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  #21  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2016, 8:32 PM
BCPhil BCPhil is offline
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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.
I don't think it is entirely about power, but the economic reality of the situation.

It would literally be cheaper to relocate the promenade and all the businesses on the White Rock Waterfront to another part of the region than to relocate the railway. I bet that all the properties in Crescent Beach don't add up to the cost of moving the railway. It would just be cheaper to buy up all the properties west of the tracks and tell them to go away.

White Rock is proposing a plan that would pretty much upgrade the entire promenade with more park space and features, and that's slated to cost $30 million; moving the tracks, a billion. There is no proportionality to the idea of moving the tracks.

There is no reason that the White Rock promenade can't co-exist wit the railway.

The Federal government helps build (or can mandate a railway build) railway overpasses. Instead of wasting all this effort on trying to get the tracks moved, they could have been spending time and effort on trying to get road and pedestrian overpasses built. But the White Rock mayor has explicitly said they don't want them, they don't even want gated crossings to improve safety.

Even just gated crossings would improve safety, and the fact that White Rock doesn't want them makes me think this IS a power play. White Rock just wants the tracks gone, not for safety, but to increase property values. They want silent nights. The problem with this is that means the tracks have to go somewhere. They want to move the tracks further East, where there is quite a bit of new higher density development. So they basically want to inconvenience more people so they can get more quiet nights. It's snobbish.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2016, 9:54 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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Originally Posted by BCPhil View Post
I don't think it is entirely about power, but the economic reality of the situation.

It would literally be cheaper to relocate the promenade and all the businesses on the White Rock Waterfront to another part of the region than to relocate the railway. I bet that all the properties in Crescent Beach don't add up to the cost of moving the railway. It would just be cheaper to buy up all the properties west of the tracks and tell them to go away.

White Rock is proposing a plan that would pretty much upgrade the entire promenade with more park space and features, and that's slated to cost $30 million; moving the tracks, a billion. There is no proportionality to the idea of moving the tracks.
Bingo!!!!!

This statement from TC says it all:

"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."
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  #23  
Old Posted Jun 27, 2016, 6:25 AM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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Peace Arch News

21 June 2016
Underpass Idea Doesn't Rule Out Semiahmoo Peninsula Rail Move

White Rock British Columbia - Relocation of the BNSF line off the Semiahmoo waterfront is still worthy of studying, according to a Surrey MP who is a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure, and Communities.

The committee's report on rail safety released last week identified an underpass beneath the BNSF line in Crescent Beach as a cheaper alternative to address one of the major safety issues, the potential for access to the South Surrey community being blocked due to a stoppage of one of the lengthy freight trains that travel through the area, as well as removing the dangers of a crossing.

The report cited an estimate from BNSF that an underpass could be constructed for $35 million, as opposed to guesses on the cost of relocating the line which range from the hundreds of millions to billions of dollars.

But Fleetwood-Port Kells Liberal MP Ken Hardie says that while pursuing an underpass would be a logical step for the City of Surrey, that doesn't necessarily mean the idea of relocating the tracks would be on a backburner.

"The report doesn't speak to that either way," Hardie told Peace Arch News on Friday.

"Probably what should be done is for the city and the railway to co-operate on assessment and analysis of what an underpass would cost and find out what federal infrastructure grants could be available for the work."

At the same time, Hardie said, it must be acknowledged that there is a "call for relocation" in South Surrey and White Rock.

Under the Rail Crossing and Relocation Act, this must be done with no net cost or gain to the railway company, but Hardie suggested there could be benefits to the company in not having to incur the expense of "breaking" trains in case of an emergency.

He noted the report recommended a more stringent approach by Transport Canada in requiring railway companies to draw up long-term plans to mitigate environmental impacts, including slope destabilization, mudslides, and floodplain issues, as well as increasing inspections and assuming the costs of increased signage.

The committee has also examined the conditions for rail relocation, Hardie said, adding that "there are a number of reasons to relocate a rail line."

Part of the committee's work has included visiting Lake Megantic in Quebec, site of the catastrophic derailment in 2013 that claimed the lives of 47 people.

"Clearly there is a desire to relocate rail out of that community," he said.

"A large amount of that community is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, they say we're afraid of the trains. It's not a technical issue, it's a therapeutic one."

As far as South Surrey and White Rock's tracks are concerned, Hardie said, there needs to be further study of appropriate conditions for relocating the line, and what would be a reasonable sharing of costs among different levels of government.

While the present location of the line may have made sense over 100-years-ago, that might not always apply, he said.

"We have to consider the rather fragile alignment along the foreshore as we continue to deal with climate change and the potential for surge tides in the future," he said.

South Surrey-White Rock Conservative MP Dianne Watts, also a member of the committee and a rail-relocation advocate since her days as Surrey mayor, was not available for comment.

Alex Browne.


Just who does Ken Hardie think is going to pay for relocation?

Local government? NOT
Provincial Government? NOT
Feds? Good luck with that...
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2016, 11:36 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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Here is another article on this subject

http://www.peacearchnews.com/news/383003201.html
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  #25  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2016, 6:39 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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Here is another example of tax payer funds going down the toilet. All the relocation feasibility study will do is confirm that it is just too expensive to move the line. The issue will go into hiding once again.....

http://www.surreyleader.com/news/389994131.html

by Alex Browne - Peace Arch News
posted Aug 12, 2016 at 8:00 AM— updated Aug 12, 2016 at 3:08 PM

B.C.’s provincial government will be sending a letter to Ottawa this fall expressing support for a feasibility study into rail relocation on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

White Rock South Surrey MLA Gordon Hogg confirmed Wednesday that he has been moving quietly behind the scenes to bring together provincial, federal and municipal representatives to see if a relocation feasibility study – estimated at costing between $800,000 and $900,000 – can be jointly funded.

He said he arranged an unpublicized meeting June 8 including B.C. transportation and infrastructure minister Todd Stone, Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Coun. Grant Meyer.

“There was nothing secret or clandestine about it,” Hogg said, adding that the meeting took place at the Coquitlam offices of the provincial ministry.

Hogg said that Stone and the mayors have made a commitment to fund such a study, and that the letter from the province to the federal government will also ask for a federal contribution.

Fleetwood-Port Kells Liberal MP Ken Hardie, who is a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities, has also had meetings with Hogg on the topic. (*An earlier version of this article stated Hardie attended the June 8 meeting, but Hogg's office says that is incorrect.)

Hogg said he has been seeking the wording of a similar letter sent by the Manitoba government as part of a move seeking rail relocation in Winnipeg earlier this year.

“We wanted to make sure the letter hit the same principles,” he said, adding that the study would be a “very preliminary” move toward rail relocation on the Peninsula.

South Surrey-White Rock MP Dianne Watts, also a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee and an advocate of rail relocation since her years as mayor of Surrey, was not part of the June discussion.

“The only difference between Ken and Dianne is that Ken is a member of government, rather than dealing with a member of the opposition,” Hogg said, adding that Hardie’s assistance would give greater weight in persuading Ottawa to fund a study.

“If we’re going to get support, (the government) is where it’s going to come from.”

Hogg said that while all the ramifications of rail relocation aren’t known, it is clearly of interest to residents of the Peninsula concerned about the safety of the current waterfront location of the BNSF rail corridor.

“A tunnel in Crescent Beach, which is one of the things that has been suggested, doesn’t help the problems in White Rock,” he said.

Rail relocation on the Peninsula might actually speed the BNSF route by some 25 minutes he said, which might mean that under the federal Rail Relocation Act, the rail company would contribute to costs of the relocation rather than being compensated for a delay.

“A feasibility study is an important part of the process.”
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  #26  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2016, 6:49 PM
aberdeen5698 aberdeen5698 is offline
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Originally Posted by Trainguy View Post
Here is another example of tax payer funds going down the toilet. All the relocation feasibility study will do is confirm that it is just too expensive to move the line. The issue will go into hiding once again...
The idea of BNSF being able to save a fair bit of time and therefore helping to foot the bill is intriguing. A common complaint in the Heavy Rail thread is the length of time it takes the passenger train to make the trip, not to mention the savings in crew time for both that and the freight trains.
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  #27  
Old Posted Aug 13, 2016, 9:48 PM
ClaytonA ClaytonA is offline
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The previous 2006 long range plan for HSR between Vancouver, BC, and Portland Oregon had a White Rock Bypass:

Quote:
Colebrook to Brownsville High-Speed Tracks (north of White Rock)
High speed track, continuation of White Rock bypass/$91.8 million
Colebrook Siding New siding/$11.4 million [actually done for 2010 Olympics]
White Rock Bypass High speed rail bypass/$312.7 million
IIRC it had the alignment on the previous page directly beside Hwy 99.
Here's their latest plan: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres...ActionPlan.pdf

One should note that Cascades has a completely different fiscal position now. 10 years ago ridership and revenues were increasing quickly, now stagnant. Now the US federal government has redefined what a long distance rail service is removing federal funding for Amtrak Cascades that the states have had to make up. US gas prices are much lower. Bolt Bus's west coast service also started up and has cannibalized rail passenger ridership with Bolt Bus's lower fares and 4 departures versus 2.

If they could get BNSF to contribute, that would be the only financial contribution from the USA. There was maybe a window, but it was always listed as funded by other jurisdictions (i.e. outside USA).
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  #28  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2016, 3:27 AM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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Originally Posted by ClaytonA View Post
The previous 2006 long range plan for HSR between Vancouver, BC, and Portland Oregon had a White Rock Bypass:



IIRC it had the alignment on the previous page directly beside Hwy 99.
Here's their latest plan: http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres...ActionPlan.pdf
I wonder if any of the pencil pushers understand railway engineering. Hwy 99 from near Colebrook to the border is by no means flat. There is a steep incline followed by a slow decline as is gets close to a point where it would rejoin the rails at the border. BNSF would never go for that. Besides increased fuel costs, the wear and tear on locomotives and rolling stock would be significantly increased. Who pays for that?

If the government makes a push for relocation, it would have to start on the Canadian side at the current border crossing. The people of Blaine are not complaining about the railway where it is so they would never agree to disrupt their community with a relocation so some people in White Rock/Cresent Beach can have their way. The only real alternative is to tunnel under White Rock/Surrey. Tunneling is expensive and as we recently found out with the Evergreen Line tunnel, problems and issues always arise. Tunnels also require constant maintenance. Who will pay for that going forward?

All the diesel exhaust has to go somewhere and is usually vented through a series of fans for longer tunnels like this one would be. This means trains have to wait for the poisonous gases to be cleared from the tunnel before the next one can use it. How does that help the BNSF?

Who would be affected on the North portal of the tunnel? I bet those residents would fight the relocation tooth and nail.

As I said earlier, $900,000 won't tell us anything more than we already know now but maybe it will silence the relocation voices once and for all.
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  #29  
Old Posted Aug 14, 2016, 10:50 AM
Millennium2002 Millennium2002 is offline
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I can see the railway possibly being trenched or running along the median to follow the highway... but ideally that should be a long term plan to be carried out with a highway upgrade in that area. So maybe a few decades down the road sort of thing.

If engineered properly, a bypass like this should create less noise overall as there would be no level crossings and thus no train horns. Additionally, with the way railways are built these days, the tracks can be welded together to reduce wheel clicking. The terrain is by no means flat for sure but that is something that all railways have to account for in their daily operations. Heck, they managed to make it through the Rockies and up the slopes in Surrey, and this is basically peanuts in comparison.

Anyway, my point is that - strictly speaking - the engineering challenges are not as complicated as some detractors are making them up to be... Yes, cost and regional priorities will have a final say on whether this project swims or sinks (and even I think it's probably not worth the money), but it is incorrect to say that relocating the railway is impossible.
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  #30  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2016, 10:58 PM
ronthecivil ronthecivil is offline
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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.
Ya right. Even if it does rise substantially in that period (it won't, maybe in 70 years) then just raise it up a bit more.

FYI the right of way through White rock runs right into the middle of the parking lot. So don't sweat there not being enough room to put in some more fill.
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  #31  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2016, 11:08 PM
ronthecivil ronthecivil is offline
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I could see them relocating the rails to follow an alignment that follows highway 99 with a tunnel under the hill.

That is if you have a business case for putting in a double or triple track alignment through there.

And the feds toss in a billion bucks.

Maybe White Rock should get behind the coal terminal at Fraser docks?

Either way, every time I am down there I like to mention that one day, current trends staying true, that there's going to be 50 trains a day, and a ten foot high barbed wire fence.....
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  #32  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2016, 2:38 AM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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Originally Posted by ronthecivil View Post
Ya right. Even if it does rise substantially in that period (it won't, maybe in 70 years) then just raise it up a bit more.

FYI the right of way through White rock runs right into the middle of the parking lot. So don't sweat there not being enough room to put in some more fill.
Keep in mind that the railway not only own the tracks and the promenade but also the parking lots and an easement on the south side of the tracks. If they were ever in need of raising the tracks, it would get done. Keeping the trains rolling is all that counts.

Last edited by Trainguy; Feb 20, 2017 at 12:02 AM.
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  #33  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2016, 8:14 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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Looks like the relocation noise has got back under a rock. Gordon Hogg was trying to drum up support for a million dollar "relocation study". Wonder if that got any traction.. Diane Watts is also noticeably quiet on this issue after creating some noise earlier this year. In the meanwhile, trains roll along the peninsula like they have done for over 100 years. Some thing never change... any never will!
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  #34  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2017, 11:59 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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Here we go again. Throwing good money down the drain. At least this proposed study will put an end to the "Relocation Fantasy". Remember that BNSF doesn't have to put a dime into this billion dollar idea.

Peace Arch News

10 February 2017
Province on Board for Railway Relocation from Waterfront

White Rock British Columbia - A letter from B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone to federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has thrown provincial support behind a study of relocating the BNSF railway's current route along the Semiahmoo Peninsula shoreline.

The letter, conveyed to Garneau via Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg and Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie, supports the call for a relocation study from the cities of White Rock and Surrey and urges similar support from the federal government.

In his letter, Stone says, "Railway safety and proximity issues, and their impact on quality of life, are important issues for the ministry. I am encouraged that the municipalities of Surrey and White Rock have proposed a study to assess the costs and benefits of possible realignment options of the BNSF line."

Stone says he has told Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner and White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin that he supports the initiative, and encourages Transport Canada to support the study, as both it and the Canadian Transportation Agency have "roles and responsibilities related to freight rail."

Stone noted the cities' suggestion that a relocation of the BNSF route, achieved via the federal Rail Relocation Act, would not only address safety, environmental, and community concerns, but could also provide "a more direct route from a travel time and operational standpoint."

Relocation of the shoreline route, raised by the cities in a joint initiative in 2013, was the subject of hearings as part of a study of rail safety by Standing Committee of Transport, Infrastructure, and Communities in April of last year, and a subsequent committee report.

Hogg, noting that both he and Hardie, a member of the committee, have been active in response to the communities' initiative, including a meeting with Stone, Hepner, and Baldwin last June, told Peace Arch News last week that he welcomed Stone's support for the study.

"I am pleased the provincial government is supporting a study of the economic, cultural, social impacts, and potential enhancement of the area through relocation," he said.

"I will be asking the federal government to support the initiative along with the provincial and municipal governments so that we can look at the costs and benefits of relocation of the line to the closest inland route."

White Rock Coun. Grant Meyer, a longtime advocate of relocation studies and a participant in last June's meeting with Stone, said he was happy about the followup letter.

"It's a good step forward," he told PAN Monday.

"It definitely paves the way to get funding, getting provincial funding is a must. I know that both cities have put funds aside for studies. The next phase is that we're hoping to get funding from the upper levels of government so that we can go to tender and get studies done that will give us the information we need to make some decisions, to see if it could work, and how it would work."

Alex Browne.
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  #35  
Old Posted Feb 23, 2017, 3:06 AM
fredinno fredinno is offline
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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.
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Originally Posted by Trainguy View Post
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...


If the 15/Cloverdale Route was too steep for normal trains, how is it supposed to be a suitable route for HSR? How much tunneling would be needed for a bordering 15 to Hwy 1 (with bypasses, if possible.)

If the HSR is built, I guess we could have a normal rail go next to it, for increased capacity and all.

The railway impacts the White Rock Tourist Industry, but the Railway alone is probably worth as much as that tourist industry in economic value...
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  #36  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2017, 10:58 PM
Trainguy Trainguy is offline
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The only alignment that works is the tunnel under White Rock/Surrey. The other 2 require re-routing traffic through Washington State from the current alignment. Good luck getting that approved. Will the Canadian government pay for relocation issues created in Washington State as well? Tunnels are expensive and require routine maintenance. Who pays for that? Once the real price-tag is revealed, let's see who is willing to pay for it. Not BNSF!!
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