City of Vancouver challenges CP Rail’s claim on Arbutus Corridor – BC

The battle for the Arbutus Corridor continues, with the City of Vancouver applying to the Canadian Transportation Agency to order CP Rail to discontinue trains on the railway.

It comes in the aftermath of large red and black CP Rail signs announcing the recommencing of railway operations.

The City of Vancouver claims CPR has breached the Canadian Transportation Actwhen they abandoned rail operations on the corridor in 2001 and did not offer it to governments for purchase at its net salvage value.

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Based on that, the City has requested to put in place two orders.

One order would cancel CPR’s 2014 amendment of its Three-Year Plan, when they removed the Arbutus Corridor from the list of lines they intended to discontinue.

The second order would require the CPR to make an offer for the corridor at the 2004 value.

The city’s application to the CTA comes a week after Canadian Pacific Rail announced that the Arbutus Rail Corridor was ready for use.

READ MORE: Arbutus Rail Corridor ready for moving trains: CP Rail

The city has also requested CPR make sure steps are taken to protect the interests of people living along the corridor.

The conflict around reinstating the Arbutus Rail Corridor dates back to 2014.

After a 14-year hiatus, the Canadian Pacific Railway began asking people to clear any property that ran along the train tracks in April 2014, in order to explore the possibility of making the line operational.

Right after CPR showed interest in re-opening it, the City of Vancouver expressed an interest in buying the property.

The two sides have long been in a deadlock over how the 11-kilometre stretch running from False Creek to the Fraser River would be used. The city has wanted the corridor to remain a greenway, but CPR did not share those plans.

Negotiations eventually broke down, and the city filed an injunction in October 2014 to block any further attempt by CP to re-activate the line.

However, in a B.C. Supreme Court ruling in January 2015, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson denied the application, saying the city cannot claim any property interest in the corridor.  

READ MORE: City of Vancouver loses Arbutus Rail Corridor fight

The initial call for removal of all property along the railway by CP Rail was met with protests by homeowners who live along the corridor.

After losing at court, the city rescued and relocated trees that were being uprootedwhile CP made the corridor safe for rail use.

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