VICTORIA, B.C. — Canadian Pacific (CP) and Canadian National (CN) are among four railways that have been short-listed by the province of B.C. to operate B.C. Rail.
A total of five proposals were received but discussions will only continue with CP, CN, OmniTRAX (in partnership with Burlington Northern Santa Fe), and RailAmerica.
When determining which railway will win the bid, the province is considering the following objectives:
* Sustainability "Promoting a robust and well-maintained transportation infrastructure that supports the long-term economic development and diversification of communities through B.C." * Competitiveness "Recognizing industrial customers’ desire for competitive freight rail services and rates." * Growth opportunities "Accommodating access to the railway line for third-party passenger rail services on reasonable economic terms and identifying any new opportunities for freight rail services." * Community specific "Demonstrating how stakeholder groups such as employees, communities and First Nations would benefit from the proposals."
Now, the province will proceed to conduct further due diligence including such things as railway inspections, facility tours and management presentations. The evaluation committee is expecting to have a selection made by early fall at which time final negotiations would begin.
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