Dear Editor. (Sent to the Times Colonist Nov 17, 2021)
The Malahat is closed again. This time due to unprecedented rainfall. It will now be periodically closed for repairs for weeks. We now have fuel shortages because tankers can’t get down Island. Just when will the economic costs of decades of stubborn refusal to rebuild the railway finally break the mental dam, so to speak, in the Ministry of Transportation and BC Government?
The railway survived the storms. We are fools for allowing it to sit unused, unable to serve us, in our time of need and every other day of the week as well.
For goodness sakes, refurbish it and get the trains, people and freight moving. We can’t afford not to.
I talked to the ICF yesterday and they confirmed that other than water covering some sections of track, the railway suffered only minor damage and some debris on the tracks. Nothing major.
It appears operations in Nanaimo were not interrupted and would probably only take a matter of hours to put everything back into service if it was running to Victoria, Port Alberni and Nanaimo.
And yet here we are, panic buying at gasoline stations because tankers can’t get down highway 1.
We are truly fools.