Armstrong questions cost of buying rail line

Turning an abandoned rail line into public trail has support, but money may not be attached.

Turning an abandoned rail line into public trail has support, but money may not be attached.

Armstrong’s trails committee has urged city council to get behind plans to create a recreation corridor on the former Canadian Pacific line from Spallumcheen to Sicamous.

“Everyone would love to have a trail but we’re waiting to see what the cost factor is with the government,” said Paul Britton, a city councillor.

Mayor Chris Pieper admits challenges exist.

“If there is an opportunity to obtain the right of way we’d obtain it, but there’s a high cost to it,” said Pieper, who isn’t sure of the exact price tag for the property.

“Coming up with thousands or millions of dollars is not likely. Everyone would like to see a public corridor but no one has any money.”

About 100 yards of the former rail line is in Armstrong.

The trails committee has been working with the Shuswap Trails Alliance on the CP property.

“The STA is working with leadership to determine strategic options for both assembling enough financing for purchase and greenway development,” said Phil McIntyre-Paul, with the Shuswap Trails Alliance, in a letter.

“Local leadership is currently awaiting a call to meet with Splatsin leadership to discuss next-step strategy once Splatsin have concluded their negotiations with CP Rail.”

McIntyre-Paul says there will be a meeting in September to work on strategy.

“It would be very helpful to have Armstrong and area champions on board,” he said.