UPDATED: Mayor weighs in on CP Rail possibly running trains along Arbutus

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UPDATED: Mayor weighs in on CP Rail possibly running trains along Arbutus

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.


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  1. Naw, its most likely a ploy to sell the real estate that was given to CPR for FREE and make a few more million dollars PROFIT selling it the city to make it into a boulevard to keep it GREEN

    Remember the opposition to use that railway right-of-way for Canada Line? Never mind even considering going an almost straight line from downtown to 3 road and YIP under Granville st.

    • Yes, it seems like a rather open ploy to try and get Vancouver citizens who would be affected by any decision to run trains down that corridor to push the city into making a deal with CP. If there was a serious business case to be made for running trains down that line, they’d still be doing it. They stopped because there isn’t one, not out of the goodness of their hearts.

  2. Hunter Harrison and Gregor! I know who I’m betting on in this poker game. I suspect that line is now useless but CPR is gonna try to get as much as possible for it. They may even run the odd locomotive up there to show they are there. PS folks. The railway was there before the creme dela creme!

  3. Quote: “please respect our neighbourhoods, and the historic greenway that’s been there”

    Real World Logic: “Isn’t it historically a railway? It was an active railway far longer than it was a greenway. So really he should be respecting the historic railway that’s been there.”

    Quote: ““huge concern” if dangerous cargo were to be carried on the tracks given it runs through the middle of several residential neighbourhoods.”

    Real World Logic: Yes because all other railways in Metro-Vancouver don’t run through several residential neighbourhoods like the main lines through New Westminster, the rail line running straight threw Newton in Surrey directly next to back yards, or the major coal line that runs through the heart of Langley. No those are nowhere near residences…

  4. I can think back to a time when the train went by through the field , and the thick black smoke
    comeing from the engin , that was 60 years ago . and the old thrashing machine was still being used , when tracters had steal wheals . and if you went to my school you had a nun for a teacher , mine gave me chocalet for my French studies . They actualy liked little kids , where as to day , nothing but controle freeks , And if you don’t like trains than don’t live by the tracks .
    Cp lost out on the BC Rail deal , so don’t expect and deals with them .

  5. The Creme de la Creme should have no issue with trains running up the Arbutus corridor especially if trains carry coal. I would refer them to Dale to explain how coal dust cannot be dispersed from coal trains due to a little understood phenomenon which as a vortex that sucks coal dust back into the back end of a train and down onto the track. Dale’s theories remind me of another metaphor involving blowing smoke up certain orifices.

    “No one living near train tracks have any right to be concerned about noise or health effects.” At least this is what White Rock, South Surrey and Delta residents are told.

    So let’s see how the Creme De la Creme respond to the possibility that trains will resume operation along this historic right of way- coal or no coal.

  6. There USED to be one of them hand pumped carts going over the rail line beside Arbutus St. every once in a while. I’m not sure that any rail roads had to run trains over the tracks onece every so often or they LOST THEIR RIGH OF WAY. I could be wrong on this OR the laws or rules changed BUT if that rule is still in effect and I don’t thing any rail equipment, cart. locomotive gone over those track perhaps for the last TWENTY YEARS, in that case CPR lost their right of way privileges.

    Somebody who knows legal things should look into this, eh? Won’t Marathon Realty just LOVE that, eheheeeh

  7. When I heard Moonbeam whine that no one will listen at CP rail will listen to him and they could ram their trains through Arbutus no matter what people want, I laughed so hard I almost ran over a cyclist. Karma is a bitch isn’t it?