COLDSTREAM – The idea of a rail trail along the former CN tracks between Kelowna and Coldstream started out as a pipe dream but now looks more and more like it will soon become a reality. Local governments bought the land last year and work to get rid of the old rail line is progressing.
This weekend some Coldstream residents watched as crews removed the metal rails in their area. Rail trail supporters like Debbie Clarke see it as a sign of progress.
“We’re just excited because it is one milestone towards this eventually becoming a rail trail,” she says.
Before their trail dreams can become a reality, CN needs to finish their work to clean-up the former rail line and money will have to be found to develop the trail. The Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, which has been pushing for a trail, says it is planning to help raise that money.
The rail trail group originally expected fundraising to start last fall. That didn’t happen. The group says it is waiting for more information before launching its fundraising campaign. That could happen as early as this spring.
“The municipalities, that is the owners of the track, want to have a really good idea of what the total package is going to be, what it is going to look like [and] what it is going to cost. They want to develop that first. It is very difficult to start raising funds unless you know exactly what you are raising funds for,” says member Duane Thomson.
Rail trail supporters argue the development of a trail will bring tourists to the area and provide a unique recreational opportunity for locals.