Rail Relocation

A City Council that works for everyone… not just a few.

Rail Relocation

The Semiahmoo First Nation, the City of White Rock and the City of Surrey are traversed by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) line along the Semiahmoo Bay foreshore.

Freight traffic, including dangerous goods such as ammonia and chlorine, has increased four-fold since 2007 on this rail line.

Since 2007, BNSF trains have become longer and heavier.

The population density has increased significantly in the vicinity of the BNSF track.

Thousands of visitors must cross the BNSF track to access two of British Columbia’s most popular beaches at Crescent Beach and White Rock Beach.

Semiahmoo Bay is part of a complex west coast ecosystem of international importance. The area provides feeding and roosting sites to about 250,000 migrating and wintering waterfowl and one million shorebirds.

The history of rail failures along the Semiahmoo Bay corridor, the increased length and frequency of trains, and the proportional increase in transported dangerous goods create a significant risk for a derailment and spill into Semiahmoo Bay.

Democracy Direct objectives:

  • Encourage the City’s active involvement in the feasibility study – leading to a submission to the Canadian Transportation Agency under the Rail Relocation Act – to relocate the section of the BNSF line that runs between the U.S./Canada border, through the Semiahmoo First Nation land, the City of White Rock and the City of Surrey (Crescent Beach/Ocean Park) British Columbia. Democracy Direct White Rock makes this commitment with the full expectation that the lands within White Rock vacated by the BNSF will become a Regional Park.