Stephen Rees's blog

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

Archive for April 27th, 2008

Rail for the Valley Rally

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This picture is of a low floor diesel light rail train running on existing freight rail track in Ottawa, which would be the easiest way to get started on passenger rail for the Fraser Valley.

An interesting afternoon yesterday at the Township of Langley’s new municipal hall (memo to self get new map book and/or update Mapopolis).

As I was on the panel I did not get my notebook out, but I did learn quite a lot. For example, SRY actually owns the track but not the right of way. The successors to BC Hydro do not want anyone stringing trolley wire over the tracks, even though that is what the double line of poles once supported. So the introduction of a pilot program or demonstration project may not be a straightforward as I once thought. On the other hand it comes down to money in the end, and all it takes is for the province for reset its priorities and do transit first rather than highway expansions.

Yeah, right, like that’s gonna happen!

Turnout was somewhat low – but then it was a very nice day for a change so I expect a lot of people who might have gone decided that a day outside would make a nice change, and I cannot say I blame them. Those that did come were not only interested but interesting – and the discussion was generally well informed and very civilised. It was nice to meet Malcolm Johnson – who is much nicer in person than the on line persona he adopts. We must have known each other “virtually” for a long time. Also notable was that all the panel members drove there – and much of the discussion was really about why transit service south of the Fraser is so dreadful. And why the Province and the FVRD both seem committed to keeping it that way.

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway seem to be very confident that they will get going soon.

And as predicted I was able to recycle most of Cris Leinberger’s material. When you speak last after four other people that is not a lot that can be said that is new or original – but people seemed to like it.

UPDATE  April 30 There are very positive reviews in the Langley Advance, Langley Times and also on VALTAC’s blog

Written by Stephen Rees

April 27, 2008 at 8:47 am

Posted in transit, Urban Planning

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