Re: "Rail-startup cost $20.9 million and holding," Nov 9.
I am a longtime historian of the E&N Railway and recently assisted with the new book on the steam years of the E&N from 1905 to 1949.
I am appalled to see that the Island Corridor Foundation thinks it can restart the E&N passenger service in 2013 for $20.9 million in repairs. Does the ICF realize that there are 1,430 ties per kilometre on the E&N? Each tie costs $35 and nearly every tie needs replacing on the entire 224 kilometres of track. For the most part, rails are worn out, with many dating back to the early 1900s.
Every major bridge on the E&N needs extensive work. Niagara Canyon bridge alone is 101 years old and was in use 27 years before that at Cisco. It was in its last years when the CPR was here in the 1990s. To re-tie and re-rail the E&N, plus installation, would cost well over $250 million, not including bridge repairs.
As well, Via Rail has no Dayliners available - the two that were here are now in Sudbury, Ont. Industrial Rail Services in New Brunswick were rebuilding Dayliners for Via Rail but that company recently declared bankruptcy.
How, then, will $20.9 million rebuild a broken-down railway and re-introduce passenger service by 2013?
Patrick O. Hind
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