There really is something special about travelling by train. There was a simpler time when public transportation was superior than the options we have today. When in Eastern Canada or Europe I always choose trains over planes and cars and for good reasons.

You can can just show up, buy a ticket, get on board and kick back in a comfortable seat. There are no full body scans or long security lines. Trains are far more spacious, not very crowded and there are no limits on baggage weight. Imagine the ease of taking a train for Nelson or Rossland with a pack and bike or skis. Or perhaps the convenience of getting to Cranbrook for a health visit without having to drive. The good news is someone is looking to improve our lives.

Mark Laver, from Castlegar and District Economic Development office, is looking into the possibility of returning the Kootenays to a superior mode of transport.

Castlegar & District Economic Development is seeking quotes from qualified organizations to conduct a feasibility study on the potential for an East-West train service in the Kootenays, British Columbia.

In 2018, with the demise of Greyhound, travelling between towns and cities in the Kootenays became a little more problematic. Furthermore, private operators are adding increasing capacity to the Vancouver-Calgary train route for tourists. The need for inter-town travel for shopping, medical appointments, and family visits, together with ever increasing tourism has led local leaders to explore if a train service in the Kootenays would be feasible.

Funding for the study is coming from several partners including a grant from the province’s Rural Development Fund.

The office would like to see organizations with market research or economic development experience, knowledge of the Kootenays and knowledge in the public transportation and tourism sectors apply for the contract.

Proposals are due August 31, 2019 and interested parties can download the Request for Expression of Interest here: Kootenay Train Service Feasibility

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