The Master Agreement Allowing Passenger Service On The Interurban Line

For those who are interested in reinstating a passenger servcie on the former BC Electric interurban line from Vancouver to Chilliwack, this is essential reading.

Highlights:

  1. “The Railway Operations Easement Area shall encompass the Tracks and an area sufficient to enable C.P. Rail to double track, construction of such double track to be at the sole cost of C.P. Rail including the cost of removal and relocation of the works of any other party on the lands required to double track.”
  2. “This agreement does not contemplate the operation of passenger trains upon the Joint Section by any railway company other than Hydro. Hydro shall have the right to operate passenger trains over the Joint Section.”
  3. These have been retained in order to accommodate future rail passenger, real estate or other developments along the former B.C. Electric Railway routings in the lower mainland.”
  4. “CP Rail will at its sole cost and expense maintain and keep the Joint Section in good condition and repair and suitable for use by all parties.”
  5. in the event Hydro’s use of the Joint Section exceeds 33% of the total annual wheelage as calculated on the basis as set out in Section 4.4…. etc.

Diesel TramTrain as used in Zwikau, Germany.

 

What are the key points of interest found within this agreement? Excerpts follow -

Page 2 – E.       “CP Rail has also agreed to grant Hydro running rights over certain tracks owned by C.P. Rail.”

Page 3 Part 1 Pratt Livingstone 1.01 – Sale of Assets on Pratt Livingston Line to C.P. Rail. “Hydro agrees to sell and C.P. Rail agrees to purchase the Tracks and Equipment free and clear of all liens, charges and encumbrances.”

Page 4 1.02     Grant of Statutory Right of Way over Pratt Livingstone to C.P. Rail.

“Hydro agrees to grant to C.P. Rail on the closing date a statutory right of way over the Railway Operations Easement Area in the form attached hereto as Annexure III.”

Page 4 1.03     Survey of Railway Operating Easement Area

“The Railway Operations Easement Area shall encompass the Tracks and an area sufficient to enable C.P. Rail to double track, construction of such double track to be at the sole cost of C.P. Rail including the cost of removal and relocation of the works of any other party on the lands required to double track.”

Page 5 1.05     Running Rights over Pratt-Livingstone Tracks to Hydro

“Hydro hereby reserves unto itself the right in perpetuity to operate a railway on the Tracks and Equipment and on the double track, when constructed. The reservation shall be in the form of running rights agreement attached hereto as Annexure V.”

Page 5 1.05(b) “if the railway operations of Hydro are sold to and operated by the Successor Rail Company, provided it is not owned or controlled by Canadian National Railway Company (“CN”) or Burlington Northern Inc. (“BN”), on a without charge basis, so long as the use thereof by the Successor Rail Company does not exceed 33% of the total annual wheelage of all trains operating trains in the Railway Operations Easement Area.”

Page 12 5.03   Regulation

                           “C.P. Rail will not take any action intended to bring Hydro or Successor Rail Company under the jurisdiction of the Railway Act R.S.C. 1970, c. R-2, as amended or the National Transportation Act, 1987 S.C. 1987, c. 34, as amended.”

 

P. 21                  Entire Agreement

Section 10.07 “Each of the parties hereto acknowledges that there are no covenants, representations, warranties, agreements or conditions expressed or implied, collateral or otherwise, forming part of or in any way affecting or relating to this agreement save as expressly set out in this Agreement and this Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof.”

Annexure V     Page 2 Sect. 1.2          

                           “Hydro shall have the exclusive right to operate upon any Hydro trackage connected with the Joint Section to serve present or future industry from the Joint Section, to pick up or discharge passengers, freight or express business upon the Joint Section or to handle directly any passenger, freight or express business originating at or destined to points on the Joint Section.”

Page 3              Article II

Section 2.4       “CP Rail shall initially at it’s sole cost and expense, maintain and keep the Joint Section, including all mainline turnouts, in good condition and repair suitable for use by all parties.”

Section 2.5       “CP Rail shall make such reasonable rules and regulations as are from time to time customary among railways for the operation of the Joint Section. All train schedules, rules and regulations shall be reasonable among all railway companies using the Joint Section and shall not reasonably discriminate against any of them.”

Section 2.7       “This agreement does not contemplate the operation of passenger trains upon the Joint Section by any railway company other than Hydro. Hydro shall have the right to operate passenger trains over the Joint Section. The cars and engines of such passenger trains shall be included in the wheelage count made pursuant to Section 4.4.”

Summary:

The Master Agreement lays out in very specific terms the rights and conditions of the sale of the freight rights over the Joint Section (known as the Pratt Livingston Corridor) by all parties concerned. A review of the B.C. Government Press Release spells out the intent of the then B.C. Government to #1 – Continue ownership of the full Interurban Corridor in the right of the people of B.C. and #2 – protect corridor for passenger rights on said corridor. The rights were renewed by B.C. Hydro in June of 2009, two months prior to the 21-year term of expiry.

The Master Agreement and relevant additional pages number 88.

IMPORTANT – A full copy of this Master Agreement is available for review to substantiate it’s authenticity but it will not be released from our possession.

By way of another form of explanation we offer the following (Direct quotes in Yellow):

First, RE the B.C. Government Press Release: 2:00PM July 27th, 1988 – Langley B.C. by B.C.’s Energy Minister the Honorable Jack Davis which in part states the following –

“In commenting on the price paid by Itel the Minister emphasized that the sale relates, essentially, to rolling stock, trackage and rail freight running rights. It does not include land under or either side of the rail bed nor does it include air rights above Hydro’s corridor. These have been retained in order to accommodate future rail passenger, real estate or other developments along the former B.C. Electric Railway routings in the lower mainland.”

So, in response to those that are opposing this option we offer the following counters: NOTE – the first three items headed Part 1 set the stage for rights and responsibilities that follow:

One Counter would be Part 1 Pratt-Livingston – 1.02 Grant of Statutory Right of Way over Pratt Livingston to CP Rail “The right of way shall be perpetual in duration and shall be subject to all rights previously granted by Hydro to others by the agreements and other documents set out in Annexure IV whether registered against title to the lands in the Land Title Office or not”

A second counter would be Part 1 Pratt-Livingston – 1.03 Survey of Railway Operating Easement Area “The Railway Operations Easement Area shall encompass the Tracks and an area sufficient to enable C.P. Rail to double track, construction of such double track to be at the sole cost of C.P. Rail including the cost of removal and relocation of the works of any other party on the lands required to double track.”

A third counter would be Part 1 Pratt-Livingston – 1.05 Running Rights over Pratt Livingston Tracks to Hydro “Hydro hereby reserves unto itself the right in perpetuity to operate a railway on the Tracks and Equipment and on the double track, when constructed. The reservation shall be in the form of running rights agreement attached hereto as Annexure V.”

A fourth counter would be Annexure V, Article I, Section 1.2 “Hydro shall have the exclusive right to operate upon any Hydro trackage connected with the Joint Section to serve present or future industry from the Joint Section, to pick up or discharge passengers, freight or express business upon the Joint Section or to handle directly any passenger, freight or express business originating at or destined to points on the Joint Section.

A fifth counter would be Annexure V, Article II, Section 2.7 which states “This agreement does not contemplate the operation of passenger trains upon the Joint Section by any railway company other than Hydro. Hydro shall have the right to operate passenger trains over the Joint Section.”

A sixth counter would be Annexure V, Article IV, Section 4.1 (c) which states in the event Hydro’s use of the Joint Section exceeds 33% of the total annual wheelage as calculated on the basis as set out in Section 4.4…. etc.

A seventh counter would be Annexure V, Article IV, Section 4.2 which states if this agreement is assigned, provided it is not assigned to Canadian National Railway Company (hereinafter called CN) or to Burlington Northern Inc. (hereinafter called BN), the assignee shall not be required to make any of the payments prescribed by Section 4.1 unless and until the assignee’s use of the Joint Section exceeds 33% of the total annual wheelage as calculated on the basis set out in Section 4.4.

An eighth counter would be Annexure VI, Article II, Section 2.2 which states “CP Rail will at its sole cost and expense maintain and keep the Joint Section in good condition and repair and suitable for use by all parties.”

A ninth counter would be Annexure VI, Article II, Section 2.3 which states “All Train schedules, rules and regulations shall be reasonable among all railway companies using the Joint Section and shall not unreasonably discriminate against any of them.”

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