CN Constable Jack Ashford stands underneath a signal array at the Kenney St. level crossing, one of many Ashford keeps an eye on during his patrols of CN’s rail line in the region. Ashford was out and about last week promoting Rail Safety Week. As part of that week, the city received a federal grant to install fencing around the George Little House. Rod Link photo.

Fence going up around George Little House in Terrace, B.C.

The fence will help deter people from trespassing through CN railyard

THE City of Terrace is going to install a fence on both sides of its George Little House to deter people from trespassing across the CN rail yard there and to provide more security for those working in the building.

Most of the chain link fence will extend west from the building down the property line of the former Terrace Co-op location toward Emerson with a smaller portion extending east toward the Sears building along with gates to control access, says city development services director David Block.

A $25,280 Transport Canada grant is providing most of the money for the project which Block puts at $31,600.

“At least now we’ll be able to address the question of access and trespassing on our property,” said Block. “And we’ll be able to provide a little more security [for those at the George Little House] and reduce the concern of vandalism there.”

The chain link will be black to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible, Block added.

The project includes removing the large landscaped berm on the track side of the building as that’s become a popular spot for homeless and others to gather.

“People have been sleeping there and doing other things,” said Block.

The application for the Transport Canada grant follows a growing concern of people trespassing through CN’s rail yard.

Two people who were crossing through the CN rail yard further east toward the old Skeena Bridge were struck and killed by trains late last summer in separate incidents within three days of each other.

Following meetings between CN officials and the city last fall after the deaths of Bernard Desjardins and Vanessa Harris, CN installed 1,000 feet of fencing in the vicinity of the J &F Distributors warehouse structure running east toward the old Skeena Bridge. It’s topped with three strands of barbed wire, and there’s a locked gate to block access to the rail yard at that location.

The Transport Canada grant was announced last week during Rail Safety Week.

National statistics indicate that, on average, 130 people are killed each year by being struck by trains on foot or in collisons at level railway crossings.

In this region CN does have a constable patrolling its tracks and yards from Prince Rupert east to the Smithers area.

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