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Train talk in Port Moody
Port Moody Mayor Joe Trasolini said he plans to sound off to management at Canadian Pacific Rail about the noise of night-time locomotives on the Ioco line.
After pleas and petitions from residents awakened by whistles and rumbles of late-night freight trains travelling to and from the Imperial Oil depot on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, city council voted unanimously May 10 to have the mayor appeal to CPR officials in person about the racket, even offering to send him to the company’s Calgary headquarters if necessary.
“I wouldn’t want to see [the appeal] in the form of a letter,” Coun. Gerry Nuttall told council, stressing that a personal visit with CPR management to discuss the issue would likely yield the best results for Port Moody.
“I would be very glad to visit Calgary and meet with the appropriate person in head office or invite them here as well,” Trasolini said.
Nuttall even suggested sending some of the resident complainants to visit CPR with the mayor but Trasolini said he didn’t believe the city’s budget would cover the costs of such a trip.
Residents within earshot of the Ioco tracks had set up a committee and met with CPR officials as recently as March, when the rail company reportedly told them that they would try to have all rail traffic out of the area by 9 p.m. and not resume before 8 a.m. the following day.
But Russ Smith, spokesperson for the Ioco Night Train Committee, told city council late last month that CPR is not keeping its promise and that night-time freight traffic through the area seems to be heavier.
Trasolini credited a joint CPR-Port Moody liaison committee set up several years ago to deal with a similar noise issue for being the first of its kind in the country, and a model of success copied across the country.
“We have to remember that CP Rail is part of our community and, at the same time, CPR staff do understand that we have to coexist and that’s been the basis of our meetings over the past several years,” Trasolini said. “But I think there is a need to elevate this very specific issue.”
Coun. Karen Rockwell noted at the meeting that representatives at the Imperial Oil depot have also been publicly calling for the earlier arrival and departure of evening trains at the facility.
Mike LoVecchio, CPR’s senior media relations manager, told The Tri-City News in an email Wednesday that the company is aware of the complaints and will be working with the city to rectify the problem.
“CP values being a good neighbour, and takes seriously concerns raised by Port Moody council and the Ioco residents,” LoVecchio said. “We are working with the city and the residents’ group to create a level of understanding on CP operations and reviewing the local operating schedule.”
Trasolini, who lives near the Ioco line, said he sympathizes with the Ioco night train committee because he has also been awakened by the noise and vibrations of trains passing in the night.