Big investment announced for rail trail between Armstrong and Sicamous

FILE PHOTO: The railway between Armstrong and Sicamous stopped operating in 2009.

SICAMOUS - Efforts to convert the old rail line between Armstrong and Sicamous into a multi-use trail have gotten a significant boost.

The provincial government announced $2.17 million today, March 31, to help acquire 43 kms of the decommissioned railway.

Local groups and governments from Enderby to Sicamous, as well as the Splatsin First Nation, have been working together to buy the property from Canadian Pacific Rail for the past few years, with the goal of turning it into a rail trail. In 2014, the Splatsin acquired about seven kilometres of the railway, which ceased operations in 2009. 

"Once finalized, this latest acquisition will add to the already diverse supply of trails in the Okanagan, providing even more recreational opportunities for residents and tourists,” Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo says in a media release.

The proposed 50 kilometre trail would run along the west side of Mara Lake, and traverse the communities of Armstrong, Enderby, Grindrod and Sicamous.

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The Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the Regional District of North Okanagan are expected to sign a purchase and sale agreement with Canadian Pacific for the discontinued portion of the line between Sicamous and Armstrong, according to the media release from the province, which adds its $2.17 million contribution is contingent upon the completion of the agreement.

The acquisition would add to the Okanagan's recreational corridors, which already includes the Kettle Valley Railway and the planned Okanagan Rail Trail that will run between Kelowna and Coldstream.


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