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Politicians push for rail re-opening

Following the closure of the Kelowna Pacific Railway, farmers and companies like Tolko that depended on the railway to transport their products were sent scrambling.
September 05, 2013 - 4:27 PM

VERNON - North Okanagan politicians are asking the Canadian National Railway to pick up the tracks—and the cargo— left behind by the bankrupt Kelowna Pacific Railway.

The KPR abruptly closed July 5, sending farmers and companies like Tolko scrambling to find other ways to move their products. Tolko has since turned to trucks for shipment.

Patrick Nicol, RDNO chair, says the financial blow to agriculturalists is a "deep rooted concern" and hopes that the CNR will seriously consider taking over KPR's section of track. The board of directors voted Wednesday to send a letter to CNR, urging them to keep those sections operational.

"We all know it's a critical issue, especially for those whose livelihoods are tied to their businesses," Nicol says. "Anyone using those (transportation) corridors is impacted."

Nicol says discussions are ongoing between stakeholders and the provincial government, though no decision has yet been reached. He says it was important for the regional district to speak up on behalf of the area's farmers by sending a letter to CNR.

"(The letter) is a search for a solution not just for the farmers, but for the community," Nicol says. "It's an encouragement for others to take a look at it."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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