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CN ticketing pedestrians on Whistler train tracks

Walking on tracks illegal and unsafe say officials

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CN is ticketing pedestrians using the railway tracks in Whistler after its police became concerned about how many people use the tracks, especially in Function Junction as a trail.

"It is not only dangerous it is illegal to be trespassing on railway property,"said Warren Chandler, senior manager for public affairs with CN.

"Our police force take that matter very seriously and try to use education first, but enforcement is also a tool at their disposal to ensure that people are safe and stay away from railway property."

Many use the tracks heading south from Function Junction to visit an area called Train Wreck, which houses an old train now re-invented as a local piece of art — it is covered in graffiti.

One large family group, who did not want to give their names, were surprised to get a $115 ticket March 28 as they walked back along to tracks to Function Junction from visiting the wreck, which they found advertised as a destination on a hiking website.

"We found the trail because it was advertised," said one of the party. "We wanted to check it out, but then we were pulled over and ticketed. We were very surprised,however we do know it is wrong to walk on the tracks. But we were a little misled by the website."

Chandler said he was unaware of the draw of the Train Wreck area.

"I am not familiar with train wreck and perhaps that would be something that CN could engage with the local community about to have that discussion surrounding the needs for safety," he said.

"We would need to be approached by somebody because it is an unofficial tourist stop."

Asked if CN is considering removing the train wreck so that it is not a destination for visitors who must use the track to get there Chandler said: "That might be a potential option so we would have to take that under advisement and look into that situation."

The tickets are paid to the provincial government.

More to come.

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