Maple Ridge woman weary of noisy trains

But council will study program to quiet whistles, if crossings safe enough

  • Mar. 8, 2017 10:00 a.m.
Crossing in Albion Industrial Area is just metres from Fraser River.

Crossing in Albion Industrial Area is just metres from Fraser River.

The sound of a train blasting its horn at night can be haunting to some but for others it’s just a hassle that ruins a good night’s sleep.

For Marlene Harvey, it’s the latter.

The horns of the big freight trains still bother her after moving into her home on 237th Street, just north of Dewdney Trunk Road, two years ago. That’s about five kilometres from the CP Railway mainline down by the Fraser River.

“They may as well be sitting on my doorstep in the middle of the night,” she says.

“The noise, it does travel, and I can’t be the only one who’s disturbed at night.”

For example, the trains started blasting their whistles last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, starting at 4:30 a.m. That left her with a few hours sleep each night.

Harvey first contacted Transport Canada last year. Transport Canada in turn told her that it’s up to the City of Maple Ridge to make the request to ask for the silencing of the horns that warn motorists of a train approaching a crossing.

But to allow that, Transport Canada requires that crossings be equipped with the latest in control arms, lights, and bells, Darrell Denton, with the City of Maple Ridge, told Harvey.

However, the city recently completed a study of all the rail crossings through Maple Ridge and is now perusing those results.

Staff then will bring a report to council this spring so it can decide which crossings for which it could apply to have the horns silenced.

But the need of having a quieter night has to be balanced with the need to have safe crossings, Denton added.

The trains don’t bother Daniel Hudon however, even though he lives just metres from the track in Albion Industrial Area.

It’s a matter of accepting where you live, he says.

“It can get loud, but at the same time, it’s part of the charm.

“These trains have been here for more than 100 years.”

He hears about five to seven trains a night that feel like they’re passing through the living room of his floating house on the Fraser River.

Safety and ensuring that motorists know there’s a train is also a concern.

The more trains, the more business, he adds. “It’s a true indicator of our economy and moving goods.

“So everytime a whistle blows, someone’s making money.”