Saturday, 16 February 2013

New Crew On Board For Spring

See more BC scenes at Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride.

Wrong Side Of The Tracks At Crescent Beach

IF I HAD GOTTEN THERE just a few seconds earlier I would have avoided some fifteen minutes of waiting while the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) train chugged across Crescent Beach Road in Surrey where I often drive to go for my walks. The string of freight cars seemed miles long and were likely headed back from a port in Delta, BC, where controversial coal is delivered for export to Asia from the US.

Their increasingly frequent comings and goings have shown how difficult it would be to leave Crescent Beach in a hurry during an emergency situation when trains are blocking the only way in or out for vehicles. This will be more worrying in the future as there are proposals to build a coal export terminal in Surrey on the Fraser River and expanding the train runs. I hope such plans will be reviewed carefully by the public. Apparently, similar plans for new ports have been rejected by our good neighbors to the south in Washington and Oregon.

For obvious safety reasons there has also been brief mention of constructing an expensive emergency escape tunnel at Crescent Beach. With so many other needs that are costly in Surrey I am not certain when, if, or how such a logistically challenging idea would materialize.

Not surprisingly when I arrived at the same crossing the next day another train was going by ... this time with tanks and boxcars. Chemicals with names like chlorine hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite and liquefied petroleum gas were being transported along with goods that sounded less hazardous.

I noticed that traveling graffiti was also on board many containers. Drivers shut off their car engines and watched the chaotic art drift by.

The joy of having a camera handy is that there is never a dull moment because there is always something to photograph and to ponder.

But whether leaving or entering Crescent Beach it seems there is only the wrong and never the right side of the tracks when the trains to go by.

Postscript, Feb. 16, 2013:
By the looks of the No Coal Exports sign (above) that I spotted since posting this article on Dec. 17, 2012, some Crescent Beach locals are making an effort to prevent the development of a coal terminal (mentioned earlier) that would increase the number of train runs clattering down the BNSF tracks.

Read another post about the increasing train runs HERE.

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms

See more BC scenes at Penelope Puddlisms: BC Life Is A Whale Of A Ride.