Friday, August 3, 2012

Train keeps a comin'

I was born by the railroad tracks 
Well the train whistle wailed and i wailed right back
Steve Earle -- I Ain't Ever Satisfied (Copperhead Road1988)

As the number of trains rumbling across Northern British Columbia continues to grow, it would seem communities along the corridor are getting a little weary of the increasing frequency of those train whistles.

The subject has been the subject of debate in Prince Rupert for a few years now, the increased activity at the Port of Prince Rupert bringing with it a larger volume of trains shuttling in and out of the waterfront freight yard, the accompanying noise becoming yet another flash point issue for residents on that side of town.

The City of Prince Rupert has begun its exploration of the issue on the waterfront with a Whistle Cessation Resolution,  a first step in bringing the issue in Rupert to a more amenable situation.

Transport Canada may require safety measures such as flashing lights, bells, gates and signs, CN and the Prince Rupert Port Authority have committed the required resources to upgrade the subject crossings so that they can support the cessation of train whistling.

While the City of Prince Rupert is announcing its intention to pass a resolution as part of the process as outlined by Transport Canada, ultimately the City does not have jurisdiction over the two subject railway/road crossing.

The final statement suggesting that in the end, it will be up to the Port and CN to put forward the required measures to bring the whistles to an end, a process which is going to come with some expense,  how that expense may be split we haven't seen much guidance on as of yet.

Now it seems, the issue is spreading further along the railroad, with Terrace residents the latest to join in  on a call for a more audio friendly transit of their community.

A story in the Terrace Standard outlines the annoyance of the whistles there and provides an advisory that any kind of resolution to the troubles may be a ways off.

With the Port of Prince Rupert still with Container Port expansion plans on the books and further development of other shipment terminals in the planning stages, the prospect of less trains seems rather remote, the issue of the train whistles destined to be with us for the foreseeable future.

CFTK-- Terrace Train Noises Concern Council
CBC-- Prince Rupert residents want train whistles silenced

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