The dividing rail line between the Semiahmoo Peninsula and the foreshore is being questioned by local mayors.

The dividing rail line between the Semiahmoo Peninsula and the foreshore is being questioned by local mayors.

Mixed reaction to mayors’ move

Editor:

Re: Mayors probe moving tracks inland, Nov. 21.

Editor:

Re: Mayors probe moving tracks inland, Nov. 21.

Congratulations with this very overdue initiative.

It is beyond comprehension that this totally outdated and terribly destructive route has not been relocated a very long time ago. It is not only a scourge for the Peninsula community but also not at all cost effective for BNSF considering the potential for disasters; moreover a direct rural route such as perhaps parallel to Highway 99 would avoid the need for slowing the trains down through our communities.

The sooner the decision makers will see the light, the better – because I have always thought this is an absolute no-brainer.

Louise Sorensen, Surrey

• • •

White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and some members of council are spending a lot of time and energy in the wrong direction. It is our MP, Russ Heibert, who should be front and centre in dealing with such a federally mandated issue.

If one looks at the City of New Westminster specifically, it is a comparable example of urban development and railway noise issues. Both have train right of ways that existed before development, with informed purchasers who now complain about the pre-existing trackage and yards that present similar issues such as noise.

Yes, the complaints of residents in these communities is equally as valid as the residents of our community, but suggest the answer is in forming a good working relationship with the railways towards noise reduction.

It would be nice to see Baldwin and council as focused on the issues of development, zoning and permits – and not just the BNSF. It seems the railway has become a convenient distraction for the media as re-election plans are soon to get underway.

Fatalities and injuries are always regrettable with railways, but the occurrence and frequency is, in fact, small historically.

Our mayor and certain members of council – with their NIMBY approach to the BNSF – is definitely not the answer to this problem.

Ron Eves, White Rock

• • •

We could not believe our ears when White Rock Mayor Baldwin announced last week that the cities of White Rock and Surrey are working together to relocate the railway line from our seafront to a safer location.

Kudos to all involved. Hopefully the province and the federal government will be on side.

What a relief it will be to our communities, and what an opportunity lies ahead for opening up a pedestrian/bike path from the border to Crescent Beach. The mind boggles at the potential to enhance and share this beautiful section of safe beach front. We had been told in the past that this was impossible, but people like Ken Jones of Smart Rail persisted with their vision.

It is easy to criticize politicians, but the quiet diplomacy and co-operation between Baldwin and Surrey’s Mayor Dianne Watts – with the co-operation of their councillors and staff – has led to this very positive outcome.

We urge you to support this project and attend the information meeting at the Pacific Inn on Nov. 26.

The icing on the cake was a motion from Coun. Larry Robinson to request the federal Ministry of Transportation to address our community’s concern about the transit of dangerous goods by rail through our community. It passed unanimously.

What an evening!

Roger and Patricia Kealy, White Rock

• • •

I suppose some of the cost of moving the rail line would be recovered by the increase in property taxes paid by the land owners that have had their views greatly improved. Some of the charm of White Rock is the trains. And who knows, in the future they may be a good transit line to Vancouver.

Curt Smith, Surrey

 

 

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