Access to Crescent Beach at Beecher Street was blocked for 45 minutes early Wednesday morning, due to a freight train mechanical issue. (Google Streetview image)

Access to Crescent Beach at Beecher Street was blocked for 45 minutes early Wednesday morning, due to a freight train mechanical issue. (Google Streetview image)

Freight train cuts Crescent Beach access for 45 minutes

BNSF says splitting train ‘not feasible’

A mechanical issue stopped a BNSF freight train at the entrance to Crescent Beach early Wednesday, blocking access in and out of the oceanfront community for 45 minutes.

BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas confirmed Thursday the blockage occurred at approximately 3:45 a.m. May 30, and involved a southbound train that was hauling “general freight.”

“It required a mechanical inspection and a mechanical adjustment,” Melonas said.

Crescent Beach resident Erik Seiz said he met a neighbour at the crossing site who had been heading to catch a 6 a.m. flight when she encountered the train.

He questioned why protocol followed for splitting non-moving trains wasn’t followed.

“I believe the protocol is to split non moving trains that block the beach after 15 minutes,” Seiz told Peace Arch News by email. “This didn’t happen.”

Melonas said such protocol is “situational” and that “all kinds of factors” are involved.

“That certainly has been done,” he said. “In this case, that was not the process determined. That was not a feasible option.”

Melonas said all necessary authorities, including police, were immediately notified of the incident.