Mayor Gregor Robertson on CP Rail reactivation of Arbutus corridor: "Vancouver will not be bullied"

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      The mayor of Vancouver has responded negatively to the news that CP Rail plans to start running trains through the Arbutus corridor, whose community gardens the company eviscerated earlier this year.

      Gregor Robertson put out the following statement:

      I remain fully opposed to the reactivation of trains on the Arbutus corridor, after more than 15 years of inactivity on the route. The City of Vancouver has a wide variety of significant public safety concerns about CP’s course of action, and City staff  have thoroughly communicated those concerns to Transport Canada.
      The track in question was abandoned, unused, and unmaintained by CP for 15 years. The population density along the track is significant, there is a lack of upgraded crossing infrastructure on a short corridor with nearly fifty level crossings that include every major east-west arterial in Vancouver.  The grade on the corridor is some of the steepest of any rail line in all of British Columbia, and the City of Vancouver has not been permitted to accompany officials for their safety inspection of the track.
      We continue to be available to CP should they wish to return to talks with the City on the future of the corridor, but Vancouver will not be bullied, and we will not accept seeing our neighbourhoods and families along the corridor having their safety put at risk. The City will continue to review our options in response to every action taken on the corridor.

      CP has sent a letter to residents along the corridor, warning: "We will commence transporting and storing rail cars on the tracks in the coming weeks."



      Duck Soup

      Jun 30, 2015 at 6:19pm

      Just what the traffic on W broadway and 4th Avenue need: train delays. And wait until someone gets crushed by one. Won't the city's negotiating tactics look effective then.

      Andrew Dawson

      Jun 30, 2015 at 7:03pm

      How about restoring the electric passenger train service on the line?

      Vanman West

      Jun 30, 2015 at 7:21pm

      Apparently CP isn't willing to be bullied either. Go figure.

      Timothy Stark

      Jun 30, 2015 at 8:00pm

      "Vancouver will not be bullied, and we will not accept seeing our neighbourhoods and families along the corridor having their safety put at risk" Unless of course Vision Vancouver is doing the bullying. The traffic diversion at Nicola at Comox has resulted in high levels of traffic being diverted down the alley between Nelson and Comox at the 1500 block. I have complained repeatedly about traffic in the alley and no one at City Hall cares. I have reported cases of cars soeeding at 3 times the allowed limit, nobody at City Hall replies. So as long as Gregor is doing the bullying, that's perfectly fine.

      @Duck Soup

      Jun 30, 2015 at 8:36pm

      I hadn't thought about Broadway. I guess CP would be within its right to run stock across broadway for 30 minutes at rush hour every day, and the city couldn't do anything about it.

      This illustrates why our three-ring circus model is fundamentally broken. Our cities need far more regulatory powers.

      Corporate Welfare

      Jun 30, 2015 at 10:15pm

      The Train company is trying to extract the maximum from the City via causing a public outcry by running trains in a wealthy neighborhood.

      The people living there will complain the Media will run stories on the news and people will complain mostly to the City which is powerless to do much on a Federally regulated industry.

      The City could enact new bylaws charging some large daily fees if the Trains run and are parked there.

      People ought ought to protest both the Train company and the companies that use them to pressure them to Cease and Desist.


      Jun 30, 2015 at 10:31pm

      Sorry, Gregor, CP wouldn't be allowed to runs trains on those tracks if they didn't meet Transport Canada guidelines. And since CP has now restored the line to operational condition that is exactly what they'll do. Run some trains. Watch and I'll bet they'll up the ante with some nice oil and poison chemical tanker cars just to make a point. Too bad for the creme de la creme too... they bought their overpriced real estate next to a rail line so they shouldn't be surprised if CP (holy shit) actually operates some trains.

      I don't agree with CP's tactics and think they are being dicks but they have their right. And the city should meet their price and be done with this debacle already.

      Philip Johnston

      Jul 1, 2015 at 9:44am

      "Vancouver will not be bullied. We'd be happy to be paid off though! Just get in line behind the developers and potshops and we'll get everything straightened out."


      Jul 1, 2015 at 10:15am

      Well, if anybody knows about bullying tactics, it'd be Moonbeam. Sorry Gregor, they own the property, they have the right to run trains there. Sorry your benefactors will have to listen to train whistles or, God forbid, actually have to wait at a train crossing. Sorry you can't see the trees for the forest. Sorry you got elected again.

      Kitsilano Arbutus resident.

      Jul 1, 2015 at 12:01pm

      "The grade on the corridor is some of the steepest of any rail line in all of British Columbia"

      Strange coming from Mayor who is an active cyclist. That line is not that steep. Having biked it many times from W4th to Marine Drive. It is very easy route, very little effort is needed.

      Also, When the trains were running before 2001, it wasn't that bad. It was only 1 daily train. Compare that to the many long trains that go through east Vancouver every day. The original crossing infrastructure is still there.

      The statement about population being significant is not true. It is still low density with mostly single family homes. Only Kitsilano and Kerrisdale has seen new multi family development in last 10 years.

      Anyways, the line should be maintained for future passenger use when population density increases.