The city wants to work with CN Rail to keep people off the train tracks before someone gets killed.
The effort was prompted by a late November 2015 incident in which a container train was delayed for 45 minutes when several people wouldn’t get off the tracks. It happened east of George Little House after the recent unveiling of the hydraulic lift to help those with mobility issues get on the VIA Rail train.
City councillors Brian Downie and Lynne Christiansen were at the unveiling and provided detail at a subsequent council meeting.
East of George Little House by J&F Distributing was a group of people, probably intoxicated judging by their behaviour, impeding the train by being on the tracks and not moving until police arrived, said Downie during discussion at the council meeting.
He said police have confirmed they get regular calls to go down and get people off the tracks, said Downie.
“It’s totally ridiculous,” said Downie. “It’s unacceptable, particularly if someone is on the tracks taunting the train.”
He said CN Police do enforce no trespassing regulations but aren’t in the Terrace area all of the time.
Downie said that council should get in touch with CN to talk about getting the railway company to put up a fence.
“It seems like we’re going to have an accident and somebody is going to get hit,” he said.
Fencing should be put down all the way to J&F, he added.
Downie made a motion to write CN and ask it to meet with the city to find solutions on the issue of people trespassing on the railway tracks. Councillor Lynne Christiansen seconded the motion.
Councillor Stacey Tyers said she supported the motion as long as the city was not a financing partner in putting up any fences, it, saying it was CN’s job and financial responsibility to protect the tracks and keep the trains running, and not the city’s.
When contacted, CN official Jim Feeny said he couldn’t comment on specifics of when CN officers are here for security reasons.
“British Columbia-based CN Police operate in the Terrace area as part of their coverage territory,” he said.
“CN looks forward to working with the City of Terrace on how to resolve trespassing issues,” he added, saying CN also appreciates its close working relationship with RCMP.
Terrace RCMP officer Const. Angela Rabut confirmed that police have been called down to the train tracks to remove trespassers.
“The Terrace RCMP does get called occasionally when people are on the tracks,” she said. “Often times we find them intoxicated. When people are under the influence of alcohol, their ability to make good decisions is usually adversely affected. Not only are they trespassing, they are a danger to themselves and others.”