Detail Script for 02 / HISTORICAL CONTEXT
WR – SS Railroad at turn of Century = BC Museum
WR-SS Railroad 2010 = long, heavy, frequent
1909 brought the first trains through ‘SFN’ White Rock and Crescent Beach on the newly constructed perimeter route; freight trains consisted of one train each way daily, carrying simply lumber, shingles, blocks of cedar, mail, oysters, all of low toxicity; passenger trains consisted of 4-6 cars and special excursion trains from New West.; see Ref #1 and #5.
1910 to 2010 brought slow yearly increases in freight; toxicity unknown; Ref #1 and #5.
2016 to 2018 time period reveals alarming increase in frequency + length + toxicity; 15 to 20 trains/day; 100 to 140 cars [2.4 kilometers]; northbound trains mostly Powder River USA coal and Bakken USA crude oil; southbound trains mixed benign cargo interspersed with some extremely toxic, flammable/explosive dangerous goods i/c chlorine, hydrochloric acid, propane, liquid hydrocarbons, hydrogen peroxide, sodium hydroxide, and anhydrous ammonia; see Ref #5.
2030 and beyond suggests increasing frequency + length with toxicity unknown. With the proposed closure of the crossing at Sumas-Abbotsford, this route is fast becoming the major economic rail corridor between BC and WA. Safety disasters and/or economic disruptions will have major consequences in lives lost and economic losses.