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Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by lionking on Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:18 pm


Does The ICF Really Care About Enhancing Our Railway?
Posted on March 17, 2012
Coombs Adventure Railway Tours – Delayed Again

March 2012

By Mark Charland

When it comes to conflict I’m usually one of those “grin and bear it” kind of guys. Last year that all changed, and all because of having to deal with a man who, to a lot of people on Vancouver Island, is probably held in high regard. I’m talking about Graham Bruce, executive director of the Island Corridor Foundation. I approached Mr. Bruce a few years ago about the possibility of starting a small handcar business on the railway tracks at Coombs. Over the years the plan evolved into a much bigger operation to include a light rail shuttle service between Coombs and Cameron Lake, a station at Coombs, and other attractions. Mainly this has become possible because I’ve had the good fortune of meeting and teaming up with an experienced business investor with a solid track record who is interested in investing $250,000 into this venture.


A more detailed business plan was submitted to the ICF in 2010, resulting in their acceptance of our offer to pay a generous rental fee for the tracks. Things were looking up and a spring 2011 launch was our target. Much had to be done; acquire light rail vehicles, obtain a railway license, insurance, hire staff, marketing, etc. and despite facing a possible loss in the first year, my heart and soul was into this thing, so we eagerly moved ahead. In addition, we estimated bringing in a couple hundred thousand dollars and plenty of tourists to the Coombs area. Needless to say local merchants were all for it.

Up to this time all correspondence and phone conversations with Mr. Graham had been cordial and professional. He then requested $3000 to officially open a file. Everything then hinged on the rail line being inspected and declared safe. We agreed and offered to hire a vehicle and inspector of his choosing to inspect the tracks, arrange to meet in person since we had never met before, and hand deliver the cheque. It was then, Mr. Bruce had a sudden change of heart and quickly notified me in a rather terse email “best to hold off for now. I may be in a better position in the fall”. No further explanation was given. Phone conversations after that were equally evasive. This was in February 2011. We still had time to set up and I tried other options. Nothing worked. Out of pure frustration, and to be honest, being somewhat unhappy with Mr. Bruce’s lack of transparency, I took my concerns to Tourism BC, and the Nanaimo Daily News. I knew this was risky but did it anyway.

The current situation is this. After a few emails to Mr. Bruce between September and November of 2011, and after a few phone calls, none of which were responded to, I finally got a hold of him. He made it quite clear he was not impressed with my efforts and that future discussions were out of the question. This would have been helpful news back in September when I first tried contacting him, but instead he chose to simply ignore the situation. At this rate, the chances of ever opening this attraction for 2012 are remote. Why such pettiness on his part? Why such resistance? This scenic stretch of track has been sitting unused for 10 years. It should be, and could have been turned into a useful, exciting, and environmentally friendly attraction that would have benefited tourism and the community.

What do I hope to accomplish with this letter? Maybe Mr. Bruce has taken on more responsibilities than he can handle. Maybe it’s time for ICF to consider a change in leadership – someone perhaps with a fresh approach; more transparency. Or even perhaps someone at ICF could intervene on Mr. Bruce’s behalf. The point is, people and businesses in the Coombs area, and Islanders in general, should be made aware of what they may be missing because a certain individual has decided to put a fragile ego, or other non-disclosed plans, ahead of clear decision making. Any advice and support is welcomed.

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Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by lionking on Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:24 pm

Business claims rail tourism plan was yanked by ICF
Darrell Bellaart, Daily News
Published: Thursday, May 05, 2011
A North Vancouver entrepreneur with a plan for a tourism railcar business using E&N Railway tracks claims his deal to start the business this year has been yanked out from under him by those who control the railway.
Mark Charland is one of two proponents behind Vancouver Island Adventure Railway Tours, which would rent E&N tracks to carry tourists on short excursions at $12 a head.
The track is owned by the Island Corridor Foundation, a non-profit association of the communities through which the track runs on Vancouver Island.

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Charland claimed the board of directors voted in January to strike a deal with his business, but that the plug was then pulled on the deal.
ICF executive director Graham Bruce denies blocking the proposal.
Charland and his partner, Tony Merkin, are anxious to get the service running. Two routes are proposed: the currently unused Coombs-to-Cameron Lake corridor and Cowichan Bay-to-Shawnigan Lake.
Revenues of $250,000 are projected in the first year.
The proposal is for hand-pump style railcars and open-air cars hitched to a motorized van that rides on the rails, at both locations.
It would not only boost tourism but "provide an inter-community light rail shuttle service as well," Charland said.
"At the January ICF board meeting, the motion was approved to accept our offer to rent these tracks and we thought we were on our way."
Bruce said his role is not to block third-party business applications.
"I have a lot of people who are inquiring as to different rail opportunities so I'm not going to go into details of that because that is just business of the railway," Bruce said. "In my capacity, I can collect all the information and piece it all together but in the end, it goes to the board."
Bruce said the minutes of those negotiations are not public, since "those are business, personnel arrangements that need to be worked out in a proper, businesslike manner."
Charland just wants it to move forward.
"It's been an ongoing thing with me and the ICF the last couple of years, and this year I thought it would go through."
DBellaart@nanaimodailynews.com


© The Daily News (Nanaimo) 2011

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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by booboo on Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:09 pm

hmmmm...probably the deal is off cuz of the Coal Trains acomin to the Alberni Valley......

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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by The Invisible Man on Mon Apr 02, 2012 1:14 am

Wow! A Port Alberni resident is demanding answers to rail questions. He is purposely drawing attention to himself by speaking out publicly about something that he feels passionate about. Possum thinks this type of behaviour is narcissism! It must be so. It's all HERE.

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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by lionking on Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:49 am

The Invisible Man wrote:Wow! A Port Alberni resident is demanding answers to rail questions. He is purposely drawing attention to himself by speaking out publicly about something that he feels passionate about. Possum thinks this type of behaviour is narcissism! It must be so. It's all HERE.



Oh well, Admiral, Major, & Possum your all one in the same, all three of you just love Kicking Ass, if you know what I mean Wink Wink lol!
Remember Possum, there are no fools like a old fool and, in the past you have been three fools in one Rolling Eyes lol!

I must't forget you are so busy people calling you to go to meetings and, you just have no time to answer my questions, only when you feel like it Rolling Eyes
On the other hand how dare that Mary not getting back to you, Twisted Evil shame on her it's been over a year already Mad well you know how fast time flies the older you get and, just like you, you know, maybe she has a life to and, is just to busy and, will when she feel's like it?
Imo I think seeing how's it's been over a year and, she hasn't gotten back to you, I'd say that's a pretty good indication she ain't gonna, do ya think?


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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by Possum on Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:53 pm

You are very very correct, but I am still better than the two of you. Have a nice day ladies. Very Happy

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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by The Invisible Man on Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:17 pm

It shows that we're getting under your "narcissus" skin Possum. I really don't like giving you some of your own medicine back but I think in this case it's worth it.
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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by Possum on Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:53 pm



And you are correct I really am beautiful. Razz


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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by lionking on Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:53 pm

Possum wrote:You are very very correct, but I am still better than the two of you. Have a nice day ladies. Very Happy

Possum a couple years I actually did see something you wrote, that made me think you did know what you were talking about, then you threatened to take a person down if he didn't shut his mouth and, that changed my opinion of you, and I never looked at anything you posted again! SadSad BTW over the years you and, a few people like you have called me very bad names over the internet and, the king didn't appreciate it when I showed him, it upset me for a while then I let you have it still do as you see. But, there's always a but, if you ever threatened avataress with violence, the king wouldn't like it you silly oooooooold man. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by Possum on Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:17 am

Does whoopie shit mean anything to you?

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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by The Invisible Man on Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:13 am

Possum wrote:Does whoopie shit mean anything to you?
I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.
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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by lionking on Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:36 am

Possum wrote:Does whoopie shit mean anything to you?

I'm already visualizing the duck take over your freak-en mouth you Moran
lol! lol! lol!

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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by Possum on Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:48 pm

Wow, and you expect people to deal with you like you are even remotely normal.

Maybe you should install a spell checker there dimwit. The business plan you are advocating didn't hold water so it got axed. Too bad your intellectual level is so low you can't comprehend what the guy actually said.

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Re: Coombs Adventure Railway

Post by lionking on Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:08 pm

Possum wrote:Wow, and you expect people to deal with you like you are even remotely normal.

Maybe you should install a spell checker there dimwit. The business plan you are advocating didn't hold water so it got axed. Too bad your intellectual level is so low you can't comprehend what the guy actually said.

Very Happy Any connection between your REALITYand mine is purely [b]COINCIDENLTAL LOOSER lol! lol! lol!

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