Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: Keeping safe and sound at night

As long as people ignore the warning signs, trains will continue to sound their horns, letter-writers suggest. - Tracy Holmes photo
As long as people ignore the warning signs, trains will continue to sound their horns, letter-writers suggest.
— image credit: Tracy Holmes photo

Editor:

Re: Train horns easy to quell, April 1 letters.

While letter-writer Robert Melynchuk may think he has a great idea, there are some flaws in his “simple and inexpensive” solution to silence train horns at night.

First, hi-rail trucks cannot operate on the track at the same time as a train. Transport Canada regulations stipulate that maintenance and patrol vehicles must be protected by having “exclusive occupancy” of the track.

Railway tracks are divided into “controlled blocks” by signals that allow trains into that section of track. The controlled block for this section extends between the U.S. border and Colebrook Road at 127A Street; hence, a maintenance vehicle must be off the track before a train is allowed into that section of track.

Second, a fully loaded train weighing more than 16,000 tons takes as much as two kilometers to stop when traveling at speed. Therefore, even if they could violate the rules and operate this vehicle in front of the train, it would have to be so far ahead that it would provide zero protection for the trespassing pedestrians.

Third, if this vehicle did encounter trespassers, would it not use its horn to warn said trespassers?

Lastly, with 12 to 15 trains operating on a 24/7 basis through this area, staffing and vehicle logistics would be prohibitively expensive.

Currently, locomotive engineers only have to blow the whistle at night if there are people on or near the track.

Far better solution is to educate people to:

• Look both ways before crossing the track,

• If you see a train approaching, don’t cross the track,

• Most important, don’t ever walk on the tracks.

Chuck Ingram, Surrey

• • •

The perpetual complainers in the Peace Arch News about train whistles had better get used to the fact that trains are here to stay.

The reason they blow their horns is because there are still idiots walking the train tracks and cars that try to beat the crossing guards.

As a regular to the beach, I see this all the time. I am an 82½-year-old who is thankful that I can still hear the reminiscent sounds of the trains and the purr of the wondrous commuter jets overhead.

Besides, trains and planes were here long before most of the few troubled complainers, so relax and revel in the opportunity we have to hear these sounds.

Alex Beleski, Surrey

 

 

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