CP Reopening B.C. Rail Corridor on Nov. 23

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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Canadian Pacific will resume service between Kamloops, British Columbia, and Vancouver by mid-day on Nov. 23.

The Class I railroad made the announcement on Nov. 22, reporting that crews have “worked around the clock after the Nov. 14 atmospheric river rain storm in British Columbia, where nearly 200 millimeters of rain fell over two days in some locations.”

Thirty sites across CP’s Thompson and Cascade subdivisions were damaged with 20 resulting in “significant loss of infrastructure.”

CP mobilized hundreds of employees and contractors from across the network as part of its recovery efforts. Crews moved 150,000 cubic yards of material to rebuild damaged areas, which is equivalent to 10,000 tandem dump truck loads or 30,000 one-ton dump truck loads of earth, riprap (rock) and other construction material. And they used more than 80 pieces of heavy work equipment.

Critical infrastructure designation helped accelerate CP’s recovery as equipment was positioned during the storm and then deployed immediately following, the railroad said.

CP also worked with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Transport Canada and contractors to identify damage and priority locations to get highways and its rail network reopened. Additionally, through a partnership with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, CP is facilitating the reconstruction of the grade for the rail infrastructure and the Trans Canada Highway at Tank Hill west of Spences Bridge. This has allowed the Ministry to redirect its equipment to support other highway repairs, CP said.

CP President and CEO Keith Creel

“I am extremely proud of the CP team,” CP President and CEO Keith Creel said. “Their extraordinary dedication, grit and perseverance in the face of extremely challenging conditions are the reasons we are able to restore our vital rail network in only eight days. The following 10 days will be critical. As we move from response to recovery to full service resumption, our focus will be on working with customers to get the supply chain back in sync.”

Success will require “collaboration across the supply chain with urgent weekend work and flexible schedules at customer and terminal locations to help get freight moving efficiently again,” the railroad noted.   

CP continues to work with local and B.C. authorities and Indigenous communities in the Fraser Canyon to coordinate the delivery of critical materials, equipment, food and fuel. The railroad said it has already arranged food delivery to the Spuzzum First Nation; secured 10 portable generators to be delivered to the Cooks Ferry First Nation; and arranged meals, milk and baby formula for the Boston Bar Food Bank.

In related developments, the governments of Canada and British Columbia have established a joint Supply Chain Recovery Working Group to help restore the flow of goods through the province.

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