Streetcar Porkies From Vancouver

You just got to hand it to Vision(less) Vancouver and its lap-dog bureaucracy in finding ways to discredit the heritage streetcar.

The Olympic Line, which operated just two Bombardier Flexity trams (3050 & 3051), had about 550,000 boardings in its short two month run and was proven to be extremely successful, so successful in fact it won the Light Rail Transit Association’s ‘Worldwide Project of the Year’ award in 2010!

Vision(less) Vancouver has now sold its soul to the SkyTrain Lobby and wants a multi billion dollar SkyTrain subway under Broadway and in true Orwellian fashion is making the successful Heritage railway and Olympic Line, unsuccessful;Ai?? making truth, untruth.

ai???The most effective way to destroy modern light rail in Vancouver is to deny and obliterate any understanding of successful LRT in Vancouver’s history, (Apologizes to George Orwell.) The mayor and the rest of Vision(less) Vancouver’s councilors and their compliant bureaucracy are creating a regime of untruths about LRT in any form, starting with the, until now, successful Olympic Line.

Shame on Vision(less) Vancouver and shame on Peter Judd, a manager of engineering.

Addendum: This is an updated post to correct a mistake. There were two trams in operation and not one as originally reported. Zwei shut off comments because of a mass of spam(over 80) and inflammatory comments.

Vancouver’s streetcar service a costly ‘novelty’ marred by problems: report

Ai??By Matthew Robinson, Vancouver SunMarch 23, 2014

Vancouverai??i??s historic streetcar line is a bust, according to a recent memorandum to city council on the viability of maintaining the service.

The Downtown Historic Railway, designed in the late 1990s to promote the use of streetcars in the city, has been plagued by service disruptions, carries less passengers per year than an average city bus route does in a day, and should not be revived, according to the report, prepared by Peter Judd, a manager of engineering with the city.

ai???It is a novelty,ai??? wrote Judd, who recommended the cityai??i??s cash and effort be permanently directed away from passenger service on the railway, which has not been in use for a few years.

The line normally runs from July to October and is serviced by a pair of city-leased, vintage streetcars, according to the report.

But not only do the cars tend to serve few passengers when theyai??i??re working, wrote Judd, when theyai??i??re broken, staff find themselves bartering with collectors and museums to bring in replacement parts.

His report also points to the potential for collisions ai??i?? there have been ten to date, costing the city $90,000 ai??i?? as well as liability for rail operations and the risk of third party claims as reasons why now should be the end of the line for the streetcar.

ai???The risks and challenges have certainly impacted the reliability of the service and therefore made a scheduled service extremely difficult to maintain,ai??? wrote Judd. ai???As such, it does not provide a useful or reliable transportation

The railway originally ran from Granville Island to Science World, but it was chopped in half during the 2010 Winter Olympics, and now only stretches as far as the Cambie Street corridor.

Tourism Vancouver told city staff the railway is a nice tourist experience, but the report notes that it does not appear to be an economic driver.

One of the two streetcars will be turned over to the Transit Museum Society and the other will be repaired and delivered to its private owner, according to the report.



One Response to “Streetcar Porkies From Vancouver”
  1. Haveacow says:

    That’s so sad, as person who is involved in historic rail preservation I just find it sad. I got to help restore Toronto Civic Railway Car # 55 at the Halton County Radial Railway and Museum many years ago while I was still in school. I highly recommend the museum if you get a chance to go. I find it amazing that San Francisco can run a huge in town museum operation and the F Market Line with 80+ pieces of rolling stock and Vancouver with its highly unique line can’t keep two cars running. I hope some dedicated volunteers take over and keep their single car running and in good shape. It says a lot about Vancouver.

    Zwei replies: It is a shame, but the CoV has done everything in its power to rid themselves of the downtown railway and the only reason I can surmise for this that the very same line saw over 550,000 boardings in just two months of operation which is counter to their “streetcars do not attract ridership” spiel.