Canadian Pacific Railway will end rail shipments along the Arbutus line in Vancouver, as soon as Molson Inc., CPR’s sole customer on that line, has completed the brewery modifications necessary for it to receive shipments by truck. Molson’s brewery conversion is expected to be complete by June 1 at which time the one-train-per-day service will cease.
CPR had announced in the fall of 1999 that freight operations on the Arbutus route were no longer economically viable, and that CPR planned to end the direct rail service once Molson found a suitable alternative.
The future of the CPR-owned 10-km Arbutus Corridor is still uncertain. Public discussions regarding possible future uses of the Arbutus Corridor were initiated as part of a CPR-led community consultation program from January to June of 2000. In July of 2000, the City of Vancouver introduced and passed the Arbutus Corridor Official Development Plan Bylaw, which designates the property as a “public thoroughfare”. The City, however, has not approached CPR to acquire the private lands for that purpose.
CPR has launched a legal challenge against the City’s bylaw. No court date has been set. In the meantime, the CPR will continue maintaining the corridor lands, which remain private CPR property.