05/13/2015 10:00 EDT | Updated 05/13/2016 05:59 EDT

West Coast Express delays are caused by CP Rail: Translink

CP Rail is to blame for the delays West Coast Express passengers have been facing in recent months, says TransLink. 

"Frankly CP owns the tracks and it is up to them to make sure the tracks are free and clear so our trains can get through," said TransLink spokeswoman Colleen Brennan.

"We do pay them and unfortunately when there are delays on that line as a result of CP caused issues, there really isn't anything we can do and that's the frustrating part for our customers."

Brennan says while some delays are normal course for running commuter trains, it is the frequency in which they are happening that is concerning.

More delays so far in 2015 than all of 2014

TransLink says in 2014 there were 291 delays caused by CP Rail and in the first four months of this year, there have already been 358.

"We have a really, really strong record of reliability. It's been up around 98 per cent for 13 years," said Brennan. "It has dropped and we are now sitting around 94 per per cent.

Brennan says repeated, unexpected delays are bad for business and customers.

"This is the way that many people who live in Mission, Abbotsford, Port Moody and Pitt Meadows ... get to work every day and it's how they get home every day."

In an email to the Vancouver Sun, CP Rail spokesperson Jeremy Barry says the company "regrets any inconvenience the recent delays may have caused," but the company is "balancing the needs of our freight customers and our obligations to WCE and their commuter traffic."

Brennan is encouraged by Translink's ongoing discussions with CP Rail and hopes it will commit to fixing the problem.

"That's really what we are going on at this time. Frankly, that's all we have. It's unfortunate we can't do more, but it is what it is."

To hear the full interview with Colleen Brennan, listen to the audio labelled West Coast Express delays.