A lot has been said and plenty has been reported in regard to the recent shifting of rail traffic to the night time and early morning hours through Castlegar.
A CP Rail delegation is reportedly coming to the October 6 Castlegar City Council meeting. The move will hopefully shed some light on the matter and possibly clear the air.
Local citizens, as with all public meetings, are welcome to attend.
The issue has burst into the local consciousness this past week as freight trains which had only been running during daytime hours had shifted to later operation. Many area residents have been startled by the trains running at unexpected times.
The railroad claims it is simply a matter of better serving its customers.
Zellstoff Celgar, a key CP Rail customer, has stated by way of a September 25 email that the re-scheduling would not have been done due to it’s request.
“Celgar currently relies on the KVR (spur line Kootenay Valley Railway) to supply process chemicals to the mill and ship finished pulp product to market,” reads the email from Sandy Hinter, executive assistant and communications coordinator. “CP Rail informed the mill in late August that changes were being made to reduce the operating costs of the KVR. Both changes to its billing policy and its service schedule were imposed on the mill. These changes were not made at the request of the Celgar operation and have created new challenges for the mill and we are currently adapting our processes to adjust to the new policy and service level.”
There have been questions pertaining to why advance notice to the wider community was not given of the schedule change. No CP Rail press release had been issued, to this outlet, at least. And Mayor Chernoff (from UBCM meetings at Whistler) has reportedly refuted a suggestion that he had received advance notice.
So, the stage appears set for what could be a lively exchange in the Community Forum on Monday, October 6 starting at 7 p.m.