Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

John Baird, Light Rail Killer

leave a comment »

News ::

Did Tories’ new enviro minister undercut a big light rail project to settle a political score? A Tyee special report.

By Laura Drake
Published: January 23, 2007

I have been professionally invloved in evaluating transportation projects for most of my career. And far too often, it really doesn’t matter what the technical or economic arguments are – it’s all about politics. And mostly poilitics of the smallest and most personal kind.

When I was last in Ottawa (June 2006) it looked like the line would be built. But what did I know? I was cheered by the use of a lightweight German vehicle which brings the lower cost of Light Rail (tram) technology to existing railways. O Train got around the ARA rules about not allowing heavy freight trains and Light Rail vehicles on the same track by “temporal separation” . Diesel traction may not be ideal but saves a lot in front investment in electrification, so the initial line as proof of concept can open and win over the waverers.

But obviously not those opposed by reason of personal self interest or – if the Tyee is right – simple malice. And after all the interests of the community at large are the last thing you would expect any politician to put ahead of their own agenda.

Written by Stephen Rees

January 24, 2007 at 9:16 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: