Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Railway to Nowhere

Abandoned rail bed of the former E&N line on Vancouver Island, BC...

You know what you don't see in this photo?

A cougar!

I have lived on the West Coast for two-thirds of my life. One of the items on my bucket list is to take a photo of a cougar in the wild. So far it hasn't happened, but I'll keep hiking in the early morning bush in the hopes that my luck will change one day.

The other thing you don't see in this photo is a train. This is the rail bed of the former E&N (Esquimalt and Nanaimo) passenger train that stopped running between Victoria and communities north about four years ago due to a myriad of issues. Mostly what killed it was lack of maintenance on the track combined with a lack of ridership. It's a shame because my wife and I had taken the train and it was a great way to see parts of the island not visible from the Island highway.

A local group has been working hard to secure financing to re-start the service, although it will travel in the opposite directions than it did previously. In this way they hope to sell it as a daily commuter service and increase ridership.

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