LETTER: Residents need a good night’s sleep, Mr. Buffett

The Editor,

The residents of White Rock have had to endure sleep deprivation for many months now, and no end is in sight. The incessant whistles have not come as often now but they are still there day and night, and appear to occur only at the whim of the engineer.

May I make a suggestion? Let the city install one of those train horns beside the house of Warren Buffett, whose company owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF).

I, for one, disagree with those wanting to move the tracks. I say keep them there for the passenger trains. This transportation corridor will be needed in the future when the population and energy-conservation policies demand it. Yes, we do need a new route for the dangerous goods, especially with the tracks bordering the Pacific and bluffs with large trees above.

The storm in Stanley Park with the accompanying high sea state and winds destroyed the sea wall and broke numerous trees in the dead of night. And with rising sea levels and promised larger and more frequent storms, this scenario is frightening to comprehend.

And let’s not forget mud slides. A derailment is only a matter of time, especially for the long and heavy freight trains.

I know it is a herculean task, as there are many stakeholders involved and the costs are high, but please, let’s get back to some normalcy and recognize that the kneejerk reaction with the horn was a mistake. What is needed is reasonable enforcement, responsible ownership, and indeed proper vigilance when crossing the tracks.

Are you listening, Warren? Fix your property so the citizens of White Rock can once again enjoy a good night’s sleep.

And Transport Canada can go back to doing what they should be doing – that is, consider the horrific consequences of a derailment involving toxic chemicals in a highly-populated corridor. As you have so aptly demonstrated, albeit misguided, it is your job to protect us, isn’t it?

Simon Bergen-Henengouwen

White Rock

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