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WATCH: Kelowna close to reaching CN rail deal

KELOWNA, BC — With less than a week to go, the clock is ticking for groups to submit a bid to CN Rail.

Kelowna, Lake Country, Coldstream and the two regional districts are working on a joint package to buy the abandoned rail line between Kelowna and Coldstream.

In Monday’s council meeting, Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray says after recent talks with B.C., he believes the provincial government would commit up to a third in funding.

Brad Clements with the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative says he is thrilled to hear how close the municipalities are to closing a deal.

“I’m ecstatic. Just about a year ago, we started meeting and we gave it 20% chance that this would turn into a rail trail, but all of us said ‘no, we’ve got to give it a chance.’ So to be here this close today, is absolutely amazing,” says Clements.

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CN Rail is asking for $50-million for the 49.5 km line.

Clements also says the group is prepared to raise money to help offset costs of turning the line into a trail.

Outstanding issues include ownership of sidings away from the main line and any environmental cleanup that might be required.

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