White Rock BNSF train whistles to be silenced by end of month

Whistle will sound if people or animals are on the track

BNSF’s blistering loud train whistles – which for years have been a common annoyance to some White Rock beach residents – will be silenced at the end of the month.

BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas confirmed to Peace Arch News Thursday that the freight company will no longer sound its whistle when it passes through the eight railway crossings in the city come Jan. 29.

“However, we will sound the horn when there’s emergency situations, maintenance activity, work crews in the area, or if there’s animals or pedestrians that require warning – we will sound the horn,” Melonas said.

BACKGROUND: City of White Rock hopes to have train whistles muted

White Rock director of engineering Jim Gordon told council last September that there has been an interest in muted train whistles for a number of years.

“We’ve certainly had a lot of interest in this community for stopping the whistles,” Gordon said during the September council meeting, adding that an open house in June 2017 at White Rock Museum and Archives shows that “everybody was firmly behind the plan to do this.”

Whistle cessation was allowed, in part, due to the crossing upgrades that were completed last year.

LETTER: No need for non-stop train whistles

The federal government contributed more than $1.63 million in funding crossing upgrades to meet the new Transport Canada regulations, with additional cost sharing by BNSF. The upgrades include improved signage and crossing surface specifications, as well as better sightlines and warning systems.

BACKGROUND: Silencing train whistles through White Rock to cost $1.8m

This week, some councillors took to social media to celebrate the announcement, but also warn residents that it’s subject to change.

“Good news today – starting January 29th 2020, BNSF railway has agreed to train whistle cessation in White Rock!” Coun. Christopher Trevelyan wrote to Facebook Jan. 14.

“Please also stay off those tracks – BNSF can bring back automatic whistles so let’s not give them a reason to.”

Coun. Scott Kristjanson tipped his hat to engineering staff.

“Congratulations to Jim Gordon and Dan Bottrill and all the White Rock engineering staff for making this happen for the benefit of all our residents who will soon be able to sleep much better each night,” Kristjanson wrote.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police investigating after another teen girl followed in Tsawwassen

Police say a man in a burgundy car approached teen girls on at least two, possibly three occasions

White Rock RCMP are searching for Richard John Lewis, who is wanted on warrants for assault and uttering threats. (RCMP handout)
White Rock RCMP searching for wanted man

Richard John Lewis is wanted on warrants for assault, uttering threats

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Seven more Surrey schools reporting COVID-19

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Never before seen painting by famed B.C. artist Emily Carr gifted to Victoria gallery

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

Janet Austin, lieutenant governor of B.C., was presented with the first poppy of the Royal Canadian Legion’s 2020 Poppy Campaign on Wednesday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
PHOTOS: B.C. Lieutenant Governor receives first poppy to kick off 2020 campaign

Janet Austin ‘honour and a privileged’ to receive the poppy

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

The B.C. Teacher Regulation Branch has issued a decision about the actions of an elementary school teacher in Langley. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley elementary teacher suspended for grabbing, shoving, yelling at kids

Roxann Rojas will lose her legal authority to teach for two weeks from Oct. 25 to Nov. 7, 2020

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read