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CP Rail bills Canmore $295K for crossing replacement

CP Rail replaced the railway crossing at Spring Creek Gate in 2020 after water drainage issues led to "operational safety" concerns.

CANMORE – Work done by Canadian Pacific Railway last summer to replace a railway crossing at Spring Creek Drive will cost the municipality $295,000.

Manager of engineering for the Town of Canmore Andy Esarte told council earlier this month that the municipality is responsible for maintenance, repair and replacement costs as set out in an agreement with the rail company, required by Transport Canada. 

"We have a number of railway crossings in Canmore and each has a regulated agreement with Transport Canada," Esarte said. "We were notified by the railway authority early in 2020 that work was required, but at the time they provided limited details of what that would look like.

"This was not an anticipated replacement and one that was not budgeted for; the expectation was for a longer life span for that crossing." 

The issue identified by CP Rail, Esarte said, involved drainage and led to the premature replacement and unexpected bill for $295,000. 

"At this time, we are not satisfied with the invoicing," he told council. "We have gone back to the rail authority.

"We are challenging a number of the costs; however, the full replacement of the crossing is going to be expensive and we will ultimately be in the range of where the budget is right now."

Council voted to approve a new $300,000 2020 capital project for the work, and to use the asset replacement and rehabilitation reserve to fund it. The reserve had a $8.1 million balance at the end of 2020. 

Esarte said the municipality tried to question CP Rail about the timing and need for the project, and to review the design and budget before it proceeded.

"They insisted the work needed to be completed for operational safety in 2020," he said. 



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Tanya Foubert

About the Author: Tanya Foubert

Tanya Foubert started as a news reporter at the Rocky Mountain Outlook in 2006. She won the Canadian Community Newspaper Award for best news story for her coverage of the 2013 flood. In December 2018, she became editor of the Outlook.
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