Could Daily Passenger Service Return to the Former BCR?
VIA Rail would be the operator.
The return of the North Vancouver to Prince George passenger rail service is a good idea, both for travelers and for tourists. Leaving from downtown Vancouver would, I think, seal the deal.
The Gordon Campbell BC Liberal Party sold BC Rail in a sweetheart deal to the CNR, whose CEO just happened to be the party bagman! The Railway was sold, in part, to kill the passenger rail service so another political friend who owned the Rocky Mountaineer could operate expensive tourist trains on the run.
As the CNR is a federally mandated railway and, VIA Rail would operate the passenger service and those who want passenger service must petition their MP’s.
How a Talgo ’tilt’ train on the run or even a TramTrain service to Whistler?
North Vancouver wants passenger rail service
Regular train at Lillooet station on a winter West Coast Rail Tours trip. Photo by Gordon Hall
North Vancouver city council is joining the chorus asking for a new passenger rail service from Prince George to the North Shore.
Lillooet Mayor Margaret Lampman sent a letter to all the municipalities from Prince George to North Vancouver requesting support for the idea.
“The hope is that we can get some passenger rail entity to come forward and put into service the passenger rail line,” she said.
“I think it’s a fantastic idea and I fully support it, as does this council as well,” said City of North Vancouver mayor Darrell Mussatto,adding he hopes CN Rail will let the project use a freight line, which according to him “is not as much as it used to be in the past.”
“Hopefully there’ll be a business opportunity. An entrepreneur might want to come forward to purchase some cars,” said Mussatto.
“The loss of the ‘Budd Car’ in 2002 was a loss of economic and social investment in the future of British Columbia,” stated the letter signed on March 7.
Todd Stone, minister of transportation and infrastructure, said in a statement that relatively low ridership and the loss of “several million dollars every year” caused the service to be discontinued.
“Given the fact that market demand for passenger rail service along this route remains marginal, the provincial government is not considering reinstating this service,” said Stone.
Lampman said she’s not asking the province to reinstate the passenger rail service. “I’m asking the premier for help in facilitating talks with CN who has the lease on the line.”
According to Lampman, since Lillooet doesn’t have transit system or a Greyhound station, it’s difficult for people without vehicles to reach other areas.
“If you have a medical appointment with a specialist in Vancouver and you don’t have a vehicle, you have to hire someone to take you down and that is a lot of money for some people to pay up just to go down to access medical care.”
CN Rail declined to comment on this story.