Has it really already been 30 years since Golden was named as a repair depot site for CPR? Yes, yes it is! The following article appeared on the front page of the Golden Star – Feb 9, 1983.
CP confirmed last week that Golden will be the site for a $40 million coal car repair depot.
The announcement has ended almost a year of wait and see while discussions have been held with CP, provincial and federal government representatives from Vancouver to Ottawa.
The news about Golden came as part of an announcement of a $315 million capital project budget from 1983. The news from CP was sparked by a federal government announcement. The government will make interim payments to CPR and CN to offset losses incurred by the shipment of western grain at the present Crow’s Nest freight rate.
According to a government press release the interim payments will allow the railways to begin this year’s construction immediately rather than awaiting the passage of legislation.
The federal government has not yet presented to parliament the bill which would increase the Crow rate, which has not changed in the 86 years since its establishment.
A spokesman for the public relations department of CP in Vancouver told the Star in a telephone interview, that without question the interim payments made the kind of investment needed for the Golden project possible.
With the kind of losses being suffered by CP under the old Crow rate, the money needed for projects like the Golden shop would not have been available without the interim payment, he said.
The payments which the federal government says will be as much as $313 million to both railways in 1983, will permit spending of $8 million on the Golden project in 1983.
The CP spokesman said a start date for the Golden construction has not been determined yet but he said that work would proceed as soon as possible.
There has been survey work done by CP in the Golden area already and a CP engineer Ed Swanson has been working in Golden since September, 1982.
Ald. Fred Demmon said the assumption he has made based on talks with CP officials is that work will begin in the fall.
He also said in an interview last week the exact site for the shop has not been chosen by CP. “Its is going to be good for Golden regardless of which site is chosen,” said Demmon.
“The secondary industry has been served to Golden as the main course and whether we get dessert, the relocation of the mainline out of the town center, has yet to be determined,” he said.
“What started as a community effort to get secondary industry has been achieved,” said Demmon who has been the town’s representative during the discussions.
The mainline relocation would take place if CP decided to build the ship where the airport is now. The coal trains, which presently block town crossing, would travel by the town along the Columbia River.
Taking note that the final site has not been chosen, Demmon said the work is just beginning but now the work is directed towards an established fact and not just a dream.
Mayor James Doyle has been quoted as saying the CP project will be a great benefit to the town and Demmon agrees.
Demmon said everyone in town will benefit not just business people or railway workers. The whole Golden area will benefit, he said.
The town will gain through the additional property tax generated by the development.
There will also be 100 permanent jobs created in Golden after the 300 person years of construction work over the next four years has been completed.
The CP spokesman said the permanent jobs will involve some relocation of CP workers but there will also be some local job opportunities.
He could not say how many jobs would be created locally. Demmon has said on previous, that there would be jobs created to service the increase in population the project brought.
The CP spokesman said there also would be some opportunity for local construction people but he could not say how great the opportunity would be.
On alderman has said the town is already prepared for the increased demand on services. He said there are housing opportunities ready for an increased population.
The cost to the local taxpayers for the progress this far has been small, said Demmon.
Time and travel expenses plus the town’s share in a number of studies have been the only costs.