Four Years Since the Release of the Leewood Study and the Silence is Deafening!

It now has been four years since the historic release of the Leewood/Rail for the Valley report, yet except for sparse political support, very few people actually know that the study exists, let alone that it is “shovel ready”.

The Leewood study is just too simple, too cheap, and too practical compared to other politically inspired transit initiatives now blundering along, such as the ever shrinkingAi?? Broadway subway.

The monies invested in the yet unworkable Compass Card, now exceed $250 million, which is about one half the of a BASIC diesel LRT service from Chilliwack to Scott Road or about one quarter the cost of a Vancouver to Chilliwack interurban!

The $500 million for the leaky retractable roof over BC Place could have funded the entire Scott Road to Chilliwack Diesel LRT or even fund about two thirds the cost of an hourly Vancouver to Chilliwack DMU!

The November civic elections, now going to be held every four years, is a very good time to quiz candidates about their knowledge on urban transit and remedies to the ever increasing traffic congestion in the Fraser Valley, because if we do not get transit savvy politicians elected on the various councils, better transit will be delayed by at least four more years.

Groundbreaking report on Interurban light rail

The Rail for the Valley/Leewood study is indeed historic, for it is the first time in over 30 years that a truly independent transit study, free of political and bureaucratic influence, has been done in the region. The study shows that the region can build a large ai???railai??i?? network cheaply, with an affordable vision for future, cost effective extensions.

SkyTrainai??i??s Achilles heel is cost and when one compares the per kilometer cost of the RftV TramTrain and SkyTrain, a full build TramTrain is less than 10% the cost per km. to build than SkyTrain light metro.

Click here to download the full 84 page report

Being affordable to build, enables TramTrain to penetrate to areas, that would otherwise remain unserved by ai???railai???. The ai???densityai??i?? argument, used successfully by TransLink and the provincial government to deter ai??i??railai??? expansion South of the Fraser, disappears as TramTrain easily uses existing railway lines, without any any need for expensive ai???greenfieldsai??i?? construction (like using the median of the Number 1 Hwy.). If on-street operation is desired in town centres, TramTrain can play the role of a streetcar or LRT, yet retaining the ability of cost effective operation to widely spaced population centres using existing rail lines.

The Evergreen Line has demonstrated that funding for SkyTrain is becoming harder and harder and if we look at the ai???full buildai??i?? RftV/Leewood Study, a Vancouver/Richmond to Rosedale TramTrain would cost less than one billion dollars or put another way, for the over $1.4 billion Evergreen line, we could build the ai???full buildai??i?? TramTrain, plus a Vancouver to Port Moody TramTrain service as well! More rail service, servicing more customer destinations, is the best recipe for achieving a true modal shift from car to transit.

One hopes that the ai???powers that beai??i?? understand that planning for expensive, ai???pie in the skyai??i?? metro is becoming a fools game as there is just not the money to fund such grandiose schemes and in todays economy, TramTrain becomes a most viable option. The RftV/Leewood Study paves the way for a real and cost effective alternative for transit expansion in the METRO and Fraser Valley Regions and one hoped that the politicians will jump on board TramTrain, lest they be left at the station platform, waiting for a SkyTrain that will never come.



One Response to “Four Years Since the Release of the Leewood Study and the Silence is Deafening!”
  1. Haveacow says:

    One of the things that I and others learned from the O-Train, another simple, relatively cheap, straight forward rail transit project. Is that once its up and operating and people see what can be built with a much smaller amount of cash, people start asking the PTB’s difficult or uncomfortable questions. “Hey, the rail line is already here, why don’t we use it instead of spending a lot more money on Transitways beside highways?” Maybe the silence your are hearing is actually caused by your local transit masters avoiding a certain series of questions that a simple and relatively speaking, cheaper rail transit project, atleast compared to any of the current Skytrain proposals, will spark?