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  #81  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 7:10 AM
Kodii Kodii is offline
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Light rail fans to hit the highway

By Jeff Nagel - Abbotsford News

Published: April 06, 2009 5:00 PM
Updated: April 06, 2009 5:21 PM

Advocates of a light rail line to the Fraser Valley are planning a mass protest against the province’s pricey plan to build a new 10-lane Port Mann Bridge.

The “day of action” is set for Saturday, April 11 and organizers with the group Rail For The Valley intend to place banner-waving demonstrators on overpasses overlooking Highway 1 from West Vancouver to Chilliwack.

“We think the Port Mann Bridge project is a lot of money being spent on a bridge that’s not going to do anything for the light rail needs of the Fraser Valley,” said Rail For The Valley spokesman John Buker.

“People are asking for an alternative to driving their cars and we haven’t seen anything from the government.”

The cost of the combined Port Mann replacement and Highway 1 corridor widening has escalated from a previous $1.7 billion to $2.46 billion. Once financing and maintenance costs over the life of the project are included, the total bill is estimated at $3.1 billion.

“You could have an extensive light rail network for a fraction of the cost all the way out to Chilliwack,” Buker said. “You could build new light rail all through Surrey and Langley.”

He said the province shouldn’t try to spend its way out of the recession by tearing down the existing Port Mann Bridge.

Buker is hoping for hundreds of protesters lining the highway between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the protest day.

“South of the Fraser will be saying no to second-class transit and the government preoccupation with road building to the exclusion of light rail.”

The group is also concerned about what it sees as the province’s bias in favour of more expensive SkyTrain technology that runs either above or below traffic.

UBC professor Patrick Condon estimates a $3-billion-plus investment could instead produce an extensive 200-kilometre network of light rail trams south of the Fraser.

Condon has generated maps showing such a network could place tram lines within a 10-minute walk of 80 per cent of the residents in Surrey, White Rock, Langley and parts of North Delta.

A deluxe light rail line running to Chilliwack could have been built for half the price of the new Canada Line, according to Rail For The Valley.

The group argues a service could be started quickly on the old Interurban rail line.

While a light rail line could eventually run over the new Port Mann Bridge, it’s not in the initial plan.

“If light rail is not on the bridge by 2013 when it opens I don’t think it will ever be added to the bridge,” Buker said, predicting the government will never take away lanes from regular traffic for transit service.

The provincial government has launched a detailed study of future transit needs in the Fraser Valley, but findings aren’t expected to be released before next month’s election.
Source: The Abbotsford News -- http://www.bclocalnews.com/fraser_va.../42559052.html
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  #82  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 7:20 AM
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ugh, these idiots again! Can we not have a group that supports rail to the valley and supports skytrain and new bridges? what is up with these one or the other idiots! Once they realize that the region needs all of these projects will i actually start paying any attention to them.

at first i was thinking - "Oh good, we need people to push for more rail in the valley." But instead we get people who become more like nimbys and will slow down such projects as skytrain, ugh, why are they so negative and short sighted! *pulling hair put*

Also their cost estimates of the light rail and deluxe light rail lines are bogus at best, they seem to forget re-locating facilities, planning, designing, the cost of buying land when needed, the OMC's, operational costs, rolling stock, etc... They make it sound like you simply slap some rails down on the road and you are done. well i guess we could do that if we want the world's shitiest and most basic tram system.

I just want a pro-LRT expansion group that does not spend all their energy pointing fingers and crying about Gateway and skytrain!
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  #83  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 7:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I just want a pro-LRT expansion group that does not spend all their energy pointing fingers and crying about Gateway and skytrain!
I agree 100%. I threw up a little when reading the article. I'm glad that there's an organization actively pushing for the interurban, but their arguments and logic are terrible. Their "protest" is going to get attention (covering all the overpasses is quite ambitious), but I would much rather they argue for the interurban and not against the new Port Mann. It's kind of ironic, really. I mean, who from the Valley doesn't want to get rid of the freeway congestion? It's gonna have to happen with or without the interurban.
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  #84  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 7:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
I am not quite sure where to post this but i was driving through Abbotsford on the #1 a few days ago and there was a huge billboard set up promoting interurban rail to the Valley. I thought that was kind of interesting. Has there been any movements at all with connecting the Valley with a commuter rail or inter urban?
Cloverdale has had one forever
also on other note of the interurban i read up they have another train coming in on April 25
its right here
http://www.fvhrs.org/photos-1304.htm

and as far as i know this group is only working in Surrey right now for the line
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  #85  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 2:41 PM
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Quote:
UBC professor Patrick Condon estimates a $3-billion-plus investment could instead produce an extensive 200-kilometre network of light rail trams south of the Fraser.
$3-billion for 200-kms of rail....HA!




As much as I support light rail in the valley, I'm not sure if the interurban is the solution. Doesn't it basically skip the population centres?
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  #86  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 4:42 PM
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Originally Posted by mr.x2 View Post
$3-billion for 200-kms of rail....HA!
Not rail, just glorified buses on steel wheels.

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Originally Posted by mr.x2 View Post
As much as I support light rail in the valley, I'm not sure if the interurban is the solution. Doesn't it basically skip the population centres?
No, it goes through Kennedy (low density but it's decent), the new Nordel-88 area businesses, industrial areas along 128 St. (hey, it has to go to where people work), Newton, Cloverdale, into the heart of Langley. It's a bit far from Kwantlen's Newton campus at 1500m but it's close to the Cloverdale and Langley campuses, and would also reach University of Fraser Valley in the Abbotsford extension. I think the Interurban makes a lot of sense South of Fraser. I mean it's just like Skytrain, you can't hit every major centre in the city.
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  #87  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 5:06 PM
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In addition to running on already existing tracks to Langley, you have to remember that past Langley, it's farms, farms farms.

$3 Billion would go a LOT further than Vancouver. There would be FAR less utility relocation needed and I wouldn't at all be surprised if you could do 200km for that price. A Commuter corridor, at the very least should be allocated. One that connects YXX, Langley's Willingdon Centre, Cloverdale, and has a few short LRT feeder lines in these areas is a good start.
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  #88  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 5:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Kodii View Post
I agree 100%. I threw up a little when reading the article. I'm glad that there's an organization actively pushing for the interurban, but their arguments and logic are terrible. Their "protest" is going to get attention (covering all the overpasses is quite ambitious), but I would much rather they argue for the interurban and not against the new Port Mann. It's kind of ironic, really. I mean, who from the Valley doesn't want to get rid of the freeway congestion? It's gonna have to happen with or without the interurban.
What kind of fantasy world are you guys living in. The billions spent on Gateway and roads means there is no funding left over for rail. TransLink is having enough trouble raising money for its current plans. How are you taxpayers to come up with even more for LRT and the interurban? As well, all that extra highway and road capacity will make driving easier and make it harder for transit to compete and attract ridership. Gateway will also further enable and encourage more sprawling development which is almost impossible to cost-effectively serve with transit. Gateway is dooming South of the Fraser to be car dependent without decent transit service.

Time to get off your wishy-washy position and take a stand you are either for Gateway and thus against real transit improvements in the near future or you are for transit and against Gateway. At least these people have the courage to take a strong stand.
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  #89  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 5:35 PM
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Originally Posted by racc View Post
Time to get off your wishy-washy position and take a stand you are either for Gateway and thus against real transit improvements in the near future or you are for transit and against Gateway. At least these people have the courage to take a strong stand.
It's harsh to say that you can't support both, even though it is obviously not economically possible to build both at the same time. It's not as if every last penny in BC is going solely into Gateway so that NOTHING can be done towards the Interurban.
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  #90  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 5:41 PM
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Quote:
Time to get off your wishy-washy position and take a stand you are either for Gateway and thus against real transit improvements in the near future or you are for transit and against Gateway. At least these people have the courage to take a strong stan
You must be colour blind, for it looks as if you only see things in Black and White!

The 200KM network they talk about would simply become an over glorified bus that would likely run along the streets (it would be more of a tram). In my opinion such systems should be funded by the cities themselves (with some help from upper governments and translink). These little at grade no ROW trams are only good for short distant travels while a system like skytrain is used for connecting major centers together (such as Metrotown to Downtown). What the Feds and Province needs to fund in the Valley is a JR style train, which means it is a double tracked electric railway that runs on its own rail bed (never on the road) and has stations in all the major town centers. Such a train could run every 15 to 30 minutes and then the cities themselves can fund little tram systems to extend from the primary stations. This is what these groups should be trying to work towards, and yes this sytem would cost a lot more money but it is a tried tested and true system and would be capable of handling future population growth. This 200km for 3B LRT/Tram system is a joke. Rail/Transportation systems need layers, they need back bones and arteries, not simply the worlds slowest non-thought out tram system.

Racc please go to Europe or Japan first before you post again and look at all of their freeway systems, mega bridges, tunnels, subways, elevated metros, heavy rail systems and high speed trains they have in place, and then you will see why their tram/LRT systems actually work (often the trams are the last piece of the puzzle to worry about, only downtown Vancouver and maybe the North Shore are the only areas truly ready for a tram system.
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  #91  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 6:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metro-One View Post
You must be colour blind, for it looks as if you only see things in Black and White!

The 200KM network they talk about would simply become an over glorified bus that would likely run along the streets (it would be more of a tram). In my opinion such systems should be funded by the cities themselves (with some help from upper governments and translink). These little at grade no ROW trams are only good for short distant travels while a system like skytrain is used for connecting major centers together (such as Metrotown to Downtown).
When they throw the name "interurban tram" around, it's likely for nostalgia reasons, to make the old timers remember the "good ol' days" so people can say: "hey, we USED to have a tram out to Chilliwack, why not now?"

It would like be more Calgary LRTish than European/Hiroshima Tram-ish.

Much of the ROW would be on its own dedicated ROW, if I'm not mistaken.
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  #92  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2009, 9:16 PM
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In addition to running on already existing tracks to Langley, you have to remember that past Langley, it's farms, farms farms.
Maybe they could bring the Hooterville Cannonball out of retirement for that stretch
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  #93  
Old Posted Apr 10, 2009, 1:41 AM
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Originally Posted by mr.x2 View Post
$3-billion for 200-kms of rail....HA!




As much as I support light rail in the valley, I'm not sure if the interurban is the solution. Doesn't it basically skip the population centres?
I'm for both actually skytrain and interurban
Mainly cause interurban will get way out there now give us time to get the skytrain out there
also here
http://www.sfot.info/What_is_the_Interurban_.html

Last edited by Whalleyboy; Apr 10, 2009 at 1:57 AM.
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  #94  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2009, 5:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Whalleyboy View Post
I'm for both actually skytrain and interurban
Mainly cause interurban will get way out there now give us time to get the skytrain out there
also here
http://www.sfot.info/What_is_the_Interurban_.html
Thanks for the link. Interesting information. Wish the images were bigger, though.

You can clearly see from those images that the Interurban is more than just trolleys to Chilliwack (which is what it used to be), but rather a full LRT, or Diesel DMUs. It's all about using a corridor which still exists, which I'm all for.

It makes a lot of good points, like stating that once you take out the protected land, Surrey is just as dense as Burnaby. Interesting.
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  #95  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2009, 3:59 AM
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High-speed rail coming to Vancouver? Obama announces funding for U.S. bullet trains

From the Seattle Times...

High-speed rail gets $8 billion boost; Northwest could benefit

President Obama backs high-speed rail corridors across U.S. with $ 8 billion from economic stimulus plan; Pacific Northwest could benefit with track improvements for faster train travel on Amtrak Cascades routes

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama called Thursday for the country to move swiftly to a system of high-speed rail travel, saying it will relieve congestion, help clean the air and save on energy.

The president allocated $8 billion in the enormous $787 billion economic stimulus spending package for a start on establishing high-speed rail corridors nationwide that could include the Pacific Northwest. Amtrak Cascades runs trains from Eugene, Ore., through Portland and Seattle to Vancouver, B.C., and tracks could be improved for higher-speed rail travel.

Appearing with Vice President Joseph Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Obama said the country cannot afford not to invest in a major upgrade to rail travel. He said he understands it necessarily will be "a long-term project" but said the time to start is now.

The rail upgrades are critically needed, Obama said, because the nation's highways and airways "are clogged with traffic."

The money will go not only to high-speed rail development but also to a parallel effort to improve rail service along existing lines — upgrades that would allow faster train travel.

The White House said funding will move into the rail system through three channels, first to upgrade projects already approved and only in need of funding, thus providing jobs in the short term. The second and third would focus on high-speed rail planning and then a commitment to help in the execution of those plans far into the future when the stimulus funds are no longer available.

Transportation Department officials say about six proposed routes with federal approval for high-speed rail stand a good chance of getting some of the $8 billion award. The spurs include parts of Texas, Florida, the Chicago region, and southeast routes through North Carolina and Louisiana.

The U.S. Federal Railroad Administration says the term high-speed rail applies to trains traveling more than 90 mph. The European Union standard is above 125 mph.

Many overseas bullet trains — most powered by overhead electricity lines — run faster than that. In France, for example, the TGV ("Train a Grande Vitesse") covers the 250 miles between Paris and Lyon in one hour, 55 minutes at an average speed of about 133 mph.

In Japan, which opened the first high-speed rail in the 1960s and carries more passengers than any other country, the Japanese Shinkansen trains hurtle through the countryside at an average of about 180 mph.

Super-fast trains also run in Germany, Spain and China, at speeds up to 140 mph, according to a 2007 survey in the trade publication Railway Gazette.

The only rail service that qualifies under America's lower high-speed standard is Amtrak's 9-year-old Acela Express route connecting Boston to Washington, D.C.

The trains are built to reach speeds up to 150 mph, but only average about 80 mph because of curving tracks and slower-moving freight and passenger trains that share the route. On the densely traveled line from New York City to the nation's capital, the Acela arrives just about 20 minutes earlier than standard service, at more than twice the cost during peak travel times.

Kristin Jackson of Seattle Times Travel contributed to this report.

Ten corridors the Obama administration had identified for possible high-speed rail projects:

— Pacific Northwest corridor (Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver, B.C.)

— California corridor (Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego)

— South Central corridor (Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio, Little Rock)

— Gulf Coast corridor (Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, Birmingham, Atlanta)

— Chicago hub network (Chicago, Milwaukee, Twin Cities, St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Toledo, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville)

— Florida corridor (Orlando, Tampa, Miami)

— Southeast corridor (Washington, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, Macon, Columbia, Savannah, Jacksonville)

— Keystone corridor (Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh)

— Empire corridor (New York City, Albany, Buffalo)

— Northern New England corridor (Boston, Montreal, Portland, Springfield, New Haven, Albany)

Associated Press
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  #96  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2009, 4:39 AM
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I would die of happiness to see the new N700 in North America.
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  #97  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2009, 4:42 AM
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Please keep rail within this thread and not start a new one.
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  #98  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2009, 4:51 AM
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I wonder how that would work, obviously the Canadian government would have to pay for the short stretches extending from the border to Vancouver and from the border to Montreal. I dream that such a high speed rail would travel the same route as the 99, have a station at Bridgeport (for those coming to and from the airport) and then travel on an elevated structure (just like the trains in Japan going through the cities) and have its Terminal station at Pacific Central (or Waterfront). Honestly if we really want rail to work in this country than we have to put the greater good and the health of the region before the individual. The current backlash on the UBC extension is a perfect example of why we do not have decent infrastructure in Canada.
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  #99  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2009, 4:55 AM
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  #100  
Old Posted Apr 19, 2009, 8:45 PM
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they did a big story about the seattle amtrak on the saturday news on global

it seems BC has already spent a few million upgrading and adding tracks so the extra trains can run here but Canada customs wants Amtrak to pay $1500 per day to serve the train and they just won't suck it up and staff the facility properly

and they interviewed Americans arriving and what they plan on spending in the time they are here etc

anyway it seems Amtrak wants to come here more, the rails etc are all in place but its the federal gov't who is holding out
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