Current focus remains on train freight

Keeping trains on track remains a priority over efforts to build a trail along the CN railway from Kelowna to Coldstream

Keeping trains on track remains a priority over efforts to build a trail along the CN railway from Kelowna to Coldstream.

Citizens for an Okanagan Rail Trail, a group initiated in the North Okanagan, has been urging local politicians – including Coldstream council – to support the initiative for a recreation corridor.

“It connects so many wonderful opportunities,” said spokesperson Brad Clements of the alternate transportation options such as a trail would create.

Although the group is eager to see a trail created, it is first and foremost supportive of railway continuation.

“If a party can come forward and operate the railway to support those businesses we will definitely step down,” said Clements.

Parties interested in operating the railway have until Dec. 3 to come forward. If no one comes forward, local government will have between March 5 and April 4 to state if there is interest in acquiring the track.

In the meantime, a meeting of local mayors is scheduled for Dec. 11.

“I’m sure something is going to be coming out of that meeting in terms of direction,” said Coldstream Mayor Jim Garlick.

The trail group is also meeting with the Okanagan Indian Band.

The District of Coldstream is already working to preserve the future of railway by examining zoning options.