After reading about some of the comments that have been made with regard to the railway in White Rock, I felt that I had to write in.
I was born in Peace Arch Hospital and grew up in White Rock. I spent my kindergarten years to six years at UBC all living in this community.
My earliest memories of going to the beach include seeing the trains going along the tracks. It never occurred to me to use the tracks as a play area or some other type of recreational area. I was taught by my parents that the tracks and trains were dangerous. I was taught that if you had to cross the tracks, you looked both ways – just like crossing a street – and then you crossed carefully and quickly.
This worked for me for 23 years. In all that time, no one was hurt or killed by using common sense when it came to the tracks.
I now live in Williams Lake which also has train tracks. The Via Rail train is often seen passing through, along with freight trains, many of which stop to be filled with lumber. No one has ever had a problem with the tracks. Parents do the right thing by teaching their children to respect the tracks as they would a highway.
I was appalled when I came back to White Rock to visit my family and discovered that people were insisting the tracks had to be shut down and removed because they were “much too dangerous.” Will this be the case for the highways next?
The tracks have been here for over 100 years and White Rock would not be here today if it weren’t for those tracks, and all of a sudden people think the tracks are the problem.
The tracks are not the problem. If people once again started using common sense and teaching their children basic safety rules, the tracks would no longer pose a threat.
No one thinks about playing on the highway, jogging in the middle of the highway, or using the middle of the highway as a backdrop for taking pictures, so why are they suddenly thinking it is fine to do these things in the middle of the tracks?
I hope some of the newer citizens who have come to White Rock will take time to visit the historic photo gallery that is displayed at the Station House on Marine Drive. From the very beginning of the building of the railroad, all the way up to it becoming a vital part of White Rock, it has been something positive. Don’t try to change it into something negative, simply because you are unable or unwilling to use common sense and basic safety rules when it comes to the railway.
It is a very important part of not just White Rock’s heritage, but B.C.’s heritage, as well.
Sharon Allan, Williams Lake