VERNON, British Columbia, Canada – For the first time in almost 5 months, on December 1, trains began to travel through the North Okanagan from Kamloops to Lumby. Tolko is very pleased to see the line return to service and we’re looking forward to resumption of regular rail service to our operations in Lavington and Armstrong.
“We would like to commend Canadian National Railway (CN) for moving this project forward,” said Hardy Wentzel, vice president Marketing, Sales and Logistics. “We greatly appreciate all of the hard work CN and their maintenance crews have done over the past few months in order to repair and rehabilitate the line in order to allow a safe return to operations with improved function to the line.”
This week will mark the first time the rail lines have been operational since July 5, 2013. Approximately 75% of the line will be in service, with the route going from Kamloops through Armstrong, Vernon, and Lavington. The route will no longer travel from Vernon to Kelowna as announced previously.
“While it is unfortunate that the entire line will not return, we understand the business decision that CN had to make,” said Wentzel. “CN advised us that the line to Kelowna did not carry enough volume to warrant the significant investment required to repair the infrastructure and bring it up to standard. As we have watched CN work on the track over the past weeks, it was apparent just how significant the financial and manpower effort required to rehabilitate the track was. We commend CN for their total commitment to the process. They threw their full resources behind this project and the improvements are apparent.”
Wentzel went on to thank Tolko employees who worked diligently during the interim to ensure customer service levels and Tolko’s commitment to on-time shipping were maintained. “It was certainly challenging, but everyone from the mill shipping departments to our marketing and sales team, logistics team, and trucking partners stepped up to meet our commitment. We’re proud of their efforts and we want to thank our customers for their understanding as we worked through the process. Although our system was tested, I believe we’ve emerged stronger as a result of our team effort. Now that rail service is returning, we’re looking forward to getting back to business as usual.”
Wentzel also noted the return of the rail would be beneficial for the local community and former employees of the KPRY: “In addition to the business service the line will provide, many of the local rail crews that previously ran the KPRY line will be employed by CN. We’re pleased to see such a positive outcome and we wish everyone involved a smooth transition, and much success upon their return.”
For further information please contact:
Janice Lockyer, Communications Advisor
Tolko Industries Ltd.
T 250 550 2598 | M 250 306 0929
Maritza Reilly, Communications Coordinator
Tolko Industries Ltd.
T 250 550 2571 | M 250 308 8021