Originally Published in the Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal
Ashcroft Terminal began a new stage over the weekend as new switches were installed to divert rail cars onto sidings on the industrial property.
“It means we can quintuple our capacity,” said owner Bob Landucci on Oct. 12 as he watched heavy equipment remove a section of CP rails to make way for the premade section of rail containing the switch,, worth about $600,000. “We’ve been waiting for this for seven years.”
Until now, CP has had to park its cars on the main rail as they were being loaded or unloaded, which lead to cars sitting on the track in Ashcroft, sometimes for long periods of time.
Metro Vancouver directors are calling on the port authority to agree not to turn scarce farmland into more shipping terminals.
The port is redrawing its land use plan and has proposed to designate six special study areas – four in Richmond, one in Pitt Meadows and one in Vancouver – that could be considered for future port-related use.
Metro's regional planning and agriculture committee voted Tuesday to object to any potential future use of agricultural land by for port purposes.
Civic officials from Delta are planning a visit to Ashcroft Terminal. In an article in the Delta Optimist, it was noted that Delta civic officials support the option of an inland port at Ashcroft as it will help to preserve farmland adjacent to Roberts Bank. The fact-finding tour will take place in a couple of weeks. It's the latest effort by Delta to convince those looking at port expansion at Roberts Bank that the Ashcroft inland terminal proposal remains a viable alternative. Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington was wise to point out that Europe presently makes extensive use of inland ports in order to relieve the industrial pressure on their marine terminals and agrees that it is time Port Metro Vancouver also decided to move in that direction.
Ashcroft Terminal was featured in the Vancouver Sun this week in regards to a fact-finding missing that Metro Vancouver’s port, rail, and trucking officials have scheduled to gauge its suitability as the site of a potential inland distribution park for Asia-Pacific container traffic. The mission is slated for April 9th and will include Delta Mayor Lois Jackson, who has been pushing Port Metro Vancouver to find other locations for port-related activities so it doesn't turn to agricultural land in Metro Vancouver.
Asia-Pacific container traffic expected to increase 300 per cent by 2020. Ashcroft Terminal is the meeting point of both the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific trains, with up to 57 CP and CN trains travelling through the site each day and the site itself has over 300 acres of industrial land. Naturally, Ashcroft Terminal is ideally situated with the capacity to support this expected growth.