Langley Expo Line Extension Almost $1 Billion Over Budget!

You just got to love the NDP, as this hapless crew love budget breaking FastFerry style mega projects. Remember the FastFerries? The financial stench from that fiasco hung around the neck of the NDP as a fiscal Albatross for over twenty years and you would have thought that they would have learned…………..but no, they are at it again!

The Site c dam is another brazen example example as spiraling costs which has now topped $16 billion, which wind completed, its power will cost far more than wind or solar power. Now the 18 km Langley Expo line extension has escalated from $3.1 billion to $3.95 billion and I know, small potatoes by today’s standards, but it will be regional taxpayer’s feeling Prime Minister Trudeau’s and Premier Horgan’s financial largess.

The Langley Expo line extension will cost a whopping $247 million per kilometre to build!

In comparison, the full build, 130 km Leewood Projects, Leewood Study, for a reinstated passenger rail service connecting Vancouver to North Delta, Cloverdale, Langley, Abbotsford, Vedder/Sardis anf Chilliwack, with a maximum of three trains per hour per direction is $1,207,692,027.00) or $8.71 million per km in 2021 dollars.

The Leewood Study would give 122 km more of a transportation route for less than one third the cost of building SkyTrain from Surrey to Langley!

The Horgan government seems to want to top the previous 90’s Glenn Clark, NDP government with mega project cost overruns for vote getting, politically prestigious projects.

Zwei received the following Email from our friend Haveacow, who has done some quick research on the funding issue.

According to an unnamed source of your Vancouver Sun newspaper, the total cost of the project is, get this, $3.95 Billion! (UNCONFIRMED)
That price does include 6 new 5 section trainsets (30 cars), a new large capacity yard (The mysterious Yard#4) and I’m assuming integration costs.
Keep in mind the new business case has yet to be written. The new federal funding is part of the Covid-19 relief package. The province of B.C. still has to put in its share and Translink’s 10%- 20%
$1.65 Billion in existing funding from Translink’s 10 year vision plan
$1.3 Billion in new Federal funding.
That leaves around a $1 Billion hole for the Province and Translink to fill.
The new business case has to be written and the project must still go out to tender.
If the $3.95 Billion price tag is true this line now costs with everything included, this line costs $246,875,000 per km, for how many new riders in 2035? That’s a big bill for 62,000 passengers.
All being loaded on to a 35 year old line, in desperate need for major ($3) billion dollar upgrades.
The Expo Line (prepandemic) was at capacity. Translink has currently only entertained one option to respond to this issue, to buy bigger trains 82 metres long (5 sections long or in layman’s terms 5 cars long) to increase its capacity to just 18,000 p/h/d from its current 15,000 p/h/d.
Unfortunately,  none of the big upgrades needed are funded. Your downtown tunnel Dunismuir Tunnel is leaking by the way.
Regarding leaking infrastructure the, “………. Dunismuir Tunnel is leaking …………”, should raise red flags, as that horrific condo collapse in Miami was preceded by large leaks, as far back as two years.
More on the perils of modern cement construction in the next post.


3 Responses to “Langley Expo Line Extension Almost $1 Billion Over Budget!”
  1. Dan says:

    Should not Tran$link check with Alstom first?

    A Troop of Macaque’s could run TransLink better…

    Personally it is a good time to sell and leave Surrey. Property taxes went up a heck of a lot more than the 2.9% Doug promised. McCallum with pursuing his personnel agenda against RCMP and wasting money on “SkyTrain’ not knowing 100% it can be built. Yet they refuse to tell the public the truth.

    The SPD (if it happens), ‘skytrain’ extension, expo line upgrade TransLink will be coming for more as will cities probably outside of Surrey.

    This could be a huge white it could be partly built (Concrete parts/sections) but if Alstom discontinues tax payers will get hosed and not the politicians responsible for stupidity and wasting tax dollars. Apparently it is also going to cost 3-4 billion to upgrade Expo line as well.

    Peak Clown World with TransLink. A sensible person would check with Alstom first to see what is what instead of repeated/similar announcements…… Taxpayers could be very well in for not just a surprise but a huge financial surprise as well…..

    Zwei replies: Alstom will supply the cars and possibly the signalling system, but here is the big, big problem. Bombardier has stopped supporting the City-Flow ATC system, which means, either will equip the line with the obsolete City-Flow system or re-signal the line at a massive cost. As I said before, the Expo line extension to Surrey may cost $3.95 billion, plus up to $3 billion more for the Expo Line rehab.

  2. Haveacow says:

    According to CTV News the cost of the project is only $3.84 Billion not $3.95 Billion That being said the current funds available from the Surrey Newton Guilford LRT project cancellation is $1.63 Billion not $1.65 Billion. Unfortunately, some of that $1.63 Billion (Translink’s share) is an estimate of expected Translink fares, fuel and real estate taxes and Vehicle Licensing fees, which residents of the Lower Mainland would have paid over the next 10 years. The problem is that now because of Covid-19, much of those estimates could be very different and probably lower. I think much of that estimate will have to be completely redone. So do they even have $1.63 Billion to play with?

    To: Surrey to Langley Skytrain Fans, I TOLD YOU SO!

    No one likes to be publicly abused, mistreated or made fun of and that’s exactly what many fans of the Surrey to Langley Skytrain Extension did to me and Zwei by the way. I MAKE THIS FINAL PREDICTION, due to the cost of this extension constantly growing skyward, I predict that if this line even happens at all, Translink will have to admit publicly that, the public will have to choose between the Surrey to Langley extension or the Arbutus to UBC extension but not both at the same time. UNLESS, a huge and I mean a huge, influx of provincial funding comes.

    I remember saying to you all in Surrey and Langley that you would regret switching away from LRT, “No the people want Skytrain, not LRT!’ So many of you online transit fans (sorry, experts) told me this. I remember everybody complaining that the Surrey-Langley LRT Line which was the 2nd phase of the Surrey LRT plan, was too expensive at the then estimated price of $1.9 Billion and that combined with the $1.6 Billion 1st phase, the total price of $3.53 Billion was too much to pay for 27 km of LRT. The City of Ottawa is currently paying about $3.5 Billion for 25 kilometres of electric LRT service. This is just 1 of 2 components of our $4.6 Billion dollar Stage 2 LRT Plan.

    I also remembered that unfortunately successful, idiot of a Mayoral Candidate, saying he could build an entire Skytrain Line to Langley for just $1.6 Billion. I remember laughing, I remember other experts saying “NO WAY, probably $2.9 Billion”, and that was just for the 16 km Surrey-Langley Skytrain Line and nothing else. But the people of Surrey elected that idiot boy, he is an idiot.

    I remember being laughed at, insulted and harassed online when I said the price of this Skytrain extension would go up at least from somewhere between $3.2 Billion to $3.4 Billion. Then in 2019, Translink admitted the cost had increased past $3 Billion (It was $3.13 Billion at that point). Currently, the price is now depending whom you believe, either $3.84 Billion or $3.95 Billion.

    I said that because of the switch away from LRT to Skytrain operating technology you wouldn’t see any rail line in Surrey until 2028 at the earliest, more likely 2030 or beyond. Again Skytrain fans (sorry, experts) scoffed, insulted and belittled me as well as Zwei. Well right now 2028 would be the earliest of opening dates. Its already mid 2021 and this line extension doesn’t even have an updated business case let alone, a god dammed notice for a public tender issued yet! Until those tenders come back you don’t even know the final price of this entire project yet. Even if all the money magically appeared tomorrow, you can’t even legally start construction until mid to late 2023 because you have to wait 8-months to a year to legally run the tendering process and allow between 4 to 6 months past awarding the tender, waiting for possible legal appeals from unsuccessful bidders. Plus, allow another minimum period of 6 months to issue construction permits, ordering the needed specialized construction equipment and begin prep work, like moving municipal services out of the way for construction project. On top of all this, at a minimum, this line extension will take 4 to 5 years to build and test, before opening to the public.

    If the residents of Surrey and its Skytrain fans (sorry, honoured transit planning experts), had stayed with LRT, the 1st stage would have already been under construction and opening in late 2024. Hey, Surrey residents! I hope you like your express bus operating in mixed traffic, the one you got instead of the SNG LRT Line. Surrey and Langley residents would now be waiting on Provincial and Translink cash for a 16 km long, second stage LRT Line, costing around $2.3 – $2.5 Billion (up from the original $1.9 Billion) instead of $3.84 Billion to $3.95 Billion Skytrain extension over the same distance.

    This Skytrain Line extension which the current Mayor of Surrey said he could build for $1.6 Billion now is estimated to cost more than the upper limit of the current cost estimate, for the next Broadway Skytrain extension from Arbutus to UBC ($3.2 Billion to $3.8 Billion) and that line is almost 100% tunnel! At this rate, I see no Skytrain line coming for Surrey or Langley!

    WAY TO GO Surrey Skytrain Fans (sorry, experts)!!!

  3. Major Hoople says:

    What is happening in your part of the world? Has heat stroke affected everyone?

    I was asked to comment on Vancouver’s expanding SkyTrain system for an influential American transit blog and ended up fact checking a news release from TransLink. it is very hard to correct contemporaries as it makes the wine sour after conferences, but!!!

    One would think TransLink invented transit and that the SkyTrain light rail debate is still on going, well it is not, even though your politicians seem deaf to reality.

    As it has said many times before, fools and their money are easily parted!

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