Some of our governing politicians still don't seem to get it. They say it isn't viable "at this time." Maybe in 20 years,
We’re a growing group who agree that the Fraser Valley needs passenger rail service NOW!
Some of our governing politicians still don't seem to get it. They say it isn't viable "at this time." Maybe in 20 years, they say. Of course, they said that 20 years ago…. They plan to spend billions of dollars on more highways, but they continue to ignore the obvious, long-overdue solution to our traffic congestion [...]
Be a part of the movement to get us Rail For The Valley! The success of this campaign has come from people like you getting involved. By writing letters and pressuring the politicians, passenger rail is closer than ever to being realized, and all of it has been achieved through email and the internet. 1) [...]
Zwei belongs to the LRPPro blog and soon began to know that a one Ed Tennyson was someone to listen to as he was a walking encyclopedia of transit knowledge.
Probably no one in Metro Vancouver has ever heard of Mr. Tennyson, but his influence has certainly been felt in Canada. In the short time I have been a member of the LRPPro blog, I have respected Mr. Tennyson’s well researched comments, even though I disagreed on some of his thoughts, he was a giant in the industry and a giant promoting light rail.
Remembering Edson L. Tennyson, icon of rail public transport advocacy and development
With profound sorrow we have learned of the loss of our close colleague, the renowned transit industry icon Edson L. Tennyson.
Shortly after his 92nd birthday, Ed, senior technical consultant to the Light Rail Now Project, passed away at his home near Washington, DC on 14 July 2014 following a valiant struggle with cancer. He intrepidly had continued to post his insights and analysis of transit issues on the LRPPro listserve, to the benefit of hundreds of colleagues belonging to younger generations of rail transit advocates and professionals.
Two of Ed’s daughters, Marilyn Tennyson and Marjorie Tennyson, were with him in his final days. He is also survived by another daughter, Connie McCarthy, and by his wife of 70 years, Shirley Forward Tennyson.
Services will be held on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 at 2:00 PM at the Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, Virginia.
Ed Tennyson was perhaps the most prominent U.S. public transport expert, still professionally active, who had actually worked for the original interurban and urban electric railway industry, and who also, in the words of Greg Thompson — Chair of the Light Rail Transit Committee of the U.S. Transportation Research Board (TRB) — “understood the fundamentals of successful transit.”
In postings on the LRPPro listserve, Ed often cited his youthful experience riding the once-extensive electric trolley system of New Jersey Public Service, mainly in northern New Jersey. He also drew upon lessons from his stint as a station employee for Greyhound.
After completing two management engineering degrees, Ed began his main public transport career at Pittsburgh Railways, subsequently moving to a management position with Milwaukee Rapid Transit. There, as described by Lawrence Lovejoy, a Senior Supervising Engineer for Parsons Brinckerhoff, Ed was particularly involved with developing the Speedrail system, an effort to reorganize remnants of the Milwaukee region’s once-extensive interurban system into a suburban rapid transit service.
While Ed’s formative experience was gained in the course of a largely unsuccessful struggle to retain electric rail and trolleybus operations during the U.S. Transit Devastation era, his understanding and insights have proved invaluable to colleagues, and influential in the revival of electric surface railways over the past four decades.
In 1951 Ed was appointed City Transit Commissioner for Youngstown, Ohio, championing the city’s electric trolleybus system which remained in operation until 1959. He served Youngstown until 1956, when he became the Chief Transit Engineer and Deputy Commissioner of Transportation in Philadelphia.
According to Tom Hickey, Chief Development Officer of Virginia Railway Express and chairman of the Streetcar and Heritage Trolley Subcommittee for the American Public Transportation Association, Ed helped helped “reimagine” Philadelphia’s Center City “as we know it today”, with “Penn Center and Market East and Independence Mall redeveloped into open urban spaces centered around transit, not the automobile.”
Tom adds the following about Ed’s achievements in this period:
When other cities were ripping up street railways and building urban highways, Ed was key to crafting Philadelphia’s policy to eschew the temptation of cheap federal dollars for roadways and focus on preserving rail transit through what we today accept as public-private partnerships with the railroads and then-private transit companies. He is one reason … that Philadelphia is still by far the largest street railway operation in the US. He extended the light rail “Subway-Surface” tunnels under the Schuylkill River lines and University City to their present portals.
In rail rapid transit, he extended the Market-Frankford El to 46th Street at the same time as the Subway-Surface extension. The “Almond Joy” el cars were purchased under his watch as well. He led the extension of the Broad Street Subway to the Sports Complex in South Philadelphia. He was highly influential in the creation of PATCO [Port Authority Transit Corporation] — both in extending the predecessor Bridge Line under the streets of Philadelphia from 8th & Market to 16th & Locust and in splitting the Lindenwold High Speed and Broad Street Lines into the configuration we know today.
As for commuter rail, Ed formed the Passenger Service Improvement Corporation in the late 50s with the then-unheard of proposition of giving public money to private corporations (the Pennsy and Reading) as reimbursement for the losses incurred in commuter rail service, as well as providing new rolling stock to do so (Silverliners I, II and IIIs plus RDCs for the Reading diesel lines). He was the force behind linking Philadelphia’s two commuter rail networks through the Center City Commuter Connection, as well as the Fox Chase electrification, Airport High Speed Line and retention of the PRR Norristown Line as far as the City limits (Ivy Ridge).
Finishing in Philadelphia as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Property for Transit Engineering, in 1972 Ed was appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Milton Shapp to the position of Deputy Secretary for Local and Area Transportation in the state’s Department of Transportation (PennDOT), where he served for seven years. It was in that position that he helped steer Pittsburgh away from totally eliminating what remained of its former streetcar system and toward converting the most important lines into a modern light rail transit system. As Greg Thompson relates, Ed was influenced by similar developments in Europe:
He grasped immediately the idea that German light rail, which evolved from streetcars in Germany, was a new transit mode faster, higher capacity, and more productive than both buses and traditional streetcars. He understood that for those reasons light rail could be configured as the backbone of regional multimodal transit systems that attracted high ridership and were productive.
Energized by those developments, recalls Greg,
Ed tirelessly advocated the potential of Pittsburgh’s streetcar system, fighting not just against its abandonment, but for its reconfiguration into trunk lines. What has remained would not have remained had Ed not carried on the good fight. He also researched the relative performance of busways in that city, revealing the chasm between what they promised and what they actually delivered.
High among Ed’s other achievements in his Deputy Secretary position was to improve intercity rail service — particularly “resuscitating Keystone corridor rail service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia”, according to Greg.
When his term with PennDOT expired in 1979, Ed moved on to a role as consultant for the new San Diego Trolley project, helping to guide startup operations there, and with several other transit entities. Then, in 1983 he was appointed Public Works Planning Coordinator for Arlington County, helping to complete the Metro Orange Line to Vienna, Virginia.
Following that, in 1992 he retired — nominally. But in reality, Ed stayed very active as an advocate and advisor to others pursuing important public transport projects, especially rail. In 2000, he was one of the original members of the Light Rail Progress Professional (LRPPro) listserve, an online forum where his analysis and advice have been of enormous value to other professionals and advocates striving to develop and improve rail public transportation. In recent years, he served on the Fairfax County Transportation Advisory Commission, and as an emeritus member of the Transportation Research Board of the National Research Council. Until a few weeks before his death, Ed was working with engineering consultant (and LRPPro member) Alan Drake on a proposal for expansion of Washington’s Metro system.
Ed’s legacy rests not just with his many direct achievements in the physical development, improvement, and operation of public transport systems, but especially with the vast influence he has had within the industry and in the thinking of other professionals. Tom Hickey emphasizes that
Ed was a determined, tireless, and often effective advocate of doing things right. He was eternally generous with his opinions (even when unsolicited…) and always challenged those around him to extend their reach.
Tom also cites the Biblical passage, “You shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16.)
A flurry of condolences and eulogies has been posted to the LRPPro listserve, on which Ed had been so active and influential for 14 years. Bob Reuter, a dedicated rail transit advocate in the Baltimore-Washington area and a transportation engineering consultant, posted the following:
My deepest condolences, and he already has left a hole in the fabric of the transit community.
I knew Ed professionally and as a friend for well over 25 years and he was never anything but the consummate gentleman.
I have saved every one the 5459 messages he sent to this list. I hope to be able to bring order to his posts and maybe repost them at a future time. His wit and wisdom will be greatly missed
Again my deepest condolences to the family; you will all be in my prayers.
Expressing profound sadness, Lyndon Henry, founder of the Texas Association for Public Transportation (TAPT), technical consultant to the Light Rail Now Project, and a contributing editor to the Light Rail Now website and blog, noted that
Ed has been my most influential mentor. I will miss his advice, wisdom, and inspiration more than I can express.
In a message of condolence to the Tennyson family, Dave Dobbs, TAPT Executive Director and publisher of Light Rail Now, wrote the following:
Edson Tennyson was a great friend and mentor for the last 23 years. He was foremost among those who sought to bring back a rational transportation system to America, the professor emeritus of public transit, and in that effort he inspired the rest of us to make the world a better place in every way.
I will miss his sage advice, his insights and his careful analysis of the all important numbers that he so enjoyed presenting to the world. LRPPro, started by Lyndon Henry, grew out of our website, LightRailNow! (www.lightrailnow.org), which Ed inspired with his charts, graphs and commentary that he presented at the Dallas Rail-Volution in 1999. I had the honor of converting those incredible materials into electronic format, which, in 2000, became a website that now has thousands of pages and numerous articles by Edson Tennyson and is used by many in the transit industry for information.
Lyndon Henry, Roger Baker and I and others here at TAPT offer our condolences. Please know that while your personal loss is immeasurable, our loss and the loss to the transit industry is shared with you in a very keen way. Ed was one of the greatest generation; a soldier right up to the end, he continued to give to his country and the world. May he rest in peace and may you find peace in knowing how much Ed meant to others.
And Greg Thompson’s eulogy undoubtedly expresses succinctly the feelings of most of us that knew Ed Tennyson well:
I shall miss him, but I also am comforted in the fact that his work is responsible for the industry being on a plane higher than it would have been without him.
On News 1130 today.
Light rail advocate argues against Broadway subway option.
A Broadway subway is all about subsidizing Vision(less) backers and supporters, who have invested heavily assembling lands at potential subway stations, not about moving people efficiently or affordably.
VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The fight for the future of transit service along the Broadway corridor is heating up.
The mayor of Vancouver has spoken out in favour of a subway — but one advocate is pushing some NDP MLAs to support light rail instead.
Local light rail advocate Donald Johnston says ridership is only about a third of what it would need to be to justify a subway.
He adds if it’s built, it would need to be subsidized, and would take money away from other projects like schools, hospitals, and transit south of the Fraser.
“I think the Metro mayors are naively following goosestep with Gregor Robertson’s demand for a subway along Broadway. There’s no justification for it,” Johnston says.
He argues supports and span wires for LRT are already in place from when streetcars ran along Broadway six decades ago.
Two traffic lanes would be lost if LRT went in.
Johnston says the cost to build LRT could be a tenth of the cost of building a subway — and — he says capacity would be higher.
He says SkyTrain is at capacity now because the stations are small. “If you want to increase capacity for a subway, that means you’re going have to rebuild every SkyTrain station along the route. That’s going be several billions of dollars.”
Johnston thinks there would be pushback for the loss of two lanes.
“Sure, you’re going to lose auto space. But, hasn’t the City of Vancouver done that with bike lanes? The Burrard Bridge? Why are they lighting their hair on fire about light rail on Broadway? They’ve already done it for bicycles. Light rail is far more important, better transit along Broadway’s far more important than a bike lane,” Johnston says.
He’s sent letters to Vancouver MLA, David Eby, and NDP leader, John Horgan.
Vancouver’s mayor has said a subway is a priority but it isn’t known how it would be funded.Read More
Dear Rail for the Valley people, I will be leading bike tours on Saturday May 3 and Sunday May 4 as part of the Jane’s Walk Vancouver series – An Alternative to the Broadway Subway.
You are all welcome to come along, if you wish. I would also really appreciate if you would publicize this as widely as possible through RailfortheValley.
Here is a link to the webpage: http://www.janeswalk.org/
Sincerely, Adam Fitch
Thompson Nicola Regional District
300 – 465 Victoria Street | Kamloops, BC |V2C 2A9 | Office 250 377-8673
When you do expensive jobs on the cheap, s**t happens.
Looks like the guideway fell off its bearings, I wonder why?
Coquitlam road closed by incident involving 300-tonne guideway at Evergreen Line construction site
By TIFFANY CRAWFORD, VANCOUVER SUN
METRO VANCOUVER – A 300-tonne beam dislodged early Friday on the new Evergreen SkyTrain Line in Coquitlam, forcing authorities to close a major commuter road.
Como Lake Avenue, which runs under the SkyTrain line in Coquitlam, is closed in both directions as engineers work on the section of the guideway, according to the Ministry of Transportation.
Amanda Farrell, project director for the Evergreen Line, said at around 1 a.m., a temporary concrete spacer that sits between the column and the guideway beam at Como Lake and Clarke Road failed, causing the beam to shift about six inches.
“This particular beam is slightly different and slightly more curved than the normal beams because it’s going to come up and swoop over the intersection and down toward Coquitlam and it’s going to be connected to other beams,” she said.
She said engineers put in temporary metal spacers and then later will replace it with a permanent concrete spacer. She could not say why the spacer failed.
“That’s what the engineers are out there doing now. They are looking at why it failed, how they are going to fix it and whether the road can reopen,” she said.
When asked whether that 300-tonne beam could have fallen on the road, potentially crushing a vehicle, Farrell said there were no public safety concerns.
“I’ve been talking to the engineers here. The beam is on four points of contact and what they are telling me is that it is very stable where it is now and that’s not a concern,” she said. “I don’t want to speculate while they are out there investigating until I have all the facts.”
She said engineers have been following the standard methodology for building the SkyTrain and to her knowledge she had never heard of anything like this happening before during construction of a SkyTrain line.
“We will have to look at what has happened here and why that temporary spacer failed.”
The Coquitlam RCMP received several calls after the incident happened, with people saying they had heard a loud bang. Como Lake is expected to remain closed until around noon. The ministry says flagger personnel are at the location, helping motorists with detours. TransLink says due to the problem with Evergreen bus number 143 is detouring.
The $1.4-billion rapid transit line is slated to open in 2016 and connect Burnaby and Coquitlam. Tunnelling is expected to begin within days.
Once complete, the Evergreen Line will connect the Tri-Cities to the rest of the SkyTrain system, creating the longest rapid transit network in Canada, at 79 kilometres
With a file from Kelly Sinoski
What else is new?
The provincial and regional governments have spent over $9 billion on three mini-metro lines that have done nothing to alleviate congestion; it will be déjà vu with the Evergreen Line and TransLinks still wants more taxpayer’s money to do the same thing again, hoping that it will work this time.
It won’t and until politicians stop building mini-metro to appease developers and as a tool to win elections and as the transit system fails congestion in the region will increase.
Building more highways and bridges will not solve a thing but instead create more road space that will attract more cars, more cars just increases gridlock and the problem gets worse.
The solution is an affordable 300 km or more light rail network servicing the Fraser Valley, providing an affordable transit network that will provide a quality alternative to the car.
Until civic and provincial politicians get their collective heads out of the ground and admit that; “we have been doing it wrong for the past 33 years“, nothing will change, except longer commute times and a transit system that will be unaffordable for the average customer.
Vancouver’s politico’s have always wished that their city to be considered world class by having extremely expensive subways, now their wish has come partly true – they have world class gridlock.
Vancouver edges out Los Angeles for worst traffic congestion in North America: index
Justin Bernard, who reads the RftV blog offered a link yesterday about the Scarborough ICTS/SRT which deserves a post of its own. What was considered cutting edge transit technology in the 70′s, is now considered somewhat obsolete today; somewhat like the Wuppertal Schwebebahn.
Mon Jul 15, 2013
Scarborough transit debate goes back to the futureThe Scarborough RT was once hailed as a space-age system. Here’s how we wound up back at the drawing board.
Torontonians love arguing about the same proposed transit lines ad nauseum. Tuesday’s City Council debate—regarding which form the Scarborough RT‘s replacement will take—feels like a replay of past battles where a streetcar/LRT line was displaced in favour of a pricier, sexier option.
Among the priority studies recommended in January 1975—by a joint provincial/Metro Toronto task force on the region’s transportation needs for the next quarter-century—was a high-speed transit line linking the recently approved Kennedy subway station to Scarborough Town Centre, Malvern, and Pickering. Scarborough officials saw this line as key to spurring development in a downtown area based around the new civic centre, which would employ 25,000 people.
Click on the above link to read more.Read More
Old interurban sparks interest in rail for the Fraser Valley
Light rail transit proponents want to bring it back
Mike Lloyd June 27, 2013 8:12 am
NEWS1130 – In Surrey, the resurrection of a section transit line from the first half of the last century is rekindling a debate over light rail service in the Fraser Valley.
Last weekend, the old interurban electric started rolling the rails again between Cloverdale and Sullivan in Surrey, a heritage project with service on weekends that aims to expand to Scott Road and possibly east into the Valley.
The original BC Electric Railway interurban trains ran from the early 1900s to the 1950s from Chilliwack to Vancouver and proponents of light rail transit say it’s high time bring it back.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about for years now,” says John Vissers with Rail for the Valley. “There’s no question; we’re excited about it. Some of us went out to take a ride on this service and what a wonderful experience.”
“I’m optimistic. I believe our transit future will unquestionably include this sort of train system right through the Fraser Valley right out to Chilliwack. It is inevitable and we’re hoping it will happen sooner rather than later. There’s no question in my mind it needs happen and, ideally, we would be able to restore the electric system that served the Valley 100 years ago,” he tells News1130.
Vissers believes there is a lot of support for restoring light rail service south of the Fraser River.
“We have the West Coast Express on the north side of the river and it’s doing a great job of moving commuters in and out of Metro areas, however we have no real, viable transit options south of the Fraser other than getting in our cars and driving down the freeway. This is simply not sustainable in a growing region.”
A 2010 strategic government review of transit in the Fraser Valley concluded light rail transit was not a viable, cost-effective option for the Fraser Valley.
A subsequent independent review commissioned by Rail for the Valley found the Ministry of Transportation report was biased and suggested there was a clear agenda dismissing light rail.
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts is also in favour of expanding light rail service south of the Fraser, pushing for a Surrey LRT system rather than expanding SkyTrain.Read More