As KTW met with councillors at city hall, a train came screeching along the tracks nearby in the city’s downtown core.
Located behind fencing, but well-known to residents, business owners and the city’s elected officials, a railyard spans several blocks downtown. Its proximity to apartment buildings, Riverside Park and an increasingly pedestrian-friendly area raises the question — could the rail yard be moved elsewhere, other than downtown Kamloops? What about moving train tracks in Kamloops to areas that would not impact residents?
Topography is at issue, Sarai said, arguing the idea is not feasible.
“They’re coming into our city at the flattest part,” Sarai said. “That’s why Kamloops was created to begin with. So, for them to change now, to divert it to a mountainous side behind Westsyde or up Summit, it’s just not feasible for the city or them.”
KTW did not hear back from CP, which owns the downtown railyard. However, CN — whose railyard is on the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation reserve — said in an emailed statement that relocation of a rail yard is “complex and costly” and is “not typically considered the best solution.”
Meanwhile, another Canadian community is in the midst of a substantial redevelopment project, which included moving a rail yard out of its city’s core.
Regina purchased 17.5 acres spanning multiple blocks on Dewdney Avenue from CP in 2012, partnering with the province of Saskatchewan and the federal government to undergo the largest revitalization project in its history. Initially eyed for a new stadium, the street will be beautified and the railyard land will be sold off to developers with the goal of creating a new neighbourhood that will transform Regina’s city centre.