Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)

LETTER: Deisel from trains only a fraction of a massive pollution problem

Reader sympathizes with Pitt Meadows residents, asking them to join in bigger lobby effort

Dear Editor,

[RE: LETTER: Rail overpass project puts trains too close to Pitt Meadows homes, Nov. 13, The News]

I have no love for the railway any more than I have any love for all forms of diesel pollution.

But the complaints about the diesel pollution from CPR trains come with a degree of selective hypocrisy.

People in those homes who now feel put upon by the plans laid out by the railway are already breathing in harmful diesel fumes, a few feet closer if the rail line is moved isn’t going to make any difference.

I have had a history of wanting diesel fuel banned that goes back years.

If you are going to complain about the diesel fumes from train engines, how about campaigning against diesel trucks and cars on our roads? Because it is well known that people who live along roads and highways with high numbers of diesel vehicle traffic have a much higher rate of respiratory disease, heart disease, and premature death.

In Europe, I hear of estimates that more than 5,000 children under five die each year just from the pollution of diesel trucks polluting urban areas. Such sources of diesel pollution criss-crossing our towns and cities every minute of the day and night affect far more people than just those living along a rail line.

RELATED: Shifting Harris road, part of Port Authority’s update on Rail and Road Improvements Project

No, I’m not defending the CPR. But if that underpass/overpass/whatever is built then people living and working along Harris [Road] will have slightly cleaner air simply because thousands of cars a day stopped by train traffic won’t just be sitting there idling and spewing cancer-causing pollution.

Using the idea that moving the line slightly will put homes closer to diesel pollution doesn’t really hold water, as anything to keep road traffic flowing freely will benefit everyone living and working on Harris Road.

Campaigning against all vehicles that run on diesel fuel is a far better idea than just train engines for rebuke.

I have nothing but empathy for anyone living along the CPR line in Pitt Meadows, or anywhere in Canada for that matter.

But the truth is, that line was here before us and is governed by a federal charter. So, locals can complain, but what CPR wants, CPR gets.

Can I count on all the people suddenly woke about diesel train engines now joining me in demanding all diesel fuel use be ended?

No, probably not, especially if they have Dodge Rams parked in their driveways.

Robert T. Rock, Mission


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