2000 Posts!

When John Buker asked me to post items for the rail for the valley group, I accepted, thinking it would be fun to write a few items on TramTrain. Well it is now 2017 and I am still writing about trams and TramTrain

Nothing has changed and my very first post is still pertinent today. The only difference today is that the tracks on the Vernon/Kelowna line have been ripped out and sadly so seems the fate of the E&N.

Zwei’s first post from Dec. 12, 2008..

What is Light Rail Transit or more commonly known as LRT? According to the Light Rail Transit Association (www.lrta.org) Light rail is a mode that can deal economically with traffic flows of between 2,000 and 20,000 passengers per hour per direction, thus effectively bridging the gap between the maximum flow that can be dealt with using buses and the minimum that justifies a metro. But there is more, by track-sharing with existing railways on their rights-of-ways, means that LRT can effectively and affordably service less populated areas, with public transport. Streetcars are also light rail, but operate on-street, in mixed traffic, with little or no signal priority at intersections. The main difference between LRT and a streetcar is the quality of rights-of-way, where a streetcar operates on-street, LRT operates on a reserved rights-of-way or a route that is reserved for the sole purpose of the light rail vehicle. A reserved rights-of-way can be as simple as a HOV lane with rails, to a lawned park like route with trees, hedges and flowerbeds. LRT, in it’s various forms is used in over 600 cities around the world and is the first choice of transit planners for affordable, customer friendly public transport.

The German city of Karlsruhe (City population 275,285) has taken light rail to a new standard, by track sharing with mainline railways and operating, what is called tramtrains. In Karlsruhe, one can board a tram, on-street, on the pavement and alight, on-street in Ohringen some 210km (130 mile) later, with the tram acting as a streetcar, light rail vehicle and a passenger train! Karlsruhe’s light rail network now extends over 400 km. (250+ mile) of route, servicing scores of small towns and villages with high quality public transit at very little cost simply because the tram can use existing railway tracks.

In British Columbia, tramtrain can be a useful tool for implementing a high quality ‘rail’ transit service, not only in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, but in Victoria (E & N Railway) and the Kelowna/Vernon rail corridor as well.

The question is: Why does TransLink and the BC government reject modern LRT out of hand and continue to build with dated SkyTrain light metro?

What grieves me more than anything is the absolute reluctance to plan with modern light rail by TransLink, Metro Vancouver and the province. The still cling to the notion that transit is the “reelection express” and transit be designed to suit political needs rather than customer needs.


One Response to “2000 Posts!”
  1. eric chris says:

    Congratulation and well done. Thanks for the many thought provoking articles unraveling the spin by TransLink.

    “Consider the phenomenon of “land-grabbing.” This term usually refers to the long-term acquisition by lease or outright purchase of large tracts of arable or otherwise productive rural land… In fact, to the extent that the “housing” crisis in Vancouver is driven by foreign investment, it … raises similar concerns about sovereignty, social justice and weak local governance.”


    Small business owners in Vancouver are not amenable to high rise condo towers driving up property values to put them out of business. Everywhere you look in Vancouver, small businesses are struggling due to the escalation of property values caused by the “planners” behind rapid transit. After the rapid transit is approved, zoning is changed for high rise condo towers and lives are ruined. It is heartbreaking.


    In Vancouver, indications are that money launderers whose income is from the trafficking of organs or selling of drugs have provincial government politicians and employees by the… and are squeezing their…to have the Broadway subway by TransLink approved. Rapid transit by TransLink makes possible the high rise condo towers financed by foreign investors.


    Trams blend in with the communities and don’t provide the impetus for high rise concrete condo towers. It is one prime reason that the inexpensive tram line undermining the very expensive subway line to UBC isn’t being pursued as alluded to at one hour and 42 minutes in the following link.

    Rapid transit by TransLink transforms communities to facilitate foreign real estate ownership for high rise condo development. Step one, scrap TransLink. Step two, ban foreign “investment” in real estate in Vancouver.

    “The leader of the B.C. Green Party announced earlier this week it’s time the province followed New Zealand’s example and restricted foreign real estate ownership… This is not about what passport you own, it’s about where you live, Weaver told CBC in an earlier interview. We don’t have to rediscover the wheel because they are already doing it in New Zealand.”


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