Letter: Heavy rail traffic has a big impact on family


Dear Editor,

The rarely used SRY/BNSF light-use track is currently subject to 65 days and nights of traffic noise pollution for residents along the ‘Sperling’ branch located east/south of 232nd street, crossing 72nd Ave onto Abbotsford toward the U.S. at Sumas.

The newly routed, two kilometer SRY/BNSF trains (empty coal cars) are currently passing 30 yards from our house & property – three and four times a day – sometimes two trains a night.

Blasting horns are followed by six to nine minutes of rumbling.

This temporary diversion has been arranged without letter, notification, contact, warning, consultation or compensation arrangments for local residents.

The new diversion is now resulting in nightly disturbances for all residents in our neighbourhood.   We are currently subject to trains blasting horns and passing at various times; 10:30 p.m., 12 midnight, 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m., 5 a.m. or 6 a.m.   This morning (Tuesday, July 15) we have endured three trains; 4 a.m. 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Consequently, in our household – we are now not sleeping. We have been woken six out of the seven past nights and are exhausted to the point of illness.

The noise and shaking of our house foundations is beyond reasonable.

Please note the Langley Township Noise bylaws re; Distuburbing the Peace ;  ‘…The Township of Langley’s Noise Control Bylaw No. 2573 states in part that industrial areas cannot exceed 65 decibels between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., or 60 decibels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.…’

Are these trains a safety hazard?

Local interurban rail lines were laid in the 1910s for three-car trolley trains and light use.

It is not unresonable to expect 65 days of two-kilometer trains to be shifting the aging foundations of the incline to the rear of our property.     

This new arrangement negates the normal run of trains on this light-use branch line – which, at present, number two trains per week.

Why are train alternative routes via Mission & south to Sumas not being utilised?

I respectfully demand an explanation why we have not been notified of this new night-time train routing and the safety of such a move.

The SRY/BNSF business arrangement has acted without regard for residents having to endure the disturbance of peace at the expense of our night-time rest.

SRY/BNSF are private businesses subject to local environmental and safety bylaws – trucking companies would NOT be afforded such licence acting in similar fashion. 

Again, the train re-routing decision has been made without letter, notification, contact, warning, consultation or compensation to residents. No public discussion has been arranged.

John Williams, Langley

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