||Parks & Trails
||Esquimalt; Langford; Victoria; View Royal
Our Newest Regional Trail
A new 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 trail system provides an important non-motorized transportation and recreation link between Victoria and the Western communities.
Trail Sections Open To Public Use
Although construction of the entire trail is not complete, three sections are open to public use. Where gaps exist, local roads or sidewalks will connect users to the next section of trail.
Jacklin Road to Savory School
Atkins Avenue to Hallowell Road
Maplebank Road to Esquimalt Road
Upcoming and Future Trail Construction
Upcoming: Maplebank Road to Hallowell Road (1 km)
CRD staff have been working together with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Town of View Royal, Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation and Island Corridor Foundation over the past several years to understand the various interests and projects in the area; together we have established a route for the regional trail connection between Maplebank Road and Hallowell Road. With the recent announcement of Bike BC grant funding and the existing UBCM Gas Tax funding, we are now able to begin work on this section of the trail route in 2016.
Next Section: Atkins Avenue to Savory School
When the CRD is successful in finding grant funding it will initiate construction of a 1km section of trail from the railway crossing on Atkins Avenue to Savory School. This will close a gap between two existing trail sections.
Future Sections: Esquimalt Road to the Johnson Street bridge; Jacklin Road to Humpback Road
Two trail sections remain for future development. Approximately 1.3 km of trail in the City of Victoria is needed to link Esquimalt Road to the Johnson Street bridge. The CRD will construct a portion of the route and area developers will construct a portion (e.g. through the Roundhouse development). A 3.6 km section of trail from Jacklin Road to Humpback Road in the City of Langford is also slated for future development. No funding or time frame have been approved for these future phases yet.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the trail be completed?
Trail construction began in 2009 and will take many years to complete. It is being constructed in a number of phases. 10 kilometres of the 17-kilometre route are complete.
Who is involved in building the trail?
CRD Regional Parks is working with municipal partners in Victoria, Esquimalt, View Royal, and Langford, Songhees Nation, Esquimalt Nation, Province of BC, Island Corridor Foundation.
How much will it cost?
The overall project value is estimated at $36 million.
Where is the money coming from?
Since the beginning of the project in 2007, almost $20 million in funding has been awarded to this $36 million initiative. The overall trail project has been strongly supported by the federal government through the Regionally Significant Projects, Strategic Priorities Gas Tax Funding, and the Western Economic Diversification Fund, and by the Province of BC through Bike BC and Local Motion funding. The CRD has covered all costs that are not encompassed by grant funding. The CRD will continue to seek funding opportunities for future phases.
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. 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.
Will 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 2km 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, such as the Trans Canada Trail, 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 federal safety requirements. Along the trail this includes a safety fence, located between the rail line and the trail. It also includes specific intersection safety upgrades (barriers, signals and pedestrian crossings) which must be put in as part of the trail construction process. In this way, all requirements are in place and ready when the line is more actively used.