HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForumSkyscraper Posters
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure

Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 4:55 PM
Rusty Gull's Avatar
Rusty Gull Rusty Gull is offline
Site 8 Lives
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Vancouver's North Shore
Posts: 1,272
Heavy Rail, Commuter Rail, & Intercity Transportation

Quote:
Originally Posted by usog View Post
A little OT, but do you have any more info on improvement on the Vancouver-Seattle Amtrack run?
Well, a second run has been in the works for ages, and should have been ready by now. However, it is being held up by demands from the Canadian Border Services Agency. Basically, the increased rail traffic from the US represents an increased workload for them.

Maybe some of the funding for the Via Station in Vancouver will address this? It's really hard to say.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 5:14 PM
Rusty Gull's Avatar
Rusty Gull Rusty Gull is offline
Site 8 Lives
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Vancouver's North Shore
Posts: 1,272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Gull View Post
Well, a second run has been in the works for ages, and should have been ready by now. However, it is being held up by demands from the Canadian Border Services Agency. Basically, the increased rail traffic from the US represents an increased workload for them.

Maybe some of the funding for the Via Station in Vancouver will address this? It's really hard to say.
One thing we do know is that, in many ways, Pacific Central Station is under-utilized. So there's great opportunity for enhancing this facility, if indeed this is what the federal government intends to do.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 8:32 PM
officedweller officedweller is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 23,558
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
On one of these forums there was a render of a new canopy at Pacific Central, has that been built?
I think that was for the Rocky Mountaineer Station behind Home Depot.

The VIA Station was renovated in the 1990s (or 80s?) when the bus depot moved over there and the white truss canopy that's there was installed at that time.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 9:02 PM
Metro-One's Avatar
Metro-One Metro-One is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Japan
Posts: 10,931
Thanks. I have always thought that the skytrain and Pacific Central should have more of a direct link, possibly a sky bridge or an underground passage way? I have always found it strange you have to walk through that sketchy park. At least a partial walkway that takes you over main street would be nice (does the station renovations have any elements of this?)

How much design is left for the evergreen line (have the layout of the stations been drawn yet?)
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 9:18 PM
jlousa's Avatar
jlousa jlousa is offline
Ferris Wheel Hater
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 7,833
There is a walkway over Main St always has been.
You can't connect the two with a skybridge as you would need to have it low enough to pass under the tracks and connect to a mezzanie level but high enough for buses to pass under on Station St. The best we can hope for would be a covered walkway.
Besides that park isn't sketchy, it's acutally quite nice the only time I can remember it being sketchy was during that summer of tent cities.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 9:28 PM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East OV!
Posts: 6,325
Quote:
Originally Posted by tintinium View Post
One can hope. The CBSA demands are silly. Another train will benefit Canadians going to Seattle more than Seattlites going to Vancouver. Probably the Olympics is what pushed Amtrak to want to do this route. It would be a shame if it didn't go through until after the Olympics. I would love to see a success story made of that train. This is one of the proposed high-speed corridors, and a great opportunity for Canada and the US to work together.
CBSA has been having union disputes with the government lately, so the cynical side of me says this may be posturing. However the other side of me says hey these people are supposed to have our safety as their #1 priority. On a related note the Feds also mentioned funding to beef up the Pacific Crossing facilities.

What am I missing with this Amtrak plan? I've been on the Seattle train today and it's both expensive and mostly empty, where's the demand for a second line?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Jan 28, 2009, 9:54 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
loafing in lotusland
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lotusland
Posts: 5,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenC12 View Post
CBSA has been having union disputes with the government lately, so the cynical side of me says this may be posturing. However the other side of me says hey these people are supposed to have our safety as their #1 priority. On a related note the Feds also mentioned funding to beef up the Pacific Crossing facilities.

What am I missing with this Amtrak plan? I've been on the Seattle train today and it's both expensive and mostly empty, where's the demand for a second line?
Mid-week. January. Targeted at Seattle Day trips...

The second train is mostly for counter travel. No one travels on the train now because it's slower than the bus or driving. It's slower than the bus or driving because

What Amtrak needs is integrated border services in Vancouver station, so it doesn't need to make a stop at the border.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 7:11 AM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East OV!
Posts: 6,325
Quote:
Originally Posted by tintinium View Post
Mid-week. January. Targeted at Seattle Day trips...

The second train is mostly for counter travel. No one travels on the train now because it's slower than the bus or driving. It's slower than the bus or driving because

What Amtrak needs is integrated border services in Vancouver station, so it doesn't need to make a stop at the border.
I've taken the bus, the train, and driven to Seattle. The train is still the best. The border is short, roughly like having a Nexus pass. In my experience:

Train: 2.5h
Car: 3h (and I have Nexus).
Bus: 4.5h

So... you're not really right there. But Amtrak is like $80 one way per person, so hardly worth it.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 8:46 AM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
loafing in lotusland
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lotusland
Posts: 5,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenC12 View Post
I've taken the bus, the train, and driven to Seattle. The train is still the best. The border is short, roughly like having a Nexus pass. In my experience:

Train: 2.5h
Car: 3h (and I have Nexus).
Bus: 4.5h

So... you're not really right there. But Amtrak is like $80 one way per person, so hardly worth it.
According to Amtrak.com:
Train VAC-SEA: 4:20 (3:55 return... I believe that's because on the way back, you go through the Border in Pacific Central (I think))

Bus:
3:20 - 4:40 (It varies, depending on time of day)

Google by Car:
2:30 (up to 3:00 in traffic)

I'd add 30 minute contingency, depending on the border, and that pretty much jives with what I've experienced.

I've taken the train from Bellingham, but not from Vancouver.

Also, tickets can be had for $30 (US). one-way/pp.

I checked for tomorrow... and it's $35. Of course, most of the cheap seats are gone in the summer.

Anyway, at $35, it's not a bad deal for a single driver... as it would probably cost an average car $20-$25 each way. It's just that it's slow.

From Bellingham, it's only 2:25. What on earth takes that train 2 HOURS to get to Bellingham???!!!!

The only things I can think of:
  1. The circuitous route in Vancouver
  2. The antiquated train Bridge across the Fraser
  3. White Rock
  4. The Border

Most of these are problems north of the border. If they reduced the time to get to Bellingham to 45 minutes, the train would be a viable alternative to driving or the bus.

These improvements won't happen until more people take the train. More people won't take the train until it is convenient (at LEAST two trains per day)

There are quite a few people who go to Seattle from Vancouver regularly, including tourists. Most of them go by bus. If they want to go overnight, or for the day to go see a baseball game. It would be nice if they could take the train in the morning, stay night and take the evening train the next day.

It's a shame, really, that this doesn't exist now.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #10  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 4:43 PM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East OV!
Posts: 6,325
Wow, things have changed. Maybe the bus makes less stops. I can't explain the time of the train, since when I caught it last there were maybe 3-4 stops including the border, all 5 mins each, and otherwise the speed was great. Under 3 hours easily.

Of course the only reason I took it was the sale for $3.50 each way, per person. No joke! Anyway, at $39US each it's still a hard sell. I drive to Seattle with my girlfriend in our Yaris and it's $50Cdn for gas (at Canadian prices). Tough to justify.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 5:27 PM
DKaz DKaz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West Kelowna, BC
Posts: 3,175
$50 in gas to Seattle in a Yaris? Do you have a lead foot? I went from Vancouver to Portland and back on $50 in gas in my Corolla, and that's was when gas was in May when gas prices were inching towards the all time high.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 5:43 PM
Mininari Mininari is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Victoria (formerly Port Moody, then Winnipeg)
Posts: 2,296
Curious... how did discussion of the train to Seattle end up in the Evergreen Line Rapid Transit section? I mean, its a great topic (and a sincere JOKE how poor and slow the train service to seattle is), but I think maybe it deserves its own thread?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #13  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 6:00 PM
DKaz DKaz is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West Kelowna, BC
Posts: 3,175
I dunno, I just got caught up in this off-topicness. Perhaps we're just trying to kill time before construction of the Evergreen Line actually starts, then we'll have designs and construction progress photos to oggle over.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 6:42 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
loafing in lotusland
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lotusland
Posts: 5,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenC12 View Post
Wow, things have changed. Maybe the bus makes less stops. I can't explain the time of the train, since when I caught it last there were maybe 3-4 stops including the border, all 5 mins each, and otherwise the speed was great. Under 3 hours easily.

Of course the only reason I took it was the sale for $3.50 each way, per person. No joke! Anyway, at $39US each it's still a hard sell. I drive to Seattle with my girlfriend in our Yaris and it's $50Cdn for gas (at Canadian prices). Tough to justify.
In all fairness, though... unless you're driving a hybrid or a diesel, you can't get much better fuel economy than a Yaris. I assume you mean $50 return.

I'd add another $10. Add another $10 for parking. You have more freedom with a car, mind you. You're now getting close to the price of a return train ticket. However, that's only if you're solo.

You're right about the stops, though. There are only 4 stops before Seattle. Bellingham, Mt. Vernon, Everett, Edmonds. They could even advertise day trips into Bellingham for shopping.

You know what's funny... Bellingham's ferries go to Victoria in the Summer. They're passenger-only ferries and they depart from the ferry Terminal which is right beside the Amtrak station. It's a 3-hour ride, costing $49. They go directly to downtown Victoria. The train is $14 to Bellingham.

While the ferry price is a little high and obviously geared toward tourists, you could technically leave Vancouver, cross over the border to Bellingham and assuming you arrive before 9:00am in Bellingham, hop on the Ferry to Victoria for a 3-hour tour... $64 and 5 hours later, you'd be in Victoria.

Kind of funny. But this route isn't much longer than the public transit route:

From Vancouver by public transit:
~75min. by bus to Tsawassen (2 buses)
1:45 on the Ferry
75min to Downtown Victoria.

So...
By Amtrak/ferry $64 and 5:00+

By public transit $20 and 4:15 .

By Coach, $40 and 2:30.

By Heli-jet, $75 and 0:30.

If they reduced train travel between Vancouver to Bellingham to 1 hour it would actually be competetive (time-wise) to go through Bellingham!!! it SHOULD be possible to reduce the travel time, there is only ONE stop (though I'd like to to see NO stops and border control to be in Pacific Central).

It really only needs track upgrades.

Of course, all this begs the question... If Pacific Coach lines can survive on a $40/trip by bus, and Bellingham can charge $50 for a 3-hour trip, what's stopping a ferry from downtown to downtown (even if it was seasonal) from doing the same?

$30/trip geared toward tourists at first. I can't think of what travel time would be... but it couldn't be more than 3 hours.

I know it's been tried before... but I can't find the details. Anyone remember?

edit: Yea, this should be in its own thread, perhaps... but there's not a lot of information on it, anyhow. Here's a long term plan for Amtrak Cascades. Hmm... this thread went off-track on post #1023, when the budget allocated money for a Evergreen and possible Pacific Central upgrades.

Last edited by twoNeurons; Jan 29, 2009 at 6:53 PM.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 7:15 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
loafing in lotusland
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lotusland
Posts: 5,618
Heavy Rail, Commuter Rail, & Intercity Transportation (Planes, Trains, & Automobiles)

Okay, after some thought, I decided to create a new thread.

This thread will be centered around:

Commuter Rail:
  • West-Coast Express Expansions
  • New "Fraser Valley Express" (Commuter Rail to Surrey, Langley and Beyond)
  • Commuter Rail to Squamish or Whistler

Heavy Rail (Regular and High-speed):
  • BC Rail
  • Via Rail
  • Rocky Mountaineer
  • Amtrak to Seattle
  • Snow Trains (Winter service to Whistler)

Short distance planes/helicopter:
  • Heli-jet to Victoria
  • Short hops to other cities/areas

Cars & Buses:
  • Highway Improvements/Changes that enhance transportation between cities.
  • New Intercity Bus Services, or changes/enhancements to existing services. Vancouver to Victoria, Chilliwack/Abbotsford to Metro Vancouver, Vancouver - Seattle

And of course Intercity Water transport:
  • Vancouver - Squamish
  • Vancouver - Victoria/Nanaimo
  • Vancouver - Prince Rupert

I'll start with a link to WSDOT's long-term plan for Amtrak Cascades.

The plan, on page 15 says the goal is 2:37 between Vancouver - Seattle by 2023. It goes on to say what is needed to meet that goal.

I'll add some more ideas that I have when I get some time.

Where do you think Vancouver could use the MOST improvement in intercity travel?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #16  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 8:23 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
loafing in lotusland
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lotusland
Posts: 5,618
Okay: More info I gathered from the WSDOT's Long-term plan:
Page 46:

Currently (2006) from Bellingham:

To Seattle: 2:25 ( ~170km of rail )
To Vancouver: 1:48 (~100km of rail)

Mid-point Goal:
To Seattle: 1:59 (26 minute improvement)
To Vancouver: 1:39 (46 minute improvement)

2023 Goal:
To Seattle: 1:44 ( 41 min. improvement total)
To Vancouver: 0:50 ( 58 min. improvement total)

Average Speeds:
BEL - VAC:
Now: 56km/h
Mid: 60km/h
2023: 120km/h

BEL-SEA
Now: 70km/h
Mid: 85km/h
2023: ~100km/h (this includes station stops)


These speeds are average, and obviously VAC - BEL will be faster as there is only the border.

The planned maximum speed is ~175km/h (110mph)

Currently, trains are legally limited to ~127km/h (79mph)

Without building dedicated tracks, that's probably the best we'll do, but as you can see, most of the upgrading would appear to be on the North side of the border.

The biggest improvements coming after building a White Rock By-pass and Colesbrook - Brownsville High-speed track(Surrey) [p. 105], which, combined with Improvement south of the border in Mt. Vernon, Bellingham, Blaine and Everett, will shave 50 minutes off the trip length.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #17  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 9:06 PM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East OV!
Posts: 6,325
Quote:
Originally Posted by DKaz View Post
$50 in gas to Seattle in a Yaris? Do you have a lead foot? I went from Vancouver to Portland and back on $50 in gas in my Corolla, and that's was when gas was in May when gas prices were inching towards the all time high.
Return trip to Portland is 1000 kms from Vancouver. At $1.50/liter you are getting 3.3L/100kms fuel economy. Since a Corolla is rated at 5.3 on the highway, that's highly unlikely.

Anyway, my point was that Amtrak is too expensive right now, and hence not popular.

Which goes back to my original question, where's the demand for a second line? Their 2023 plan is ambitious, but if the service gets better I only see the price escalating accordingly, and still not being worthwhile.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 11:26 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
loafing in lotusland
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Lotusland
Posts: 5,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarrenC12 View Post
Return trip to Portland is 1000 kms from Vancouver. At $1.50/liter you are getting 3.3L/100kms fuel economy. Since a Corolla is rated at 5.3 on the highway, that's highly unlikely.
NO kidding, even if the corolla is a very efficient car, I doubt it can travel much more than 600km on a tank. $50 each way is more like it... unless he's talking about the round-trip between Vancouver, WA and Portland... and in that case, it's HORRIBLE fuel economy.
Quote:
Anyway, my point was that Amtrak is too expensive right now, and hence not popular.

Which goes back to my original question, where's the demand for a second line? Their 2023 plan is ambitious, but if the service gets better I only see the price escalating accordingly, and still not being worthwhile.
I don't think it's just a matter of price. It's a mix of convenience, price and travel time.

For a single passenger, it's on par with the car for price, once you factor in parking and other costs. I won't include the cost/km for a car, but it is a factor, even if people don't think about it.

It's a whole lot cheaper to take the ferry to Vancouver Island. ~$30 round-trip including buses on each side, instead of $112, but in proportion, there are a LOT more cars on the Ferry. Granted, not everyone is going to downtown Victoria, but still, not that many wanna take buses on each side.

Why? It's inconvenient and slow.

Amtrak is not convenient for Vancouver residents and it's slow.

If it could address those problems and bring travel time to within 3 hours (competetive with the car) people would pay higher prices to ride it.

It's not about demand for second train. It's about creating a minimum service level so that demand can be created. How can you market a train route that doesn't exist? For all intents and purposes, the train to Seattle doesn't exist. The times are VERY inconvenient. You leave at 6PM and arrive at 10PM. The return train comes back the next morning. If you want to do short trip to Seattle, you either have to stay two full nights or you go for an evening.

People are willing to pay for something if it's convenient. That's why the Heli-jet is so popular between Vancouver and Victoria, despite it being more expensive.

PS. Can a mod move these to the Heavy Rail thread that was created?
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 5:35 AM
deasine deasine is offline
Vancouver Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,672
Is it just me... or is it that this is a new project TransLink just listed on their website...

Quote:
The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor (RBRC) is an important 70-kilometre stretch connecting Canada’s largest container facility and a major coal terminal at Roberts Bank with the North American rail network. It carries increasing volumes of international freight through the communities of Delta, Surrey, Langley City and Langley Township.

About 388,000 vehicles cross the tracks per day, and this number is estimated to increase to 560,000 vehicles per day by 2021. With future increases in both train traffic and vehicle traffic, the existing at-grade rail crossings present a major challenge for the surrounding communities.

The Roberts Bank Rail Corridor Program

Following completion of the 2007 Roberts Bank Rail Corridor: Road/Rail Interface Study, nine grade separations in Delta, Surrey, and the City and Township of Langley have been identified for implementation by 2014.

The new road/rail grade separations for the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor will:

enhance the efficiency and safety of rail operations
accommodate the anticipated growth in trade-related traffic
improve the flow of local traffic
improve traffic safety and provide for better access by emergency vehicles during train events
reduce idling of vehicles at level crossings, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions



The Partners

Together, the Roberts Bank Rail Corridor partners have succeeded in aligning the local interest in quality of life with the national interest in trade competitiveness, in increasingly-challenging economic times.

The unprecedented close collaboration among stakeholders has resulted in an overall package of road and rail improvements totaling approximately $360 million, cost-shared among the various partners.

The partners in this Program will contribute a total of $307 million for the construction of nine road-rail grade separations. Additionally, the railways will invest roughly $60 million in rail infrastructure to increase capacity along the corridor to meet the needs of shippers and improve supply chain efficiencies.
Source: TransLink
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Feb 4, 2009, 5:39 AM
Metro-One's Avatar
Metro-One Metro-One is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Japan
Posts: 10,931
I think this was talked about a long while ago somewhere on this forum, maybe when the study was commissioned. That or i heard about this project in the news. I think it is a good idea. There are way to many at grade rail crossing in Metro-Vancouver. One of the worst is in Pitt Meadows where Harris road (the main road in Pitt Meadows) crosses the CPR right beside a WCE station.
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > Vancouver > Transportation & Infrastructure
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 12:30 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.