With the recent reopening of the Arbutus Corridor by Canadian Pacific Rail, Mayor Gregor Robertson has released a statement saying he “remains fully opposed to the reactivation of trains.”
“The track in question was abandoned, unused, and unmaintained by CP for 15 years,” he said.
“The population density along the track is significant, there is a lack of upgraded crossing infrastructure on a short corridor with nearly fifty level crossings that include every major east-west arterial in Vancouver. The grade on the corridor is some of the steepest of any rail line in all of British Columbia, and the City of Vancouver has not been permitted to accompany officials for their safety inspection of the track.”
The City of Vancouver has been fighting against CP’s track clearing efforts to remove community gardens and other structures.
In January 2015, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled that CP has private property rights, denying the municipal government’s efforts to stop the track clearing.
The City of Vancouver offered to purchase the land for $20 million, but CP says the value of the land is closer to $400 million.
“We continue to be available to CP should they wish to return to talks with the City on the future of the corridor, but Vancouver will not be bullied, and we will not accept seeing our neighbourhoods and families along the corridor having their safety put at risk. The City will continue to review our options in response to every action taken on the corridor,” Mayor Robertson adds.