A local trail connecting the downtown with Valleyview will be permanently closed next month to make way for an expansion of railway tracks through Kamloops.
The Canadian Pacific Railway will be shutting down the Jack Gregson Trail as of on Nov. 9 to enable the construction of a new track in its place along the existing CP mainline.
“This unofficial path, which came about through casual use, is located within CP's railway right of way. The path was neither designed nor intended to be a public pathway,” the rail company stated on its website.
The trail runs along the South Thompson River for 1.25 kilometres, from the end of Vicars Road, around a Valleyview industrial area, and alongside CPR tracks to Lorne Street East downtown.
According to the CPR, the additional track will accommodate “significantly increasing shipment volumes” that will be moving through Kamloops on CP’s rail line, which is being used as part of a long-term deal announced last December between Canadian National Railway and Teck Resources to transport steelmaking coal to Teck’s expanded Neptune Terminals in North Vancouver.
That agreement runs from April 2021 through the end of 2026.
Residents can expect to hear heavy machinery and trucks during construction and notice an increase in dust, the company stated. Construction will occur during daytime hours, but night work may be required as well, according to the CPR.
The trail is named in memory of the late entomologist Jack Gregson, who founded the Kamloops Outdoor Club back in the 1930s. Gregson tended flowers and seeded shrubs along the trail near his home, according to an archived Kamloops Daily News article.
The rail company did not specify what length the new track will be nor give a timeline for the construction work.
KTW has a call in to the CPR for more details.