Questions linger over efforts to relocate the waterfront BNSF train tracks from South Surrey and White Rock.

Questions linger over efforts to relocate the waterfront BNSF train tracks from South Surrey and White Rock.

LETTERS: Skepticism over rail relocation

Editor:

Re: Moving tracks ‘does little for Surrey’, Oct. 23.

Editor:

Re: Moving tracks ‘does little for Surrey’, Oct. 23.

I can’t help wondering if any of the three proponents of spending considerable taxpayer money to study moving the train tracks have asked the owner of the property what they would then do with the property.

My guess is they haven’t – even after White Rock taxpayers already ponied up $20,000.

But let’s use a hypothetical scenario for a moment. OK, the tracks are gone and someone paid roughly $300 million to make that happen. Now what? What will the owner of the property do with the land?

White Rock doesn’t own the land or the beach. Neither does Surrey. The land is owned by Burlington Northern Railway, and BNSF is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which in turn is owned by Warren Buffet, who also owns Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

And somehow I don’t think that the three folks mentioned in the PAN article have Buffet on speed dial.

So again, I ask, after the tracks, what? Seriously, if you owned miles of prime waterfront property and a real-estate development company, what would you do with it?

Barry Gaudin, White Rock

• • •

An open letter to MP-elect Dianne Watts, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin:

I read with interest Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner’s view that the study regarding the relocation of the railway would benefit White Rock more than Surrey.

It would seem that White Rock is the primary supporter of this idea, together with some folks who live in South Surrey, in particular Crescent Beach. We are told the study would likely cost $700,000 and if accepted would lead to another $400 million if implemented.

White Rock’s track record of studies is pretty bad. Remember the money spent studying whether to contract out firefighting to Surrey? The study was put in File 13. As was the report produced by a California company asked to come up with a corporate jingle – eventually resolved with a competition sporting a $50 prize. So why should we think this little escapade will end differently?

The reasons cited for relocating the railway track are safety and the environment.

Just because the railway takes another route does not mean that the environmental issue vanishes. What about having to cross the Little Campbell River, the Nicomekl and the Serpentine, not to mention other possible hazards such as Burns Bog, or don’t they count?  In other words, it would be swapping one environmental issue for another.

Safety breaks down into two issues: people walking on the tracks and Crescent Beach residents possibly being trapped, without emergency-vehicle access.

So why not extend the pedestrian walkway from White Rock to connect to Crescent Beach? Make it wide enough for cyclists, as well as emergency vehicles if required. Not only would the residents of Crescent Beach no longer be “trapped,” it would enhance the area and eliminate the perceived need to walk on the tracks.

Finally, does anyone really think this could be done for $400 million? Just look at the demolition of Vancouver’s viaducts – already doubled to over $200 million.

Let’s face it, the train has been there for over a 100 years and the people who complain about it are probably the same folks who go and live next to an airport and then complain about the planes.

Ken Harrap, Surrey

 

 

Just Posted

This year’s Virtual Hike for Hospice raised just over $30,000 with the support of participants including Marlene. (Contributed photo)
PHOTOS: Virtual hike raises $30K for Peace Arch Hospice Society

Community support smashes fundraising goal

A Grade 8 class at L.A. Matheson Secondary. March 2021. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
B.C.’s return-to-school plan good, but Surrey teachers hope there is room for adjustments

Surrey school district to receive $1.76M of the $25.6M provincial pandemic-related funding

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Pier has reportedly been unused for a long time

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

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

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Most Read