LETTER: Relocating rail line should be priority

LETTER: Relocating rail line should be priority

The Editor,

Re "Baldwin says landslides suggest accident inevitable," the Now, Feb. 12.

Thanks to the professional reporting by the Now’s Christopher Poon, local residents have been informed of the two landslides that occurred near the end of January on the railway track between White Rock and Crescent Beach.

Who would have known? This location is on that curved stretch of track that is hard to access and therefore off the radar for most of us, including the fire department.

According to Mayor Wayne Baldwin, not even our first responders were advised of this potentially dangerous situation. It doesn’t seem right that Gus Melonas of BNSF is the one to hold all the cards on such a deadly predicament.

These train derailments seem to be "just a cost of doing business" to the fat cats of the rail lines.

Just since this weekend, there have been at least three more derailments in Canada that we haven’t heard much about – one near Timmons, Ont., where seven "crude" cars were on fire; one in Raymore, Sask., where 35 cars derailed; and one near the Crow’s Nest Pass close to the notorious Frank Slide area. Will the next derailment be in Crescent Beach?

Again, thanks to public scrutiny we were informed about the numerous rail decouplings in that zone.

Not a problem, says BNSF. I disagree. Once more we can thank concerned citizens like Erik Seiz for informing us. Oh, and I would like to know what’s with that new line of continuous track just waiting to be installed at the White Rock waterfront.

According to city hall, it is just a replacement. In my opinion, the last replacement a few years ago led to longer and heavier trains, so might this mean going from 130 cars to the 210 we have heard about?

Why must White Rock and Surrey push for rail relocation? Because this is an excessively dangerous terrain coupled with a dense population that has extremely difficult evacuation problems.

We know where White Rock’s mayor stands on this but we haven’t heard much from Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner. At least not since the summer rally at the Crescent Beach tracks, where she said the safety of the Surrey/Ocean Park corridor was a major concern. So Linda, how about setting up a meeting with Wayne and getting this train off our dangerous track?

Susan Potzold,

White Rock