Railway fixes not worth the money

Re: Sun sets on E&N, for now (News, April 13)

The Island Corridor Foundation is currently lobbying the federal and provincial governments for a $15-million grant to improve the E&N rail line.

Where will the money come from to repair bridges and trestles, upgrade railway crossings, buy rail cars – not to mention operating costs for crews’ salaries and regular maintenance which, we all know, the ICF cannot afford?

In my view, the harm to local residents far outweighs the potential benefits. I am not convinced that enhanced rail service, commuter and/or freight, would alleviate traffic congestion problems, or provide significant environmental benefits. Additional trains would increase noise, dust, diesel-emission pollution and create greater safety hazards for all of us.

Please call, write or email your MP, MLA, federal and provincial ministers of transportation, your mayor, chief and council, and tell them to stop wasting our money. Any tax dollars spent on infrastructure in this region should be dedicated to an overpass at the McKenzie/Trans-Canada intersection.

A $15-million investment in Island rail now would only be the beginning of a long slippery slope of fiscal irresponsibility.

Francine Khan

Esquimalt