Efforts by the cities of White Rock and Surrey to reroute the rail line will accomplish little

Efforts by the cities of White Rock and Surrey to reroute the rail line will accomplish little

Focus on the things you control

Editor:

Re: Mayors probe moving tracks inland, Nov. 21; and Relocating rail lines only the first move, Nov. 21 column.

Editor:

Re: Mayors probe moving tracks inland, Nov. 21.

I suggest those calling for the relocation of the railway tracks from the waterfront are taking the wrong approach.

The cost alone and determining who would pay prevents that from ever happening. Obtaining agreement with all the stakeholders would be a Herculean task, especially when two countries are involved.

That argument will go nowhere. It gives the politicians an excuse to get plenty of press but explain later that it is simply too costly. In the end, nothing will change.

Is this issue not clearly a matter of safety? And are jurisdictions not able to legislate required dangerous-goods routes when carriers are able to travel through densely populated areas? Trucks carrying dangerous goods in the City of Calgary, for example, are required to follow a designated dangerous-goods route when travelling in the city. If they do not follow the route, offenders can be fined and imprisoned. Would it not make more sense to require the same for rail traffic?

I personally have no difficulty with Amtrak or rail cars with no hazardous goods using the tracks on the waterfront. We all knew the tracks were there when we bought and it was not a deterrent. Besides, the frequency of train traffic at that time was not that onerous.

What does matter, however, is when our safety is affected. I think all stakeholders can agree that a derailment of cars carrying dangerous goods in a highly populated area is another matter. It is a safety issue pure and simple, and I think Canada and its municipalities still have jurisdiction over that in their own territory.

If we do not, heaven help us.

Simon Bergen-Henengouwen, White Rock

 

Not-so-Swift proposals

Re: Relocating rail lines only the first move, Nov. 21 column.

I was thrilled to the skies to learn that they are finally considering getting rid of the rail line.

The incredible value of this to the Peninsula for both recreation and business would be hard to understate.

However, reading columnist Alex Browne’s opinion piece, I wondered if he was pulling our leg?

No, he was definitely joking right? Please reassure me because that was the nuttiest bunch of hee-haw I’ve ever read in the Peace Arch News. Alex? Really?

Jason Maverick, White Rock

• • •

It required me to read this article twice, because I wasn’t sure, if the author was sarcastic or serious, and I still don’t know. Does he really want to dismantle the pier and relocate the old railway station and the businesses from Marine Drive? If he is serious, why didn’t he just suggest to relocate the entire city?

But probably the best solution would be to relocate him to a nice quiet area in the valley and let those noisy tourists continue to enjoy beautiful White Rock

Klaus Kittel, Surrey

(Editor’s note: Browne wrote with tongue firmly in cheek.)