Abbotsford – The Southern Railway of BC (SRY) has submitted a proposal that would see empty coal trains resume running through Abbotsford’s downtown several times a day, this time on a long-term basis.
SRY has presented BNSF Railway with a plan that, if accepted, would see U.S.-bound trains leaving Roberts Bank Coal Terminal to be routed through Abbotsford and the Sumas border crossing.
SRY’s track runs from Langley through the northwest section of Abbotsford, then south along Highway 11 and Gladys Avenue, parallel to CP tracks.
The line saw 337 two-mile-long empty coal trains travel along the route between July 7, 2014 and Jan. 3, 2015. Those operations allowed BNSF to do maintenance work on its line through Washington state. The trains were halted when SRY locked out its workers during a labour dispute that has now been resolved.
Last month, Abbotsford mayor Henry Braun told a crowd at his State of the City address that he expected the trains to resume in the future.
SRY community relations director Singh Biln confirmed that his railway had made a proposal to BNSF regarding future “reroute trains.”