It was a standing room only crowd at the Castlegar Council Meeting on Monday night

It was a standing room only crowd at the Castlegar Council Meeting on Monday night

Train complaints

CP Rail rep speaks before large crowd at council

  • Oct. 9, 2014 9:00 a.m.

In response to complaints about the change in train schedules, CP Rail sent a representative to the city council meeting Monday night.

Mike LoVecchio, Director of Government Affairs, made a presentation to council and listened to comments and questions from the audience for over an hour and a half. The comments were often filled with frustration and emotion as speaker after speaker expressed concerns over safety issues and the troublesome, sleep-depriving whistles.

During his presentation, LoVecchio explained what has taken place. “We made a decision to change our operation locally and improve its efficiency. On September 22 we consolidated our daily movements in the West Kootenay.” As a result of the changes CP was able to redeploy three locomotives elsewhere.  Another stated benefit for the company was changing the locomotive idle time from up to 12 hours a day to less than three hours a day.

LoVecchio also emphasized the fact that the use of the train whistle is an integral part of safety and is required by law at all level crossings.

He laid out the only way in which whistle cessation can take place.  First, the railroad and the municipality must agree to work together to achieve whistle cessation. Following that the municipality must notify certain parties as laid out by Transport Canada guidelines. Next there must be a review of all crossings by an engineer. Finally, the municipality must indemnify the railroad from any incident at a crossing.

“It is a detailed process and takes time,” Lovecchio stated.

There are seven crossings within Castlegar. Councillor Heaton Sherstibetoff reported that her research showed that the outfitting of the crossings with lights and gates alone would be about $300,000 per crossing, not including the consultation process or liability issues.

Councillor Deb MacIntosh firmly stated her opinion of the situation.

“This recent impact on our community is really unacceptable.  You have impacted the business community. Corporately you guys have done us wrong. I think that you guys owe the community along the tracks an apology. You need to relook at things. Not only is your company 24/7, our community is 24/7.”

The answer that was given repeatedly by LoVecchio in response to complaints about the nighttime noise was, “We are a 24/7 operation.” His response to questions as to why they must run this new night schedule was, “The decision was made to improve the efficiency of our operation.”

James Nichol, a biology professor at Selkirk College summed up the feelings of the audience when he stated, “I would like to have a company that would work with the community a little bit.  I know it is about the bottom line and I know that people have jobs, I know engineers have to work, I know that freight has to get from point A to point B. But there has got to be a compromise. I cannot see a better way to destroy a town… than letting the residents of town not sleep.”

The CP Rail representative made no concessions at the meeting; however there were two areas that he said he would take back to the company for discussion. The first was in response to repeated accusations that the train whistles seem louder and longer than they were previously.

Lovecchio explained that the whistle is regulated and the decibel level is constant but that the length the whistle blows is controlled manually.  He informed the crowd that whistle use is one of the things recorded by a locomotive’s “black box.” He will be requesting proficiency testing in the whistle operation.

The second thing he pledged to take to the company for discussion was a suggestion that some form of shuttle vehicle be used to transport the rail workers from Castlegar to Trail, rather than running the train to reposition workers.

 

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Most Read