Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Breaking News: Community Rail -- A Piece of The Puzzle Uncovered

Thanks to Langley Politics and the Langley Advance for the tip. Let's hope that this agreement gets renewed.


Information relating to the history and protection of the old Interurban passenger and freight rail corridor through the Township of Langley and the City of Langley is being released today.

A great deal has been said about what can and cannot be done on this corridor, and the Township recently received a legal opinion reviewing the various existing historical agreements. However, one further agreement - which had gotten lost through time - was recently discovered: a Master Agreement between BC Hydro and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), concerning the sale of the tracks and equipment in the Pratt-Livingstone Corridor from BC Hydro to the CPR. The Master Agreement linked other agreements between BC Hydro and the CPR, one of which reserved certain rights to BC Hydro to operate trains, including passenger trains, over the Pratt-Livingstone Corridor; a joint section which runs through the Township and City of Langley.

Our provincial government of the day deserves an abundance of credit in its effort to protect the public's right to passenger transportation on the Pratt-Livingston Corridor, a right previously thought not to exist. But it is clear that when the Province, through BC Hydro, concluded the agreement with the CPR they did so with the foresight of safeguarding a public asset for generations.

However, the agreement between BC Hydro and the CPR reserving BC Hydro's right to operate passenger trains on the Pratt-Livingstone Corridor is a twenty-one (21) year agreement that was signed August 29, 1988, with a renewal clause for twenty-one (21) years at either partyĆ¢€™s option. This agreement expires on August 29, 2009.

Township Council agreed on May 4 to send a letter to BC Hydro requesting its immediate response, and the assurance that Hydro will renew the agreement in question prior to August 29, 2009. Letters will also be sent to all municipalities and cities south of the Fraser, requesting support for the renewal.

Township Council will also send a letter to the City of Surrey and the Board of Directors of the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society, asking for their consideration for inclusion of the Township of Langley in their plans for the 2010 Heritage Rail Demonstration Project. This project is currently planned to run from Sullivan Station to Cloverdale. Township of Langley Mayor Rick Green is suggesting it run into Milner, as there is much interest in building a heritage rail replica station at the Milner site.


For further details contact Mayor Rick Green at 604.533.6000 or

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