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How One Community’s Homeless Problem Has Increased Whistling Complaints

It has always been interesting in that the concerns raised by our readers seem to run in a sort of pattern.

Lately, it’s been complaints about the use of train whistles, especially late at night, disrupting sleep in numerous communities, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.

We get asked about whistling frequently, so here are the rules. Note that there is no distinction made for time of day as taken from the CROR, the Canadian Railway Operating Rules, under the “Signals – General” section from which we’ve edited for the purpose of this post: Read more…


How Long Does it Take for a Train to Stop?

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It’s Time to Stop Building Too Close to the Tracks


Cities just aren’t getting it.

The buzzword of the day in civic circles is undoubtedly “densification.”

On that premise, in numerous cities across the country, rapid development has been taking place, packing people into tighter confines, and in areas previously considered unfit or undesirable for housing.

Many people see the onslaught as little more than the destruction of entire neighbourhoods previously filled with homes of character, gardens, yards, and historical landmarks. Yes, I am one of those people.

I’m not a fan, for various reasons, of this approach to community development, especially when it comes to cities and developers making poor choices in converting industrial land over to housing. Read more…

Back on Track

It’s been a long and much-needed time away from this blog.

After a fabulous trip across northern Europe two years ago, including a jaunt across Iceland that stole my heart, I arrived home here in Canada to have my heart stolen in a different way…the agonizing death of one of my oldest friends through cancer, followed by the tragic death of a former partner, followed by even further tragedy that I won’t even bother to detail here.

I have always viewed myself as an optimist, so it has taken time to find that aspect of myself again. Without it, I cannot write.

I seriously considered stepping aside altogether, but, with the passing of time, (and judging by an overflowing inbox!) I feel it is once again time to write and discuss the critical issues of railway noise and vibration, the rail industry and the environment, and the relationship between railways and communities.

So, yes, Rail and Reason is back on track…more to follow!

Surrey, B.C. M.P. Announces Railway Noise Town Hall Meeting

We were recently contacted by Jasbir Sandhu, the Member of Parliament for Surrey North, B.C., asking if we could post a notice about an upcoming opportunity for people in his community to come together for a railway noise town hall meeting. B.C.’s Lower Mainland has been one of the country’s hot spots in terms of problems with railway noise and vibration. Also in attendance will be M.P. Peter Julian, who has for years now assisted residents in his own nearby constituency of New Westminster, B.C., another flash point for a serious, longstanding problems with railway noise, vibration, diesel emissions from idling locomotives, and late-night whistling. In Julian’s community, the issue is further compounded by the presence of high-density residential development adjacent the area where four separate railways operate: CN, CP, Southern Railway, and BNSF. We’re happy to help out, and post the following notice on behalf of the Surrey M.P.’s request:

Notice of Surrey, B.C. Town Hall Meeting on Railway Noise

Notice of Surrey, B.C. Town Hall Meeting on Railway Noise

For more information, please contact Jasbir Sandhu, M.P. at: 604-589-2441

In Other News, to the Opposite Coast of Canada:

Going to the opposite coast of the country, to Atlantic Canada, the Nova Scotia residents of Dartmouth have had it with railway whistling affecting their sleep. So, on January 13, Dartmouth City Councillor Gloria McCluskey plans to ask council for a motion to support an investigation into banning late-night whistling in her city’s downtown core. We sincerely wish Councillor McCluskey every success in what we think will be a very uphill battle in helping local residents there simply get a good night’s rest.

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Councillor Gloria McCluskey to help seek a ban on late night whistling

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Councillor Gloria McCluskey to help seek a ban on late night whistling

A copy of Councillor McCluskey's Motion

A copy of Councillor McCluskey’s Motion

Read more…