By Abnor. I was standing down at the railway crossing on Essendene this morning wondering just how on earth a 2-km-long coal train is going make it across that crossing in five minutes.
Cover photo from ansnuclearcafe.org/
Anyone I’ve talked to agrees it’ll take a minimum of 12 to 15 minutes for that big a train to get through.
I heard the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) is staying silent on the plan. Probably because their political friends at City Hall (John Smith, Bill MacGregor, Les Barkman and Bruce Banman) forgot to tell them about the deal. Or maybe they’re trying to figure out the spin on what a wonderful addition to a nice mid-summer downtown shopping experience the coal trains will be.
Maybe they think that, with so much time to kill waiting for trains, drivers will abandon their cars and go shopping.
Then I got to thinking … If communities from Washington State to White Rock through Vancouver and on up the line have all refused such an inconvenient, costly and dirty idea, why is Abbpotsford prepared to put up with it?
Could it be the railways [Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) and Southern Railway (SRY)] might be using this as a bargaining chip with the City over its foot-dragging on the Vye Road crossing improvements?
Remember when Bruce Banman announced that, instead of the $600,000 the project was originally going to cost, he had worked out a deal to do it for $25,000,000?
Part of that deal meant the City had to spend money too. The City never has any money because of all of the spending we did on Plan A, the Abbotsford Heat, Global Spectrum, the overpasses, the Friendship Garden … the and annual payments on the long-term costs of the above.
Maybe the railways are using the anger which is sure to rise as downtown Abbotsford sinks into gridlock and coal dust this summer as a way of trying to force the City to act.
Good luck. Three City councillors and a mayor would like nothing better than to be able show their supporters in downtown how powerful they are but when it comes to spending money … if the bank account is empty … the bank account is empty.
Remember to Tell Abnor If you’ve got any news or stories you think he should look into.
If you have any thoughts or ideas for Abnor tell him.
Editor’s Note:Abnor joins us from time to time with a question or two about what he sees around him. He has plenty of time on his hands and he spends a great deal of his time wandering the streets of Abbotsford wondering about what he sees and hears. He’s a modern day hobo with a Blackberry.