Erosion of the railroad bed through South Surrey – photographed by Cloverdale resident Udo Zirkwitz – has not undermined the safety of the tracks

Rail safety not compromised by erosion: BNSF

Photographs highlight storm damage alongside South Surrey train tracks

Recent storms that battered the South Surrey/White Rock waterfront have at least one area resident questioning the impact of erosion seen alongside the railway line.

But BNSF officials say while steps have been taken in the weeks since to stabilize the road bed, safety along the tracks has not been compromised.

“There were no safety issues caused by the actual storm, these were proactive moves,” Gus Melonas, spokesman for the railway, said Monday of riprap and ballast dumped as recently as last week to shore up the railbed.

However, Cloverdale resident Udo Zirkwitz – who told Peace Arch News he took photos of erosion as recently as Monday – said he has seen no sign of any shoring-up efforts.

Erosion he’s seen, however, appears significant. In one area immediately south of the overhead pedestrian crossing, a stretch of the right-of-way is sheared off to within a few feet of the railway tracks.

The damage, Zirkwitz notes in an email, is due to the storms – the latest hit March 10 – in combination with high tides.

In a April 13 email to Zirkwitz and PAN, BNSF community-affairs manager Ben Wilemon said he has forwarded Zirkwitz’s photos to the railway’s engineering and structures team for investigation.

Melonas said Thursday that the tracks are inspected every day, and after the latest storm were deemed safe.

In the earlier interview he noted BNSF has technology in place to detect any shifting of the track or issues with railbed stabilization.

In White Rock, 15 cars of riprap were dumped three weeks ago, he said. Another 15 carloads of the boulders, along with four cars of ballast, were dumped last week along the tracks two miles north, he added.

“We’ll continue to identify areas where there has been some undermining… to shore up where erosion has occurred due to the storms,” Melonas said. “If it wasn’t safe, we wouldn’t operate trains.”

According to an April 13 CBC report on high-risk crossings in Canada, a list created based on risk factors identified in 2014 by Transport Canada does not name any rail crossings – pedestrian or vehicle – on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

 

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP issue arrest warrant for suspect in Sheraton hotel stabbing

Police say Malcolm Drydgen faces an aggravated assault charge, and it’s believed he’s in the Lower Mainland or Alberta

ELECTION QUESTIONS: Is Surrey safer than it was four years ago?

Who has the best plan to fight crime in Surrey? That’s for voters to decide on Oct.20

LETTER: We are looking to wrong source for public safety in Surrey

We really need to ask how we might defund police and properly fund community resources

Man wanted in connection with attack on taxi driver in Surrey

Assault happened Aug. 8 in the 13200-block of 105A Ave.

Cessford says Delta not ready for legal cannabis

Mayoral candidate and former police chief says public consultation is needed to make civic policies

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Premier John Horgan ponders debate on voting system changes

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson wants one-on-one, no Green

Saganash drops F-bomb in Commons over federal approach to Trans Mountain

NDP’s reconciliation critic accused federal government of ‘wilfully’ violating constitutional duties

VIDEO: B.C. dairy farmer says Trump doesn’t understand the industry

‘They need supply management just as bad as we need to keep it’: sixth generation farmer Devan Toop

VIDEO: Death threat, racist comments spewed over empty seat on B.C. bus

Transit Police are investigating the incident, shared online by fellow passengers on Vancouver bus

Man faces 8 charges after Vancouver carjacking, pepper-spray attacks

Jesse William Swain has been charged with assault with a weapon, robbery and dangerous driving

Sister of plane crash victim that went missing in B.C. starting support network

Tammy Neron wants to help families who are searching for missing people

‘Hello, 911? There’s a horse in my living room’

Sproat Lake firefighters called to ‘rescue’ quarter-horse from Alberni Valley house

Assault charge withdrawn vs. ex-Jays pitcher Roberto Osuna

Former Toronto player agrees to peace bond

Most Read