Mayor Gregor Robertson says all the city can do is ask CP Rail to respect local residents wishes and refrain from operating on the Arbutus corridor.
Robertson is responding to questions from reporters after CP advised residents along the route, which cuts past properties on the west side from Kitsilano to the Fraser River, advising them crews will cut brush and survey the line while mulling possible operational uses for the tracks.
“CP has the right to use that rail corridor, it’s in federal legislation, nothing the city can do to prevent that, except say please respect our neighbourhoods, and the historic greenway that’s been there, I think is in everyone’s best interests.”
Robertson adds it would be a “huge concern” if dangerous cargo were to be carried on the tracks given it runs through the middle of several residential neighbourhoods.
Ed Greenberg with CP says federal laws requires the track to meet specific safety requirements, so the brush clearing and survey work are part of that process.
He says no decisions have been made yet, adding over the years, CP and the city have failed to reach a deal on the line. He says that’s one reason they are reconsidering how it could be used.