Train stuck for hours, blocking access to Surrey, B.C.’s Crescent Beach


A BSNF railway train was stopped in Surrey, B.C., for hours Saturday, blocking access to the city for hundreds of homes at Crescent Beach.

Surrey RCMP officers and Surrey firefighters were on the scene making sure residents did not cross the railway unsafely.

The train was stopped for more than two hours, blocking the two access points for around 390 properties in the area.

A nearby resident said emergency access for those homes has been an issue in the past and this latest example of a blockage only reinforces the idea that a new access road should be built.

“I went down there and sure enough the train (was) broken across both of the roadways leading into Crescent, blocking it off, stopping people from entering or leaving,” Don Pitcairn said.

“Say right at that time — you need police or an ambulance, they can’t get into Crescent Beach. I know (the city) has had plans of a bridge or a tunnel but no action.

“Emergency access is a huge issue. (Residents) get trapped down there because of trains.”

Federal regulations say trains can’t be stopped on tracks blocking crossings for longer than five minutes.

The City of Surrey has previously said there have been 16 incidents lasting from 10 minutes to three hours at this location.

Global News has reached out to BSNF for comment.

The Surrey Fire Service said firefighters were on hand, along with police, in case of an emergency situation, but did admit the blockage would make handling an emergency extremely tricky.

“Crews went down to the scene, surveyed the incident site, talked to BSNF (staff) there, and came up with a plan to keep a stage there and be able to cross on foot,” said Greg McRobbie, a Surrey Fire Service assistant chief.

“Unfortunately, with this train blocking both crossings, there is no possible way (for emergency vehicles) to make (it across).”

McRobbie said a review of the incident will be underway due to the length of time of the blockage. He said that tracks are typically not blocked for more than 10 minutes at a time.

Surrey RCMP confirmed officers attended the incident and did say tracks are clear and moving as usual.

It is unknown what caused the train to stop but Pitcairn said he heard from another resident that it was a broken link between two train cars.

— With files from Global BC’s Alex Fuster.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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