Council unanimously passed a motion last week that Mayor Gregor Robertson write a letter to Canadian Pacific on behalf of council that expresses the city’s opposition “to the proposed reactivation of cargo trains along the Arbutus Corridor, and encourage them to respect the city and neighbourhood wishes of maintaining the Corridor as a greenway for public use, until a light-rail transit line can be implemented.”
As reported in the Courier May 8, CP has been contacting residents along the Arbutus Corridor to inform them access will be affected as CP clears brush and surveys the land along its 9.5-kilometre rail track, which hasn’t been used for more than a decade.
CP indicated it plans to use the line “in support of rail operations.”
Vision Vancouver Coun. Heather Deal explained her support for the motion.
“The reason we wanted to put this motion forward was to reiterate the city’s position that although CP owns the lands, the city in fact was given the right to make decisions about the use of that land and right now it is an extremely popular and active greenway. That’s the use the neighbours have grown to love and the use that we’d like to see going forward into the future,” she said.
“We think cargo trains [are] not the correct use for a track that no longer goes from any industrial site to any other industrial site and goes through a lot of residential neighbourhoods.”
CP spokesman Ed Greenberg told the Courier the company doesn’t have a direct comment about city council’s motion, but is open to “continued dialogue.”
“The fact is that this is CP property and the reason for the survey is to outline our property lines once again and it is a step-by-step process that our railway has started in exploring operational options for the line and ensuring the corridor continues to meet Canadian Transportation Act requirements,” he said.
“For many years, our railway has been involved in conversations to convert the corridor for a number of combined public uses such as a greenway, public transportation [and] eco-density. Despite the efforts of our company and other parties, we’re unable to achieve a plan for this asset. CP is certainly open to further dialogue and discussions with the City of Vancouver.”