A freight train traverses the Little Campbell River trestle on Semiahmoo First Nation land southeast of White Rock.

A freight train traverses the Little Campbell River trestle on Semiahmoo First Nation land southeast of White Rock.

LETTERS: So-called ‘solutions’ won’t help

Editor:

Re: Stop-gap measure won’t work, Sept. 2 letters; Trains can be gone in 5 years: Baldwin, Sept. 11.

Editor:

Re: Stop-gap measure won’t work, Sept. 2 letters.

I agree with letter-writer Don Robertson that the ultimate goal should be a new route for the heavy coal trains and movement of dangerous goods.

I don’t have a problem with a reasonable volume of general freight trains or Amtrak, except for the inane whistle blowing by some engineers. But the reality is this is years away. In the meantime, the issue of pedestrian safety doesn’t require chain-link fencing.

Installation of automated gate arms at each pedestrian crossing would be a simple, cost-effective solution. Think back to last year’s tragic death of the jogger in East Beach – automated crossing arms would surely have prevented this accident. A chain link wouldn’t have.

Trains and people have co-existed for over 100 years, but where has our common sense gone? Bureaucrats keep re-inventing the wheel. Enough of this big-brother crap. You can’t legislate against morons who sit on tracks.

While I’m at it, to the brilliant minds who closed the “gaps” along the existing rail fence, the paddleboaters, kayakers and other beachgoers continue to cross the tracks at these locations. All you’ve done is make it more difficult and, in the process, worsened their safety.

So to Transport Canada, the city and whoever else is involved in these decisions, please go back to the drawing board and come up with solutions that recognize the general public doesn’t need big government to control every aspect of their lives.

Barry Collins, White Rock

• • •

Re: Trains can be gone in 5 years: Baldwin, Sept. 11.

It must be close to election time in sunny White Rock.

One observes Mayor Wayne Baldwin desperately trying to refocus media attention away from White Rock’s fiscal problems and scandals that occurred during his watch. He would rather have the voters concentrate on the lost cause of relocating the train tracks once again. Baldwin knows the only way to win re-election is to distract the gullible voters. The most important issue for White Rock residents is why they pay 51 per cent more in property taxes than their neighbours in Surrey, but that issue is not an election winner for him.

I moved to Surrey’s Fraser Heights area 20 years ago. The train noise there is just awful due to a large intermodal rail yard on the Fraser River shoreline. I did not know it was there until I bought my house. My family had to start wearing earplugs in order to sleep properly.

We complained, but the City of Surrey said there was nothing it could do, so we lived with the train problems for 13 years. We moved to the Morgan Creek area of South Surrey nine years ago and we made sure there were no train tracks near our home. Now, we again hear, one of the options Baldwin wants is to relocate the tracks along the Highway 99 corridor near my home.

Dream on, pal. You and the elites in White Rock knew the train tracks were there before you decided to live in White Rock. You made an informed decision to buy your properties with the full knowledge that the train tracks were there. Now you can live with your buying decisions, just as I had to do in Fraser Heights.

White Rock residents who are now unhappy with their informed buying decisions can move to another location, just like I did. You are not going to dump your train problems on me and my neighbours in Morgan Creek.

A. Rose, Surrey

• • •

I am continually amazed that the White Rock NIMBYs expect a railroad to be moved at a cost of $500 million-plus because they didn’t know it was nearby when they moved here.

Their initial rant was that coal trains entered White Rock full and were empty as they left, until an environmental study said otherwise. Now, an environmental catastrophe is imminent from a slowly moving train carrying freight. Really?

Can you imagine every community in Canada that has a railroad passing through it or where train tracks are close to a body of water being entitled to the proposed White Rock “move-it” solution? That would be totally daft.

As for the noise, I’m awakened more by ambulance, police and fire sirens than I am train whistles.

If folks don’t like living close to a railroad, I’d suggest that you simply move elsewhere or pay for the move of the railroad on your own dime. I’m taxed out.

Doug Scott, Surrey

 

 

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