HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted May 18, 2016, 9:04 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 130
Smile BNSF in White Rock

At the end of 2015 there was more rumblings from the latest protest group about applying to move the BNSF line from along the level shores through White Rock and Crescent Beach to somewhere else. Haven't heard anything since.

The bottom line is that no level of government is going to pony up $500 mil to 1 Billion to move a private US railway for the sake of a few thousand people who are affected. The line has been there since 1907. It used to go through Cloverdale and connect up with CN Railway north of Hwy #1 but that route was too steep. BNSF won't agree to have the line relocated if it means paying more in locomotive fuel/wear and tear to go up and down hills. By the way, the relocation can't cost the railway anything.

One more thing that is never mentioned is that any relocation in Canada will surely affect people in Blaine. Do you think they will agree to disrupt their community by having the rail line move from the shore to some place inland through their streets and neighbourhoods? Good luck....

This issue will still be talked about long after any of us reading this are dead and the rail line will still be right where it is now. Live with it folks...
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted May 18, 2016, 9:22 PM
logicbomb logicbomb is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 512



Outside of a 7-8 km tunnel, no other route will be feasible because of the topography and property acquisition that would be required. That alone projects to be near 1 bil.

Plus why bother? Anyone who purchased property near a heavily used railroad that's been there for over 110 years shouldn't complain. Likewise to those complainers in Port Moody and Port Royal. Cry me a river.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted May 18, 2016, 10:18 PM
Kisai Kisai is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Burnaby
Posts: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by logicbomb View Post



Outside of a 7-8 km tunnel, no other route will be feasible because of the topography and property acquisition that would be required. That alone projects to be near 1 bil.

Plus why bother? Anyone who purchased property near a heavily used railroad that's been there for over 110 years shouldn't complain. Likewise to those complainers in Port Moody and Port Royal. Cry me a river.
Ultimately, the rail line is going to disintegrate in about 20 years due to sea level rise, so if the ports still want to do business, they will figure something out.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted May 19, 2016, 12:53 AM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Surrey
Posts: 2,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kisai View Post
Ultimately, the rail line is going to disintegrate in about 20 years due to sea level rise, so if the ports still want to do business, they will figure something out.
Well, the stretch along White Rock isn't the only portion of track between Vancouver and Seattle that is along the coast at virtually sea level. If sea level were to rise that fast, the entire mainline from Seattle to Everette, around Bellingham, and along the Fraser River and into False creek would be a write off too.

BNSF would probably just abandon the entire line along the coast and move their operations inland on their tracks via Sedro-Woolley to Sumas. The problem with that would be for Amtrak as the existing tracks bypass Bellingham (the ROW from Bellingham to Sumas was abandoned).

(I think BNSF was actually considering using the Sumas tracks in conjunction with White Rock to run freight trains one way in a loop because there might be increased traffic into Vancouver and Bellingham due to port expansions in both cities).
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted May 19, 2016, 4:46 AM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 130
According to this article, the Cherry Point facility isn't going to happen.

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/...tml?channel=50

If the ocean rose enough to make the coastal line unusable, we would have a much bigger problem than BNSF losing their line. Coal traffic is currently on a decline but there is still enough demand to keep them rolling through White Rock. Manifest trains of mixed goods have also increased as trade over the border has increased.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted May 19, 2016, 8:33 AM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Surrey
Posts: 2,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainguy View Post
According to this article, the Cherry Point facility isn't going to happen.

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/...tml?channel=50

If the ocean rose enough to make the coastal line unusable, we would have a much bigger problem than BNSF losing their line. Coal traffic is currently on a decline but there is still enough demand to keep them rolling through White Rock. Manifest trains of mixed goods have also increased as trade over the border has increased.
That's kind of what I was getting at. If sea levels rose to damage the tracks around White Rock, BNSF wouldn't bother to pay to move the tracks because the entire line, and even the ports they go to, would be useless.

And if speed limits along the White Rock section limited capacity too much, instead of dropping a billion on a tunnel, they would just double capacity by running trains one way, and leasing time on the CN and CP to get trains to Sumas and down the line along Highway 9.

I'm just saying that as much as residents of White Rock want a bypass, BNSF would never pay for one. And the only reason the government would is if it were the last missing link in a true Seattle-Vancouver Very High Speed Train.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted May 19, 2016, 4:50 PM
jhausner jhausner is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Surrey
Posts: 2,483
If the water rose to damage the tracks at White Rock, the White Rock strip would be effectively gone. The tracks are elevated higher than the strip...

So we'd have far worse things to deal with as the White Rock strip would be under water...

I don't see them moving the line at any point in the near or even medium term future. It's just too expensive, and quite frankly pedestrians that get hit from time to time are nearly always being stupid and meandering on the tracks. Trains go through White Rock super slowly. The easiest way to deal with the idiots is each time a train comes through have some police patrolling back and fourth and every person that runs out in front of the train gets a huge ticket. Do that for a few months and people will largely stop being idiots.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted May 19, 2016, 7:26 PM
CanSpice's Avatar
CanSpice CanSpice is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 809
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhausner View Post
If the water rose to damage the tracks at White Rock, the White Rock strip would be effectively gone. The tracks are elevated higher than the strip...

So we'd have far worse things to deal with as the White Rock strip would be under water...

I don't see them moving the line at any point in the near or even medium term future. It's just too expensive, and quite frankly pedestrians that get hit from time to time are nearly always being stupid and meandering on the tracks. Trains go through White Rock super slowly. The easiest way to deal with the idiots is each time a train comes through have some police patrolling back and fourth and every person that runs out in front of the train gets a huge ticket. Do that for a few months and people will largely stop being idiots.
Well, strictly speaking people could be charged with trespassing, as tracks aren't public property and people are only allowed to cross at marked crossings. Just because there isn't a fence doesn't mean you're allowed to be there.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted May 20, 2016, 3:45 AM
SOSS SOSS is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 661
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanSpice View Post
Well, strictly speaking people could be charged with trespassing, as tracks aren't public property and people are only allowed to cross at marked crossings. Just because there isn't a fence doesn't mean you're allowed to be there.
I think you nailed it. They should fence it it except at crossings. Be totally ugly but that didn't stop local governments from installing suicide barriers on bridges.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted May 20, 2016, 8:21 AM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Surrey
Posts: 2,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOSS View Post
I think you nailed it. They should fence it it except at crossings. Be totally ugly but that didn't stop local governments from installing suicide barriers on bridges.
Technically it is fenced along most of the Promenade, and where it isn't, it is quite elevated on top of a berm.

Along the promenade, almost all conflicts happen at the crossings. Most of the time someone gets hit it is because they are trying to beat the train, or are unaware it is there (I can't believe it happens but it does). To improve safety, all they need to do is install crossing gates. Only the pier crossing has an active signal, but it would cut down on a lot of accidents if they were all gated.

I used to live there and walked along the promenade several times a week for a few years. And along the promenade I only saw people walking on the tracks once; the little tiny fence does a decent job keeping people back. In some places to the West of the station they cross the tracks to the beach, but that's not so much a problem. It is further east where the drunk assholes hang out (I think trespassing on Native land too) where they taunt the train by standing on the tracks taking selfies of the BNSF freight trains barreling down on them. That's where they need a fence.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted May 20, 2016, 6:38 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
Technically it is fenced along most of the Promenade, and where it isn't, it is quite elevated on top of a berm.

Along the promenade, almost all conflicts happen at the crossings. Most of the time someone gets hit it is because they are trying to beat the train, or are unaware it is there (I can't believe it happens but it does). To improve safety, all they need to do is install crossing gates. Only the pier crossing has an active signal, but it would cut down on a lot of accidents if they were all gated.

I used to live there and walked along the promenade several times a week for a few years. And along the promenade I only saw people walking on the tracks once; the little tiny fence does a decent job keeping people back. In some places to the West of the station they cross the tracks to the beach, but that's not so much a problem. It is further east where the drunk assholes hang out (I think trespassing on Native land too) where they taunt the train by standing on the tracks taking selfies of the BNSF freight trains barreling down on them. That's where they need a fence.
Fences are only for smart people. Idiots will do what idiots will do. White Rock is lucky that BNSF is neighbourly and allows them to use railway property for the promenade and parking lot. They could easily fence the whole thing off and install no trespassing signs. White Rock ( formerly Surrey ) built itself along an active railway. What did they expect would happen? Don't whine after the fact.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted May 20, 2016, 11:16 PM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Surrey
Posts: 2,491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainguy View Post
Fences are only for smart people. Idiots will do what idiots will do. White Rock is lucky that BNSF is neighbourly and allows them to use railway property for the promenade and parking lot. They could easily fence the whole thing off and install no trespassing signs. White Rock ( formerly Surrey ) built itself along an active railway. What did they expect would happen? Don't whine after the fact.
Yeah, idiots do what idiots do. That's not the true concern. The true concern is over accidents happening to innocent people minding their own business.

We overuse the term accident. Like:

"I was in a car accident."
"Oh, what happened?"
"I was drunk and ran a red light hitting another car."

That's not an accident, that's negligence and a criminal act. That's an extreme example, but we do overuse the word accident making it so generalized.

People standing on the tracks thinking they can jump out of the way at the last minute to pose of an awesome selfie, but getting their foot stuck under the rail and hit by the train isn't an accident. It is unintentional suicide. It's like a snowmobile getting killed in an avalanche in the off limits in the back country; what did you expect?

Accidents happen when people are not properly aware of their surroundings. Countless studies have been conducted on situational awareness and decision making, and show we all have different competencies. For some people it is easy to be caught unaware a train is approaching. You could be running with earbuds in with the train approaching from your rear, and when you cross the tracks not realize the train is that close. In the dark it can be difficult to tell how fast the train is moving and if you have enough time. Some people also make rash decisions brought on by pressure, like trying to beat the train because their brain misfires and they believe having to wait for the train is actually worse than any possible consequence (many of us make this error all the time, like running to make a crosswalk light, or speeding to pass a slow moving car; luckily most of us survive our lapse in judgement). See the video bellow to see what I mean.

The real problem on the promenade is that the main crossing at the pier should be gated (much like the pedestrian crossings on the LRT in Calgary), and there should be an overpass alternative (the federal government provides grants to build them). That way people won't feel the need to beat the train.

And the crossings as the east beach aren't even signaled. So at night trains run silently through there, which can be dangerous. They should be gated and signaled as well.

Transport Canada actually recommended this, but the Mayor of White Rock called it an over reaction (I guess spending a billion dollars on a tunnel instead is much more rational).

The pedestrian crossings at the White Rock waterfront are completely legal, and it would actually be illegal for BNSF to block them. The Canada Transportation Act says that if the parties have come to an agreement on crossings, then it is binding. Even if the railway doesn't agree to the crossing, the "individual" (or city in this case) can ask the Agency directly for a crossing which the agency can force the railway to pay to build.

So just putting up fences is kind of pointless. There still need to be public crossings of the railway, which put gaps in the fence anyway. Maybe a fence east of the East Beach, but the stuff along the actual promenade is decent enough, it just needs swing arms at the crossings.

Video Link


Swing arms would prevent the idiot group of girls from doing what they did, but no fence in the world is going to cure that raging case of asshole from the end of the video.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 10:35 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 130
Here is the latest on the BNSF relocation gong show.

http://www.peacearchnews.com/news/376272421.html

The standing committee met in April but it was mostly aimed at safety and not relocation. Just wait until a real study is done on the true cost of relocation.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2016, 10:41 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 130
Here is the full text for your enjoyment of the standing committee.

https://openparliament.ca/committees...-lynn-watts-1/
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2016, 9:20 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 130
Peace Arch News

16 June 2016

MPs Suggest $35 Million Rail Underpass at White Rock's Crescent Beach

White Rock British Columbia - Relocating the Burlington Northern Sante Fe Railway (BNSF) could cost hundreds of millions of dollars or more, but an underpass in Crescent Beach could cost just $35 million, according to a House of Commons standing committee report adopted this week.

The Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities made a series of recommendations on rail safety, and urged Transport Canada (TC) to require rail companies to provide real-time knowledge of dangerous goods to first responders, and develop an advanced notification system developed in consultation with communities.

The committee studied the safety of the section of the BNSF line that runs from the U.S. border through South Surrey and White Rock, as well as the Lake Megantic rail accident in Quebec in 2013.

A City of White Rock representative called on the federal government to confirm the section of track that runs along Crescent Beach and Ocean Park complies with the Railway Safety Act, to investigate the stoppage of the trains that block access to Crescent Beach, to change grade-crossing rules that sanction the current situation, and to support the relocation of the railway pursuant to the Railway Relocation and Crossing Act.

The line along the beach in White Rock has been running since 1909, and there's been a dramatic increase in rail traffic, including the volume of dangerous goods being transported, and the length of the trains, the committee was told.

Concerns were raised about the stability of the terrain under the rails, with particular concern about trains that stand in urban crossings for long periods, blocking access for residents and first responders.

Relocating the line would be "very, very, expensive," a BNSF Railway representative testified to the committee, suggesting a cheaper alternative might include building an underpass, which would cost $35 million or more.

A Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) representative said that a rail relocation could cost hundreds of millions of dollars or more, and that no applications under the Rail Crossing and Relocation Act have been made since 1987.

Applicants must also meet a financial condition that a relocation or rerouting occurs at "no net cost" to the railway company.

The committee recommended that TC immediately pursue legislative and/or regulatory structures to ensure first responders are notified about dangerous goods via cellular or Internet services, and that other means of communication be studied to provide advanced notification in communities outside cellular range.

The committee also recommended Transport Canada:

require rail companies to implement long-term plans to mitigate environmental impacts, including ongoing destabilization of slopes, mudslides, flooding, extreme weather conditions and floodplain issues;

undertake frequent, interactive, and publicly visible inspections of railway operations in communities where they have been major incidents to mitigate ongoing fears;

require effective signage at unmarked passive railway crossings that have been identified as most dangerous, and that the cost "not be placed upon local government or ratepayers.".
Ottawa was also asked to accelerate a five-year statutory review of the Railway Safety Act prior to 2018.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2016, 11:02 PM
libtard's Avatar
libtard libtard is offline
Dahvie Fan
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 493
BNSF holds all the power

They've been around a long time and the little town of white rock has no clout when it comes to this situation.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2016, 4:57 AM
Stingray2004's Avatar
Stingray2004 Stingray2004 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: White Rock, BC (Metro Vancouver)
Posts: 2,937
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trainguy View Post
16 June 2016

MPs Suggest $35 Million Rail Underpass at White Rock's Crescent Beach

White Rock British Columbia - ... an underpass in Crescent Beach could cost just $35 million, according to a House of Commons standing committee report adopted this week.
I call out B.S. here. Just take the template of the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor Program. The cheapest crossing along the corridor was the 80th Street overpass in Delta connecting Boundary Bay Airport, which came in at ~$15 million:



And that structure required a set of piers in order to provide for potential future double/triple tracking and, furthermore, also crossed over Airport Road.

OTOH, a Crescent Road crossing of the BNSF tracks would be both shorter and likely would not require twin piers but just concrete abutments at each end to connect the stringers. I'd imagine that capital cost would be closer to ~$10 million for same (somewhat akin to the 80th Street rail overpass) - not $35 million.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libtard View Post
BNSF holds all the power

They've been around a long time and the little town of white rock has no clout when it comes to this situation.
Nahhh... you're wayyyyyyy off. Crescent Beach is situate within South Surrey - ~5 km away from the White Rock border.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2016, 3:56 PM
CanSpice's Avatar
CanSpice CanSpice is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: New Westminster, BC
Posts: 809
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingray2004 View Post
Nahhh... you're wayyyyyyy off. Crescent Beach is situate within South Surrey - ~5 km away from the White Rock border.
Well, Surrey has just as much clout as White Rock. When dealing with trains, there are four levels of government: municipal, provincial, federal, and train companies. And that's in order of increasing power.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2016, 5:27 PM
AverageJoe AverageJoe is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 136
A couple years ago, I wrote to the City of White Rock about building more underpasses for White Rock Beach. I think the underpasses would be great for safety and practicality rather than building the unsightly and useless fences. 2-4 of these along the entire White Rock Beach would be useful for pedestrians and, if necessary, emergency vehicles to access the beach.

A number of years ago they filled in the old pedestrian underpass that was built by the Great Northern RR. The pedestrian underpass also acted as a large outlet for water to go into the ocean if necessary. In 2000, White Rock had a mega storm that flooded the entire waterfront and the the water was about 2 metres deep in places along west beach. It happened again a few years later, though not quite as bad. The flooding wouldn't have happened at all if the water had a place to go.

The City's director of engineering replied back: "The City looked into the possibility of utilizing the old underpasses and determined it wasn’t practical to reopen it. Thank you for your comment."
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2016, 7:20 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
loafing in lotusland
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lotusland
Posts: 5,639
This is what a rural pedestrian crossing might look like, with low fences:
Video Link


Even low fences like this would have prevented those girls from crossing.

A crossing with a gate for pedestrians that would definitely stop all the most determined of people:
Video Link


The problem with the train is twofold. It has easy access, it is moving too slow. It moves so slow because of the easy access that allows people to take bigger risks.

It's the same reason people dart in front of cars in slow moving traffic inside cities like New York.

It's an environmental design issue. There's already a fence there downtown, and FEW will cross it if it was taller and filled in. No one's VIEW is being impeded on the west.

Check out this underpass that would appear to still exist on the line: https://goo.gl/maps/8UqrAj7sPFL2

More of those, with some chain link fencing along the entire rail section is appropriate, but level crossings with signals would work as well and be cheaper. If they don't want an ugly fence, then just plant blackberry bushes. 0 people will make the effort to go through the brambles.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:23 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.