Say good-bye to confusing rail crossings with completion of CN Rail corridor purchase | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Say good-bye to confusing rail crossings with completion of CN Rail corridor purchase

Complex level crossings like this one at Spall and Clement should be a thing of the past once the CN rail corridor purchase is complete.
January 21, 2015 - 1:27 PM

KELOWNA - The CN Rail corridor purchase will be defined in Kelowna by what it gains — a multi-use transportation corridor — and what it loses — a bunch of annoying level crossings on local roads.

“CN has an obligation to remove the railway ties and remediate the land,” said Doug Gilchrist, director of community planning and real estate for the City of Kelowna. “That includes all infrastructure at level crossings, which means the drop down gates and lights will be removed.”

Under the purchase agreement with CN Rail, all titled lands within the corridor must be returned to an “industrial standard” as defined by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Level and graded crossings must be remediated to a useful standard, equal or better than the current standard, Gilchrest explained.

That removes an approximately 14 crossings within the city limits, including the major crossing at Gordon and Clement and Spall and Clement. Those particular crossings, passing as they do at an oblique angle over three major arterial roads, with multiple lights and turn signals, have long bedevilled tourists and locals alike with their complexity.

Gilchrist said the city shouldn’t have to do much beyond minor pedestrian crossing improvements once CN Rail has done it’s work, which is guaranteed by the subjects on the real estate transaction.

While the $50-million deal is set to conclude April 1, Gilchrist said the remediation work by CN Rail will continue past the closing date. “Their obligation goes beyond title transfer, “ he added. “Some of it will take place under our ownership.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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