Whistle blown on CN train noise

A Terrace resident says he is suffering health issues because CN train whistles are keeping him awake. He asked city council for help.

COMPLAINTS HAVE surfaced about the noise from train whistles blowing in the middle of the night

The sound of train whistles has been keeping a local bed and breakfast owner up at night and he wants Terrace’s city council to do something about it.

Randy Dozzi, owner of the Lanfear Guest House, says that sometimes he will be woken for many nights in a row and that the lack of rest that comes as a result is taking away from his daily wellness and overall health.

Council agreed to look into noise and also speed issues arising from CN trains at its meeting last night.

“I am here to initiate discussion with government and CN Rail to eliminate the use of train whistles within populated areas,” he said before council July 23. “We have noise bylaws, we should be able to enforce them.”

He said that now he has a hard time falling asleep because he never knows when to expect the train whistle to sound and wake him.

“I am experiencing cumulative, negative physical and mental effects and may need to move if I wish to return to normal health,” he said.

Dozzi lives less than one kilometre from the Kenney Street train crossing, but the city’s chief administrative officer Heather Avison clarified that CN trains already do not sound their whistles there.

The trains do whistle at two locations on opposite sides of Terrace.

The west whistle spot is at the Frank Street crossing.

“The issue is there is not enough clearence at Frank Street to make that crossing safe enough,” said Avison.

The same is true at the crossing on Queensway Avenue, which does not have stop gates and is outside of city boundaries so city bylaws cannot be enforced there.

But councillor Marylin Davies noted that she too finds the whistle loud, as well as the sound of the trains shunting, adding that council has looked into this before.

Dozzi added that most complaints about train noise that he’s heard from his guests stem from shunting.

Also, many trains seem to move faster than the speeds allowed by CN and that the city could start monitoring these things and bringing them to CN’s attention, said Davies, suggesting the city monitor the trains for noise and speed.

“All you have to do is set your car and drive beside the train,” said Davies of how to tell a train’s speed.

“Driving a vehicle alongside a train is hardly evidence,” responded councillor Brian Downie. “If we were going to do that we’d have to get CN to get some monitoring equipment.”

Downie also added he doesn’t see a point in arguing about whistle noise when it’s a safety issue.

Councillor Bruce Bidgood suggested that before the city goes about monitoring noise and speed that it should ask CN for that information.

“The motion is to have administration look into it,” said mayor Dave Pernarowski, noting that doesn’t mean anything will be monitored, but possibilities for dealing with noise and speed issues will be explored and then brought back to council.

Council agreed unanimously that this was a good idea.