Campers staying at Crazy Creek Hot Pools Resort east of Sicamous are sleeping more soundly through the night since train whistles stopped sounding off in the area.
Whistles on Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) trains have warned those nearby of oncoming trains with loud whistles for over 100 years, reads a media release from the resort located along Highway 1 east of Sicamous. The whistling came to an end when Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) came to an agreement with CPKC to install different safety measures at the Taft Road railroad crossing, eliminating the need for whistling per CPKC’s standards.
Crazy Creek Resort saw the regional district board give three readings to a service establishment bylaw that would stop the train whistles from going off at the Electoral Area E property on Aug. 18 of last year. At that meeting, staff explained a feasibility study the CSRD completed in late 2021, detailing two safety upgrade options that cost either $434,000 or $666,000. Earlier in 2022, CP did its own upgrades at the crossing. With the upgrades, the CSRD was able to apply to CP to have the train whistles stopped. An August 2022 CSRD staff report explained funds would be requisitioned from the property owners to pay for annual liability and maintenance costs for the alternate safety measures.
“We love the trains, and our guests do too, but the whistle had to go, especially when it disrupts a good night’s rest,” said Crazy Creek Resort owner Devon Siebenga in the release.
Adam Kaufam, Crazy Creek’s general manager, said the train whistles was the one thing guests would consistently mention about the resort.
“After years of working with the CSRD and CP Rail to make this happen, our customers’ wish has now become a reality,” he said.
Residents of another Shuswap resort, Silver Sands RV Resort in Sicamous, are lobbying for train whistle cessation at the crossing nearest their properties.
At the June 14 committee of the whole meeting, Sicamous council ultimately decided the cost for railroad crossing safety updates, insurance and maintenance were too high to justify spending to stop train whistles, which some councillors expressed concern about. Silver Sands resident James Moon, who originally brought the proposal to council, responded to council’s inaction in a letter, noting horns will still be used to warn pedestrians of oncoming trains, and commenting on the high number of municipalities that have anti-whistling regulations in place.
Sicamous is separate from the CSRD and therefore makes its own financial and bylaw decisions.