Is there a market for passengers to make tracks between the two Kootenays by train? Black Press file photo

Is there a market for passengers to make tracks between the two Kootenays by train? Black Press file photo

Study to look at East-West Kootenay train

Castlegar Economic Development looking for consultants.

Have you ever wished you could just hop on a train between the West and East Kootenay?

A feasibility study out of the Castlegar and District Economic Development office is looking into the possibility of just such a journey.

The office put out a call recently for a consultant to conduct research into the possibility of a train service that could be used by tourists, commuters, or both.

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

The request for proposals cites several reasons why the office thinks there might be a demand for the service including the demise of Greyhound and the need for inter-town travel for shopping, medical appointments and family visits. A growing tourism industry is also listed as a positive factor.

The scope of the project will include developing and implementing surveys of local stakeholders and residents, in-depth interviews with train operators and tour operators and a final report of findings and recommendations.

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

Proposals are due Aug. 31. Interested parties should contact Mark Laver at edm@castlegar.com or 250-304-8231.