After reading the report in The Free Press article about the train whistle, I would like to share my opinion.
To start off, after serving my country for 20 years, I wanted to retire back to my hometown of Fernie. I came back and have been very disappointed in what I have seen. Vacant stores uptown, you can’t buy clothing for kids or adults etc, etc. But if I wanted to buy outdoor gear, not a problem. Now the town wants to banish the train whistle.
Other comments have listed numerous reasons why the train has blown its whistle. Its good to see a lot of different reasons for it. But lets not forget one of the main reasons why the train blows the whistle. How about safety? The train blows its whistle at crossings to get the attention of pedestrians, and vehicles. You look around at a lot of kids these days and they have Walkmans, iPods etc. attached to their ears listening to music, with their heads down while they are walking home or going somewhere. Some vehicles have their music up so loud that you get to enjoy their music outside of the vehicle as it passes by. Aren’t the skateboard park, bike park, and local swimming pool on the other side of the tracks? Growing up in Fernie as a kid, not once was I ever scared when the train blew its whistle, nor have I seen any dogs run away with their tails between their legs in fright.
Once again Fernie is going to cater to the tourists that come here for a week or two week vacation and stay in their “cottages” that stay vacant most of the time. How about the people who live and work in Fernie 365 days a year? What is the town going to do when one of the tourist’s kids, or a local kid gets hit by the train, because it’s not allowed to blow its whistle for safety?