(Neil Corbett/THE NEWS) Rainer Stepputat wants Pitt Meadows council to help lobby CP Rail to stop locomotives from idling for up to half a day at a time.

Pitt railway neighbour irked by idling trains

City faces greater problems with locomotives in future, warns resident

A Pitt Meadows man is asking the city to request that CP Rail shut down its engines when trains are not moving.

Rainer Stepputat told council last week that he has video of train engines idling behind his house for 12 hours at a time, bringing noise and diesel fumes. He asked if council can do anything to stop it.

Stepputat lives near the CP intermodal yard, on 124A street in Pitt Meadows. He moved there in 1999, and said when the intermodal terminal was built nearby on Kennedy Road it “created massive noises.”

He’s campaigned in the past for a new law to limit the hours of railway operations, but was unsuccessful. Now, he is taking an environmental and anti-pollution stance, to try to get the railway to shut off its locomotives when not moving for hours.

Stepputat told council it is ironic that signs warn vehicle traffic not to idle while waiting at the Harris Road railway crossing, but the huge diesel engines never seem to be shut off.

“Nothing is ever done about them idling for 12 hours,” he said.

He warned council that if CP gets the infrastructure it wants in Pitt Meadows – an overpass at Kennedy Road, underpass at Harris Road, and two more lines of track – there could be more train-building activity.

Mayor Bill Dingwall said he sympathized with Stepputat’s quality of life issues, but added Pitt Meadows sits on the main CP Rail line into Vancouver and the flow of goods is considered a national interest.

“They [CP] will quickly say that they were here first, and they have federal regulations behind them,” said Dingwall. “The trains aren’t going away. In fact, they are increasing, and they are increasing in length.”

Dingwall said council is paying attention to noise and mitigation concerns raised by residents, “and trying to accomplish that through [the] Gateway consortium.”

Dingwall added that work on new rail infrastructure in Pitt Meadows is being discussed. City officials speak with CP regularly and will be bringing up this issue.

According to a CP corporate sustainability report, the railway invested $60 million to modernize 30 locomotives in 2017 and planned to upgrade an additional 140 in 2018-2019, to reduce fuel consumption. It has improved fuel efficiency 15 per cent since 2012, says the report, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, below Transport Canada targets.

The Canadian Transportation Agency says on its website that locomotives idle for mechanical inspection and repairs, for oncoming trains, for cars to be switched or picked up, and while waiting for crew changes or for inclement weather to pass.

It says locomotive engines are not designed to be turned on and off in the same way as automobiles. Engines may be left idling to maintain engine temperature, air pressure for the brake system, the integrity of the starting systems, the electrical system and providing heating or cooling to a train’s crew and/or passengers.”

The agency can order a railway to make changes to its operations and says each case is evaluated on its own merits. It also acknowledges issues arise around growth and expansion of rail facilities when not “identified and addressed at an early stage.”



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Maple Ridge woman fights WorkSafe B.C. over police widow’s pension

Dalila Vroom says husband, Const. Robert Vroom, died as result of PTSD from time with Abbotsford PD

Heavy police presence at Maple Ridge traffic accident

Multiple police seen running into house

UPDATE: Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak over at Maple Ridge seniors residence

All remaining residents and staff have been cleared of the virus at Chartwell’s Willow Retirement Residence

Anonymous donor gives $10,000 to ARMS in Maple Ridge

The Alouette River Management Society has 10,000 chances to win the Great Canadian Giving Challenge

Thousands raised for food bank by caring individuals in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

One family raised $1,100 by making angel keychains and another raised $3,200 by making face masks

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read