Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts

White Rock train tracks to remain for ‘foreseeable future’: Martin

Surrey councillor says White Rock mayor - not Surrey mayor - brought up the idea of rail realignment.

Supporters of moving the BNSF tracks from White Rock and South Surrey’s waterfront should not expect it to happen any time soon.

That’s the message from both Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts and Coun. Mary Martin – while White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin acknowledges there is no specific proposal before either the federal or provincial government.

In an emailed response to a letter from Morgan Creek resident Anthony Rose (who also addressed concerns about the effects of a realignment on his neighbourhood in a letter to Peace Arch News published Dec. 5), Martin said realignment “will not happen in the near future, nor in the foreseeable future.

“Mayor Watts’ only concerns are for the safety of the rail shipments, in particular the crossing at Crescent Beach. It was Mayor Baldwin who brought up the idea of the realignment.”

Both mayors told PAN last month that Watts approached Baldwin in August to discuss the matter.

Watts spoke at a Nov. 26 City of Surrey community forum, where she presented four options for relocating the BNSF route in other areas of her city, however Monday she said the forum was “about beginning the conversation.”

Moving the line, Watts said, “would be a lengthy process, without a doubt.”

While information on realignment is being gathered in an overall study of rail-safety issues, the primary focus is ensuring the current route is safe, she said.

“The realignment conversation is secondary to the conversation around safety issues,” Watts said.

“What we want to be dealing with is safety issues around the (current) alignment – the stabilization of the slopes, the length of trains, the access to Crescent Beach and the condition of the trestle bridges.”

Told of Watts’ and Martin’s latest comments, Baldwin questioned why the City of Surrey would provide four choices for realignment if moving the tracks is not an option.

Baldwin told PAN there is no timeline at present to propose realignment to either provincial or federal authorities, although he expected some overtures would be made “early in the new year.”

“We’ll start with our local representatives and work our way up the chain,” he said.

Baldwin added that there is no favoured proposal for realigning the main BNSF cross-border route.

“The bottom line is it could even be one of the (BNSF) spur lines at Sumas or some other place – although perhaps there would be problems with load-bearing capacity,” he said.

Watts said City of Surrey committees are studying all aspects of rail safety – and other environmental issues the city will have to address, including a potential rise in the sea level that could impact the Nicomekl and Serpentine river systems.

“This is about getting information, looking at issues and engaging the public,” she added. “There are a few issues that we’ve been talking about for decades.”

 

Just Posted

Semiahmoo advances to B.C. peewee hockey final against Burnaby Winter Club

Ravens to square off against only team to defeat them during provincial tournament

Surrey RCMP hunt for robbery suspect after woman threatened while using ATM

Police say a man demanded a woman withdraw money from her account while threatening her with a weapon

SOCCER: A Surrey coach recalls Alphonso Davies’ rise, days after his first goal for Bayern Munich

Injury may prevent the budding star, 18, from playing for Team Canada in Vancouver on Sunday

Tory MPs chant ‘cover up’ during federal budget delivery

Liberal government’s fourth budget delivered in House of Commons Tuesday, but nobody could hear it

Former South Surrey boxer relishing role on Riverdale

Peninsula resident Darcy Hinds has recurring role on popular CW series

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Couple rescued after Sea to Sky Gondola refused ride down hill

‘We were cold as hell, my lips were blue. I cried the entire way down’

Most Read

l -->