Streetcars out for the North Shore, in for Vancouver!

Interesting local news about implementing a modern streetcar line in the greater Vancouver region.

Modern trams are not as expensive as one would think as the following shows, but if TransLink is involved, the cost of a new tram/streetcar would be at almost ten times more!

On October 11, 2006 he Spanish town of Véléz Malaga finally opened its tramway for public service. Over 15000 passengers were carried on the first two days. The 4.6-km line links the town (20 km east of Malaga) with its beach resort of Torre del Mar and cost EUR 18 million (CAD $24.59 million). The cost of the 4.6 km Véléz Malaga tram works out to about $5.4 million/km!

One wishes the promoters on the North Shore and Vancouver well, but I have my doubts that myopic politicos will allow a streetcar to be built; while in Vancouver, politicians may feel that Surrey may get streetcar funding before they do.

What is of particular interest is that the right leaning Vancouver NPA civic political party is endorsing a streetcar, which certainly tells Zwei that the public are on board for such a venture, nothing is promoted in Vancouver without extensive polling of the publics opinion.

Modern streetcars fit into the urban landscape.

End of the line

North Shore News September 21, 2011
In a perfect world, a streetcar service connecting North Vancouver’s utilitarian but depressing Phibbs Exchange with West Vancouver’s quaint and quirky community of Dundarave would be packed with tourists flinging cash out of the windows at local businesses.

Unfortunately for Coun. Bob Fearnley’s idea, startup costs in today’s environment of fiscal prudence make it a non-starter.

Municipal, regional and provincial coffers are filled by the same taxpayers who are already turning white from blood loss and have no appetite for underwriting TransLink’s current plans to expand service. For this concept to be taken seriously, a private benefactor willing to pay the infrastructure costs is necessary. Monday night’s City of North Vancouver council meeting made no mention of such backers.

Then there is the congestion issue. East-west traffic on the North Shore – especially at the Marine Drive level – gets more difficult by the month and will continue to get worse. Additional residential development is planned in Lynnmour/Second Narrows, Lower Capilano and Park Royal. We know it is likely in Lower Lonsdale, Mosquito Creek, Harbourside, Ambleside Park and Ambleside. Surely we are not going to add rails to the road on a corridor that is already choked to breaking point.

We would be far more supportive of an idea previously discussed by city council about running North Vancouver’s restored Streetcar No. 153 along a short rail line, perhaps connecting Mosquito Creek and the shipyards.


Portland’s Skoda Inekon low-floor articulated trams (streetcars) has a capacity of 157 customers.

Mayoral candidate Anton hops aboard Vancouver streetcar plan

By Kent Spencer, The ProvinceSeptember 21, 2011 12:02 PM

Suzanne Anton promises to bring streetcars to Vancouver if she is elected mayor of Vancouver in November’s civic elections.

“The benefits would far outweigh the initial costs,” she told a press conference that kicked off the NPA’s election campaign.

Anton provided few details of how the $80-million line, from Waterfront to Granville Island, would work or who would pay for it.

She said the NPA would seek private investors within 60 days of being elected.

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2 Responses to “Streetcars out for the North Shore, in for Vancouver!”
  1. Dave 2 says:

    8.5 million dollars spent on upgrading the track from Olympic Village to Granville Island… but the line from Olympic Village was ripped up and never replaced… We’re worse off than we were in 2008. The long talked about Downtown Streetcar network to the Roundhouse, Gastown, and Stanley Park would be great, but lets restore the line to Science World sooner rather than later.

  2. zweisystem says:

    In Europe, the cost of two track tram line & overhead is about $6 million/KM to $8 million/KM, depending on what has to be done “underground”. Many tram/streetcar projects come to grief when city engineering departments, use new tram/streetcar construction as a ruse to download street renewals onto the tram/streetcar budget! Toronto is a good example of this.

    The Current ‘streetcar/LRT (it is actually light rail) line was built to mainline railway status as it seems the city engineer hasn’t read a book on streetcar constructing!