Discontinued rail line between Armstrong and Sicamous purchased for public use | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Discontinued rail line between Armstrong and Sicamous purchased for public use

A section of the North Okanagan-Shuswap Rail Trail.
Image Credit: Regional District of North Okanagan

NORTH OKANAGAN - It’s full steam ahead for a rail trail that will run from Armstrong to Sicamous.

The Regional District of North Okanagan and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District announced today, Jan. 9, they have successfully concluded the purchase of a section of discontinued CP Rail corridor. The purchase price was $6.5 million, split evenly between the two regional districts and the provincial government.

North Okanagan Regional District Board Chair Bob Fleming credits the successful purchase to a collective regional vision and a commitment to cooperation.

“Similar to the Okanagan Rail Trail, this purchase of rail corridor will provide numerous benefits to the North Okanagan and Columbia Shuswap areas, including significant recreation and economic opportunities,” Fleming says in a news release.
In partnership with the Splatsin First Nation, which already owns segments of the rail corridor, the land acquisition will “ensure the continued public ownership of a key linear corridor to be used for recreational opportunities, including walking and cycling, while retaining it for future transportation and economic development needs,” the release states. There is also long-term potential to connect this corridor to the Okanagan Rail Trail, which is currently under development.
“From the beginning this project has helped to initiate relationships with our Splatsin and Regional District of North Okanagan partners,” Columbia Shuswap director Rhona Martin says in the release. “(We are) excited to continue to build on these relationships with the opportunities for regional economic and recreational development, as well as the opportunity to learn more of the cultural history of the rail line. This new way of connecting our communities will go a long way in creating a stronger region. I am excited to see these benefits unfold.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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