Monday, July 20, 2015

BBC: a Devil's Advocate: Are CPR's plans to re-start their Arbutus Right of Way (ROW) logistically, financially viable?

Seriously, CPR is taking their moth balled Arbutus Corridor and turning it into a modern day siding for rail cars in a residential area when they rightfully belong in an industrial area, like False Creek Flats.  Where do they think they are? Winnipeg?

CPR sees the Arbutus Corridor as the perfect resting place for big Box cars loaded with personal goods, flat cars loaded with lumber, tankers loaded with LNG, hoppers loaded with sulphur and the Engines stationed somewhere in with the mix, just to prove that their land is worth $100,000,000 instead of $20 Million.

CPR has proved one thing, with a few machines and one work crew, they can clear their Right Of Way (ROW) legally and get free publicity from the Press, just to make a point of who owns what.

If you haven't been to the area lately Google Earth Street View will help.

1/4 block east of Arbutus on Broadway looking to the south.
BC Hydro poles, along with Jim Pattison signage?

To be a functioning rail company there are requirements in place for the safety of nearby residents and the public in general, there are Risks and Liabilities.

CPR is well aware of their responsibilities to the public, it's just that they don't go out of their way to inform those who are inconvenienced the greatest.  For example East/West bound traffic at 25th aka King Edward. ..... a train cannot stand still on a public grade crossing for a period longer than 5 minutes when vehicular or pedestrian traffic requires passage.   Not clear if the same holds true if the train length stretches from Marpole to Granville Island and moving, shunting, all of the time and still blocking King Edward traffic.  Oh, and blocking every other grade crossing between Marpole and Granville Island.

CP in your com​munity brochure, Canada​​ 
 Blocked crossings
 Canadian Railway Operating Rules (CROR) establish that any movement of a train cannot stand still on a public grade crossing for a period longer than 5 minutes when vehicular or pedestrian traffic require passage. If a train is shunting (switching) over a public grade crossing, the crew must clear the crossing every 5 minutes to allow vehicle or pedestrian passage. When an emergency vehicle requires passage, employees must cooperate to quickly clear the involved public grade crossing.

 Taking the Canadian Railway Operating Rules a step further their engineers must, within a quarter of a mile, whistles must start tooting, toot-a-toot-a-tooting

Under CROR rules, train whistles at all public grade crossings must be sounded in a sequence of 2-long, 1-short, 1-long sounds. The train whistle sequence is initiated at least ¼ mile before each public grade crossing, and the last long whistle must be sounded until the public grade crossing is fully occupied by the train.

From Granville Island to 16th Avenue the distances between each grade crossing is less than a 1/4 of a mile; from 16th Avenue to 25th its a 1/2 mile; 25th to Nanton to 33rd to 37th  hmmmm Whistling to 41st to 45th to 49th  Whistling.... toot toot toot toot and at all hours, day or night.
 Then there's the CPR equipment that automatically blocks motor vehicles and pedestrians from crossing the ROW if there's a train barreling down the line with the Ding-a-Ding-a-Ding, flashing red lights, and the slicing down of the magic wands  .... that will somehow cover, at Broadways three six lanes of traffic.   CPR's answer???, a double wide system, curb and centre line, eh.

Has CPR contacted Vancouver City Engineers to discuss how intersection lights will interact with trains blocking the roads at the grade crossings?  Will the City have to put in left turn lanes two to three blocks long?  What about the right hand turn lanes, same distance?

Who's paying for all this infrastructure, just to make a point.

Next in line of things to do before CPR can declare that they are officially operational on the Arbutus Corridor is to put up chain link fencing with razor wire topping to prevent the public from ducking beneath stationary rail cars or climbing over at the couplers linking two units together.

If CPR is being honest with the public they should prove that they have the capability of running a train on time on budget to their shareholders or is it only about the money?

According to a brochure produced by CPR, they want the world to know that they are good neighbours and they are always thinking of those nearby properties, not the current owners mind you, its those individuals who may be interested in living beside an active rail line.
Locomotive whistles are significant safety appliances which save lives by serving as the last warning of an approaching train. In Canada, train whistle use is regulated under a strict set of federal regulations governed by the CROR. Transport Canada monitors railway operations to ensure train crews are in compliance with all rules and regulations.   Under CROR rules, train whistles at all public grade crossings must be sounded in a sequence of 2-long, 1-short, 1-long sounds. The train whistle sequence is initiated at least ¼ mile before each public grade crossing, and the last long whistle must be sounded until the public grade crossing is fully occupied by the train.
And continuing
These rules apply 24/7 and whistles must be sounded even if a crossing is equipped with flashing lights, bells and gates. In all cases when train crews observe persons or animals on or near CP tracks, whistles will be sounded in an attempt to warn of an approaching train.
And More

Rail operations

CP does our best to be a reasonable neighbour, but if you live near the railway you must expect to see and hear a certain amount of activity from our operations. Unlike a highway or busy road, the track is generally a very quiet place. When trains pass, you will hear the locomotives followed by the movement of freight cars and wheels making contact with the rails. When trains stop or start, you will hear the sound of brakes being applied or air under pressure passing through brake pipes on each car. You may also hear cars bumping together when slowing, or the slack being taken up when a train accelerates.

You will likely hear additional noises if you live near a rail yard, rail siding (a shorter, temporary line which runs parallel to our main lines) or terminal. In these areas, trains may stop for extended periods with their engines idling while our crews wait for another train to pass or to be given permission to pull out of the yard. Some terminals are served by trucks, trains and mobile equipment for moving and stacking containers, all of which operate around the clock and generate noise.

Google Search Criteria:  CPR Crossing Signals Busy Roads

Proximity Issues

7.1 New Development Near Railway Property

During the 19th century, many communities in Canada sprang up around railways - their link to the rest of the country and the world. Over the next century, for demographic and economic reasons, these communities expanded and many railways moved their yards and operating facilities away from the highly populated town centres. In the late 20th century, increasing numbers of residential and commercial developments were built in close proximity to railway properties, both in the downtown cores and in outlying areas. This trend continues today. In some cases, as we witnessed only too vividly, development can result in a residential area on one side of the track and schools or recreational facilities on the other, in spite of the obvious safety concerns relating to crossings and trespassing.

Residents of the new developments complain not only about crossing safety and train speeds through their community, but also about blocked crossings, the noise, pollution and vibrations emanating from the trains and their yards, and the quantity of dangerous goods being carried on trains through densely populated areas. The Panel received many submissions regarding these issues, from residents in urban and rural municipalities alike.

CPR Railway Projects

All that we can really say, or do, is ..... is it CPR's intention to act like a bad neighbour and is in the process of buying every adjacent lot?

Corridor map

Layout for Broadway near Arbutus ... No signals

Arbutus Corridor Overview Map


Anonymous said...

i read in vancourier that they had to run a train every 24 hrs to keep right of trains for 10 years so does that void railway rights?

e.a.f. said...

they may simply be trying to get rid of the current mayor so that come next election, they simply say, we'll co operate just give us another mayor.

the railway may be wanting to get people to sell their land more cheaply than they currently would, you drop it a million or so to get out of the noise. then the railway does what it really is in the business to do, development of land. presto, new mayor, new high density neighbourhoods. Works for the railway, the cons, and the developers.

now of course there is one little problem. A few deaths of children being where they ought not to be. or the really biggie, side care with chemicals, it all blows up and a hundred dead. Guess you would call this a game of poker with the lives of taxpayers/citizens at stake and quality of life.

long live the corporate entities, with all their tax breaks and cooperation from politicians and their friends.

Anonymous said...