Re: Crescent Beach train blockage raises concerns, Jan. 26
Years ago, the BNSF Railway forced the City of Surrey to build the elevated pedestrian walkway above the train tracks south of Crescent Beach because of people coming down the 101 Steps and crossing the tracks to reach the shore.
With broken-down coal trains repeatedly blocking the roads into Crescent Beach for hours, it’s now time for the BNSF to return the favour and build either a tunnel or bridge on Crescent Road at the train tracks. The City of Surrey should not be paying to fix BNSF’s problem.
Since railways are federally regulated, Surrey’s Mayor Locke should tell the Liberal transportation minister to either enforce the maximum five-minute road blockage limit, or help fund a separated crossing at this location, similar to how the feds built rail overpasses throughout Langley.
Also, the 115-year-old swing bridge with its 10 mph speed limit that causes train car couplers to bust needs to finally be replaced by the BNSF. All of the local rail crossings have been upgraded except for this relic from the era of steam engines.
A more long-term view would be to re-route this dangerous freight line into the same inland corridor as the proposed high-speed passenger rail, leaving a marathon length waterfront trail across Boundary Bay from the Peace Arch to Tsawwassen.
Don Pitcairn, SmartRail member