Inconvenience of a rail route

Letter-writers comment on trains through their community.

Editor:

I suppose it is commendable that train operators are thinking only about our safety. That must be why they think it is now necessary to blow their train whistles at 4 a.m.

As if the rumbling of the train itself was not enough.

So, not only do we get to enjoy the drifting coal dust, but we get to enjoy it 24/7 because none of us is able to get a night of sleep.

Who are these people apparently on the BNSF tracks at 4 a.m.? They must be both deaf and drunk and just too stupid to get out of the way of a rumbling 100-car freight train.

The rest of us might as well join them. We can’t get any sleep anyway.

Don Cameron, White Rock

• • •

While I am a big supporter of projects that will bring economic prosperity to this province and have no issue with the natural-resource industry, I do have three questions.

• What is the safe limit of coal dust in human lungs? I suspect the answer is zero.

• Why are coal-train cars not covered? Because it costs money is not a good enough answer.

• How many direct jobs will the expansion of coal exports from the Lower Mainland provide?

If it is 50 or so, then the disruption is not worth it.

Gaining a handful of jobs while at the expense of thousands living near the rail lines and/or shipping terminals is not a fair trade.

Whether or not the expansion goes ahead, we need to fully investigate the health effects of coal dust on humans, and demand that coal cars be covered if it is indeed hazardous to our health.

Anecdotally, two years ago we moved to White Rock – about 500 metres from the rail line – from the Softball City area. In both homes we parked our vehicles outside.

My car in White Rock garners as much surface dust in a couple of days – indeed it is “dirty” after a couple of days – as it did in a week or more just a couple of kilometres away near Softball City.

Not a scientific study, but interesting and thought-provoking nonetheless. I am fine with the noise of the current train traffic but feel we need to take a hard look at having the cars covered.

Michael J. Klaver, White Rock

 

 

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