A young beachgoer watches as a train makes its presence known along White Rock’s waterfront tracks Saturday.

A young beachgoer watches as a train makes its presence known along White Rock’s waterfront tracks Saturday.

LETTERS: Loud reaction to train concerns

Editor:

Re: Cacophony on the waterfront, July 10 letters; Mayor warns of federal indifference to rail fears, July 10.

Editor:

Re: Cacophony on the waterfront, July 10 letters.

In response to G. Ponsford’s insightful letter, I could not agree more.

BNSF and Transport Canada are fighting an ever-losing battle; it is impossible to legislate against stupidity, particularly willful stupidity. As already stated, on some of these occasions Social Darwinism is inevitable.

Living in South Surrey, I don’t have the misery of living with the constant whistle-blowing directly, though I still can hear it quite clearly.

The powers-that-be are removing our freedom and quality of life to the point of creating a police state!

M. Boon, Surrey

• • •

Although I am in general agreement with Gerard Ponsford’s letter to the editor, one statement stands out for me as requiring further discussion. I refer to his: “When BNSF was permitted to lay the tracks a century ago…”

This implies it had been BNSF’s decision to move their line from its then location to the east, where it crossed 16 Avenue at approximately 180 Street, side-hilling in a northeast direction up the hill, and so on.

According to my now-late informant – a longtime resident of the area and one-time reeve of Surrey in the 1960s – it was the desire of the residents of the Peninsula to have the line moved to its present location in order to provide a train station at White Rock.

In those days, rail transportation was of high importance as good roads and cars were scarce. A station at White Rock meant Vancouverites could get to their beach homes at White Rock on weekends quickly.

I believe that this information should be considered by those so determined to blame all on the railroad.

Emerson Reid, Surrey

• • •

Re: Mayor warns of federal indifference to rail fears, July 10.

Why, after decades of having little governing, few safety measures other than the normal signage, warnings, some appropriate fencing, a few honks from the engineers at their discretion and very few deaths considering the thousands and thousands of visitors, has our beach front suddenly been targeted?

It has nothing to do with the poor woman who unfortunately forgot she was crossing an active railway track and didn’t look both ways as we are all taught from a very young age to do when crossing a road or track.

As stated at the July 7 meeting, we are all angry, tired from interrupted sleep, agitated and wondering the purpose of extreme honking – 115 honks along two kilometres – at all hours of the day and night.

(Editor’s note: To mitigate, last week Transport Canada replaced its “dawn until dusk” order to specify repeated horn blasts are required from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

The ‘deflection’ of the extreme honking and sudden deep concern for pedestrian safety is to have us fighting that, instead of the real issue – which is to move these tracks and the lethal cargo they carry along this bay.

Many lives and this beautiful bay will be lost if there is an accident or derailment – and we all know it.

These past weeks have been absolutely ridiculous in every fashion imaginable – tightening up any open fencing, gates erected, then locked, then unlocked, then removed… People are now crawling through the fencing with lawn chairs, swimming gear, etc. The right hand clearly doesn’t know what the left is doing.

Let’s get real and all compromise and work together to make train cargo all across Canada much safer.

Barb Mallard, White Rock

• • •

Another Peace Arch News, and more articles and letters whining about the railway tracks.

A lot of the residents of White Rock and Crescent Beach must think they are very special. Trains run through hundreds of densely populated communities in Canada. Every year right across the country, people who don’t look before crossing the tracks get killed.

Anyone younger than 90 years old knew the tracks were there when they bought their properties. Anyone with any foresight would know that just as the traffic has increased on our roads, so it will on rail.

If you don’t like it, move. Don’t be so arrogant to think it is appropriate to move your problem to another neighbourhood. Lobby for safer rail.

Anna Dean, Surrey

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

White Rock council say closure of the city’s pier, promenade and parking lots are not under consideration at this time, but have approved other COVID-19 options for the waterfront including stepped-up RCMP patrols that are already part of detachment planning. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock pier, promenade, parking lot closures off the table – for now

Council members warn decision subject to future provincial health orders

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
South Surrey, White Rock MLAs call Tuesday’s provincial budget ‘disappointing’

MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Trevor Halford say residents are getting less for more

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

(File photo)
Three young girls followed while walking home from school, Surrey police say

RCMP say suspect took off after girls went into nearby store for help

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read