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  #41  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2009, 8:23 PM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I would think they would make Venables St. a priority for a vehicle and pedestrian underpass/overpass. It really is one of the best routes to leave downtown, the Georgia Viaduct ends on Prior which becomes Venables.
That's the next one - they call it the Prior/Malkin overpass.

I'm not sure of the routing, but from the name, it sounds like the overpass would be built to the south of Prior/Venables off of Malkin Ave. so the structure and isn't close to the residential areas on Prior.

Quote:
Powell Street overpass proposed to increase rail capacity

By Gerry Bellett, Vancouver SunFebruary 12, 2009

A traffic overpass on Powell Street is being proposed by the City of Vancouver’s engineering services to enable another east-west rail line to be constructed along the city’s waterfront, increasing rail capacity in the area.

The overpass could cost as much as $30 million to build if a cost-sharing agreement can be reached between the city and Transport Canada, said a report from staff, which will be dealt with by city council on Tuesday.

It would be built near Raymur Avenue, where the Burrard Inlet rail line crosses Powell, just east of where Powell merges with Cordova Street.

The report says the overpass could be funded through the Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative, although to be eligible it would have to be built by 2014.

According to the report, Transport Canada was in the process of completing its wide-ranging South Shore Trade Area Study to assess future road and rail systems, proposed terminals and land developments, and identify bottlenecks in transportation systems and the infrastructure needed to enhance rail and terminal operations.

One of its major recommendations would be to to build the Powell Street Rail Grade Separation, said the report.

“At this time Transport Canada is seeking support in principle to proceed with the grade separation on Powell Street,” it said.

If council agreed in principle then negotiations between the parties regarding funding could commence.

“Should an acceptable funding agreement be reached, staff will commence additional consultation with community, business and other interests,” it said.

The Powell Street overpass is also a component of the city’s proposed False Creek Flats rail corridor strategy, which is designed to improve the connection between the 95-acre False Creek Flats rail area and the waterfront two kilometres to the north.

This plan calls for the Powell Street overpass and a second traffic overpass at Malkin Avenue at an estimated cost of between $40 million and $60 million.

For bike routes, the plan proposes an overpass or underpass at Union Street and Venables Street and also one at the Central Valley Greenway.

This plan also calls for the closing of a number of industrial streets at the north end of the corridor.

gbellett@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
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  #42  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2009, 10:34 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Can't imagine why the community would be against grade separating rails.
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  #43  
Old Posted Feb 13, 2009, 11:22 PM
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An underpass might make more sense at Venables.
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  #44  
Old Posted Feb 14, 2009, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tintinium View Post
Can't imagine why the community would be against grade separating rails.
Because an overpass is an ugly concrete structure - like a bridge ramp, viaduct or freeway.

I suspect that the purple indicates the extent of the elevated roadway for the Powell Street overpass. I don't think it would be a steep up and down overpass - I think it would be more gradual - plus the height to allow trains to pass below may have to accommodate double-stacked containerized cargo. (But the plan does show it going awfully far to the east, not sure why - but it'll take out the Chevron Station there.)

Pic from City Report linked by JLousa:


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  #45  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 12:14 AM
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There's a bit of a rise to the west on Powell and Cordova.

What I'm wondering is:

1) Would full grade-separation from the flats to the inlet allow for the railyard behind Waterfront to be replaced with one on the flats?
2) This line is right at sea level, but could they depress it a few meters in a trench anyway to reduce the height of overpasses?
3) Would this be compatible with regional or commuter rail on the Central Valley line (i.e. would there be enough distance/separation between these freight tracks and future passenger tracks to allow them to operate at the same time)?
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  #46  
Old Posted Feb 15, 2009, 2:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tintinium View Post
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.
WSDOT has made a great long range plan. Too bad they can't find the cash to accelerate it. The plan overall is not that expensive, and saving 50 minutes will make this train more competitive sooner.
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  #47  
Old Posted Feb 17, 2009, 7:33 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Originally Posted by electricron View Post
WSDOT has made a great long range plan. Too bad they can't find the cash to accelerate it. The plan overall is not that expensive, and saving 50 minutes will make this train more competitive sooner.
Not to mention making White Rock Residents happy by not having a train on their waterfront.
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  #48  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2009, 5:48 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Amtrak said Cascades’ traffic set record in ’08

Quote:
Amtrak said Cascades’ traffic set record in ’08

Portland Business Journal

More people rode the Amtrak Cascades train service last year than any other year in the Cascade’s 10-year history, Amtrak officials said.

Last year, 774,421 people were carried by the train, up 14.4 percent from 2007, which was the service’s second most popular year.

Amtrak officials attributed part of the increase to sky-high gasoline prices in summer 2008. The train travels 310 miles between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eugene, with a one-way trip between those two cities taking around 12 hours, according to an Amtrak schedule. Seattle is the most heavily used station along the route, Amtrak said, with Portland, the second most popular.

According to Amtrak, the Cascades route is the seventh most heavily traveled corridor in the country.
I wonder how much this would grow if there was a second train.
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  #49  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 6:12 AM
deasine deasine is offline
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Quote:
Cascadia high-speed rail: It's time
by Brad Perkins, guest opinion, The Oregonian
Thursday February 26, 2009, 12:00 PM



It's time to take steps to implement Cascadia high-speed rail between Eugene and Vancouver, B.C. High-speed rail would be faster and more comfortable than automobile or short-distance air travel. This new electrically powered, double-track rail line would move people and freight at least 110 miles per hour and avoid all grade and river traffic interruptions.

The extra benefit to high-speed rail in Portland is the addition of a new east-bank high-tech passenger rail station on Paul Allen's and the city's property along the Willamette River across from Memorial Coliseum. The new Rose Garden Transit/Tourism Station's main pedestrian entrance would be central to the MAX light-rail center, planned bicycle paths and future streetcar stops. This new activity hub would spur economic growth to help justify financing a new outdoor entertainment center, a Veterans Memorial Baseball Stadium, hotels and restaurants.

Vancouver, Wash., citizens would greatly benefit because the new multi-track high-speed rail could act as a commuter alternative as well. From a new park-and-ride stop from Vancouver's Northwest 39th near the I-5 exit to the new Rose Garden Transit Station by high-speed rail would take seven minutes. From Portland to Eugene, it would take 75 minutes.

Federal investment in high-speed rail would benefit both freight operation and passenger service. Freight rail companies see the advantages in cooperation. The new interstate rail freeway for freight and passengers would have double tracks, concrete tie base and new high-grade steel rails. Existing rail right of way would be used where practical. Tunnels, elevated tracks, bridges and earth cuts would avoid unreasonable curves, elevations, roads and waterways.

On a national level, American citizens think that developing high-speed rail corridors would create thousands of jobs, reduce road congestion and pollution, and improve freight capacity, business productivity and energy conservation. In the Nov. 30, 2008, issue of Parade magazine, people were asked if they preferred cash rebates to repairing our nation's infrastructure. Sixty-seven percent of Americans preferred focusing on infrastructure improvements that develop faster and better trains.

The $787 billion economic recovery bill signed by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17 dedicates $8 billion to high-speed rail. Obama wants to make high-speed rail a signature achievement of his presidency. He said, "The time is right for us to start thinking about high-speed rail as an alternative to air transportation connecting all these cities. Think about what a great project that would be in terms of rebuilding America."

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is working with the White House to jump-start high-speed rail nationally. The Eugene to Vancouver, B.C., corridor is one of 11 corridors designated for possible high-speed rail development. There is much to be done regionally before LaHood assigns priority funding for the engineering and development of the Cascadia high-speed rail line.

Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden have been most helpful in emphasizing the need for the Cascadia line. State Rep. Chip Shields and I have worked together on a bill to be introduced in the Oregon House to form a High-Speed Railway Task Force. It would coordinate with high-speed rail efforts in Washington and British Columbia to determine potential corridor route, economic impact, investment opportunities, freight and passenger capacity, etc.

Let the Northwest lead America toward a greener 21st century.
Source: Brad Perkins, Oregon Live
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  #50  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 6:40 AM
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Interesting, I wonder how much it would cost? It would definitely facilitate business between Portland/Seattle/Vancouver much more than current.
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  #51  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 2:05 PM
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I use the west coast express often and now there are often 9 coaches and they extend further than the platform. The trains are pack and there is usually standing room only from waterfront to poco. Surely that means the service is a great success. Two new Trainbus (coach buses that run on the west coast route when the train is not running) runs just started this year.
I wonder why there are no plans for a fraser valley commuter train yet since it would make a lot of sense and take pressure off the expo line. Each train could carry thousands of people, like the WCE
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  #52  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 5:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spork View Post
Interesting, I wonder how much it would cost? It would definitely facilitate business between Portland/Seattle/Vancouver much more than current.
Sounds like a lot of red tape though, they wouldn't want to put in the US side without assurance that the Canadian side was being funded and built. Here's hoping...
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  #53  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 5:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
Cascadia high-speed rail: It's time
by Brad Perkins, guest opinion, The Oregonian
Thursday February 26, 2009, 12:00 PM
It's time to take steps to implement Cascadia high-speed rail between Eugene and Vancouver, B.C. High-speed rail would be faster and more comfortable than automobile or short-distance air travel. This new electrically powered, double-track rail line would move people and freight at least 110 miles per hour and avoid all grade and river traffic interruptions.
The extra benefit to high-speed rail in Portland is the addition of a new east-bank high-tech passenger rail station on Paul Allen's and the city's property along the Willamette River across from Memorial Coliseum. The new Rose Garden Transit/Tourism Station's main pedestrian entrance would be central to the MAX light-rail center, planned bicycle paths and future streetcar stops. This new activity hub would spur economic growth to help justify financing a new outdoor entertainment center, a Veterans Memorial Baseball Stadium, hotels and restaurants.
Vancouver, Wash., citizens would greatly benefit because the new multi-track high-speed rail could act as a commuter alternative as well. From a new park-and-ride stop from Vancouver's Northwest 39th near the I-5 exit to the new Rose Garden Transit Station by high-speed rail would take seven minutes. From Portland to Eugene, it would take 75 minutes.
Federal investment in high-speed rail would benefit both freight operation and passenger service. Freight rail companies see the advantages in cooperation. The new interstate rail freeway for freight and passengers would have double tracks, concrete tie base and new high-grade steel rails. Existing rail right of way would be used where practical. Tunnels, elevated tracks, bridges and earth cuts would avoid unreasonable curves, elevations, roads and waterways.
On a national level, American citizens think that developing high-speed rail corridors would create thousands of jobs, reduce road congestion and pollution, and improve freight capacity, business productivity and energy conservation. In the Nov. 30, 2008, issue of Parade magazine, people were asked if they preferred cash rebates to repairing our nation's infrastructure. Sixty-seven percent of Americans preferred focusing on infrastructure improvements that develop faster and better trains.
The $787 billion economic recovery bill signed by President Barack Obama on Feb. 17 dedicates $8 billion to high-speed rail. Obama wants to make high-speed rail a signature achievement of his presidency. He said, "The time is right for us to start thinking about high-speed rail as an alternative to air transportation connecting all these cities. Think about what a great project that would be in terms of rebuilding America."
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is working with the White House to jump-start high-speed rail nationally. The Eugene to Vancouver, B.C., corridor is one of 11 corridors designated for possible high-speed rail development. There is much to be done regionally before LaHood assigns priority funding for the engineering and development of the Cascadia high-speed rail line.
Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden have been most helpful in emphasizing the need for the Cascadia line. State Rep. Chip Shields and I have worked together on a bill to be introduced in the Oregon House to form a High-Speed Railway Task Force. It would coordinate with high-speed rail efforts in Washington and British Columbia to determine potential corridor route, economic impact, investment opportunities, freight and passenger capacity, etc.
Let the Northwest lead America toward a greener 21st century.
Source: Brad Perkins, Oregon Live
This new electrically powered, double-track rail line would move people and freight at least 110 miles per hour and avoid all grade and river traffic interruptions.
The existing Cascades trains are capable of 110 mph if the tracks and signals support it. While Oregon lawmakers/politicians would like new trains on new ROW, what's so wrong with the existing ROW that can be fixed cheaper.
WSDOT already has a long range to increase speeds of the Cascades trains that will only cost $6.5 Billion in 2006 dollars by 2023. I'm sure with Obama in the White House that this schedule could be quicken considerably.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres...akCascades.pdf

Destination...............1994..2003..2023
Portland to Seattle.....3:55..3:30..2:30
Seattle to Vancouver...N/A..3:55..2:37
Vancouver to Portland..N/A..N/A..5:22

It's 187 rail miles between Seattle and Portland. In 1994, the trains averaged 47.7 mph. In 2003, 53.4 mph. In 2023, 74.8 mph. WSDOT plan consists of eliminating most slow order sections of tracks.

Improvements identified by WSDOT and cooperating agencies and organizations include:
* Upgrading grade crossings to ensure safe passage of trains, vehicles and pedestrians;
* Increasing speeds to improve corridor capacity and travel times;
* Enhancing train control signals to improve corridor capacity, increase train speeds, and enhance safety;
* Purchasing new passenger train equipment to operate along the corridor to increase frequencies and decrease travel time;
* Improving stations and their ability to serve neighboring communities and to provide connections to other modes of travel; and
* Upgrading tracks and facilities to relieve congestion, improve ride quality and safety, increase train speeds, and improve corridor capacity. In addition to these improvements, WSDOT intends to continue to actively market the program to the public, and work closely with Amtrak to ensure that day-to-day operations meet customer expectations.

It is important to note that no long-term financial commitments have yet been made by any of the various funding entities that are described in this plan. However, this long-range plan assumes that the major capital construction projects that are needed to support expanded Amtrak Cascades service in the Pacific Northwest will be funded in the following manner:
* Projects necessary to provide faster, more frequent Amtrak Cascades service between downtown Portland, OR and the Columbia River will be funded by the State of Oregon, with potential funding coming from the federal government and Amtrak.
* Projects necessary to increase the level of Sounder commuter rail service in the central Puget Sound region will be funded by Sound Transit and the federal government.
* Projects necessary to provide faster, more frequent Amtrak Cascades service between the Columbia River and the Canadian border will be funded by the State of Washington, with potential funding coming from the federal government and Amtrak.
* Projects necessary to improve Amtrak Cascades service in British Columbia will be funded by the province of British Columbia, the Canadian federal government, and regional transportation agencies.
* Train sets and locomotives will be funded by the States of Oregon and Washington, with additional funds provided by Amtrak and the federal government.
* The Seattle Maintenance Facility will be funded by Amtrak, the federal government, the State of Washington, and Sound Transit.
* Station improvements will be funded jointly by local jurisdictions, regional, state and provincial governments, and the federal governments of the U.S. and Canada.
* The new rail bridge across the Columbia River will be funded by the railroads, the States of Washington and Oregon, and the federal government.
* Projects that provide a direct benefit to the BNSF Railway Company will be funded by the railroad.

Revised Cost Comparison Associated with High-Speed Ground Transportation
Technology Type of Corridor Estimated Cost*
Tilt and Conventional Trains (90 to 110 mph)Existing Rail Right-of-Way $1 to $5 million/mile
Tilt and Conventional Trains (up to 125 mph) Existing Rail Right-of-Way $3 to $7.5 million/mile
Tilt and Conventional Trains New Corridor $10 to $45 million/mile
Maglev New Corridor $20 to $50 million/mile
*In 1997 dollars (Note Pacific NW construction costs are significantly higher than the National average)

74.8 mph average speeds is as good as Amtrak's Acela trains running on the NE Corridor. Between Boston and New York City, where Acela reaches its highest speeds of 150 mph, it averages only 62.85 mph.
Assumptions: Boston to New York City is 220 rail miles. Amtrak's schedule reads 3 hours and 30 minutes.

I believe WSDOT has a good plan worth implementing at significantly lower costs.
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  #54  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 5:53 PM
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W00t! Let's make this happen!
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  #55  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 6:19 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Yeah, I don't know why they're fixated on electrifying the line. Given that there is no clear straight corridor, we'd do better to upgrade the existing line to fully utilize the talgo tilting trains that we have now.

By the time those trains are ready for retirement, I'm sure there will be faster versions that can run on the existing tracks.

I wonder how the Pendolinos would fare? I think they tilt even more than the talgos.
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  #56  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 7:57 PM
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Thinking about how to either upgrade or where to build new infrastructure on our side of the border.

Traveling via White Rock seems out of the question, although picturesque, for a high-speed train. And also the existing stretch skirting North Delta is too curvey. I would think new infrastructure south of the Fraser would likely be needed. Such as either following 176th north, or elevated in the median of Hwy 99 and then north via the Serpentine valley. It could then use existing rights of way on the south bank of the fraser towards Port Mann - if the bridge could accommodate heavy rail (which it doesn't sound like) that would be perfect, otherwise a new rail bridge along with a new Patullo would be an option. Then the question would be to upgrade rail in the Central Valley, or Riverview area. If Riverview, then the likely terminus would be Waterfront as opposed to Pacific Central.

Personally, I think Pacific Central - although a beautiful building, should be abandoned and all transportation services, bus and Via included, should be incorporated into the redesigned Waterfront Hub.
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  #57  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 9:23 PM
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Or if one really wants to get serious about a high-speed rail corridor between the border and Pacific Central Station, akin to dedicated high-speed European inter-city rail:

From the border follow the Hwy 99 corridor:

1. Requires ~6(?) km tunnel between roughly 8th Ave and 32nd Ave;
2. Bridge over Fraser River, south arm;
3. Northward follow Hwy 99 corridor to Westminster Hwy interchange and diverge slightly eastward toward the Knight St. corridor;
4. Bridge over Fraser River, north arm;
5. Requires tunnel ~7(?) km tunnel along Knight/Clarke corridor between SE Marine Drive to False Creek flats;

CP Rail completed the ~15 km Mt. MacDonald Tunnel through the Rockies in the late 1980's. It can be done.

I know, it's just a pipe-dream, but that's really the way to go about it and how the Europeans would likely go about it.
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  #58  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 9:50 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chikinlittle View Post
Thinking about how to either upgrade or where to build new infrastructure on our side of the border.

Traveling via White Rock seems out of the question, although picturesque, for a high-speed train.
Going via White isn't totally out of the question. It's just a matter of going under White rock. Of course, there's no way White Rock would EVER allow HSR on its waterfront in its current form, because it would require fencing on either side of the tracks, cutting the city off from its waterfront.

Quote:
And also the existing stretch skirting North Delta is too curvey. I would think new infrastructure south of the Fraser would likely be needed. Such as either following 176th north, or elevated in the median of Hwy 99 and then north via the Serpentine valley. It could then use existing rights of way on the south bank of the fraser towards Port Mann - if the bridge could accommodate heavy rail (which it doesn't sound like) that would be perfect, otherwise a new rail bridge along with a new Patullo would be an option. Then the question would be to upgrade rail in the Central Valley, or Riverview area. If Riverview, then the likely terminus would be Waterfront as opposed to Pacific Central.
Yep, parallel to the #99 before it joins up with the Colebrook mainline would be the cheaper way to go. Yes, it's slow through North Delta, but the other route would be very expensive.

The #99 part of the line would be a 13km of new rail, but it would improve the connection significantly.

One thing about running in the median of the #99 is that you may have to retain some of existing emergency turn-arounds, meaning it would have to be elevated in some places, adding to the cost.

It also may limit the ability for the #99 to expand in the future. This may or may not be a disadvantage if you can encourage more efficient HSR for "people-movement"

The advantages of this route, however, are
  • It's not really near any people
  • It's safer, shorter and more efficient that going through White Rock.
  • White Rock's tracks can continue to be used for slower moving freight traffic, or re-purposed for transit (white-rock / Crescent Beach Shuttle?) or used for both freight and transit.
  • Car-people waiting in line at the border will see the train passing them.


Quote:
Personally, I think Pacific Central - although a beautiful building, should be abandoned and all transportation services, bus and Via included, should be incorporated into the redesigned Waterfront Hub.
We've had this discussion before. There are advantages to having two hubs in the city.
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  #59  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 9:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Stingray2004 View Post
Or if one really wants to get serious about a high-speed rail corridor between the border and Pacific Central Station, akin to dedicated high-speed European inter-city rail:
Hopefully a new rail bridge will be incorporated into the new Patullo Bridge.
The Grandview Cut can accommodate a second track (SkyTrain was built to allow enough clearance).
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  #60  
Old Posted Feb 27, 2009, 9:54 PM
twoNeurons twoNeurons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingray2004 View Post
1. Requires ~6(?) km tunnel between roughly 8th Ave and 32nd Ave;
Running in the median of #99 and crossing the SouthBound #99 on an elevated structure South of 8th Ave to join current tracks near the border would probably be a better solution.
Quote:
CP Rail completed the ~15 km Mt. MacDonald Tunnel through the Rockies in the late 1980's. It can be done.

I know, it's just a pipe-dream, but that's really the way to go about it and how the Europeans would likely go about it.
Baby-steps. Get the major difficulties out of the way (White-Rock) and build ridership before trying to get support for full-blown HSR.

Current trains can run at 110mph. Shorten the total travel time to Seattle by 90 minutes and those trains would be packed.
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