Railtown camp dismantled

Crews work to clean up a homeless camp often referred to as Railtown. - web photo
Crews work to clean up a homeless camp often referred to as Railtown.
— image credit: web photo

A homeless camp informally known as Railtown was dismantled on Tuesday, and five occupants were evicted from the area.

“How this started was there were some concerns about emergency responders having to go out there,” said Hugh Eberle, district manager of transportation for West Kootenay. “It’s quite challenging to access, with sloping forested terrain. It was fairly risky for emergency responders.”

The camp, which according to some has been active for eight years, was one of the largest and most developed in the Nelson area.

Eberle said they’ve been aware of the Railtown site, as well as a number of other camping locations in the area, for quite a while. This particular camp was problematic because of the human waste and garbage that had accumulated. There were also reports of open-fire cooking.

“Not only is it a wildlife attractant, it’s a public health issue,” said Eberle.

“We don’t go out hunting. We understand this is a complex situation, so we operated under the unified system of command.”

The Nelson RCMP, Nelson Police Department, Canadian Pacific Railway Police, Nelson Fire and Rescue as well as other city workers were in attendance on scene. Various structures and tents were taken down and disposed of, and any possessions left behind collected.

“It was a huge job, cleaning up this mess,” said Eberle. “But we’re done.”

The camp has been known to host as many as 30 or 40 people, many of whom left the scene before the police could arrive. The personal belongings they left behind were confiscated.

Five occupants were evicted from the area. Three of them left voluntarily, according to Eberle. The other two caused problems.

“They had some questions for the RCMP about personal belongings at the site. They were certainly a bit more upset,” he said.

“Our plan is we’re going to continue to monitor the site and play it by ear, accordingly with our resources.”


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Give peace department a chance, MP says
Cartolina revitalizes Nelson heritage building
On board with buy local
West Kootenay/Boundary candidate numbers up slightly over 2011
Tuition contest may help NSS alum achieve her dreams
Operation Popcorn thanks transplant staff
Bombi break-in nets valuables from vehicle
Old BC Hydro dams could be removed
Missing Andrew Evans

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.