Don’t discount effectiveness, value of Budd rail cars in rail discussions

Letter writer naive in understanding of railroading, Metchosin resident writes

Re: ICF headed down wrong track (Letters, April 11)

I don’t know anything about Alan MacKinnon, but he seems rather naive in his understanding of the basic requirements to revive rail traffic on the E&N railway.

The railway is in a sad state at the moment and Island Corridor Foundation CEO Graham Bruce doesn’t appear to be doing anything constructive, rather, he is talking in circles.

The restart costs and capital required are substantial, but for MacKinnon to suggest those costs should be inflated by adding hi-tech, multi-million dollar rolling stock at the beginning is very premature and somewhat “pie in the sky.”

The first requirement is to get the system running again, as reliably and inexpensively and safely as we can. For passenger service, this has to be the Budd rail cars. Age has nothing to do with it. These cars are built strongly, mostly of stainless steel, and are of proven reliability and design.

Accommodating some wheelchair passengers can be done if you think ahead. But every situation can’t be covered in a restart situation.

Cost of maintenance of the Budd cars? Well, consider that new railcars will cost over $1 million each. Compare capitalizing those to the predictable and basic maintenance costs of the proven-designed Budd cars.

Consider also that many modern high speed light rail cars are designed to operate on fairly level roadbeds. They are lightweight, with small wheels, and this combination tends to cause wheel slip on track gradients over about one-half per cent. This wheel slip creates a cupping action on the railhead, which quickly leads to rough and noisy operation of the railcar.

If Mr. MacKinnon knew anything much about railroading, he probably wouldn’t have written that letter.

Ken Showers

Metchosin

Just Posted

Oak Bay doctor the pulse of Island’s heart failure clinic

Dr. Elizabeth Swiggum has headed heart clinic for past 14 years

UPDATE: Crown cross-examines Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Annual study shows high satisfaction with B.C. post-secondary schools

Study also reveals men tend to dominate higher paying jobs in the trades

Pavement work to close Fort Rodd Hill

Historic site scheduled to be closed to public Sept. 3 to 6

Victoria Shamrocks shoot for the WLA title on home floor

Senoir lacrosse team takes on Maple Ridge in Colwood Sunday at 6 p.m.

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read