Canadian Pacific Railway has taken the first steps toward abandoning operations on 10 prairie branch lines.
The company announced last week that it was adding the lines, totalling 663 kilometres of track, to its three-year plan for discontinuance.
“Rail traffic has all but disappeared from these lines, which makes them no longer viable for CPR to continue operating,” the company said.
It said discontinuing the lines will allow resources such as crews and material, to be directed at improving other parts of the network that are experiencing traffic growth.
The Canada Transportation Act sets out the process to be followed in abandoning lines, beginning with the requirement to list the lines in a three-year plan.
The 10 lines CP proposed for abandonment are:
- La Riviere subdivision, between Morden and La Riviere, 49 km.
- Napinka subdivision, between La Riviere and Killarney, 79 km.
- Radville subdivision, between Weyburn and Bengough, 112.6 km.
- Outlook subdivision, between Loreburn and Broderick, 39.7 km.
- Kerrobert subdivision, between Conquest and Herschel, 82.9 km.
- Bulyea subdivision, between Neudorf and Cupar, 87.8 km.
- Bromhead subdivision, between Estevan and Tribune, 67.5 km.
- Irricana subdivision, between Bassano and Standard, 58.5 km.
- Cardston subdivision, between Stirling and Raymond, 12.4 km.
- Stirling subdivision, between Foremost and Stirling, 73.5 km.
Before the railway can discontinue the lines, it must first publicly advertise them for sale, lease or other transfer to third parties for continued operation.
If no such deal is achieved, the lines must then be offered to federal, provincial and municipal governments.
If no transfer can be arranged, then the line can be discontinued.