LETTERS: Coal train fixation misses bigger – more worrisome – picture

Editor:

Being fixated on coal trains misses the bigger and more menacing picture that is currently impacting the people and environment of the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

It is now very common to have 20-plus trains a day through White Rock, most more than two kilometres long, requiring three or four diesel locomotives, all pushing out hazardous fine particulate matter.

Just as worrying, BNSF is transporting chlorine, ammonia and crude oil, any of which could easily kill many and degrade the environment if one of those train cars happens to derail.

Because these dangerous-goods trains travel below very unstable cliffs, which are susceptible to land slides, the derailment risk is higher than many realize.

Just this past April, a mudslide covered the track, which the BNSF spokesman said was a “freak slide as there hasn’t been heavy saturation that would typically lead to this type of land movement.’

All it takes is a slide like this coinciding with a passing train and we will truly have a disaster.

Before July 2013, people of Lac Megantic were told, like we are told here, that there was no reason to be concerned. It only took that one train on July 6 for 47 lives to be lost and a town to be devastated. For those of us who have been advocating for the relocation of the track to the shorter, faster route along the Highway 99 corridor, it is discouraging that all of our levels of government seem willing to wait until the inevitable disaster occurs. Even the small step of determining whether moving the track is feasible and how much it would cost seem out of reach.

It is crazy to me that people think it is OK to have a busy freight and passenger train line separating this densely populated urban area and our fabulous water/beach area. The “but the track was here first” mindset speaks of a different era and no longer applies.

For economic, environmental or just plain quality-of-life reasons, this track will be moved one day. Whether it is in five years or 50 years, I just wish we can start on that path before events force our hand.

Hannah Newman, White Rock

Just Posted

Surrey rallies for change in global climate strike

Holland Park event part of marches around the world Sept. 20

Surrey RCMP need help to find missing man

Denis Godard, 64, who was reported missing on Sept. 19

Little library stolen in Clayton Heights

Thieves permanently check out family’s book collection

Cloverdale Community Kitchen hosts ‘learning’ breakfast for students

Coast Capital Savings offered short presentations on financial topics

Surrey council sends back 25-storey highrise proposal, asks for more height and density

Developer says it is ‘currently reviewing direction’ from mayor, council

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

VIDEO: Fire destroys Williams Lake strip club targeted by past arson attempts

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, as well as New World Tea and Coffee House

Vancouver police get green light to use drones for investigations

Drones will be used to investigate motor vehicle collisions, crime scene analysis and more

Most Read

l -->