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We’re a growing group who agree that the Fraser Valley needs passenger rail service NOW!

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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 [...]

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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) [...]

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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 – passenger rail service for the Fraser Valley! Since they aren't listening, the next step is to organize ourselves…

Voted TOP CLIMATE ACTION PROJECT IN BC, Reader’s Choice Award, The Tyee Online Newspaper

"SRY Rail Link is open to the concept of passenger rail services that would utilize our rail assets throughout the Fraser Valley."  -Ken W. Doiron, VP Business Development, Southern Railway of BC (Interurban operator)

“It was the clever boys in Vancouver and Victoria who killed the Interurban transit system that served a far less densely populated Fraser Valley half a century ago. It’s long past time to correct that mistake.” -Langley Advance

“The most efficient and “green” way to move large numbers of people is via light-rail transit. Given the population growth in the Fraser Valley, this transit option should be a no-brainer.” -The Province

“If the government is to meet its goal of cutting air contaminants by 4.7 million tonnes in the next 12 years, the revival of the interurban line will be one of many initiatives aimed at getting commuters out of their cars.” -Abbotsford News

“Now is the time, when our population still allows it, to finally look at light rail. We have the rail ready and the cost of getting it up and running would be a fraction of the cost of building more SkyTrain routes… Not only are we convinced that rail is the best solution for the Fraser Valley, we are convinced that it will be used.” -Abbotsford Times

“One of the biggest disappointments in Victoria’s new transit plan is its failure to include the possibility of light-rail passenger service — along the old Inter-Urban rail route from Vancouver to Chilliwack. In our view, any transit plan that doesn’t include such an environmentally-sound option is deficient to some degree.” -The Province

“Where is the much-needed light rail for the Fraser Valley?” -Surrey Leader

“We can learn from history. Rail-based transit will work in the Fraser Valley.” -Langley Times

“There’s far too much foot-dragging when it comes to the issue of a proper transportation infrastructure for the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. Maybe the politicians need to take a load off and hop on the train.” -Chilliwack Times

Make no mistake, passenger rail service from Chilliwack to Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, and even to Vancouver would be a great thing. -Chilliwack Times

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts: "South of the Fraser, we want at-grade light rail. You see it all over the world." (link)

"I for one am a firm believer that instead of SkyTrain expansion in Surrey we should be looking at At Grade Rail. At Grade Rail is significantly cheaper, easier to build and much more aesthetically pleasing than SkyTrain. Surrey cannot wait until 2020 for improved rail transit. At Grade Rail can be completed much faster. I have great confidence in the potential of At Grade Rail, and I am currently having City staff analyze this option so that we can move it forward." (link)

During her [2011 State of the City] speech, Watts called for a sustainable funding strategy at TransLink within "a month or two," as well as design plans for a Light Rail system completed by next year. "I don't want to have SkyTrain cutting our communities in half – that is going to destroy our city."  (link)

Delta Councillor Bruce McDonald: "I really do believe 10 years, 15 years from now that line will be as important to the valley as the old Interurban was." (link)

Langley Mayor Rick Green: "Interurban services should be fast tracked, at least achieving excursion runs within the next couple of years." (link)

Abbotsford Councillor Lynne Harris: "I think the movement will take hold. I think there's feasibility to it. The infrastructure is already there, and in terms of economic affordability, it's an idea that should be explored."  (link)

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz: Light rail linkages between communities would be invaluable. The track could connect the University of the Fraser Valley and there could be tourism and business opportunities that we've only dreamed of." (link)

Latest News:

From the Halifax Herald

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Oops, Evergreen Line Guideway Shifts

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 March 14, 2014

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

ticrawford@vancouversun.com

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/metro/Coquitlam+road+closed+incident+Evergreen+Line+construction/9617740/story.html

With a file from Kelly Sinoski

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Three bidders vie for Waterloo LRT contract

THREE consortia have submitted bids to the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, Ontario, for the $C 536m ($US 505m) PPP contract to design, build, operate, and maintain the city’s first light rail line.

http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/north-america/three-bidders-vie-for-waterloo-lrt-contract.html?channel=542&goback=%2Egde_88283_member_5819124411105570817#%21

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Yippee, Vancouver Is Number One!

So?

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

By Tiffany Crawford, Vancouver Sun November 6, 2013

Metro Vancouver traffic jams are the worst in North America, according to a quarterly ranking by a global navigation company.

The 2013 TomTom Travel Index released Wednesday shows the Vancouver region has edged out Los Angeles by one per cent for the No. 1 congested city. It claims that Vancouver travel times were 36 per cent longer at peak hours than during non-rush hours.

The Amsterdam-based company says it uses real-time data from millions of its GPS customers to track traffic flow. The company then uses a computer program to compare travel times during non-congested periods with travel times in peak hours.

The difference is expressed as a percentage increase in travel time, and the report takes into account local roads, arterials and highways.

Choke points in Vancouver include entrance roads to bridges such as the Knight Street, Oak and Lions Gate bridges, as well as downtown roads such as Georgia, Dunsmuir and Seymour.

Vancouver’s congestion has increased 2.8 per cent in comparison to the index’s 2012 second-quarter findings when the congestion rate was 32.7 per cent, the report says.

Among Canadian cities, Toronto ranked seventh in the index and Montreal placed 10th out of 169 cities surveyed worldwide.

TomTom says the cumulative delay for average commuter with a 30-minute trip is an extra 93 hours, or more than 11 working days, spent behind the wheel each year.

Richard Walton, chair of the Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation, has previously cautioned that the TomTom report data could be skewed if people using the navigation systems are using them because they are on the most congested routes.

ticrawford@vancouversun.com

 

The top cities for traffic congestion in North America are:

 

1. Vancouver

 

2. Los Angeles

 

3. San Francisco

 

4. Honolulu

 

5. Seattle

 

6. San Jose

 

7. Toronto

 

8. Washington

 

9. New York

 

10. Montreal

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Friends of Rail For the Valley – Annual General Meeting

Our Society’s Annual General Meeting is coming up:

Where: Legal Grounds Coffee House  33775 Essendene Ave., Abbotsford

When: 7:00 PM Wednesday, September 18

All supporters of Rail for the Valley are welcome. There is a yearly $10 membership fee for the Society. Please RSVP info@railforthevalley.com if you plan to come.
Thanks, and hope you can make it!
John Buker
Founder, Rail For the Valley
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Another Comment, Worthy of a Post.

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.

http://www.thegridto.com/city/local-news/scarborough-transit-debate-goes-back-to-the-future/

 

Photo: Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star

Mon Jul 15, 2013
Local News

Scarborough transit debate goes back to the future

The 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.

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Old interurban sparks interest in rail for the Fraser Valley | News1130

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.

via Old interurban sparks interest in rail for the Fraser Valley | News1130.

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Be a part of history – Interurban Heritage Rail starts THIS WEEKEND

Be a part of history.

The Interurban will once again carry passengers, starting regular weekend service this Sunday!

http://www.fvhrs.org/
http://www.cloverdalereporter.com/news/212229781.html
http://www.railforthevalley.com/latest-news/events/interurban-heritage-rail-starts-this-sunday/

 

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society will be launching weekend runs on the original Interurban passenger rail line from Cloverdale to Sullivan return. The dignitaries will launch the line officially this Saturday, but regular service starts on Sunday.

 

You will be able to ride on an original B.C. Electric Railway car, meticulously restored by the FVHRS. The cost is $10, or $5 for children 12 and under.

 

This is the very beginning of the journey for the heritage trains. The FVHRS plans to extend the line to Scott Rd Skytrain Station in the west, and further through the Fraser Valley to the east. It is hoped that heritage trains eventually travel all the way through the valley out to Chilliwack.

 

All this is a stepping stone to our goal of a modern Regional Rail service. 100 hundred years ago, you could ride from Chilliwack into Vancouver in about 2 hours, on a reliable schedule. There is no reason we can’t do better today!

 

One last note: If you make it out this weekend, there may be media present. Be sure to mention you support a modern regional rail service on the Interurban, all the way out to Chilliwack.
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Interurban Heritage Rail starts this Sunday

The Interurban will once again carry passengers, starting this Sunday!

Full throttle for rail revival in Cloverdale – Cloverdale Reporter

By Jennifer Lang – Cloverdale Reporter

Published: June 19, 2013 3:00 PM

Updated: June 19, 2013 3:48 PM

After more than half a century and thousands of hours of volunteer effort, the dream is about to become real.

The Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society is set to launch weekend runs on the original Interurban passenger rail line from Cloverdale to Sullivan return starting this Sunday.

It’s the culmination of years of effort and there have been many milestones along the way……………………

Read the full article:

via Full throttle for rail revival in Cloverdale – Cloverdale Reporter.

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Chilliwack Event notice – June 22 – PIPE UP Network

This was received from the Pipe Up Network. It seems like a great opportunity for supporters of Rail for the Valley. See below, and check out the link.

 

The PIPE UP Network is hosting an event that Rail for the Valley supporters may be interested in.  The event is titled “Going Forward, Leading Change: Skills Training for More Effective Community Engagement” and takes place Saturday June 22 12:30-18:30 at the Yarrow Community Centre.

It includes a series of workshops on topics such as Consensus Decision Making, Engaging Political Representatives, Media & Messaging, Participating in Environmental Review Assessments, Online Organizing/Facebook Engagement, and Peaceful Direct Action.

See the links below.

http://pipe-up.net/home-2/events/

https://www.facebook.com/events/517200145009294/

 

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