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 ai??i?? 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 itai??i??s high time bring it back.

ai???Itai??i??s something weai??i??ve been talking about for years now,ai??? says John Vissers with Rail for the Valley. ai???Thereai??i??s no question; weai??i??re excited about it. Some of us went out to take a ride on this service and what a wonderful experience.ai???

ai???Iai??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 weai??i??re hoping it will happen sooner rather than later. Thereai??i??s no question in my mind it needs happen and, ideally, we would be able to restoreAi?? the electric system that served the Valley 100 years ago,ai??? he tells News1130.

Vissers believes there is a lot of support for restoring light rail service south of the Fraser River.

ai???We have the West Coast Express on the north side of the river and itai??i??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.ai???

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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