City disappointed in CN Rail decision
Sep 27, 2013 / 1:03 pm
The City of Kelowna is not surprised with news CN Rail will not re-open the rail line between Kelowna and Vernon.
CN Rail announced on Thursday night that it will re-open a portion of the transportation link, however, the Kelowna/Vernon section was left off the list.
The rail link has been shut down since early summer when Kelowna Pacific Railway went into receivership.
"It is unfortunate both for the businesses and employees that are affected by it," says Community Planning and Real Estate manager, Doug Gilchrist.
"We'll see if we can make the best of a bad situation and see what comes of it in the near future."
From a transportation perspective, Gilchrist says Kelowna is blessed with alternate modes of transportation available to companies looking for alternatives to the rail system.
"We have quite a good road network that I presume many of those businesses will be able to take advantage of but it does have an impact on the road system and our highway system," says Gilchrist.
"We will have to monitor and see what affect they might have."
Gilchrist says the city will eventually sit down with CN Rail to try and understand the process if the rail company does decide to move forward with abandonment of the rail line.
He says the city will need to understand how CN would see that process proceeding and to define the city's role in that process.
"It is an important transportation corridor whether it be rail or another form of transportation. I think protecting that corridor is critical to the city," says Gilchrist.
"An evaluation would have to take place but if it was a road or a multi-model transportation corridor, if it were not to be rail, I'm sure those options would be looked at."
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