BNSF runs heavy equipment along the waterfront rail line Friday, to effect repairs to the roadbeds north and south of White Rock, according to officials. (Katya Slepian photo)

Railway ‘north and south of White Rock’ shuts down due to storm damage

Spokesman Gus Melonas says repairs were anticipated to continue into Saturday

BNSF shut down its rail line north of the border to train traffic for three days, as a result of damage caused by last Thursday’s powerful storm.

READ MORE: Windstorm wallops Surrey, White Rock

Spokesman Gus Melonas told Peace Arch News just before noon Friday (Dec. 21) that crews had been working “through the night restoring the roadbed… at various locations.”

“Basically, the high water, the high tide, washed portions of our roadbed away,” Melonas said.

Heavy equipment began rolling along the waterfront rail line on the Thursday night. One Marine Drive resident described seeing a “massive” crane late the following morning.

“We’re bringing in cranes, we’ve brought in cars of rip rap and that’s stabilizing the roadbeds that washed away with high tides yesterday,” Melonas explained.

Melonas said while areas of the rail line south of the border were also affected, those were restored the evening of Dec. 20.

“However, in Canada, since the storm, we have been shut down and we’re going to remain shut down, through the day and into tomorrow.

“We’re going to inspect around the clock to ensure conditions are safe to resume normal operations,” Melonas said.

Exactly when operations resumed isn’t clear, however, residents report seeing trains moving along the tracks Sunday evening.

The storm wreaked havoc throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. In White Rock, it destroyed a 100-foot section of the city’s iconic pier, as well as caused extensive damage to East Beach.

READ MORE: VIDEO: White Rock pier destroyed by storm, stranded man rescued

READ MORE: Recovery, cleanup and looting in aftermath of White Rock’s storm

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