nd, 2012, 3:49pm
Bring it on! Sounds like good news to me!
Posted by: railpuck Posted on: Feb 21st, 2012, 2:46pm
I have noticed that the Jingle Pot Road Railway crossing in Nanaimo has been out of service for several months,after a car hit and damaged the signals, how long does it take to get a claim paid to fix the crossing from ICBC
Posted by: El-e-va-tion Posted on: Feb 24th, 2012, 3:19am
Uh Oh... this doesn't sound good...
 
http://www.goldstreamgazette.com/news/140156463.html
Posted by: Coastrail Posted on: Mar 19th, 2012, 10:35pm
Here is something constructive.
 
It looks like we wont see LRT for at least 6 years. So perhaps we can all start writing letters to councils in Langford, Colwood, View Royal, Esquimalt, Victoria  and the media about supporting commuter rail on the E&N. There is a rising support for this service in the westshore, now that the blue ferry service will be terminated next month, plus with the long wait for LRT.
 
Also continue to write letters about shipping coal by rail to Port Alberni.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jan 7th, 2013, 1:43pm
It is worth noting that ICF has not posted anything on their website concerning the present problems on the railway they own on our behalf.
 
I think this is inexcusable and exposes a major flaw in the present organizational/management design.  I realize they are focused on problem solving but that is not an excuse for not communicating an acknowledgement there is a problem.  Well managed public organizations realize the value of keeping their various constituencies informed and up to speed.  That is how they generate public support and sympathy.
 
The larger question is how do you motivate the ICF to reflect on their own weaknesses and re-design themselves with a more consultative and public organization.  They must also have in-house knowledge on railway maintenance and operations.  Using SRY, their contracted service provider, to serve this function is not sound and raises conflict of interest questions.  As well, a way must be found for the ICF, as the corridor owner, to deal with First Nations land questions away from railway administrative and operational matters.
 
It has recently dawned on me that long ago the ICF, internally, developed their vision for the railway. Yet, we still don't know what that vision is.  In that process, as far as I know, no public or governmental organizations were openly consulted.  (The three public meetings Duncan, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni do not qualify as consultations) Their strategy should not be a secret; if it is it demonstrates a massive inability to build a supportive constituency.
 
A quick survey of public rail operating authorities across North America reveals that they consult and communicate.  Sometimes they find that uncomfortable but nevertheless have to, to maintain taxpayer and user support.  You may see this for yourself by spending a hour or two on the internet.  Perhaps, we should be educating ourselves on what some of the organizational alternatives look like.
 
In the BC context there are some questions that will inevitably rise, such as the role of BC Transit, approaches to public funding, regional transit planning, etc.  These questions should not be deal breakers when it comes to getting a reset for the ICF or a similar organization.  They must be put aside, at least, until the ICF has a realization that it can't get the job done.
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Jan 7th, 2013, 5:22pm
I've found the ICF doesn't keep up their website up to date and mostly links positive press when its written for them.  
Their business model doesn't seem to be based on other (successful?) railroad models. I'm not sure what their business model is based on.  
 
Edit: The ICF cannot separate themselves from the land claims issue. Its too entrenched. One half of the board of directors represent First Nations interests and the "CEO" is a lobbyist on behalf of Cowichan Tribes. (see: Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada's report on Graham Bruce / Granneke Management and Consulting Services . http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/012.nsf/eng/00197.html#subject )
 
From the ICF page: ( http://www.islandrail.ca/about-the-icf/financial-reporting/ ) "The Board has contracted with Granneke Management and Consulting Services to provide the Chief Executive Officer services and the daily management functions."
 
Question: what daily management functions does Graham Bruce provide specifically for the railway?
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jan 7th, 2013, 6:53pm
Thank you Mr.WW for providing additional information on ICF management.  Your facts further bear out my contention.  If the ICF cannot remove itself from the native land claims fray it cannot properly oversee the operation of a railway whose property is the subject, or may become the subject, of land claims.  
 
I was aware of the investigation of Mr. Bruce's lobbying activities for the Cowichan Tribes but did not make the link between that and his position in ICF.  You are right, his leadership (and his "long term interest in First Nations issues and involvement in the community" as mentioned in the investigation report) would tend to make the ICF a lightning rod for further assertion of land claims.  N.B. I am not commenting in any way on the validity or merits of any land claims.  I am merely suggesting that the ICF is not the venue for their disposition.
 
I share your question on what constitutes daily management functions.  Whatever the ICF is, it does not seem to be working.  It has no expertise in railroad operations, and so far as I know has never engaged a third party to advise on its negotiations with SRY.  Mr Graham has publicly, and uncritically, lauded the SRY for its devotion to the ICF and Vancouver Island.
 
Maybe we should be lobbying the appointed ICF board members from our respective regional districts.  At least a little accountability from them should give us a small, perhaps clouded, window into what is really happening.
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Jan 7th, 2013, 7:27pm
I will not comment on any land claims issues personally. A railfan forum is not the place for such a thing anyway.
 
However, since the subject has been broached, the land claims issue was one of the factors that created the ICF in the first place.  
A quote from Judith Sayers blog on First Nations in British Columbia Portal (borrowed from the Facebook rail page) states: "Rail has existed on Vancouver Island for 125 years and its history has not been a favourable one for First Nations. In 1884, without regard to First Nations title and territories, the federal government handed over 405,000 hectares of land as payment for the building of the E&N railroad on Vancouver Island. As a result today, much of what used to be Crown Land is now fee simple leaving the true owners of the land-the First Nations without land available for treaty settlements. As a result the Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group that represents 6 First Nations commenced a complaint with the Organization of American States regarding this action of the federal government. You can find more about this at: Despite this dark history for First Nations, some of the First Nations along the line have chosen to embark in a joint venture with Local Governments to make a positive out of a negative history while still pursuing just compensation for the land grant of their territories.www.htg-humanrights.bc.ca/HTG%20vs%20Canada%20Backgrounder%20-%20Case%20with%20IACHR.pdf "     ( http://fnbc.info/we-saved-rail-vancouver-island )
 
Yes, this is seen as a way to pursue just compensation for the land grant of their territories. Do you still believe its just about the railway or that this issue can be taken separately from the ICF?
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jan 7th, 2013, 8:02pm
I was careful to point out that I cannot comment on the validity or merit of various land claims,  However there is a bigger unavoidable issue here, and that is the process of land claims settlement.  I do not believe that this was anticipated or addressed in the setting up of the ICF.
 
If one sees the ICF as the venue for a proper and final disposition of claims, then, perhaps, the operation of the railway should be organizationally separated.  Having been involved in FN land claim issues and railway operations at a professional level I would suggest that the two don't mix.  The organization with rail operations expertise is not the same as one with the talents to negotiate complex land claims, a 10 to 50 year legal process.
 
Currently FN land claims are a matter of the First Nations, the Provincial and Federal Governments.  The ICF was not designed to accommodate such activities.  It just happens to be a locally available focal point for generating public awareness and political attention.
 
There is reason to suggest that the both FN's and the railroaders can be accommodated.  We just have to find a mutually satisfactory way to do it.
 
I would much rather be discussing rail operational matters here, but yes folks this is an issue.  Railways  and FN land issues are part of Canada and have been so for a long time.
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Jan 7th, 2013, 9:51pm
When I look at this I can't overlook the hiring of Granneke Management and Consulting Services (Graham Bruce) as 'Chief Executive Officer and daily management functions' as an odd choice. He (Bruce) has no railway history and seems to not actually manage the railway on a daily basis. Rather, this seems to be deferred to SRVI staff and management. Bruce is notably absent when situations and crises arise and one would reasonably expect some comment from the CEO or management of the railway. The situation is so bad that some on here believe the ICF is some kind of 'secret society', as it were.  
 
I take a different view. Bruce was hired because of his political background as well as his history with Cowichan Tribes. On the one hand, existing relationships with (then, 2005 & later) current Liberal party insiders and on the other hand a strong supporter of First Nations issues. Who better to front a group representing six First Nations and six local government interests in the ICF?  
It could also be a "thank you" of sorts from both sides, he otherwise being largely unqualified to run a railroad. And it seems, he doesn't run it, but the ICF pays a salary of $151,000 a year for whatever it is he does. ( http://www.islandrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2012-ICF-Budget.pdf )  
Note: this is on top of his pension as a former MLA.  
Pretty sweet deal. (for him, not us.)
Posted by: Gyralite Posted on: Jan 26th, 2013, 6:44pm
People have had concerns about the "new" icf since they turfed the "railroad people" when Graham Bruce came on board.
 
I was wondering about the legality of a "consultant" legally being allowed to run a "company"?
 
We need to demand public meetings and accountability from the ICF.
 
I don't see any other way to get to the bottom of what is REALLY going on.
 
For example the latest "cluster ----' with the Top Shelf Feeds incident.
 
Why did that happen?
 
Seems like the rail operator tried to make a decision on their own without the ICF being consulted.
 
Funny how the Native Reserve in Northern Saskatchewan can get hundreds of millions of dollars but why can't the First Nations here get money from Ottawa for the railway?
 
I understand that when the repairs finally do take place, First Nations people are going to be utilizing this for on the job training and college credits?
 
I would imagine they could apply for and get without question, money to help upgrade the line and assure First Nations people with employment for many years to come.
 
I was interested to see that out of all the revenue for 2012 a grand total of $20,000.00 was spent for track maintenance, hmmmm.
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Jan 26th, 2013, 7:49pm
Not sure exactly what you are looking for - it is pretty clear what is going on?
 
All levels of government are waiting for VIA and SRVI to work out the operating agreement for the Malahat. Once that is done then all of the funds are released and work begins?
 
Top Shelf - SRVI's marketing probably didnt understand what maintenance or operations were doing - everything is back to normal so  
 
As for revenue .. if you think the line is making money you have to be kidding me!
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jan 26th, 2013, 8:09pm
My theory is simple.  The SRY refused to run over the bridges to shake ICF's cage and put a little heat on to ensure the negotiations with VIA were proceeding on a timely basis.  Top Shelf after being warned of shut down in 30 days of course got after the ICF.  The ICF would have had a public disaster on its hands if SRY pulled the pin.
 
The quick resolution of this impasse was a very choreographed communications response (including pre-arranged CTV cameras and reporters) by ICF, and a successful SRY who got reassured that VIA negotiations were moving along.
 
SRY officials have repeatedly stated that they need VIA.  The VIA subsidy meets the payroll and keeps the passenger train running.  VIA is also responsible for stations and servicing facilities for the RDC's, as well as a user fee of some sort.  Without VIA here SRY would probably be gone.  
 
Mr. Gyralite seems imply that First Nations in Saskatchewan got funding for railways.  Do you have more details on that?
 
Some of the technical schools in Western Canada have partnered with the railways to train people for the running trades and track work.  NAIT (Edmonton) is partnered with CN on track work training.  BCIT and SAIT have programs for the running trades.  The BCIT students do part of their practicum on the Alberni Pacific.  SAIT is partnered with the CPR.  The model for these training partnerships was transplanted from the UP and BNSF.
Posted by: Chris_C Posted on: Jan 26th, 2013, 9:01pm
While your theory is fascinating, the ICF isn't the one negotiating with VIA, it is SRVI. They are working out the operating and maintenance agreement as SRVI will be running the VIA Rail trains again (like they always have).
 
SRVI tells them how much $. VIA argues. And they settle somewhere in the middle. After that VIA basically just makes a payment of $X.XX every year.
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Jan 26th, 2013, 10:38pm
SVI has an operating agreement with the ICF paying $75,000 a year to operate the railway. The right of way ( and therefore the track and aging infrastructure ) remain the responsibility of the ICF. The bulk of the revenue from the ROW is from Telus ( $300,000 per year ) for its leases, other fees and leases net $105,000 and they get $50,000 in GST rebates. Thats still $530,000 in net revenues.  
I'll keep copying and pasting this until someone else notices that their expenses don't make sense. http://www.islandrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2012-ICF-Budget.pdf  
 
My theory is also simple: The ICF gets $75 grand a year for someone else to operate the railroad and as long as that keeps happening they're content to wait on money from all levels of government to come in. A deteriorating status quo as it were. If SRY is also the one negotiating with VIA then Graham Bruce has even less to do. The "secrecy" is due to the fact that he's not really doing the job of " Chief Executive Officer services and the daily management functions" for the railway.  
Personally, I'd love to make $12,500 a month to do what Graham Bruce does for the E&N Railway.
Posted by: Gyralite Posted on: Jan 27th, 2013, 3:05am
I said Native RESERVE NOT Native RAILWAY.
 
You know-the one where the chief and her boyfriend made $100 million disappear and won't tell anyone what they did with the money.
 
Anyway-just seems fishy that Graham gets $151,ooo.oo a year for doing?
 
I think HE should get 20 grand a year and spend 150 grand on the track.
 
87 grand for administrative costs?
 
Who is paid that much a year to be a secretary for a "private charity"?
 
Who gets the $25 grand a year honorarium?
 
Island Rail Days did not happen in 2012 so where did that money go?
 
15 grand for travel? For who?
 
20 grand for communication? Are they using satellite phones?
 
Just wondering.
Posted by: Highliner121 Posted on: Jan 27th, 2013, 2:35pm
on Jan 27th, 2013, 3:05am, Gyralite wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I said Native RESERVE NOT Native RAILWAY.
 
You know-the one where the chief and her boyfriend made $100 million disappear and won't tell anyone what they did with the money.
 
Anyway-just seems fishy that Graham gets $151,ooo.oo a year for doing?
 
I think HE should get 20 grand a year and spend 150 grand on the track.
 
87 grand for administrative costs?
 
Who is paid that much a year to be a secretary for a "private charity"?
 
Who gets the $25 grand a year honorarium?
 
Island Rail Days did not happen in 2012 so where did that money go?
 
15 grand for travel? For who?
 
20 grand for communication? Are they using satellite phones?
 
Just wondering.

 
The ICF apologist's on this forum don't care where the money goes. They're willing to be taken to the cleaners, just so they can have some trains to take pictures of.
Posted by: Jamie_Masters Posted on: Jan 27th, 2013, 3:44pm
If hoping that the ICF succeeds in reviving rail on this balkanized island makes one an apologist, then so be it. You don't have to worship at the ICF altar , or believe everything out of their mouths is gospel , to hope their stated goals for the E&N can eventually become reality. And yeah , as shocking as it may be to have a biased opinion like this on Railfan.Net Forums, I do want trains to take pictures of here on the Island.
Posted by: railpuck Posted on: Jan 27th, 2013, 4:36pm
There has been talk that Graham Bruce, has influence in the control of SVI, and if that is the case, its a conflict of interest.
Before Graham was hired there were volunteer appointed boards that were Professional Railway people, like retired CPR Supt, E&N Engineer,and others with backgrounds from working on railways,that reported on the affairs of the railway and SVI. There was also a Community Liaison panel, that also reported  to the ICF, that addressed issues all around the operation of the railway in the towns and communties.
When Graham Bruce was hired within 6 months, all of those volunteer boards were dismantled, and Graham took over control of everything, which is why people question the secretiveness of the ICF, and SVI.
I would favor a Vancouver Island Rail Authority, with elected board to take over the ICF, and get the railway back into operation, and hire people to market the line for business which currently seems to lack in.
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Jan 27th, 2013, 7:03pm
First off, there is nothing wrong with wanting to take pictures of trains on Vancouver Island. There is still a railway to save here to take pictures of.
There is a another railway to take pictures on up at Englewood too, by the way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Englewood_Railway  
 
Thank you Gyralite for seeing some of the mistakes in the ICF's accounting. I'm amazed MNP couldn't see some of those errors in their review (similar to an audit) of the document.  
 
The ICF will continue to have both supporters and detractors. This isn't a pro or anti- ICF forum, we all have opinions about that but we all want to see the E&N succeed.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Jan 28th, 2013, 12:10am
With respect, Mr. Chris C the SRVI would not be negotiating with VIA were it not for the ICF.  Railways only negotiate with VIA over operational matters.  VIA's presence here is a matter of ICF prerogative and facilitation.  I think this is abundantly clear in the various linked articles quoting Mr. Bruce, and published this weekend.  It also makes sense that the operator is only empowered to discuss operational matters.
 
The ICF owns the property and SVRI is the tenant.
Posted by: Gyralite Posted on: Jan 29th, 2013, 12:03am
OK once again-the TAXPAYERS own it, the ICF MANAGES it and  SRVI is the TENANT.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jan 29th, 2013, 1:55am
on Jan 29th, 2013, 12:03am, Gyralite wrote:       (Click here for original message)
OK once again-the TAXPAYERS own it, the ICF MANAGES it and  SRVI is the TENANT.

Not quite.  
 
SRVI is the tenant and contracted operator.  The ICF manages the Operator (SRVI) and any other service providers or funding sources as well as the leases. (VIA, Government, Telus, etc).  The ICF is the title holder of the lands (according to the BC Government land registry).   They are still considered Private lands. Taxpayers and First Nations manage the ICF through the Board to which they appoint or elect Directors (since some of the directors have been or are current Mayors or Chiefs)
Posted by: Highliner121 Posted on: Jan 29th, 2013, 9:44am
on Jan 29th, 2013, 1:55am, chrisale wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Not quite.  
 
SRVI is the tenant and contracted operator.  The ICF manages the Operator (SRVI) and any other service providers or funding sources as well as the leases. (VIA, Government, Telus, etc).  The ICF is the title holder of the lands (according to the BC Government land registry).   They are still considered Private lands. Taxpayers and First Nations manage the ICF through the Board to which they appoint or elect Directors (since some of the directors have been or are current Mayors or Chiefs)

 
Smoke and mirrors.
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Jan 29th, 2013, 1:06pm
on Jan 29th, 2013, 9:44am, Highliner121 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
Smoke and mirrors.

 
Actually it is quite straight forward to anyone willing to put an ounce of thought into it.
Posted by: bigcreekcowboy Posted on: Feb 12th, 2013, 7:12pm
As a rail fan I have not come across a forum as full of great information as this one. Before coming on here I was aware that there was a short stretch of track on the island that had something to do with CP rail. I have learnt so much about the once extensive logging and mining railways that existed. I have drooled over the pictures on the Store street trackage and marveled over the diverse CN lines. But sadly some seem bent on driving people away and causing problems for no particular good reason. In the latest case, It appears some people have done some good work trying to save lives with operation lifesaver. And once again a troll attacks them for it. I know some get twisted pleasure out of name calling and causing problems. So my plea will not stop anything. But for the good of the E&N railway and any future it might have, and the valuable information contained in the web forum. Respect other people and their beliefs. Because everyone will leave this forum and it too will be nothing but history.
Posted by: jointbar Posted on: Feb 13th, 2013, 6:10pm
As a long time railroader, historian I too thought the thread about Operation Lifesaver was well worth a post . Whenever someone or group can promote Rail Safety to the public it's a good thing . What I could not believe is the attack of that thread . Hopefully the group that spent the day with the public will keep up the good work.
 
Bill B
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Feb 14th, 2013, 5:01pm
Bill,
 
Please rest assured that they will attend any function that they can garner an invitation to. Back east we could get CPR and ACR to either send employees or if not possible they would show up themselves for any rail oriented show.  
 
One year our local model railroad club was surprised when the then president of the ACR and a couple of office executives manned the Operation Lifesaver event at our annual show. After it was all over and everyone was at supper at a local restaurant he told us about how much fun they had interacting with the kids and watching our trains run.  
 
You would think, just in terms of brownie points, and being they are looking for further municipal funding, that at least one member of this august ICF group would deem such events worthy to attend representing themselves.
Posted by: RailWatchDog Posted on: Feb 17th, 2013, 2:37am
We all know here how the ICF wants Via Rail back to the Island so that they can get the 1.2 million dollar subsidy, but my question is, why have the ICF and SVI not focused more heavily on freight service and market the line to get more business.
You cannot rely on passenger service itself, and freight for any railway is the winning solution.
Posted by: Gyralite Posted on: Feb 17th, 2013, 3:12am
I imagine SRVI is waiting till the funding is in place before trying to get new customers.
 
Not worth going to all the effort for customers you can't reach right now due to track conditions.
Posted by: wx732 Posted on: Feb 17th, 2013, 9:55am
It is my understanding that the portions of the Victoria Sub South of Duncan and North of Parksville are 10 MPH only, not prohibited traffic- so, what would stop SRVI picking up new customers _if it makes some sort of sense to do so ?_  Although it may take 2 crews to get a train to/from Courtney, if the demand was there I cannot see why the railway would not do so.  Loosing a little money in the short term by running the 2nd crew while hedging bets as to the future would make sense to me.  (because as the track is repaired, then the line speed goes up, and your 2nd crew costs become the area to profit from, at $500 or so per trip)
 
That would require that SRVI feel that ICF actually will come up with the cash for the repairs...which may be the stumbling block.
 
James
Posted by: 95XXX Posted on: Feb 17th, 2013, 10:55am
I would think that when the long term agreement with the ICF (25 yrs) is in place, we will start seeing new frieght business. Until then they are year to year.
SVI only has one frieght crew. To justify another crew at 60k per crewmember per year, you would need substantial new business.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Feb 22nd, 2013, 10:46pm
You guys and girls all know I think the ICF is barking up the wrong tree chasing VIA like a teenager on a skirt hunt. If the rumours we hear about VIA wanting totally off the Island and not giving ICF the commitment required for funding release what then? Will it be too late to pursue the freight angle and try opening the Port Sub to get trains moving? The freight traffic could exist and keep the railroad running and I really think all the assurances Mr Bruce has given the media seem to be not holding water.  
 
I really think the ICF should be taking a good look in a mirror and recognizing their moves have caused the railroad to be in jeopardy and maybe start to think about submitting letters of resignation. Of course if VIA does recommit then all bets are off.  
Posted by: railman-vi Posted on: Feb 23rd, 2013, 4:10am
on Feb 22nd, 2013, 10:46pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
You guys and girls all know I think the ICF is barking up the wrong tree chasing VIA like a teenager on a skirt hunt. If the rumours we hear about VIA wanting totally off the Island and not giving ICF the commitment required for funding release what then? Will it be too late to pursue the freight angle and try opening the Port Sub to get trains moving? The freight traffic could exist and keep the railroad running and I really think all the assurances Mr Bruce has given the media seem to be not holding water.  
 
I really think the ICF should be taking a good look in a mirror and recognizing their moves have caused the railroad to be in jeopardy and maybe start to think about submitting letters of resignation. Of course if VIA does recommit then all bets are off.  

 
That is a good question.  I don't think it ends well.  I have heard from good contacts that the ICF got little out of their recent meeting with VIA.  It seems just as you said your contact told you, that VIA will not commit to anything until the repairs have been made and the railway meets safety standards and VIA will not operate out of Nanaimo as they cannot afford to fund the additional costs, leaving the ICF and SVI to come up with the funds to do it.  VIA returning will also be dependent on their budget status at the time the railway is finished being repaired from what I was told.  Assuming of course the railway ever does get repaired.    
Posted by: Pyronova Posted on: Feb 23rd, 2013, 4:18pm
on Feb 23rd, 2013, 4:10am, railman-vi wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
That is a good question.  I don't think it ends well.  I have heard from good contacts that the ICF got little out of their recent meeting with VIA.  It seems just as you said your contact told you, that VIA will not commit to anything until the repairs have been made and the railway meets safety standards and VIA will not operate out of Nanaimo as they cannot afford to fund the additional costs, leaving the ICF and SVI to come up with the funds to do it.  VIA returning will also be dependent on their budget status at the time the railway is finished being repaired from what I was told.  Assuming of course the railway ever does get repaired.    

 
Chicken and the Egg scenario?
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Feb 24th, 2013, 10:16pm
on Feb 22nd, 2013, 10:46pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
You guys and girls all know I think the ICF is barking up the wrong tree chasing VIA like a teenager on a skirt hunt. If the rumours we hear about VIA wanting totally off the Island and not giving ICF the commitment required for funding release what then? Will it be too late to pursue the freight angle and try opening the Port Sub to get trains moving? The freight traffic could exist and keep the railroad running and I really think all the assurances Mr Bruce has given the media seem to be not holding water.  
 
I really think the ICF should be taking a good look in a mirror and recognizing their moves have caused the railroad to be in jeopardy and maybe start to think about submitting letters of resignation. Of course if VIA does recommit then all bets are off.  

 
I've had much the same feeling, Dennis. Many have gotten behind the ICF but its all based on getting the Budd cars going here again, even the government money is predicated on that. But, what happens if VIA decides NOT to come back, or worse, not to commit until track repairs are finished.  
Where are we then?  
Its a simple catch 22 that leaves much of the former E&N pretty much dead.
 
I'm sure the pro-ICF people on here are bristling at the suggestion, but its a definite possibility.  
Really, we've seen commitments made at the federal and provincial governmental levels that hinge on VIA's return but what if they play hardball with us? Then the federal and provincial grants don't happen. The line can't be fully repaired and parts will eventually die.
 
The line has the potential to be a mover of people and goods again if it can be saved, but have we been too focused on VIA?
Posted by: Polar Posted on: Feb 25th, 2013, 9:29am
Not a huge fan of the ICF either.  Curious though as to what else could have been done to save the E&N.  If your answer is freight, sure that would help.  But how do we get the money to upgrade the track for freight?  Freight companies will not commit until the track is up to snuff either.  Another chicken and the egg.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Feb 25th, 2013, 12:11pm
on Feb 25th, 2013, 9:29am, Polar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Not a huge fan of the ICF either.  Curious though as to what else could have been done to save the E&N.  If your answer is freight, sure that would help.  But how do we get the money to upgrade the track for freight?  Freight companies will not commit until the track is up to snuff either.  Another chicken and the egg.  
I do not think that the Raven Coal Project would care one way about either chickens or eggs. The advocates of rail do think the line could be opened between Port Alberni and Mud Bay for a far greater return with the same 20 +/- million that will be spent getting the line VIA ready. With the line useable between these two points a lot of freight could be hauled for real profit.  
 
Of course the real profit may be just smoke and mirrors though as the movers and shakers at ICF seem to think otherwise.  
 
My whole opposition to the VIA scheme is that it is totally predicated on government money, money to repair the line, money to get the cars repaired and ongoing money to keep the system in operation. There ar not enough people on the Island for the E & N to ever become a 'people mover' as some so whole heartily claim, at least not in their lifetimes, being they are all so much younger and still in the know everything stage of life.  
 
Having a system in operation at the total largess of our senior government could be a real bone of contention over the coming years. There are costs and much more pressing issues than playing trains on Vancouver Island that will be continuously catching the eye of whoever is in power in Ottawa and VIA Vancouver Island would be one of the first frills cut in a no frills budget.  
 
If you look around in reality mode you will see more and more fluff and flutter getting axed federally, provincially and in most cases locally, Port Alberni exempted.  
Posted by: Polar Posted on: Feb 25th, 2013, 6:04pm
on Feb 25th, 2013, 12:11pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)

I do not think that the Raven Coal Project would care one way about either chickens or eggs. The advocates of rail do think the line could be opened between Port Alberni and Mud Bay for a far greater return with the same 20 +/- million that will be spent getting the line VIA ready.

 
I don't think the 20 +/- million would have been granted for freight.  Government's give money to projects like this to gain voters.  People like the idea of a passenger/tourist train, not the idea of giving tax dollars to repair a track so a company can make money.  An American company at that.  I really doubt that this money could have been raised to upgrade the track for freight.  Is Raven coal even a go ahead?  If so when would we start to see trains on the port sub if they chose to ship that way?  My bet is a long time away indeed.
Posted by: railpuck Posted on: Feb 25th, 2013, 10:02pm
on Feb 25th, 2013, 9:29am, Polar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Not a huge fan of the ICF either.  Curious though as to what else could have been done to save the E&N.  If your answer is freight, sure that would help.  But how do we get the money to upgrade the track for freight?  Freight companies will not commit until the track is up to snuff either.  Another chicken and the egg.  

Well there is infrastructure grant monies out there for rail but if you don't apply you don't receive. You gotta search and find!
Too much has been focused on Via Rail, and Rail Trails, when more should be put into marketing the line for freight.
Millions have been spent on these rail trails, and if that money had been put into the railway, the line would be running by now!
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Feb 28th, 2013, 3:04pm
on Feb 25th, 2013, 10:02pm, railpuck wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Well there is infrastructure grant monies out there for rail but if you don't apply you don't receive. You gotta search and find!
Too much has been focused on Via Rail, and Rail Trails, when more should be put into marketing the line for freight.
Millions have been spent on these rail trails, and if that money had been put into the railway, the line would be running by now!

Really, it seems like almost anything that can garner public support can get a government grant. Politicians eventually want to be reelected.  
 
So, okay. Can anyone show me proof that the former E&N is actually owned by the people of Vancouver Island? The most tangible thing I've seen is that CP donated it to the people of VI but the ICF seems to operate as a private company that wants little to do with the public. Its a bit confusing.
It seems to me that as a publicly owned transportation corridor for the express purpose of moving local citizens, visitors, bulk and dangerous goods to and through the towns it connects along the island - as a safer alternative to trucks and buses and conceivably having lower emissions doing so, the various governmental levels should get behind this venture. This could be a model for the future elsewhere.
So why is this vision being "sold" to all levels of government as a private venture?
As a registered charity, and for the good of the communities and first nations on the island shouldn't this be presented as a public domain?
 
Just asking. This has bothered me for some time.
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Feb 28th, 2013, 4:52pm
on Feb 23rd, 2013, 4:10am, railman-vi wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
That is a good question.  I don't think it ends well.  I have heard from good contacts that the ICF got little out of their recent meeting with VIA.  It seems just as you said your contact told you, that VIA will not commit to anything until the repairs have been made and the railway meets safety standards and VIA will not operate out of Nanaimo as they cannot afford to fund the additional costs, leaving the ICF and SVI to come up with the funds to do it.  VIA returning will also be dependent on their budget status at the time the railway is finished being repaired from what I was told.  Assuming of course the railway ever does get repaired.    

 
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17471:h-via-rail-budget-to-be-slashed-in-half&catid=42:federal-news&Itemid=68
 This is probably a very bad sign.
Posted by: albernisarah Posted on: Feb 28th, 2013, 6:47pm
Im my opinion, Graham will have a spin on the Via contract. It will be presented as all good . The ICF has no other choice but to present that they have a signed Via contract to the regional districts . They have almost three million in funding at stake. I think this money will be easier to obtain than the fifteen million from the Provence and Feds. This will allow them to tardy up the line with a little spit and polish and keep all the paid employees around for another year or two.
Sarah
Posted by: Polar Posted on: Feb 28th, 2013, 7:57pm
on Feb 28th, 2013, 4:52pm, wiggle_wagon wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
http://www.wawa-news.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=17471:h-via-rail-budget-to-be-slashed-in-half&catid=42:federal-news&Itemid=68
 This is probably a very bad sign.

 
Good old Harper.  Lets go backwards while everyone else goes forward.  It's the same with the environmental changes he has done.  Canada's shining landscape to become an industrial waist dump.
Posted by: wiggle_wagon Posted on: Feb 28th, 2013, 10:46pm
Probably true, Sarah.  
 
More coverage: http://elizabethmaymp.ca/news/publications/press-releases/2013/02/28/greens-denounce-threat-of-extreme-cuts-to-via-rail/
 
Realistically, this could have been foreseen by the ICF. More than a few here called it. The big problem is that there is no "plan B" as it were. Everything hung on VIA coming back and now, its likely they never will.
Graham was a government man. He knows how these things work. In the end, he failed us. He failed the first nations and communities along the line.  
 
There will be some "spin" eventually put on this, after all, there are millions of dollars at stake. But you can't polish a turd.
 
Which still leaves us with a problem to solve on the E&N...
Posted by: railman-vi Posted on: Mar 2nd, 2013, 2:33am
on Feb 28th, 2013, 6:47pm, albernisarah wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Im my opinion, Graham will have a spin on the Via contract. It will be presented as all good . The ICF has no other choice but to present that they have a signed Via contract to the regional districts . They have almost three million in funding at stake. I think this money will be easier to obtain than the fifteen million from the Provence and Feds. This will allow them to tardy up the line with a little spit and polish and keep all the paid employees around for another year or two.
Sarah  

 
Sarah,
I completely agree.  I am sure they will be spit and polishing the "turd" soon, and it seems they already are, and before they even attempt to spin the VIA story.    
 
Below is a news article from today's Cowichan Valley Citizen.  With the CVRD now joining the CRD and RDN and splitting the funding over two years for the bridges, one needs to ask how is this not going to cut the ICF short?  Let's not forget that it was presented that the ICF needed these funds immediately and that it was a condition of the federal funding.  However, the ICF and Graham are already changing the story that they don't need all the money at once.  Some may ask, why is this?  In my opinion, it is simple: the ICF is only intent on getting whatever amount of money they can to just keep the show going for as long as they can and ensure their salaries.  This is clearly why they have low balled all the figures from the start and never included a dime in their original "budgets" for bridge repairs, leaving it to become a last minute panic.  It is not hard to see the ICF has and continues to base their requests on what they can get away with and then run with it.
 
 
Tough cuts made as CVRD decides grants-in-aid Sportsplex, rail line eat up big chunk
 
Sarah Simpson
Citizen
 
Friday, March 01, 2013
 
A total of 15 organizations asked the Cowichan Valley Regional District for 2013 regional grants-in-aid - a total request of nearly $1.1 million.
 
On Wednesday evening the CVRD's regional services committee spent considerable time debating whose requests to fulfill.
 
After two hours of discussion, and in some cases with heavy hearts, the committee cut out more than $470,000 by denying about half the 15 requests.
 
The final total the committee approved for regional grants-in-aid totaled $625,550. That number was down $68,550 from the number estimated by staff when they'd drawn up the draft 2013 budget.
 
The two big-ticket funding requests that were granted were the Island Corridor Foundation ($244,050) and the Cowichan Sportsplex ($146,500).
 
While the ICF grant is the biggest of the bunch, it could have been twice as much if Board Chair Rob Hutchins hadn't spoken up on Wednesday night.
 
Hutchins told the committee that after speaking with ICF Chief Operating Officer Graham Bruce, he felt confident with the decision to defer half of a $488,100 grant-in-aid until the 2014 budget.
 
In November 2012, the CVRD voted to help fund the reconstruction of nearly 50 rotting bridges along the E&N line running between Victoria and Courtenay in the hopes of being able to offer a commuter and freight service along the Island's spine.
 
Hutchins said Bruce's organization is comfortable with the two-pronged payment idea, because they won't need all the money right away.
 
"The key here is they'd like to do some work in the spring but the majority of the work would be done in October. they can manage with that type of financial flow," Hutchins explained.
 
Later in the meeting, attention turned to the elephant in the room, the Cowichan Sportsplex.
 
North Oyster/Diamond Director Mary Marcotte explained that she was sticking to CVRD policy and as such, her grant votes for the 2013 budget would only go to groups that had not received a grant-in-aid before.
 
"This is one that's been on the list year after year after year," Marcotte said. "I cannot support this. It's been here too often and its time it is made a line item by the folks who want to pay."
 
Even Cowichan Bay Director Lori Iannidinardo, a staunch regional recreation supporter, had trouble with the Sportsplex's nearly $150,000 request.
 
"I am very supportive. I am a regional thinker I think the Cowichan Sportsplex has done great work," Iannidinardo said. But one thing stuck with her that's got her opposed to the request - a recent increase in staff wages at the Sportsplex.
 
"When you are in a society or a non-profit organization you don't expect to get the same wages as you would at a municipality. I'd be holding my nose to be in favour of this just because of that," she said.
 
Even so, with a split vote, the committee approved the $146,500 grant request but most hoped it would be for the last time.
 
"We don't argue the uniqueness or the excellent facility that is there," Lake Cowichan Dir. Tim McGonigle said. "It does not belong in regional grant in aids."
 
Hutchins said the regional district staff is working on a video presentation that could be brought to the community before the end of May for a public approval process by September. The hope is to get permission from the community to pay for the Sportsplex within the regular budgets come 2014.
 
The final CVRD budget, which includes grants-in-aid, must still be approved by the CVRD board.
 
© Cowichan Valley Citizen 2013
 
 
 
  
Posted by: Polar Posted on: Mar 2nd, 2013, 11:02am
on Mar 2nd, 2013, 2:33am, railman-vi wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
 Let's not forget that it was presented that the ICF needed these funds immediately  

 
This is incorrect.  All that was needed for the fed money was that the bridge money would be there.  Not needed immediately.
Posted by: railman-vi Posted on: Mar 2nd, 2013, 1:18pm
on Mar 2nd, 2013, 11:02am, Polar wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
This is incorrect.  All that was needed for the fed money was that the bridge money would be there.  Not needed immediately.

 
Several CVRD directors asked Graham Bruce last year when the funding was being discussed at their meetings if they could look at a way to borrow the money instead of taking it out of grants in aid and as such repay the loan over several years from their property tax revenues.  The problem with this way of funding it was that it would have taken seven months or more to setup the facility to borrow this money and Graham said this would not be a good option as the full portion of funds are needed by spring to get the work going.  This was reported in the Cowichan Valley Citizen at that time, so once again the story changes.  
Posted by: Gyralite Posted on: Mar 2nd, 2013, 11:33pm
I wonder if Graham's favorite musical group is the Spin Doctors?
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Mar 3rd, 2013, 12:39am
railfan-vi I had the same conversation with a couple of rail fan friends over coffee the other night. One said that he suspects that the ICF cannot borrow money using their assets as collateral because in his opinion the ICF really does not have definitive enough ownership of the line because the CPR still gets the line back, lock stock and switch stand, if the ICF is unsuccessful in getting into operation or if they have to dissolve.  
 
I'm not into the lawyereze he was quoting so the above is not verbatim but a precis of what he said. For the ICF to use the rail line as collateral they would have to have clear and undisputed ownership of the line and he believes the ICF does not have that clear title, hence all the grovelling for handouts from all three layers of government.
Posted by: RailWatchDog Posted on: Mar 5th, 2013, 1:26am
I have some concerns over costs of the removal of the Esquimalt Siding.
We have heard that CRD approved $300,000 for the siding removal, which took about a week or so by SVI crews.
Now if you think about it, a excavator or crane would run about $100 per hour with operator +/- and the crews would average $30 per hour times 6 men.
So a machine should cost $800 per day x 5 = $4000.00
Crew wages = 30 x 8= 240 x 6 = 1440 per day x 5 = $7200
Total: $11,200 for the work, so why did CRD payout $300,000 for removal for a $12,000 dollar job. Where did the other $288,000 go.
ICF and CRD need to answer these questions where's the money, taxpayers need to ask questions.
Posted by: Gyralite Posted on: Mar 5th, 2013, 1:45pm
Did you see the 2012 icf budget, watch dog?
 
Only $20,000.00 of it went to track maintenance.
 
The icf and svi are obviously in bed together.
 
Sadly, the only ones getting screwed are the taxpayers.
Posted by: cobblehillian Posted on: Mar 5th, 2013, 10:18pm
I think it was love at first site, ICF and SVI.  If you read some of Graham Bruce's press releases and remarks you could be led to believe that SVI could do no wrong.
 
The ICF love affair with SVI and VIA are probably detriments to the long term viability of the E&N.  If those groups can cobble something together, and get the railway running in the short term, great.  The long run plan has to be better, more accountable, more effective, and more local.
 
Over the next week or two I'll be putting together some of my ideas for the future of the railway.
Posted by: Polar Posted on: Mar 5th, 2013, 11:52pm
on Mar 5th, 2013, 10:18pm, cobblehillian wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I think it was love at first site, ICF and SVI.  If you read some of Graham Bruce's press releases and remarks you could be led to believe that SVI could do no wrong.
 
The ICF love affair with SVI and VIA are probably detriments to the long term viability of the E&N.  If those groups can cobble something together, and get the railway running in the short term, great.  The long run plan has to be better, more accountable, more effective, and more local.
 
Over the next week or two I'll be putting together some of my ideas for the future of the railway.  

 
SVI is looking long term.  What they are here for is the coal, that's it.  If bringing back the VIA will keep some kind of business and track repairs they don't have to pay for,  all the better.  Private profit at social cost just like every other business.
 
My bet is if the Coal mine flounders in it's final stages of approval or they do go by road (not likely) SVI will duck out regardless.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Mar 6th, 2013, 2:03am
The Raven Project will probably be approved as the feds are running the show and they will not be up for election for a couple of years. The coal will move via truck as there is no chance of the railway being in operation in time to coincide with the start of coal shipments.  
 
Too bad the rail option was never given a chance to make a pitch for servicing the delivery of the coal as the ICF head honcho really bit the big one when he couldn't be convinced the VIA route was not the best way to go. I too would like to see the railway in operation but I also want ICF accountability and until then I personally will not support the railroad.  
 
 
 
Posted by: Polar Posted on: Mar 6th, 2013, 9:34am
If the Raven Coal gets it's final approval and starts.  There is plenty of time to bring the Port Alberni sub and the line to the mine into full operation.  The receiving/loading facility that will be required in Port Alberni will take some time to build.  let alone the time it takes for a mine to even start producing Ore to be shipped.
 
If you have ever seen a track upgrade crew at work  (I worked on them) they can upgrade a lot of track quickly.  It is not along way from Raven coal to Port Alberni when it comes to rail roads.  And while they are doing that, the bridge crews would be working.  The line would be ready before the shipping dock was.
 
Raven's last report on shipping by truck said 3 trucks an hour over the port Alberni Hwy.  This is ridiculous, it would take weeks to fill a cargo ship at this rate.  The initial report was a truck every 9 minutes, this would be more like it.  So if you have plans to go to any of those West coast communities prepare for a dusty, scary and slow drive now with the trucks that seem to be ever increasing.  Get those coal B train trucks on there.....
 
And as far as the ICF letting Joe public know what they are up to, I totally agree with you there.  But if you think that SVI will hint at any part of their dealings with Raven coal, Good luck.
Posted by: Garrett_Owner Posted on: Mar 6th, 2013, 3:16pm
Well, I have driven the Gold River Road from Campbell River to the Quinsum Mine entrance following those B trains in both directions and didn't notice any coal dust on the road or belching from the truck as Snyder and Gaiga like to espouse on their facebook pages. I have also followed these same style B trains into and out of Sparwood BC on highway 3 (The Crowsnest) with exactly the same lack of dust showing, same basically clean roadside etc.  
 
I too worked (as a teen summer student job) on track rebuild crews on the old ACR and know how quickly things can be done. The EETG would be capable (with some funding) of doing even better work than is being done by them now.  
 
The truck every twenty minutes wouldn't be that big a deal on highway 4 and would be even less of a deal on Haggard's Hope when it gets built. Too many with conflicting interests are fighting all transportation aspects on this Island. You as a railroad employee (my assumption) must know that over 80% of what is marketed on Vancouver Island arrives by rail. It is just not cost effective to barge over to unload for distribution in Nanaimo.  
 
TOFC (or whatever derivative) arrive daily and get trans shipped ex greater Vancouver. CTC, Walmart, Hudsons Bay, Costco, all ship by train from back east and forward via truck to destinations all over BC. To think we should have a dedicated rail barge service for just Vancouver Island product is ludicrous to the people paying the cost of shipping.  
 
Product originating and designated for off Island, like the coal for one, would be excellent product for sourcing via rail. Loading stuff in Victoria for shipment to Tofino, Port Hardy, Ucluelet, Port Alice, etc are considered vampire ideas that only work in our basement layouts and should really never see the light of day.
Posted by: jointbar Posted on: Mar 6th, 2013, 3:48pm
I have been reading some of the threads and have a couple of questions. Where will the twenty five to forty million come from to up grade the rail from the mine to Port Alberni. Would the taxpayer  be asked to fund this for the rail and coal company ? Would the Washington Group pay for the up grades then charge the coal company shipping. As the ICF has no money it will need to come from somewhere ?
 
Also the comment I read about the CRD awarding three hundred thousand dollars to remove a siding. I would say the taxpayer has been ripped off in that deal !
 
Bill B
Posted by: chrisale Posted on: Mar 6th, 2013, 4:45pm
on Mar 6th, 2013, 3:48pm, jointbar wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I have been reading some of the threads and have a couple of questions. Where will the twenty five to forty million come from to up grade the rail from the mine to Port Alberni. Would the taxpayer  be asked to fund this for the rail and coal company ? Would the Washington Group pay for the up grades then charge the coal company shipping. As the ICF has no money it will need to come from somewhere ?

 
Same place it would come from if it were a new highway being built for a project like that.  Likely a mixture of private sector (raven/svi), and senior government.  The biggest difference in this case would be that the local taxpayers/RD would receive direct payback through the ICF as owner of the railbed instead of that money going to solely to the rail operator.
Posted by: Polar Posted on: Mar 6th, 2013, 7:05pm
on Mar 6th, 2013, 3:16pm, Garrett_Owner wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Well, I have driven the Gold River Road from Campbell River to the Quinsum Mine entrance following those B trains in both directions and didn't notice any cola dust on the road or belching from the truck as Snyder and Gaiga like to espouse on their facebook pages. I have also followed these same style B trains into and out of Sparwood BC on highway 3 (The Crowsnest) with exactly the same lack of dust showing, same basically clean roadside etc.  
 
I too worked (as a teen summer student job) on track rebuild crews on the old ACR and know how quickly things can be done. The EETG would be capable (with some funding) of doing even better work than is being done by them now.  
 
The truck every twenty minutes wouldn't be that big a deal on highway 4 and would be even less of a deal on Haggard's Hope when it gets built. Too many with conflicting interests are fighting all transportation aspects on this Island. You as a