According to CN police constable Jamie Thorne

According to CN police constable Jamie Thorne

Burns Lake sees one train per hour

Demand is expected to rise as Prince Rupert’s port expands

With the ongoing expansion of the Port of Prince Rupert, the number of Canadian National Railway Company (CN) freight trains passing through Burns Lake is expected to rise.

According to CN police constable Jamie Thorne, Burns Lake currently sees 24 trains per day, or one train per hour.

Thorne recently made a presentation to Burns Lake council. He said that with the growing number of trains passing through northern communities such as Burns Lake, trespassing is one of CN’s main concerns.

Last year there were two fatalities involving trains in the Burns Lake area. A 19-year-old man was hit by a freight train in July in Decker Lake, and a 44-year-old woman was hit by a Via Rail train in October in Burns Lake.

Thorne said CN has been striving to reduce accidents on the railway through education, enforcement and engineering.

“With engineering, wherever possible CN tries to separate vehicles from train traffic,” he explained.

CN and its partners have been able to significantly reduce fatalities over the years. While there were 365 fatalities involving trains in 1980 across Canada, there were 80 fatalities in 2015.

“It’s still too much, but you can see that these programs are working,” said Thorne.

Earlier this year, the Burns Lake detachment of the RCMP announced a partnership with CN to prevent fatalities involving trains in the Burns Lake area. This partnership will involve education programs in local schools and First Nations reserves, as well as more pro-active patrols by police in critical areas and signage along the tracks.

Trains blocking grade crossings a concern

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako’s (RDBN) board of directors is expressing concerns about grade crossings in the region being blocked by Canadian National Railway (CN) trains for long periods of time.

In a recent meeting, the rural directors committee recommended that the RDBN board write a letter to Transport Canada, the regulatory body that enforces grade crossings regulations, asking for solutions.

The decision to reach out to Transport Canada follows a letter received by the RDBN from the Fort Fraser Livestock Association. The letter says grade crossings in their operating area have been repeatedly blocked by rail cars for “unreasonable lengths of time.”

According to grade crossings regulations, it is prohibited for railway equipment to be left standing on a crossing surface, or for switching operations to be conducted in a manner that obstructs a public grade crossing, for more than five minutes when vehicular or pedestrian traffic is waiting to cross it.

Alex Kulchar, president of the Fort Fraser Livestock Association, says this regulation has been repeatedly violated.

In fact, Kulchar says a vehicle was unable to cross a grade crossing at Landaluza Road near Vanderhoof on Dec. 7, 2016 for approximately three hours – from 6 a.m. until 9:05 a.m.

“This crossing is essential to residents in the area and the length of time that it has been left impassible creates safety concerns and delays transportation of goods and personnel which has negative financial impacts for our members,” said Kulchar.

“We request that the grade crossing be kept open especially when traffic is waiting to cross it and that the safety issues created by the lengthy blocking of it be addressed by CN and the appropriate road authority,” added his letter.

Kate Fenske, a CN spokesperson, said CN makes every effort to avoid blocking crossings for extended periods and works to move trains through any road crossing or community “as quickly and safely as possible.”

 

 

Just Posted

Burns Lake local Wren Gilgan, captured this Bear family after their winter snooze in the woods near the community. (Wren Gilgan photo/Lakes District News)
Bear-attractant management, a province-wide priority

Black bears awake from winter slumber

Snowfall warning. (Weather Canada photo/Lakes District News)
Snowfall warning for Lakes District

Prepare for changing and deteriorating travel conditions

LDSS students working on creating bike racks during the metals class. (Blaine Hastings photo/Lakes District News)
LDSS students building bike racks

The Lakes District Secondary School’s (LDSS) metal class taught by Blaine Hastings… Continue reading

Vaccine. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Register on Get Vaccinated site for second dose

Health officials urging everyone, including those with first dose to register

Boil water advisory. (File photo)
Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s long-term boil water advisory lifted

The province has no long-term water advisories in place

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
B.C. teen’s 23,000-name Coastal GasLink petition gets him an audience with the minister

15-year-old Saanich high school student and George Heyman discussed project for about 30 minutes

Announced Tuesday, May 18 by Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth, the province added gyms, dance and fitness studios to its list of places where face coverings are mandatory (AP/Steven Senne)
Masks now required at all times inside B.C. gyms, including during workouts

Those who disobey could be subject to a $230 fine

Reinhard “Bud” Loewen of Abbotsford has now been charged with 21 counts of sexual assault related to his massage business. (Facebook photo)
Former Abbotsford masseur now faces 21 counts of sexual assault

Bud Loewen of Bud’s Massage Therapy initally faced three charges

Over the years, police have worked with sketch artists to draw what the boys could have looked like at the times of their deaths. (Vancouver Police Department)
DNA breakthrough expected in cold case involving murdered Vancouver boys, 7 and 8

Forensic analysts are working to identify relatives of the children, whose bodies were found in Stanley Park in 1953

Livestock competitions have been part of the Pacific National Exhibiton for more than a century. (Maple Ridge News files)
B.C. provides $50 million to keep major tourist attractions going

Tour bus companies also eligible for latest COVID-19 aid

Derek Descoteau with his trusty dog Harvey. (Photo submitted)
Friends provide continuing comfort for family in wake of unresolved senseless B.C. murder

Case remains before the courts five years after Derek Descoteau’s abrupt stabbing death in Chemainus

The top photo is of a real carbine rifle, while the bottom photo is the airsoft rifle seized from a Kelowna man on May 15. (Contributed)
RCMP issue warning: ‘Imitation firearms need to be dealt with responsibly’

A man brandishing his airsoft rifle in public had his weapon seized by Mounties on Saturday

Abbotsford Regional Hospital. (Black Press Media files)
Canada marks 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began

6 in every 10,000 Canadians died of COVID-19 since March 9, 2020

Most Read