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West Coast Express trains will keep running

West Coast Express service facing disruption because of Canadian Pacific labour dispute. - The News/Files
West Coast Express service facing disruption because of Canadian Pacific labour dispute.
— image credit: The News/Files

Canadian Pacific rail and its Teamsters are working out their differences without holding big-city commuters hostage in the process.

So it will be business as usual Wednesday at West Coast Express commuter rail stations in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

The federal government met with both sides Tuesday to ensure that commuter trains will keep running, even if the Teamsters walk off the job Wednesday, following an earlier strike vote.

Canadian Pacific crews operate West Coast Express in Metro Vancouver for TransLink, as well as commuter rail services in Toronto and Montreal.

"We're hoping that the announcement will include something along the lines, 'that impacts will not be on the commuter rail service,'" TransLink's Fred Cummings said Tuesday.

"We do remain hopeful. Let's wait until the announcement comes out and let's see what happens."

That announcement came later in the day, said Jennifer Siddon of Coast Mountain Bus Co.

There will be no disruption of commuter rail service after both sides agreed to maintain the service.

"We're very relieved and we look forward to business as usual tomorrow," Siddon said.

TransLink had planned to offer a shuttle service from Port Haney and Maple Meadows stations to Coquitlam Centre.

TrainBus coaches and other extra buses would have picked up people at both stations in the morning, taken them to Coquitlam Centre, then to buses to Braid SkyTrain station.

According to the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference, the major labour issues are work rules, fatigue management, and pensions, which the union says the employer wants to cut by 40 per cent.

If the walkout takes place, involving about 4,800 engineers, conductors and rail traffic controllers, freight service across Canada could be disrupted.

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