Grindrod rail line still a focus despite cost

Maintaining public access to a rail line remains uncertain.

The Regional District of North Okanagan has decided not to presently purchase the 15 kilometres of track between Spallumcheen and Grindrod.

“We have let this opportunity lapse at this time at the price presented,” said Patrick Nicol, chairperson.

Canadian Pacific’s contractor, Okanagan Valley Railway, ceased line operations in August 2009.

CP is seeking federal approval to abandon the line, but the regional district wants to maintain public access to the land as a way of encouraging economic development.

The federal Canadian Transportation Agency lists the  total net value of the line as $3.2 million.

That value includes $1.8 million for the land, $1.2 million for the track and $105,338 for leases and agreements.

The deadline for RDNO to respond to a possible purchase was Wednesday.

Despite the cost, some local politicians aren’t giving up.

“We recognize the value of the property as a transportation corridor,” said director Howie Cyr.

“It’s important that we don’t abandon the issue.”

Along with possibly providing rail access to businesses along the route, other transportation options are hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing and motor vehicles.

“We’ve designated it as a transportation corridor in our official community plan so the value for (private) development is virtually nil,” said Cyr.

For Cyr, the next step is to bring together the communities along the route.

“I’d like to convene a meeting of the stakeholders, including First Nations, to see what their appetite is (for acquisition),” he said.

“We need to determine what importance we put on this property.”

It’s not known when a meeting may be held.


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Rural residents getting dumped on
Johnson rates Kona Ironman
Bryan Adams returns to Okanagan with Reckless 30th anniversary tour
Trains will roll, whenever
Work underway to raise first totem pole in Gwaii Haanas in more than a century
Cops for Cancer Tour de North wraps up in Prince Rupert
Duty-free hikes criticized locally
Candidates square off in Castlegar
BCTF touts deal in email to members

Community Events, September 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.