Englewood Rail Trail (proposed)

New logoWestern Forest Products (WFP) permanently ceased rail operations on the Englewood Logging Railway between Woss and Beaver Cove in November, 2017.  However, several bridges/trestles and sections of the rail grade are still used and will continue to be used by logging trucks and other vehicular traffic.

VITA has initiated discussions with WFP to use much the rail grade (about 50 km) for the Vancouver Island Trail, following the ‘rail trail’ concept used elsewhere in B.C.  In comparison with the route along the Bonanza Range, such a lower elevation ‘rail trail’ would have a wider range of trail users and a longer season of use.

In 2018, WFP sought public input to elicit various means of recognizing and preserving the history of the railway.  Results are presented in  a final summary report entitled “The Englewood Train Legacy” – see http://www.englewoodtrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/WFP-Englewood-Engagement-Summary-FINAL.pdf   This consultation revealed substantial support for a trail along the old rail grade.   There appears to be potential for support from WFP providing their operational needs are accommodated.  However, WFP recognizes that the grade passes through the traditional territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation and is not prepared to support trail development unless or until ‘Namgis support is forthcoming.

WFP will be removing tracks and other infrastructure as well as undertaking other remedial work in 2019.  Once this work is finished, it would likely be feasible to walk/hike much of the grade.