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Regional district eyeing possibility of reopening historic Adra Tunnel on KVR Trail

A photo from June 2022 showing the closed Adra Tunnel on the KVR Trail. RDOS

A former train tunnel on the KVR Trail that’s been closed for years may be reopened, with area officials calling it a potential tourism benefit.

This week, the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) said it’s undertaking a study regarding the historic Adra Tunnel, which is located above Naramata.

“A plan has been developed to clear debris in the tunnel, complete a rock structure survey and develop plans for stabilizing the tunnel,” said the RDOS.

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“Any future reopening will be contingent on whether it is technically and financially feasible to do so in a way that is safe for trail users.”

The Adra Tunnel was closed in the early 1990s due to unstable conditions. Further, deliberately set fires in the tunnel in 2010 and 2012 destroyed the remaining timber supports, further deteriorating tunnel stability.

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The 483-metre-long tunnel was originally excavated in 1913-14 as part of the development of the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR).

Click to play video: 'TOTA KVR Master Plan'
TOTA KVR Master Plan

Rail operations ceased in the 1970s, with the province purchasing the KVR lands in 1990. The RDOS says the tunnel’s timber supports were deteriorating after rail operations ceased.

Crews will begin accessing the tunnel in mid-September.

“The RDOS believes the tunnel if reopened,” said Electoral Area E director Karla Kozakevich, “will bring long-term benefits to residents, tourists, and local businesses.”

Click to play video: 'Etiquette urged when using the Okanagan Rail Trail'
Etiquette urged when using the Okanagan Rail Trail

 

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