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The city of Kelowna on Monday signed a purchase agreement with CN to acquire a discontinued rail line between Kelowna and Coldstream, British Columbia. The city signed the pact on behalf of an interjurisdictional acquisition team.The negotiated cost to secure the 29-mile corridor is $22 million through a monetary consideration/land donation combination.The municipalities of Kelowna, Lake Country, Coldstream and Vernon, and regional districts of Central Okanagan and North Okanagan collaborated to acquire the line, which CN built in 1925 to transport produce and lumber from the Okangan Valley to markets across Canada. The Kelowna Pacific Railway, which operated the line in recent years, entered receivership and ceased rail service in July 2013.The interjurisdictional parties have jointly identified the line as a potential future transportation corridor that can connect all the communities."CN's discontinuance of the rail line was an economic loss for our communities, but it also put local communities between Kelowna and Vernon in a position to protect the rail corridor as a sustainable multimodal transportation link," said Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray in a press release.The agreement stipulates that CN will attempt to remove the rail infrastructure from the corridor for salvage by 2015’s end. Once the discontinuance process has concluded, the local governments expect to establish construction and operation agreements, and determine costs and other future considerations as part of a plan to protect the rail corridor for future generations.
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