I am writing this to state my opinion regarding the article published on March 1, Council moves to ban train whistle.
Mr. Cox thinks he is speaking for all Fernie residents. Indeed, he is not. Every senior citizen and long term resident I have spoken to say they don’t notice it or when they hear it, they have a feeling of “all is well,” the trains are running. Many new residents I have spoken to, tell me the same thing. Although many things have changed since Fernie became a “tourist town,” one thing has remained constant, the train whistle. It has been part of our Valley for over a hundred years, and it needs to be a part of our future. Furthermore, Mr. Cox states that the train whistle frightens children and pets. The children I have known, including my seven, were never afraid of the whistle, in fact they were thrilled when they heard it, and took great delight in waving to the engineer and, at that time, the engineer in the caboose, which was at the end of the train. When children waved, the engineer gave a short blast from the whistle and waved back, then there was the wait for the end of the train, all while anticipating the wave from the caboose occupant. What fun! As far as animals go, I believe part of the reason the whistle is activated is to frighten them off or away from the track.
Perhaps citizens would better be served by members of BOLD and council if they would work to attract business here that would cater to the residents. Most must now go elsewhere for items that are no longer available here. We are not all skiers and snowboarders. Long time residents have kept Fernie businesses going for many years, and it is my humble opinion that we should have a voice in what should and should not happen in our town.
I believe Fernie and its heritage buildings have already been changed to accommodate tourists and newcomers, and in my opinion and that of many others, Fernie and the train whistle go hand in hand. It is part of our long history and needs to be a part of our future.
I know I also speak for my dear friend, Grace Dvorak, who is probably looking down from heaven, waving and shouting, “Save the train whistle!”