Letter writers offer differing opinions on the sounds of train whistles as they pass through Semiahmoo Peninsula.

Music to some, noise to others

Editor:

Re: Train whistles will continue, Aug. 23.

Editor:

Re: Train whistles will continue, Aug. 23.

Instead of complaining about the trains that pass through White Rock, citizens should be celebrating their presence and capitalizing on this resource.

Having recently moved here from Vancouver Island, where trains are as scarce as benevolent bankers, I am thrilled to see and hear steel wheels on steel rails.

In other parts of North America, railway towns take advantage of their location to draw rail fans from all over the world. Some have constructed special viewing platforms alongside the track – White Rock already has a three-kilometre viewing platform.

Wise homeowners offer bed-and-breakfast accommodation to visitors. Here’s one description from a recent issue of Trains Magazine: “Watch trains from the sitting room, front porch, back or side deck… kick back and enjoy the view.” The homes stacked above Marine Drive are custom-designed for such a use.

Some towns and cities stage railway festivals – with up to 16 trains a day, White Rock is ideally poised for this type of event.

As for the roar of steel wheels on steel rails and the melodic train whistles, I enjoy hearing them at all times of the day, for they let me know that even while I’m sleeping others are awake and carrying on North America’s business.

Robert Ramsay, White Rock

• • •

Re: Not quiet on the western front, Aug. 16 letters; Noise rules differ for us, Aug. 23 letters.

I was disappointed to read in the letter written by D. Barros about the apparently uncaring city hall response.

Yes, BNSF owns the land, but with ownership comes responsibility not only to their needs but to the effect on their neighbours. I would have expected more support and attention from our city officials.

We too are disturbed and annoyed about being awakened every two hours or less during the night and early hours of the morning with the louder-than-necessary train whistles. It is hard to believe that someone is on the tracks in the middle of the night.

Being constantly affected by the loud whistles each night causes loss of sleep and stress. It is a well-known fact that sleep deprivation seriously affects people’s well-being.

Hopefully city hall officials care about their citizens health and take steps to address their taxpayers concerns and not just ignore them.

If BSNF wants to be a good corporate citizen, I would expect some effort being made to address these concerns.

For example, tooting of horns is old technology. Surely it can be replaced by something else that is significantly less disturbing and still addresses the safety concerns.

Patricia E. Millar, White Rock

 

 

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