LETTERS: Sympathy for the engineers


My heartfelt gratitude to the engineers of the BNSF train going westbound through the East Beach last Friday afternoon (Train stops for ‘resting’ teenagers, Aug. 12).

What terror you must have felt as you approached the area, slowly and with warning blasts, only to see a young man lying on the tracks, not responding to the prolonged whistle blasts. I was impressed by your rapid braking action but I am sure that you question the ability of stopping so fast in order to avoid a critical incident. I have since heard that the crashing sound of the train stopping further behind was terrifying, some thinking that a derailment was in our midst.

I have often wondered what would prompt the prolonged whistle blowing I hear, whether day or night, but now I know.

The RCMP attended, as did other emergency services, and the young man was apprehended. I imagine that a psychiatric assessment will reveal his intention.

Regardless, thank you, BNSF engineers and I hope you can rest easily after such an incident.

Do the trains passing through White Rock video record any action on the tracks? Perhaps if BNSF released such recordings, the public would have a greater understanding of what is actually happening on the tracks as the trains approach.

I definitely do not want to see restricted beach access, but I fear the people I regularly see walking on the tracks will ruin it for those of us who ‘Look, Listen and Live.’

M. Desmarais, White Rock

• • •

Rail misery! The back and forth about our beloved railway is getting better and better.

If there are people stupid enough to walk on the rails with kids on shoulders, dogs and the rest of the family, or with music at full strength blasting and not looking left or right when crossing, let them be hit.

Would they walk on a highway doing the same? I don’t think so.

There is a law against walking on the rails. Where are the so-called law-enforcement people? They are there to write parking tickets in a second, but allow dogs, bikes, etc. where they are not to be. So they are also at fault for these mishaps!

I only feel sorry for the engineer driving the train, because he will have to live with it for life.

H. Schmidt, Surrey



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