Federal funding for E&N fixes imminent, rail boss says

Graham Bruce says an announcement putting passenger service back on the E&N line could happen as early as this month. - Andrew Leong/file
Graham Bruce says an announcement putting passenger service back on the E&N line could happen as early as this month.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

Folks can help get island rail passenger service back on track by writing the prime minister about funding.

That's the message from Island Corridor Foundation boss Graham Bruce, who's stoked about the ICF hearing word about $7.5 million requested from federal taxpayers by month's end.

But to ice that cash, Bruce urged citizens to write PM Stephen Harper and Transport Minister Denis Lebel about fixing the sidetracked E&N service.

"I've got about 100 letters sent already, and if we get a couple of hundred more on the prime minister's desk, it would be very impressive," Bruce told the News Leader Pictorial Thursday.

Background material and addresses can be found on the ICF's website.

"Our website also has a suggested letter and links."

Bruce and ICF co-chair Mary Ashley met last week in Campbell River with North Island MP, John Duncan, minister of Indian affairs and northern development.

They discussed timing of the federal funds needed to match Victoria's $7.5 million for track, trestle and bridge upgrades that could spell some 10 years of island-rail service.

“Minister Duncan told us he and his colleague, Nanaimo MP James Lunney had been pushing hard to get this funding approved, and that a decision would be forthcoming before the end of March”, Bruce says in a release.

But Bruce reckoned word about the cash could come earlier.

He's also anxious to see a $500,000 trestle and bridge engineering audit signed off and publicly released.

That technical audit was paid using part of the provincial rail purse.








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