Railway ties along CN rail corridor off limits to Okanagan gardeners

Railway ties recently ripped up near Kelowna.

SOME TIES MAY BE OFFERED FOR SALE LOCALLY LATER THIS SPRING

OKANAGAN VALLEY - Tempting as they might be to gardeners and landscapers, the stacks of railway ties lined up along the old CN Rail corridor are off limits for both legal and safety reasons.

“CN still owns them, they are considered private property,” Westcan Rail general manager Ross Fraser confirmed from his Lower Mainland office. “And we can’t have people going into the job site. We’ve got heavy equipment coming and going, tractor-trailers, loaders, you name it. It’s way too dangerous for people to be going onto the corridor."

His company is about halfway throught its contract with CN Rail to remove the rails and ties and says some 50,000 ties will be sorted and the useable ties sold south into the U.S. to feed the demand from landscapers.

“They take pretty much everything we can get,” Fraser said.

However he holds out a glimmer of hope for laying your hands on at least a few of the much-sought-after railway ties.

“I can’t say this for sure but probably in a month or so the guys in the Kelowna yard might be willing to sell some to the public,” Fraser added.

He described the CN corridor job as one of the more complicated removals the company has worked on because of the number of sidings on the corridor and the urban areas they have had to work in.

“That slows things down so much,” he said.

Once remedial work is complete, the 48-kilometre rail trail will be officially handed over to its new owners and construction of a multi-modal pathway will begin.

Find more stories on the Okanagan Rail Trail here.


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