Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for August 16th, 2007

New group pushes for Valley light-rail system

with 8 comments

The Province

In a nutshell, the light-rail advocates say building more roads — such as the Port Mann Bridge-Highway 1 expansion or the proposed $1-billion South Fraser Perimeter Road through Delta and Surrey — won’t solve traffic gridlock.It only encourages more vehicle use, which results in more greenhouse gas and particulate emissions impacting everyone’s health.

The thing that I noticed about this piece is its positive tone. there is no attempt to “balance” it by allowing the nay sayers equal space.

There are actually quite a few issues to resolve. I am very much in favour of light rail, and using existing tracks is always a good starting point. The Rail for the Valley website has quite a lot of information on how they propose to deal with the existing freight traffic for example, though I hunted about in vain for a map or some pictures. (There is a 1910 map here.) The former BCER (now SRY) tracks can link up well at Scott Road for SkyTrain – in terms of a short walk for passengers, not through running, which would be impractical.

Durtch Railways (NS) Light Rail vehicle

I do think that it needs to be clear that what is being proposed is not to put back the interurban as it was, but rather a modern light rail system to meet current needs. Such as has been used in many other cities in North America and the rest of the world (the picture above was taken in The Netherlands recently). Not a proprietary system: no needless technological leaps forward and no cheaping out to allow a P3 to make mega profits.

The best thing will be the sections of line that will run alongside roads, where motorists stuck in traffic can seen the trains whisking their passengers past in silent comfort.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 16, 2007 at 11:20 am

Posted in Railway