WATCH: Mayor Stew Young says his municipality is on the hook for $1.5-million to install railway crossing infrastructure at two intersections, to accommodate a line that doesn’t have any trains. Monica Martinez reports.
The E&N railway line is quiet. Passenger train service stopped in 2011 due to safety concerns, but improvements won’t start until the federal government signs off on $7.5-million.
“Once the federal government signs it off then the work will be tendered and that work will take about a year,” said Island Corridor Foundation CEO Graham Bruce.
But even though the train isn’t running, municipalites such as Langford, are still paying a sky high price.
The city needs to install rail signal arms for the West Shore Parkway and Leigh Road. And there’s only place in North America to get them – making the cost of the rail arm infrastructure at each intersection $750,000 USD.
Langford Mayor Stewart Young said it doesn’t make any sense.
“It’s unnecessary right now until the train runs. It’s a lot of money and we don’t support it,” he said.
“What a waste of taxpayer dollars to spend all this money on arms and you can only source it in one place in North America making these arms and the price is extremely prohibited.”
Mayor Stew Young says they have asked the organization in charge of the railway development, Island Corridor Foundation, to grant them approval to pause construction of the rail arms, but were denied.
“That’s why we are having these discussions now and on deaf ears. There’s no middle ground on this at all that’s where we are quite concerned about it,” said Young.
But this is where the train discussion, splits off on to two different tracks.
ICF CEO Graham Bruce says Langford needs to submit an application to the board, something they haven’t yet done.
“I can’t see why that would be a problem,” Bruce said.
“I don’t have anything on file. They were told that way back in September that this was something that would be acceptable to the board.”
There’s no date set for when the train will be back in service, but communication between the City of Langford and ICF appears to have gone off the rails.