Public will have to wait to use CN Rail corridor

Long term planning underway as municipalities wait for CN to remove rail lines

Locals and visitors will have to wait until they can explore a former rail corridor.

The Regional District of North Okanagan, Kelowna and Lake Country purchased the former Canadian National line earlier this year, but there is no timeline yet to open the property up to the public.

“CN is going through a salvage program and environmental remediation,” said David Sewell, RDNO chief administrative officer.

“They are likely starting down in Kelowna and the regional district’s line will be last to have its ties and steel pulled up.”

Removal of the track will occur some time next year, and then the jurisdictions must initiate a planning process to determine how a recreational trail will unfold.

One of the issues is governance of the corridor.

“We want to see how there will be a common look and feel,” said Sewell.

Some non-profit organizations want to fundraise to construct the trail, but Sewell insists a go-slow approach is required.

“We want to make sure we’re not over-selling and we know what we’re selling in terms of timelines and what we’re developing,” he said.