October 6, 2014

Ohrn Words: CoV vs CPR

Frances Bula has written in her blog about the current stage of negotiations between CoV and CPR.
If successful in obtaining this land, CoV, and significant regional agencies, have a development plan in early stages that turns the Arbutus Corridor into an 11-km long north-south transportation greenway for people riding bicycles, among other uses. Yahoo! Bring it on!
To my mind, the court filing argues that the Arbutus Corridor has been abandoned, for lack of customers, for over 10 years. Significant obvious deterioration has rendered it unfit to carry trains, unopposed by the CPR. Further, the CPR formally discontinued its use in 1999, and for 14 years after that, as required under an Act. This apparently places an onus on CPR to get Ministerial approval to reinstate its use, which CPR has not done, probably since no Minister would believe that there are rail customers along the Arbutus Corridor. Seizure-inducing references to Acts and Plans ensue, and there are complications around formally offering the land for sale.
The last train customer along the Arbutus Corridor apparently was Molson’s brewery at the south end of the Burrard Bridge. They agreed with the CPR roughly around 1999 to use alternate means of transportation, with CPR paying Molson’s the cost difference in lieu of Arbutus rail maintenance costs. Could a beer company get into this, and partner with one side or the other to swing the outcome?

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