E&N rail line will be running within a year, developer predicts
A well-known Victoria developer says he’ll get a proposed railway line between Langford and Victoria up and running within a year.
The E&N rail line has sat dormant for more than five years, but Ken Mariash, the developer behind Vic West’s Roundhouse project, is spearheading efforts to revive it.
Mayors have eyed a commuter rail service between Langford and Victoria as construction kicks into high gear on the McKenzie Interchange, which is expected to create more traffic on an already congested stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway for the next several years.
“It’s important to get it done, and it’s a bit painful to watch when it’s not getting done,” said Mariash.
That’s why Mariash has boldly predicted that one year from Thursday, a commuter rail will ride the rails once more.
He’s also predicting a price tag for commuters – $3 to $4 each way.
For many in Langford, that’s an option that could beat sitting in the dreaded “Colwood Crawl” for hours on end.
“I think the speed of the Colwood Crawl now has gotten down to below 15 kilometres an hour,” said Mariash.
He said the cost to get the train running could be up to $10-million, money he hopes will come from all levels of government.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said he’s also excited, noting Mariash has already funded reports into getting the track back in action.
“We’ve got to take advantage of that and give it one good shot here, but the business case has to be here,” said Young. “The public has to know how much we have to subsidize.”
Local mayors are meeting with Mariash on Friday to continue their talks aimed at getting plans for the once-vibrant railway back on track.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Robert Buffam