Letter: ‘Train yard is waking me up’

Operation has been ramping up these past couple years.

Noise from the CP Rail intermodal yard is an issue in Pitt Meadows. (THE NEWS/files)

Editor, The News:

Re: Why are train whistles still blasting in Maple Ridge?

I have been living in Pitt Meadows for almost eight years.

I am a deep sleeper and proud to be an engineer who worked in the locomotive industry a while ago. I used to tell people that the sound of a passing train is a smooth sleeping pill, like rain drops. However, in the past year, I have been woken up so much more often than before by the noises from the train yard.

I noticed an intermodal terminal being built near Kennedy Road years ago. The operation has been ramping up these past couple years, though.

I know the first response from CP Rail would be, ‘Don’t live near the track if you don’t like the noise.’ But that is not fair to residents.

Why build the train yard so close to a residential area?

I have trust in city council when decisions are made. However, council is the voice of our public, as well as a servant. I believe council has heard a lot of complaints from different sources, and gathered that the majority of complaints are not about noise from regular train passings, but more of maintenance and other operations associated with the intermodal yard.

Like any other business activities, there are certain regulations to make sure the impacts on public health and safety are kept to a minimum. For instance, construction noises are limited in daytime at allowed decibels varied by hours in the city.

As an engineer, I appreciate the fact that a lot of maintenance activities happen in shifts to keep the business running.

However, it cannot be at the cost of others. Efforts have to be made not to compromise public’s interest.

Many measures can be assessed and taken. Procedures, schedules, new technologies to reduce the noises or build acoustic barriers before it becomes an issue.

Europe has established models in dealing with such circumstances that are worth to learning from.

I did look up this issue across regions. A lot of other municipalities have made efforts in the past on the same issue.

Bin Guan

Pitt Meadows

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