One of the unions representing Canadian National Railway workers said no jobs have been lost due to the suspension of the line between Williams Lake southwest to Squamish, B.C.
Jamie Desjardins, USW Local 2004 chief steward mountain region, confirmed Thursday that union and CN Rail have worked together to ensure all employees have remained employed during the downturn.
“We will continue to do our best to support our membership during a time that poses challenges for everyone.”
The suspension went into effect last week, although people living along the tracks have seen and heard the odd train still using the line.
Russett Bluff resident Sage Birchwater said a slow moving train hauling many box cars headed south on Monday afternoon and about an hour later returned solo, not hauling any cars.
It is the Tribune’s understanding that there is still one customer in 100 Mile House being serviced with two runs a week.
CN has committed to continuing service to Vancouver by going north from Williams Lake to Prince George, then south to Kamloops and on to Vancouver.
When asked who is responsible for the line, Transport Canada media relations noted in an e-mailed reponse Tuesday that until the discontinuance process of a federally regulated rail corridor is completed, the railway company has the obligation to provide service (i.e., move goods) if and when there is a request.
“While service is suspended on this corridor, the corridor has not been identified by CN for permanent discontinuance. As such, the tracks and related equipment remain the property of the railway, which remains liable for the safety of its assets.”
The Railway Association of Canada published an atlas in which CN’s line from Williams Lake to Squamish can be found.