Editorial: The night train noise

Commentary focuses on the recent uproar over a change in local rail traffic scheduling.

We empathize with local residents who may have been jolted awake by the newly scheduled night trains going though town this week.

Any change in a person’s schedule is best coped with if they have advance notice of the change. CP Rail had apparently informed our mayor, but issued no press release of its own. They’re in the business of moving freight, after all, and not likely to be losing any sleep over pubic relations concerns. One glance at the current bare-knuckle brawl the company has going with the City of Vancouver ought to indicate that any sort of concessions from it would be as hard-earned as they are unlikely.

Being around as long as it has been, having the history of being so instrumental in the building of the country, and enjoying special stature and privilege other companies can only dream of, makes CP Rail a most daunting opponent in any kind of contest.

Kudos to Councillor Heaton-Sherstobitoff for having gone “toe-to-toe” with a CP communications person over the issue this week. It was a plucky move and allowed her to blow off a little steam — she does, after all, live just a stone’s toss from the rails, herself.

If CP Rail is cynical and weary after more than a century of dealing with complaints along its more than 22,000 kilometres of track, it’s no surprise. They’ll do what they’re going to do, and it looks like they’ll do so, unshackled by the yoke of compassion for the public.

In closing, it should also be suggested that the public needs to  be aware of what it means to live close to a railroad.

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