Letter writers in White Rock and Surrey support a plan to have all levels of government fund a rail-relocation study.

LETTERS: Rail study positive move forward

Editor:

Re: Support sought for rail study, Aug. 12.

Editor:

Re: Support sought for rail study, Aug. 12.

It was a very pleasant surprise to read on the front page of Peace Arch News that the BC Liberals are formally backing the rail-relocation efforts of the cities of White Rock and Surrey.

Funding this feasibility study will finally document the benefits – safety, time savings, increased rail capacity – and costs of this project. In my opinion, it is a worthwhile expenditure of my taxpayer dollars.

I wish to applaud Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg’s efforts for bringing B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone together with Mayors Wayne Baldwin and Linda Hepner, demonstrating that good provincial-municipal co-operation is possible. Kudos must also go to Liberal MP Ken Hardie (Fleetwood-Port Kells), whose recent positive comments illustrate his understanding that rail relocation’s economic and social impacts would be felt far beyond the borders of White Rock and Surrey.

I also appreciate that federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau is aware that our cities are seeking to relocate the track, showing that this initiative has reached the highest levels of the federal government.

Realigning the track to a straighter and faster route will also serve to open up a Canadian treasure allowing all of us living in the region to have complete access to the bay. For those of us living south of the Fraser, we deserve no less.

Hannah Newman, White Rock

• • •

Since way before the 1970s, when then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau gave some indication that the dangerous and unwanted train might move from the shores of Semiahmoo Bay and the doorsteps of White Rock and Crescent Beach, citizens have been working hard to convince politicians that this killer track must go.

With the tragedy of Lac Mégantic, and the advent of more petroleum products and dangerous goods like chlorine gasses passing by our doorsteps, we are finally glad to see that the B.C. government, under the leadership of Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg, has been moving toward a relocation feasibility study.

Count in this corner B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone, Mayors Linda Hepner and Wayne Baldwin and Liberal MP Ken Hardie. And don’t forget the hundreds of citizens and numerous citizens committees that have toiled over the years to try to make this ‘supernatural region of B.C. all that it can be.’

We, as concerned citizens of Canada, want to welcome our people to the sunny, sandy shores of Semiahmoo Bay, without the concerns of tragedy from train accidents. So, politicians of all ilk, please support this feasibility study for rail relocation. And then support that actual relocation!

The time for talk should be nearing its end and the time for action is indeed due.

So if you like, visit us before and after the ‘return’ of our beachfront to its rightful owners… Canadians.

Susan Potzold, White Rock

• • •

Open letters to officials who support funding a feasibility study into relocating rail from the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

Thank you for supporting the Surrey and White Rock Boundary Bay rail-relocation initiative.

As South Surrey and parts of White Rock experience increased population density and recreational demands likewise increase drawing people to oceanfront areas of Crescent Beach, White Rock and the river systems of the Serpentine and Nicomekl, it just makes common sense that the BNSF rail line be relocated while it is now yet possible to do so.

Greg McNally, Surrey

• • •

We are residents of the Crescent Beach area.

Thank you for supporting the Boundary Bay rail-relocation initiative. A rail relocation will make Surrey and White Rock much safer and better places to live!

Anne Marie & Ken Holmes, Surrey

• • •

As property owners in the Crescent Beach area since the mid-1960s, and a permanent resident for the past two years I, along with all of my neighbours, have noticed the increase in the number of trains going through the Crescent Beach area and an increase in the volume and intensity of the train whistles/horns.

Sometimes the train whistles/horns are so loud and go for so long, I am tempted to run over to the tracks as surely a major problem exists – has someone been hit? – there must be a serious issue, why else would the whistles/horns go on for so long?

I want to thank you for supporting the rail-relocation initiative. This is a positive step for the future of our environment, our shoreline and the safety of all residents of the White Rock/South Surrey area and all of the many visitors to the wonderful part of B.C. we call home.

Jane Jamieson, Surrey

• • •

Thank you for supporting the removal of the rail tracks from the beach area!

Roberta & John Braddock, Surrey

• • •

Thank you for supporting the Surrey and White Rock Boundary Bay rail-relocation initiative.

We live in Crescent Beach where we can be cut off from the rest of Surrey for anywhere up to the 15 minutes it takes an average train to pass through. In an emergency situation, that time can make the difference between life and death. There have been occasions when ambulances could not reach people who needed them because the road was blocked by a train.

Every time a train goes by, the ground under our house trembles. While that doesn’t present a risk to our property, it must have an impact on the stability of the hillside along the tracks. There are a number of homes on the hillside and an equal number just below.

Then there is the issue of the toxic chemicals that the trains are transporting. A spill could be catastrophic.

Which all goes to say that the railway needs to be relocated – the study being the first step in that process.

Penny Essex, Surrey

 

 

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