I am a lover of trains, having worked as a fireman/stoker on steam engines in Africa.
But I often listen with interest when people, who advocate for the trains in White Rock, say that the tracks were always here.
Sure. However, I assume they were laid in expectation of shorter passenger trains and some freight: the steam engine Curley (linking Brownsville and Blaine) hauling logs, circa 1894, weighed perhaps 30-45 tonnes. The GE Dash 9-44CW locomotives with BNSF weigh 192 tonnes each, and there are usually four of them.
The truth is that most houses close to Marine Drive shake significantly with each train.
By comparison, I wonder whether locals would be happy about a BC Ferry ambling down Marine Drive a few times each day on the tracks. How about the Spirit of Vancouver, for instance?
The freight cars of the trains, fully loaded, weigh around 100 tonnes each. The BC Ferry Coastal Inspiration weighing in at 10,034 tonnes, is some 2,466 tonnes less than the average train. The largest ship in the BC Ferry fleet, the Spirit of Vancouver Island, weighs in at 11,681 tonnes: still 819 tonnes less.
I doubt whether those who laid the tracks had this kind of weight in mind.
Michael Klerck, White Rock