STOP CP Railway's Wolverton railyard development
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We are reaching out as a concerned community, regarding the most recent proposed railworks development by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company at their Wolverton location. They plan to construct two additional tracks and an auto handling/storage yard, backing directly onto our properties. As residents of this community, we have a variety of safety concerns that will be gravely affected by this development. We are also concerned about proximity, with only 60 feet of space between us and the railyard.
With the addition of two tracks to the Wolverton location, this will most certainly create additional rail traffic. CP already blocks through traffic on Trussler for significant periods of time every day of the week. We are concerned that additional railway traffic will create the added potential for the delay of emergency vehicle response should one of us require emergent medical or police assistance. The response time for an emergency vehicle is already compromised due to our rural location; we are extremely concerned that the addition of two tracks will significantly increase the train traffic blocking Trussler road. This, in turn, could potentially delay lifesaving emergency assistance should it be required. This is a particularly large safety concern for the many parents of young children living within the affected area.
Currently, there is already a significant amount of train traffic crossing at the Wolverton location, blocking Trussler for lengthy periods of time. When this happens, we experience frustrated and angry drivers who have turned their vehicles around and travel at extremely high speeds down Township Road 10 to get around the blockage. Please note this is a rural, dirt side road that is not meant to be used as a main route for traffic. As described in the paragraph above, the addition of the two tracks proposed by CP Rail will increase track traffic thereby blocking Trussler road more often. Our residents’ young children play outside in front of houses that are line this road; we have cats and dogs that roam free on our rural properties; Waymark Farms’ tenants often ride their horses up the road; and, we use this road to walk/run/bike with our families. We are already wary when using the road. Even a slight increase in speeding traffic down our road would seriously increase risks to our safety when using our road.
It is a well-known statistical fact that rail yards attract criminal activity and mischief. As residents whose homes would back onto this proposed new development, we are extremely concerned for the safety of our families. We worry about the potential for criminals trespassing across our properties to access the back of the rail property, putting the safety of our families in our own homes/on our properties at risk. Additionally, we do not feel safe at the idea of CP Railworks’ security cameras potentially looking into our backyards.
We have additional health and safety concerns surrounding dust pollution. The wind already blows around dust from the dirt road and the fields behind our houses. During construction and after the construction is complete, dust will be a constant issue blowing into our backyards from the rail yard. There will also be a significant increase in diesel pollution (from the close proximity of trucks and additional train engines). Finally, we will be negatively affected by light pollution from the additional lighting that will be installed to light up the storage yard. The ‘birm’ proposed on the map of the proposed development will not be effective in eliminating any of this pollution from entering the air/area around/on our properties. All of our houses look down onto the expanse that CP is intending to develop. All of these elements of pollution are inevitable and unavoidable should this development proceed.
With the development of a rail yard such as what was proposed by CP Railworks, there will be extensive maintenance required to sustain the property through all of the weather extremes we experience in this area of Ontario. This maintenance is cause of concern around the safety of our environment and the affects the treatments will have on our water, land, etc. Gravel maintenance will be required in the dry heat of the summer, requiring chemical treatment for dust control. Extensive snow removal will be required in the winter; where will this snow be plowed and are their drainage systems set up to handle the thaw? How will the levels of salt required to treat the railyard roads affect the health of the surrounding environment? The addition of plows running just behind our properties (amongst all of the other engines and trucks) will affect the quality of our air, creating concern for our long-term health and safety.
We moved to the country, and this property specifically, for the peace and quiet, the views, the fresh air, and for privacy. We knew the land around us was zoned agricultural so we were not worried about development - we looked into this prior to purchasing the house. Building up to our property line would drastically change all of this. There would be constant light and dust flooding our backyard - a birm is not going to stop this. There will be constant activity, vehicles driving around, and noise. We would no longer have the scenic views or the peace and quiet, which were what sold us this property. My daughter would lose the opportunity to be raised in a quiet, serene environment with little pollution and disruption.
The construction itself would be extremely disruptive - loud noises during daylight hours all summer and into the fall. Again, not what we moved out to the country to experience. In addition, having a rail storage yard literally backing onto our backyard does not allow us the privacy and quiet we have paid for when we purchased this country property. I'm concerned about increased crime due to sitting railway cars filled with goods. CP already blocks with Trussler Road with their trains when they are switching tracks for longer than the regulated time, causing lengthy and long delays. I can't imagine this will improve with the addition of two more tracks and that much storage.
In addition, having this storage yard will limit our ability to hunt off our land and feed our family. The wildlife will not travel through the back fields like they have been in order to bed down in our tiny forests on either side of our house with a bustling storage yard 15 feet away. We hunt deer to feed our family - saving us significant amounts of money at the grocery store. The financial strain put on our family would be significant. Additionally, the opportunity to do this with our young daughter in a safe environment (no other hunters to be concerned about compared to hunting on crown land) would be removed. We have copious amounts of deer that come through our property on a nightly basis - this population would relocate, therefore depleting our chances to feed our family organically through the land.
Finally, what of our long-term financial safety/security? Generally, investing in a house or a property is considered a wise and prosperous venture as property values are guaranteed to increase over time. As quoted in the Ayr News, the addition of this rail yard will absolutely decrease the value of our property and homes, thereby affecting the safety and security of our finances in the future. These are properties that we all worked hard to be able to afford; a lifestyle that we have scrimped and saved to experience with our families. Residents of this community received notices of intent to develop from CP Railworks on or around March 1st, 2018. Even if we were able to, or could afford to, relocate due to this intended and harmful development, we were not provided with enough time to list/sell our houses before CP Railworks intends to start their construction (July 1, 2018).
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