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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Canadian government to help fund track restoration for Vancouver Island Railway


Earlier this week, the Canadian government announced it will provide up to $7.5 million to help fund track restoration work for the Vancouver Island Railway between Victoria and Courtenay, British Columbia.

Because of poor track conditions and safety concerns, passenger-rail service between Victoria and Courtenay has been suspended. Freight-rail traffic — which is handled by the Southern Railway of British Columbia Ltd., along with passenger-rail service on the island — currently is operating at reduced speeds.

The Island Corridor Foundation is undertaking the project, which is estimated to cost $15 million. The foundation already has secured $500,000 from the province of British Columbia for a bridge engineering study. The government's $7.5 million allocation will help fund the replacement of ties, rail joints and ballast, which will address short-term operational and safety issues.

Federal funding is contingent on the completion of a federal project review, the signing of a contribution agreement and the province’s confirmation regarding its remaining $7 million contribution, government officials said in a prepared statement. The foundation also must confirm that no further federal investment will be required, such as to cover costs associated with repairs to the existing track and bridges, or to build a new station in Esquimalt to replace the municipally owned passenger terminal in downtown Victoria, they said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/12/2012