Letter: Train shelter not too much to ask

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the article in the February 14 issue of the Goat about the passengers who waited for hours in the extreme cold for the Via train to Vancouver. We can all be grateful that they survived the ordeal; and I am sure that we are all thankful to the Swiss bakery for their kindness as they cared for the passengers.

Valemount certainly needs a proper train shelter. As a frequent traveller between Valemount and Edmonton (and a homeowner in both locations), I have spent many hours waiting for the train. The site is completely open to the weather, which means that one must wait in the wind, snow, and rain much of the time. The train is often late by hours – recently this ranges from two to 20 hours or more. The scheduled arrival for the eastbound train is at 4 am; when it actually appears is anyone’s guess. So one may arrive in the dark and cold and then wait for a very long time for their train. I had this experience two months ago. Fortunately, Silvia Jungo and Bogdan Wasaznik invited me into the bakery for a much-appreciated coffee and snack as I waited for the train, which arrived after 6 am. But they operate a bakery, not a waiting room for the train. It is clear that Valemount needs a shelter for the safety and security of train travellers. In my opinion this really isn’t too much to ask.

Kirk Michaelian, Edmonton

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