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8/20/2001



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CPR might abandon five branch lines under revised network plan


Canadian Pacific Railway Aug. 17 updated its three-year network plan, which now targets 228 track miles for abandonment.

The five Western Canadian branch lines — all of which have been experiencing long-term traffic declines — serve grain facilities and other industries that either closed or plan to close plants along the lines, or now use trucks instead of rail.

The lines include: a 25.7-mile Arcola Subdivision line between Redevers and Carlyle, a 54.7-mile Burstall Subdivision line between Burstall and Ingebright Lake, and a two-mile Rocanville Subdivision line connecting Slyvite Spur to Rocanville, Saskatchewan; a 130-mile Willingdon Subdivision line between Lloydminster and Star, Alberta; and a 16-mile Kimberley Subdivision line between Cranbrook and Kimberley, British Columbia.

Unless new public or private operators are found, CPR plans to discontinue the lines in accordance with Canada Transportation Act (CTA).

Under CTA provisions, lines targeted for abandonment first must be offered for sale to short lines and then to governments — a process that might take several months — before a railroad can discontinue the line's operations.


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