Transport Canada allows whistle cessation at night

WHITE ROCK – Two days after residents in White Rock and the surrounding area turned up in the hundreds to vent their frustrations about the rail line, Transport Canada made a decision to allow rail operator BNSF to decrease whistling at night.

In a missive sent by Transport Canada inspector Dennis Maskall Wednesday, BNSF was ordered to issue repetitive succession of horn blasts between the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. However, outside of those hours train drivers will be able to continue with “normal BNSF whistling protocol as per their current timetable and bulletins,” which had previously been to whistle when there was a danger on the track.

Gus Melona of BNSF said the rail company would be abiding by the latest order and referred all other questions to Transport Canada.

Previously, train operators would occasionally blow their whistles and always when someone or something was obstructing the tracks.

Coun. Grant Meyer, head of the city’s rail safety task force, was happy to see what is being interpreted as permission by Transport Canada for conductors to exercise more discretion when it came to nighttime whistling.

“It’s good news and I think that it had to do with the amount of people calling and emailing,” he said.