LETTERS: Keeping track of train blasts

An open letter to BNSF.

This has reference to the new order by the Transport Safety Board dated July 9 (Early ‘dawn’ let to 4 a.m. horn blasts, July 15).

To begin, our community was happy to hear that good news. However, we’re not happy to continue to hear blasting train horns in the early hours of the morning. We don’t believe these blasts – whistling? – are caused by some imminent danger on the track between midnight and 4 a.m.

This disruption in sleep is becoming a serious health issue for many of us. It is unfortunate that after 40 years of living by the “City by the Sea,” it could come down to “who leaves first?”

White Rock and Crescent Beach have had a relationship for over 100 years which featured, for the most part, acceptance and co-operation.

Recently, however, BNSF rail has become less passenger orientated and morphed into many more longer trains with rolling stock containing general freight, U.S. thermal coal and dangerous goods.

Our population has changed, as well. The urban sprawl now surrounds the rail corridor.

Obviously, and not withstanding all the TSB rules and regulations, some common sense and compromise must be available.

Some of the engine drivers seem to be using this discretion, while others not so much. It is imperative that from rigid rules and regulations should come guidelines featuring common sense and that discretion.

Most of society accept the risk of every day urban life dealing with motor vehicles, highways and pedestrian safety. Can’t we apply the same mentality to railroad safety?

We all grew up exposed to the mantra of “stop, look and listen.” Our new signage with “stop, look and live” at any pedestrian crossing is ample visual education.

To argue that the railroad and the cargo it is carrying is dangerous to be around raises the obvious issue of why, in 2014, is this allowed to transit through urban areas.

In the meantime, could you encourage the engine drivers to not blast their “whistles” during the quiet hours, unless, of course, some fool poses an imminent danger to themselves and the mental health of the train operators.

Dennis & Janice Smith, White Rock



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