New railway safety gates enable White Rock to ban train horn-blowing in city

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      Starting this week, White Rock residents will endure less noise pollution as a result of changes made by the city.

      The City of White Rock reached an agreement with the Burlington North Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway, which the city partners with to ensure public rail safety, regarding trains blowing horns in the city.

      The city, BNSF, and Transport Canada joined together to install 16 gates at eight entry points to the White Rock promenade as part of Transport Canada’s mandated safety improvements.

      Accordingly, the BNSF issued a general order that instructs train crews to stop sounding their horns at the eight promenade crossings, effective as of Wednesday (January 29).

      However, engineers will be permitted to sound their horns for emergency situations, such as if they see people or animals on the track.

      “I am thrilled that we can deliver something our community has been requesting for a long time,” White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker stated in a news release. “Whistle cessation means less sounding of horns as trains move through White Rock along our waterfront.”

      A transition period will be in place as crews adjust to the new requirements.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook