Project Type Parks & Trails
Project Status Construction
Project Area Esquimalt; Langford; Victoria; View Royal
Estimated Cost $36,000,000
Estimated Start Date 01-Jan-2009

Description

Our Newest Regional Traile-and-n-program-id-web

This cycling and pedestrian trail is being constructed largely within the E&N rail corridor. The E&N Rail Trail-Humpback Connector is being built in phases over a number of years and will be 17 kilometres in length when complete. This newest addition to the regional trail system provides an important non-motorized transportation and recreation link between Victoria and the Western communities. To date, 12 km of the trail is open for public use. 

2019/2020 Trail Construction

Atkins Avenue to Savory School (1 km)

This section of trail, phase 3, will fill a gap in the E&N Rail Trail between the railway crossing on Atkins Avenue and Savory School in Langford, creating a continuous 13 km trail between Jacklin Road in Langford and Esquimalt Road in Victoria. The routing and design for this section are now complete and construction is expected to begin in the fall 2019.

Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure announces $1 million for E&N Rail Trail

In May 2019, the ministry announced a $1 million grant to the CRD, through the BikeBC program, toward development of phase 3 of the E&N Rail Trail. Read more >>

Trail Sections Open To Public Use

Although construction of the entire trail is not complete, the sections below are open to public use:

  • Jacklin Road to Savory School
  • Atkins Avenue to Esquimalt Road
  • Trail Map

Recently Completed Sections

Maplebank Road to Hallowell Road (1 km)

This section of trail was substantially completed in Fall 2018. It extends between Maplebank Road and the Admirals Road/Hallowell Road intersection and along Hallowell Road, back to the rail corridor. The CRD worked with the Island Corridor Foundation, the Town of View Royal, Esquimalt and Songhees Nations, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on this 1 km section of trail

Future Construction

Esquimalt Road to the Johnson Street bridge

This section of trail will link Esquimalt Road and the Johnson Street bridge, in the City of Victoria. It will be constructed in part by CRD, the City of Victoria, and by area developers, as part of their development approval requirements from the City of Victoria.

Jacklin Road to Humpback Road

The final segment of trail required to complete the E&N Rail Trail is a 3.6 km section of trail from Jacklin Road to Humpback Road in the City of Langford. The Regional Trails Management Plan (2016) recommends a trail be developed along Humpback Road to link the E&N Rail Trail to Sooke Hills Wilderness Regional Park in the City of Langford.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the trail be completed?

Trail construction began in 2009 and will take many years to complete. The trail is being constructed in a number of phases and construction will continue until the project is complete, subject to staff and funding availability. 12 kilometres of the 17-kilometre route are complete.

Who is involved in building the trail?

CRD Regional Parks and CRD Environmental Engineering are working with municipal and First Nation partners in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Langford, Songhees Nation, Esquimalt Nation, and with the Province of BC and Island Corridor Foundation/Southern Rail of Vancouver Island.

How much will it cost?

The overall project value is estimated at $36 million. To-date, about $23 million has been invested in this project.

Where is the money coming from?

The overall trail project has been strongly supported by the federal government through the Regionally Significant Projects, Strategic Priorities Gas Tax funding ($14 million), and the Western Economic Diversification Fund ($1 million), and by the Province of BC through BikeBC ($2.7 million) and Local Motion funding ($275,000). The CRD has covered all costs that are not encompassed by grant funding.

What is the rationale for the order in which the trail is being built?

Due to the significant cost of building the entire trail at one time, a phased approach to trail development was approved by the CRD Board in 2009. Phase 1 was broken into seven project areas, with a portion of the trail in each of the partner municipalities. Phases 2 and 3 link the trail together. Future phases extend the trail on either end.

Why is it taking so long to build?

The rail trail project is a complex construction project involving the CRD, four municipalities, two First Nations, the rail corridor landowner, the railway operator, and in some cases, utility companies and developers. There are requirements relating to construction, railway operation, underground utilities, and municipal bylaws that must be addressed with each section. As with most construction projects, it takes time to work through the various requirements and processes. For example, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail took approximately ten years to complete.

How does the CRD mitigate environmental impacts from the trail development?

The CRD endeavors to protect significant natural features and minimize environmental impacts along the route to the greatest degree possible. The CRD engages with environmental consultants and engineers in the  planning and design stage. The environmental consultant identifies ecological attributes, riparian areas, wildlife and bird habitat, sensitive ecosystems and protected species and provides suggestions to minimize disturbance and to mitigate impacts. Examples of mitigation measures used by the CRD include:

  • Install bird nesting boxes to offset reduced habitat and install open barrier fencing to maintain wildlife movement.
  • Modify the route alignment to reduce significant tree loss.
  • Work with municipalities regarding tree replacement bylaw requirements.
  • Obtain necessary permits for working in and around streams.
  • Hire an arborist to supervise construction to ensure trees adjacent to the trail corridor are not harmed.
  • Salvage key native plants in areas to be disturbed areas for replanting.
  • Remove invasive plants from the project area.
  • Require construction contractors to use specific tools to protect aquatic environments from construction activity (e.g. erosion and sediment control, spill prevention and response).
  • Include environmental monitoring during construction.

The CRD hosts open houses to illustrate the proposed trail alignment and hear from the public during the design stage. This is an opportunity to raise issues and concerns. The comments are reviewed and considered as the CRD works with the design engineers and environmental consultants to finalize plans prior to construction. 

Does the Rail Trail connect to current trails such as the Galloping Goose?

Yes. The E&N Rail Trail is co-located with the Galloping Goose Regional Trail for approximately 2 km near the Atkins Avenue parking lot and rest stop. Once the trail is completed a loop route will exist between the Johnson Street Bridge and Burnside Rd West/Island Highway using the Goose and the E&N trails. Future municipal and regional trail systems may also connect with the E&N Rail Trail over time.

Why is there a fence between the trail and rail when there is no train running?

This railway is still officially active, and from time to time, it is used by Island Corridor Foundation or Southern Rail of Vancouver Island for operational purposes. In developing the E&N Rail Trail, the CRD must comply with safety requirements. Along the trail this includes a safety fence, located between the rail line and the trail.

Why are railway crossing upgrades required when there is no train running?

The safety improvements at the rail crossing are required to meet Transport Canada’s Canadian Railway-Roadway Grade Crossings Standards. It includes specific intersection safety upgrades (barriers, signals and pedestrian crossings) which must be put in as part of the trail construction process.

Images

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    Trail construction at Esquimalt Rd to Wilson St - Click to view full size image
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    Hallowell trail section - Click to view full size image
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Additional Information

Partners

  • Esquimalt Nation
  • Songhees Nation
  • Federal Government
  • Province of BC
  • Municipalities of Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, Langford
  • Island Corridor Foundation

Contact Us

Carolyn Stewart
Park and Trails Planner
490 Atkins Avenue
Victoria, BC V9B 2Z8
Tel: 250.360.3368
Email