Public forum Thursday to study rail line future | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateTue, 21 May 2024 12am

Public forum Thursday to study rail line future

Residents will have a chance  this Thursday to explore the options available for the use of a rail line from Oyen to Lyalta that is in the process of being discontinued.
    Palliser Regional Municipal Services, on behalf of its 29 member municipalities, are hosting a public forum in Drumheller on June 25 at the Drumheller Inn. The forums are to collect ideas to study and evaluate, to come up with a sustainable recovery plan when the rail line is discontinued.
    “We look forward to providing information on the process involved, and to garner public involvement, develop options and gauge the level of public support to keep the rail line open for various uses,” said Brad Wiebe, senior planner for Palliser Regional Municipal Services. “Any ideas generated to continue all rail operations will then be researched more in depth to determine the feasibility.”
    The process of discontinuing the line was instigated by CN in November of last year. As per the Canadian Transportation Act, CN must wait a minimum of one year before the rail line can be advertised for commercial interests. Palliser hopes to have studies completed when CN is able to advertise, and be prepared with a viable plan for the rail line.
    According to a release, Palliser will partner with, “residents, businesses, municipalities consulting firms and other stakeholders to deliver a suite of seven activities to complete the development of the strategy.
    These activities are:


•Maximize community input
•Research and information gathering
•Rail line assessment
•Feasibility business plan
•Opportunity Analysis
•Planning issues
•Rail line acquisition (subject to assessment)”
    Weibe says at the meeting, facilitators will outline the process involved in discontinuance. They will also present some case studies of other communities, and what they have done in light of discontinuance. There will also be a brainstorming component of the meeting to generate ideas for the rail line moving forward.
    The public forum is Thursday, June 25 at the Drumheller Inn at 6:30 p.m.
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