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General railway discussions

^ Sounds like the family has a plan to keep it up. I offered to donate.

I did do Wayback archive of the USRC magazine scans. Need to remember to do that for other sites.
 

I think this basically seals it. It is virtually guaranteed now that rail service will not return to Vancouver Island.
 

I think this basically seals it. It is virtually guaranteed now that rail service will not return to Vancouver Island.
$350 million is a drop in the bucket compared to what it will cost in 20 years when there is so much congestion that they will have no choice but to build it.
 

I think this basically seals it. It is virtually guaranteed now that rail service will not return to Vancouver Island.

I agree that it’s highly unlikely, but when you consider that those 5 members put forward a motion (which failed in a 6-to-5 vote) to say “the ICF was stepping away from the fantasy of resuming rail activities,” I would say the chances are slightly higher without them on the board. The return of rail service would have been guaranteed that rail service will not return to Vancouver Island if the motion had passed.

As an outsider, it appears as if those board members were put in place to ensure failure, as he First Nation communities seem to just want their land back, and don’t care about the return of rail service. I don’t really blame them either as it likely wouldn’t benefit them.
 
$350 million is a drop in the bucket compared to what it will cost in 20 years when there is so much congestion that they will have no choice but to build it.
The First Nations are right. There is absolutely no net positive BCR case to bring back service on this corridor. Beyond the flimsy justification, neither the federal or provincial governments have shown even the slightest bit of interest in this project. In fact the Horgan even said that he doesn't see its return as likely.

I think this is effectively a done deal. As great as railways can be, I don't see there being the need for them on Vancouver Island.
 
$350 million is a drop in the bucket compared to what it will cost in 20 years when there is so much congestion that they will have no choice but to build it.

I can see the case for landbanking the route ( although First Nations claims may actually stand in the way, or at best will require a substantial negotiation and costly payment).

The old VIA service only looked somewhat economically supportable because most long term upkeep of the line had halted. The service eventually was suspended because the bill for catchup on deferred maintenance had grown and the track had deteriorated beyond any hope of operability.

If the line had been maintained even enough to preserve it in the same condition it was in thirty years ago, the cumulative subsidy for that maintenance would have been an embarrassment to any government. The revenue potential never was there, and it isn’t there now.

- Paul
 
I thought there was some discussion about a new rail connection. I wonder if that may still happen.

Admittedly, my attention to the project has fallen off the past couple of years, and the ownership of the claims has gone through a few hands, so I'm not completely up to speed, but I'm not sure a railway is off the table, perhaps just down the road.

There have been long term talks about year-round roads to all of the remote FNTs in the northwest for years. Interestingly, not all bands have historically wanted it.

The way I understand development plans for the RofF, nickel and other deposits will be exploited first and essentially fund the development of the chromite deposits. Those minerals have pre-existing smelters/refineries (although none in the immediate area). Chromite will require a new ferrochrome smelter, initially slated for Sault Ste Marie. The road, in addition to connecting area FNTs, will be used to move mine development and equipment supplies. One of the owners proposed a private haul road to bring out ore, which obviously went over like a lead balloon.

Frankly, building a year-round road in that topography will be challenging enough. I have my suspicions whether they can build one that will survive the year-round pounding of a haul road used by a high volume of heavy trucks bringing out hundreds of tons of ore per day; heavy haul traffic that will be mixed with private cars and trucks. Then again, not an engineer.

A railway has a higher upfront cost and I doubt a government would be a major player in its funding, so the companies will need output to fund it. Think Cartier Railway in Quebec
 

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