The Tyee’s Hook blog has some very important news for those of us concerned to about bringing passenger rail service back to the former interurban line along the valley.
An agreement that protects passenger rail rights in the Fraser Valley is set to expire this summer and Langley Township Mayor, Rick Green is calling for its urgent renewal.
The Master Agreement is between BC Hydro, who owns the right of way, and Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), whom bought the tracks and the right to run trains along them.
Green says the agreement’s renewal is critical because it guarantees the province, operating through BC Hydro, the right to run passenger service through the Pratt-Livingston Corridor, a stretch of the former interurban line between Surrey and Langley.
The problem starts with the fact that this agreement was apparently a secret. Quite why that would be I am not sure. Most of the interurban is quiet – with one or two freight trains a week. But the middle bit through Langley is critical to getting frequent, long freight trains to and from the BC Rail line to Roberts Bank. In the long run, if passenger service is to be frequent as well then some re-configuration of the tracks will be needed. But for right now, as everyone seems to be saying, we need to keep the options open. But after the election ….