British Columbia

White Rock boat launch access closed by Transport Canada

Transport Canada has ordered several immediate changes to the railway tracks that line White Rock's waterfront following a couple of recent pedestrian accidents.

Transport Canada says railway safety concerns were sparked by two recent pedestrian accidents

White Rock residents cross the track to reach the beach. (CBC)

Transport Canada has ordered several immediate changes to the railway tracks that line White Rock's popular waterfront south of Vancouver, following a couple of recent pedestrian accidents.

From now on, trains travelling along Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s railway track between dawn and dusk will be required to blast their horns intermittently as they make the journey from Coldicutt Ravine to Semiahmoo First Nation Reserve.

A two-meter fence will also be erected around the west edge of Bayview Park, effectively closing the public access to the tracks and boat launch immediately.

Greg St. Louis, from the City of White Rock's engineering department says Transport Canada became particularly concerned about the amount of traffic using the boat launch.     

"I understand through their inspection of it, they've seen people parking on the tracks, they've seen motorcycles parked on the tracks, and a car last week on some of their investigations. They believe there is lots of trespassing and people not paying attention so that’s why they want this crossing closed."

"From my understanding it is going to prevent access through the boat launch and prevent anyone through driving and leaving their vehicle and trailer with kayaks on the tracks for any period of time," St. Louis said.

The access will be closed to the public until an audio and visual warning system and crossing arm are installed, but Transport Canada did not give a date for when that work would be done.

Transport Canada says it's making the changes out of safety concerns stemming from two recent accidents involving the tracks.

Last July, a 42-year-old woman was killed while jogging along the railway. Then in February, a man in his 70s who suffers from dementia was hit by a train, sustaining serious head injuries.

Google Maps: White Rock, B.C.

With files from Terry Donnelly


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.