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9/8/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CPR to advertise Vancouver line's availability under federal abandonment procedures




Canadian Pacific Railway is taking the next federally required step to abandon the Arbutus line in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A Canada Transportation Act-mandated discontinuance process enables different governments — such as the city of Vancouver — and private-sector companies to negotiate an acquisition agreement for a line first for rail use, then for any use.

Three years ago, CPR notified the government of its intent to discontinue service on the line. Now, the Class I will advertise the line's availability for rail use, giving public and private-sector parties 60 days to indicate interest.

An interested party will have up to six months to negotiate a purchase agreement. If no party expresses interest or no agreement is reached within six months, CPR can offer the property to the city of Vancouver and other governments, which then have 30 days to accept the offer and another six months to reach an agreement. If neither the city nor any government chooses to purchase the line, CPR can offer it to other parties.

The railroad recently filed development-permit applications with the city for parts of the Arbutus lands.

"[The] development-permit applications are not permits to build," CPR officials said in a prepared statement. "These applications were filed in the event the city decides not to purchase the property under the discontinuance process."




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