Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal and Langford in talks with Island Corridor Foundation for commuter rail during McKenzie interchange project.
Over 100 years old, The historic Round House in Vic West is showing it’s age.
It’s a link to the E&N Line and for communities that rail runs through in the Capital region, they’d like to get it running soon.
“The idea that was presented was to run a commuter train from Langford to Victoria during the construction period for the McKenzie Interchange, just to reduce some of the pressure on that transportation corridor,” says Esquimalt Councillor Susan Low.
The Mayors of Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal and Langford have requested for information from the Island Corridor Foundation on a business case to support rail use during the project.
While the tracks could be used now, they do need some work.
“They would have to get the investment to upgrade the rail bed and the ties on that piece of the line in order to run at whatever speed they wanted to run at,” says Low.
“And that’s really in the discovery, you know, exploration stage, how fast would the train need to go to make sense as a commuter route.”
Talks include having terminus stations near Westhills in Langford and at the Round House development. Low says there are a number of ways people can use the rail without having to come all the way downtown.
“A lot of people commute from the West Shore and they are going to the base or the dock yards,” adds Low.
“There’s four or five thousand people that work there and they’re coming from all over the region.”
“So having a rail connection going through that corridor could take a lot of pressure off the McKenzie interchange.”
But getting train cars, and people, back on the tracks between Langford and Victoria is still a ways off from happening.
“They’re putting together the business case for it and there’s a lot of different ingredients that are being looked at,” says Low.
“Different business cases for using the rail line, up and down the island in fact.”
There is potential, however, for these rusty tracks to see use before long.