Tim H. 
Member since Aug 22, 2013


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Re: “Noisy train pesters neighbours

@You don't live here: "Tim H was not here last week to be blasted out of bed at 1 am, so he should keep his trap shut." - I'm sorry if I've offended you, but I really did nothing but point out some simple facts that were either not mentioned or misrepresented in the article. If there's anything I've said that you wish to take issue with, then please, go right ahead and point it out. Whether I was there or not really has no bearing on whether what I've said is true.

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Tim H. on 08/26/2013 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Noisy train pesters neighbours

@Halifax resident - Yes, there is a bylaw (HRM Bylaw N-200 "Respecting Noise"), and it is a lot more nuanced than simply prohibiting noise after certain hours. There are many exceptions to the rules. Rail locomotives do not fall under the definition of a motor vehicle within the bylaw, and are thus exempt from the prohibitions relating to motor vehicles. There is a limit on the hours during which rail equipment can make noise, but it applies *only* to equipment on property *not* owned/operated by a railway governed by the Canada Railway Act. Since both VIA and CN fall are recognized federal railway companies and the train is parked on their tracks, noises that are a necessary part of their operations are permitted under the bylaw. (You can see it for yourself here, if you'd like: http://halifax.ca/legislation/bylaws/hrm/d…)

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Tim H. on 08/23/2013 at 1:16 PM

Re: “Noisy train pesters neighbours

I am disappointed that the author of this piece did not take the time to check some very simple facts. In the article, it says "since the recent schedule change the train has been adjacent to the residential area 100 hours or more each week" - this is far from the truth. With the new schedule, the train departs 3 days each week. It arrives Monday, Thursday and Saturday, and leaves the next day. With an arrival time of 5:18pm and a departure of 12:20pm the next day, that means the train is in Halifax for just 19 hours at a time. At three times a week, that only adds up to 57 hours. That's only half the time the article suggests. The schedule change dropped the train from running 6 days a week to 3, so it has in fact considerably reduced the amount of time the train will be there rather than increasing it.

In that sense, Ms. Ghazal and Mr. Donovan should be grateful that the new schedule, as much of an inconvenience as it is to the travelling public, means they only have to hear the train running half as often! I'm also not sure about the claim that it started 5 years ago, as VIA has been parking its trains on its station tracks for many years longer than that.

When the train arrives, it pulls directly into the station (so the locomotives are farther away from the residential area in question). After unloading passengers and refuelling, the train is turned on the balloon track at the Halterm container terminal and backs into the station. This leaves the locomotives adjacent to the residential area overnight through until they depart at noon the next day. With regard to the seeming "arbitrariness" of the locomotive shutting down and restarting, this is the result of the auto-start/stop system these locomotives are equipped with. It ensures that the locomotives remain running enough to maintain certain necessary systems, but shuts them down enough to maintain maximum fuel efficiency. No one is walking out to the train and starting these locomotives up in the middle of the night just to annoy people.

Additionally, the locomotives do not run at full intensity all night long, but do so shortly before departure. The Coast observed the train last Sunday; since the train leaves at 12:20pm on Sunday, this would have been while they were preparing for departure, and the engines would have been running fully to prepare them and check systems prior to leaving. Yes, they're very loud at that time, but that isn't necessarily indicative of their volume level throughout the rest of their stay.

With regard to moving the train, there is a reason VIA cannot just leave the train wherever they like. VIA is extremely restricted in where it can actually leave its trains. For one thing, the train needs to be adjacent to the station so that crews can access the train to clean, maintain, and prepare it for the next day (the cars also require being hooked up to power cables at the station, so that the locomotives don't need to run at even higher intensity for the whole time to keep the lights and ventilation working!). The other big reason - the track 200 metres down the road, which Mr. Donovan refers to, is owned (and used regularly) by CN, and it's not so simple as just moving the train down there. It should also be noted that there are also homes near the tracks farther down the way (towards Young Ave, for example), so moving it would only shift the problem to others.

Finally, I'm a little confused about the problem here. First of all, when moving to a new place, it it not the tenant's responsibility to find out what sort of noise levels there will be? Did Ms. Ghazal never visit the place before while the train was actually there? Or ask someone else about how loud it got? If you were shown a place next to a busy construction site in the evening when no work was going on, would you not either ask how loud it got or return when the workers were actually there, rather than simply moving in anyway and complaining when the construction actually got underway? The reality is, there are homes located next to lots of noisy places and things, and unfortunately many of these noises are a necessity that can't be stopped merely to please their neighbours.

34 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Tim H. on 08/22/2013 at 1:44 PM

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