With the proposed track modification to accommodate coal trains to switch from CP Rail tracks to CN Rail tracks in Kamloops, some obvious concerns need to be addressed:
• Coal trains are generally very long and will take an extended time to move through the already congested rail traffic in town.
• The configuration of the connecting tracks is such that trains will have to move very slowly to get to the CN Yard alongside Highway 5.
• There are three uncontrolled street crossings along the Lorne Street corridor and they will require warning blasts from the locomotive air horns. People in that area will get little sleep.
• The length of the coal trains, combined with slow speeds, will result in lengthy blocking of crossings in Valleyview and traffic congestion along Lorne Street, which has become a major thoroughfare.
• CP Rail has stated that, in order to control coal dust, a chemical will be sprayed on the coal-laden cars at the point of origin. The question should be asked: What effect will this chemical have in the residential areas the trains pass through? Should it become airborne, coal dust is bad enough, what about coal dust saturated with a chemical?
It is a bad decision to pick Kamloops as the transfer point and it may not be too late to choose another venue.
Peter H. Bartel