May 22, 2015

Off The Rails

Series explores future of CP rail yards

It’s been 30 years since we had a knock-down, drag-out debate about moving the CP rail yards, the tracks that separate Winnipeg’s haves from its have-nots. Now, that debate might be beginning anew.

The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg has made a pitch to government for a $1.5 million feasibility study, and many say Canadian Pacific Railway has outgrown its 130-year-old yards and shops and might be willing to move. That could open up the vast parcel for desperately needed affordable housing, green space, training centres, shops — a model neighbourhood to help the North End rise again.

The sunset casts a warm glow on rail cars as they move through the CP Rail yards in Winnipeg.


The sunset casts a warm glow on rail cars as they move through the CP Rail yards in Winnipeg. Photo Store

Over the next month, the Winnipeg Free Press will explore the issue — how much moving the yards might cost, who would pay, what could be built there and whether this should really be the city’s next big project. We’ll post key documents for you to read, videos with key players, photos past and present. We’ll also give you a chance to sketch out your vision for the rail yards using a downloadable map of the area.

All this will culminate July 31 in a public event, a kind of rail yard brainstorming session, at the Free Press News Café.

Moving the CP rail yards that bisects the city is an expensive and daunting prospect. Winnipeg Centre MP Pat Martin states his case for moving the yards that run from Main Street to McPhilips Street. Part of a series on the future of the yards.


The Social Planning Council of Winnipeg has pitched the idea of a two-year feasibility study on the possibility of moving the CP rail yards outside of Winnipeg. Dennis Lewycky, the council's executive director, explains. 


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Larry Kusch | @lrkusch

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