LETTERS: Limited worry over rail safety


U.S. President Barack Obama recently made changes to rail safety in Washington and Oregon.

Thousands of the unsafe oil tankers and toxic chemical cars are unsafe, yet they pass from Washington through White Rock many times a day. We don’t have to worry about missiles, as these cars are bombs that can kill thousands in a second. We need our prime minister to be as decisive as Obama.

We are a resort town, and sometimes 100,000 people are on the beach. We must cross the tracks.

Trains have increased from five to 22 a day and are now more than 100 cars long. The rail was built more than 100 years ago to carry logs, not oil, coal and anhydrous ammonia, as well as sulphuric acid and over a dozen more toxic chemicals.

When the tide is out, we can actually walk the sand to Blaine, Wash. Semiahmoo Bay is shared by all of us and is a rich ecosystem. A disaster would affect Canadian and U.S. towns and waters.

I wonder why our Canadian government has not taken any steps towards the safety of all of us.

Janice Miller, White Rock

Has anyone noticed how absurd the debate about the trains through White Rock is becoming?

The tracks are 100 per cent safe to walk on if there is not a train coming. The trains announce themselves loud and clear from many hundreds of metres away.

(Editor’s note: Railways have long warned of dangers of trespassing on their property, especially on newer, quieter tracks with quieter trains.)

The only time people get themselves in trouble on the tracks is if they have a monumental lapse of judgment, like running with headphones in front of a train, or if they are unable to make an evaluation of where they are, like the poor soul suffering from dementia, who wandered onto the tracks.

Either of these conditions could and do happen on any other roadway. If you lived on a street where a car came by only once an hour, warning from a great distance, would anyone advocate spending thousands of dollars to build overpasses or unsightly fences lining the road?

Let’s face it, the tracks are not going to be moved. Too expensive. But we don’t have to make a less-than-ideal situation a lot worse by destroying the beauty of our waterfront.

I do like the idea of a zipline from North Bluff, as advocated in this paper by letter-writer David Edwards though (Rail solutions well within Peninsula’s reach, July 24 letters).

John Wright, Surrey



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