The Karlsruhe model of a dual-mode railway system

The Karlsruhe model of a dual-mode railway

Country: Germany
Type: Policies
Area: Entire City, Region
Actors: Local Gov.
Funding: Local Gov., Regional Gov., National Gov., Private
Topics: Built environment
Objectives: Increase non-motorised mobility
Increase use of public transport
Reduce car mobility
Reduce energy consumption

A coupled set of GT-8′s in Karlsruhe operatin on the main tramway


The dual-mode railway system of Karlsruhe is widely regarded as the model of a high-quality and well patronised local public transport system. The successful track-sharing experience of the Karlsruhe Stadtbahn, the Citynew tram system, revolutionise the urban and regional public transport system as this Karlsruhe tram is running on the urban light rail system and on the heavy rail tracks of the German Railways. The Karlsruhe model of a dual-mode railway system is an outstanding example of best practice in urban development for the following reasons:

  • continuous extension of an environmentally compatible transport system from
    the urban area to the region;
  • introduction of innovative technology;
  • dissemination of know-how;
  • facilitation of commuter movement between railway and tramway by through
  • revitalisation of urban life in the city centre by serving pedestrian

Concept and aims

Transferability is the key to the creation of an effective public transport system that can serve the urban area as well as the conurbation as a whole. The linking of different modes is essential in the public transport sector in order to attract new passengers by offering travelling standards that can compete with the car. In Karlsruhe the peripheral location of the railway station initially required that a large number of commuters have to change from the railway to the tramway connection. This has two major disadvantages. Firstly, the trips become lengthy and, secondly, the passengers have to pay an extra ticket due to non-integrated fares. It is obvious that the philosophy of the Karlsruhe public transport system started with the target of establishing intermodality between
tramway and railway.

The concept of track-sharing between light rail and heavy rail vehicles had been investigated in an initial study by the Federal German Ministry for Research in 1984/85. The results triggered off the development of the so-called Karlsruhe Model. Three fundamental preconditions characterise the new approach:

  1. The transport system has to use vehicles which can use the light rail tracks
    of the city area as well as the heavy rail tracks of the German Rail (Deutsche
    Bundesbahn AG) on the regional level.
  2. The different railway networks have to be connected;
  3. The new network has to incorporate the building of new stops along the
    existing heavy railway lines in order to cut the travelling time.

The origins of the Karlsruhe model of a dual-mode transport system can be traced back to the 1950s. In 1957 the metre gauge Albtalbahn merged with the city tramway. The Albtalbahn is running south from its own station near the German Rail main station to the spa of Bad Herrenalb and Ittersbach in the Black Forest. At the time the railway was converted to a standard gauge and could be
operated by city trams providing a through service to the city centre. The experience was exploited again in the period of 1979 to 1989 when the Albtalbahn
service was progressively extended to the north of Karlsruhe by using the German Rail branch line. With the new connection to Neureut the basic innovation has been introduced. On the new line the railway leaves the separate railway line at special points and runs through village streets.

This development laid the foundation for a new concept of far-reaching operations on a mixed light rail and heavy rail network. So far it had been possible to install tramway overhead electrification at 750 V DC on the shared track sections but extensions should need to operate with the 15 KV AC electrification of DB lines. Experiments were undertaken with prototype battery and dual system tram. The dual system was found more efficient as the equipment allows voltage change with the tram in motion. The dual system vehicle type is supplied by the Duewag rail vehicle company which is part of the Siemens rail vehicle group. An important factor of the new type of vehicle is that it uses the safety standards of ordinary heavy rail vehicles (low passive safety) and, thus, allows travel at higher speeds in the region.


The area served by the integrated transport system has 1,200,000 inhabitants, including 270,000 from the Greater Karlsruhe area. Most of the served suburbs have between 25,000 and 30,000 inhabitants.

The practice of intermodality started in 1992 when the Karlsruhe Model, the so-called Stadtbahn (the city tram system), started its service between Karlsruhe and Bretten (30.2 km). This was the first route which is run on the heavy rail tracks (21 km) and which also includes a twin ack section of 2.8 km due to the busy schedule on the German Rail line. This service has provided some
significant changes:

  • shorter timetable intervals (every hour during off-peak hours and every 30
    minutes during peak hours)
  • more stops,
  • single fare structure,
  • integration of the local bus network (at Bretten),
  • provision of park and ride facilities for bicycles and cars.

In the meantime the Stadtbahn is running on its own network of approximately 400 km. In 1996 the total network of the new corporate structure serves approximately 600 km as some of the routes are rented from the German Rail. The service has been continuously extended in all directions. Since 1994 the region on the other side of the river Rhine is served to the City of Worth in the Land
of Rhineland Palatinate. To the north the Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe und Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft (VBK/AVG) has added the line to Eppingen to its corporate network as they bought the line from German Rail. In the south the famous spa of Baden-Baden can be reached by Stadtbahn since May 1994. However, the link to the Baden-Baden centre still has to be completed as the once
existing railway network had been removed. The northern part of the Black Forest has also become part of the co-operative structure of Karlsruhe in June 1996.
However, the route to Baden-Baden and to Forbach in the Black Forest are both rented from the German Rail. In contrast the VBK/AVGown track to Eppingen will be extended to the City of Heilbronn within the next two years.

Results and Impacts

The first dual-mode line between Karlsruhe and Bretten proved to be highly successful. Since the opening in September 1992, there has been a 479% increase in passengers. 40% of the customers have previously used their private car. The number of passenger has also gone up at weekends. The number of public transport passengers before the opening of the Stadtbahn was 533,660 in total (488,400 on workdays, 39,000 on Saturdays, and 6,200 on Sundays) where

as the figures after six months of operation of the Stadtbahn have increased to a total of 2,554,976 (2,064,378 on workdays, 263,120 on Saturdays, and 227,478 on Sundays). The percentage increase is 423% on workdays, 675% on Saturdays, and 3,660% on Sundays!

32% of the passengers used monthy environmental tickets, 21% use city or regional cards, 20% use apprentice or student tickets, 12% use tickets of the German Rail, 6% use four-trips tickets, 4% use single tickets and the remaining 5% have some other special ticket. Since the setting up of a co-operative structure for the travelling area in 1994 the former German Rail tickets are sold by the VBK/AKB. Surveys into the purpose of travelling with the Stadtbahn showed that 38% of the passengers travel to work, 23% are on their way to training, 15% of the travel share is during leisure time, 12% of the travel is for shopping, and the remaining 12% are related to various reasons.

The success of the Stadtbahn is mainly due to the shorter travelling intervals, the increase in number of stops and the higher comfort of the light rail. Thanks to faster acceleration and braking the VBK/AKB only requires three light rail vehicles for a comparable service previously operated by the German Rail with four diesel trains. The ecological benefit is an extra bonus. The difference in energy costs is about 18,000 DM per year / per train.

In 1994 the total number of passenger of the Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe und Albtal-Verkehrs- Gesellschaft amounted 93.9 million.

The Karlsruhe Model can be regarded as an optimal solution of a public transport system that should serve medium-sized cities and regions with a population of 200,000 to 500,000. At times of financial pressure the revitalisation of existing and under-used tracks is preferable to the construction of new and often parallel lines. In this context the Karlsruhe experience is a valuable asset in order to generate transferability of a successful system. Currently, the Verkehrs-Consult Karlsruhe GmbH (VCK), the consultancy subsidiary of the VBK/AKB, is helping to build several follow-up

  • The City of SaarbrA?cken (190,000 inhabitants in the city and 280,000 in the
    region) is the most advanced scheme. The implementation started in 1995, and the
    operation of the first route will start in 1997. The project includes 15 km of
    newly constructed inner city tracks and the total investment is 540 million DM.
  • In Heilbronn (122,000 inhabitants in the city and 415,000 in the region)
    there will be only 9 km of new tracks but the light rail system will gain access
    to approximately 220 km of regional heavy rail tracks. As the city is only 80 km
    from Karlsruhe the plan is to connect both networks in order to set up a direct
    connection from Karlsruhe to Heilbronn via Bretten by 1998.
  • The City of Aachen (280,000 inhabitants in the city and 630,000 in the
    region) decided in July 1995 to build a system which is re-using the tracks that
    had been closed in the 1970s. Parallel planning incorporates a linkage with the
    lines to Herzogenrath (MAi??nchengladbach) and Stolberg (KAi??ln-DA?ren) as well as a
    line across the border to the Dutch city of Heerlen. The electrification in the
    City of Aachen will be 1500 V DC which is the Dutch voltage standard. Priority
    is given to the connection to the DA?ren area as the upgrading of this network is
    making fast progress. In 1995 the investment for the modernisation and
    standardisation of access points, the building of additional stops, and the
    purchase of 16 new rail vehicles totalled approximately 53 million DM.
  • The City of Kassel (195,000 inhabitants in the city and 550,000 in the
    region) has started to operate a 3.5 km light rail track in the district of
    Baunatal which is also using the heavy rail track of the regional rail, the
    Kassel-Naumburger Eisenbahn. In Kassel a special solution is the use of
    four-rail tracks at stops to allow low-floor platforms outside heavy rail
  • The City of Chemnitz (270,000 inhabitants and 600,000 in the region) will
    also use low-floor light rail vehicles with a power-pack for use on five
    non-electrified regional German Rail lines. The power pack system is a test case
    which could become a model for cities with a non- electrified regional rail

Other German cities like Dresden, Kiel, Ulm, OsnabrA?ck, Paderborn, and Rostock are currently investigating the possibilities of an adoption of the Karlsruhe Model. In most cases these cities already had a light rail system which had been abandoned in the 1960s or 1970s.

In addition, the Karlsruhe Model has also had some impact in other European cities. In Austria the cities of Graz and St. PAi??lten are in the process of assessment with the Austria Rail (Ai??BB). Feasibility studies should be completed in 1996. In Great Britain there is growing interest. Nottingham, Karlsruhetwin town, has completed the first planning phase of a new track-sharing system, the
so- called Robin Hood line. Newcastle upon Tyne, the towns in the Medway valley in Kent, and Cardiff are further candidates for a system. The introduction depends on a change in financing on the local level. In Great Britain private funding of public transport is the normal case whereas in Germany the financing is via Land and municipality funding. Currently, the thinking is mainly directed
towards the possible use of existing infrastructure. In France the Karlsruhe Model has been discussed for the region of Ile de France (8,120,000 inhabitants) and the cities of Marseille and Valenciennes. In the Netherlands studies are being carried out in the Rijn and Bolenstreek region which includes the cities of Alphen aan Rjin, Gouda, Leiden, and Nordwijk. Similar planning has been
initiated in Maastricht, Heerelen, and Kerkade. The City and Region of Luxembourg is also interested and the City of Ljubljana in Slovenia (260,000 inhabitants in the city and 360,000 in the region) is the first East European municipality which has commissioned a feasibility study for 1995/96.

Actors and Structures

The co-operative structure of Karlsruhepublic transport (Verkehrsverbund) was
founded in 1994 by five public transport companies which operate different
networks. The Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe und Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft
(VBK/AVG) are the main operators. The company has a total staff of 1,400 (722


The total investment in the basic infrastructure and the first generation of
vehicles amounted to 80 million DM. The new route to Bretten alone cost some 45
million DM in 1989 (excluding the ten dual-voltage vehicles). Other technical
infrastructure investment is directed to the building of connection points, the
building of depots, and the purchase of new rolling stock. The price of a dual-
voltage light rail vehicle of the first generation was 4.5 million DM. 15% of
the costs are taken by the dual-voltage equipment. The second generation of
vehicles is expected to be less expensive.

Due to the German financing method of co-funding
(Gemeinde-Verkehrs-Finanzierungsgesetz) the financing of vehicles is split
between the national government (50%), the City of Karlsruhe (25%) and the
municipalities and districts (Landkreise) in the region cover the remaining

The investment costs for infrastructure (e.g. electrification, twin tracks,
park & ride facilities) are shared between the national government (60%),
regional government of the Land of Baden- WA?rttemberg (20 to 25%), and the local
communities (10 to 15%).

It is interesting that Karlsruhe, like other cities with a well patronised
public transport system, has one of the highest percentage of costs covered.
Revenue from fares covers 66% of the costs in the area of Karlsruhe and 85% of
the costs within the region.

In June 1996 the new zone network has been introduced. Prices for a monthly
environmental ticket are 54 DM (two zones), 72.50 DM (three zones), 90.50 DM
(four zones), 109 DM (five zones), 127.50 DM (six zones), and 165 DM for the
network as a whole. Special prices for apprentices are 45 DM for the Karlsruhe
or Baden-Baden area, 55 DM for three zones, or 85 DM for the complete network.
Students also have special tariffs as the term tickets for five months cost 180
DM inside Karlsruhe, 220 DM for three zones, or 340 DM for the complete network.
A single ticket costs 2 DM (one zone), 3 DM (two zones), 4 DM (three zones), 5
DM (four zones), 6 DM (five zones), 7 DM (six zones), or 8 DM (network as a
whole). Special offers are a city card or the three-zones ticket for 8 DM each
or the regional card for the complete network. These ticket are valid for two
persons and 24 hours. Other services include the so-called combination tickets
for special events (e.g. fairs and exhibitions, concerts and music festivals,
sport events in Karlsruhe or a special 150 km one-day trip to the Bundesliga
football game in Freiburg) and the school childrens ticket for the six-weeks
summer holiday (30 DM). Company tickets are also available with a 5% reduction
for over 50 cards or 10% reduction for over 300 cards. In 1994 5,000 company
tickets have been sold and another 4,000 company tickets for five big employers
have special price arrangements. All tickets are valid on the Stadtbahn, the
light rail transit, and the buses.

Evaluation and Statements

At the time of the opening of the Stadtbahn between Karlsruhe and Bretten in
September the VBK/AKB commissioned an evaluation study on the change in mobility
pattern. The researchers selected the districts of GrAi??tzingen (9,500
inhabitants) and JAi??hlingen (4,500 inhabitants) as case studies. The two surveys
have been completed as a pre-survey in April 1992 before the service went into
operation and a second round questionnaire a year later. Approximately 2,000
people participated by filling out of the questionnaires or by giving
interactive interviews.

The results underline that the new Stadtbahn has made an impact:

  • mobility as a whole remained on the same level;
  • use of the Stadtbahn led to an increase of the total public transport from
    20% to 25% in GrAi??tzingen;
  • use of the Stadtbahn led to an increase of the total public transport to 75%
    in JAi??hlingen;
  • change from private car to the Stadtbahn does not result in a secondary use
    of the car by other members of the household;
  • total increase of trips by Stadtbahn is due to an increase in first-time
  • there are still potentials of increase which can be scooped out by soft
    policies like information campaign and special events.

Source of Information

Drechsler, Georg 1987: Beispiel Karlsruhe: Aufbau des Strassenbahn- /
Stadtbahnnetzes in der Stadt und Region Karlsruhe, in: Reinhardt KAi??stlin /
Hellmut Wollmann, (Hg.), Die Renaissance der Strassenbahn, S. 297-334

Ludwig, Dieter / Emmerich, Horst / in der Beek, Martin, 1994: Erfahrungen mit
der ersten Stadtbahn auf Bundesgleisen. Ein Jahr Gemeinschaftsbetrieb Karlsruhe
Bretten, in: Der Nahverkehr, Nr. 1-2, S. 42-50

Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe und Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft mbh 1994:
Potentiale fA?r den Ai??ffentlichen Personennahverkehr, Karlsruhe

Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe und Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft mbh 1995: report

Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe und Albtal-Verkehrs-Gesellschaft mbh 1995:
Stadtbahn Karlsruhe- Bretten. Untersuchung A?ber das MobilitAi??tsverhalten,

Ludwig, Dieter / KA?hn, Axel 1995: Das Karlsruher Modell und seine
A?bertragbarkeit, in: Der Nahverkehr, 13. Jg., Nr. 10, S. 12-22

Griffin, Trevor 1995: Trams on heavy rail tracks: The Karlsruhe experience,
in: European Railway Review, November, pp. 55-57

Ludwig, Dieter 1995: Der regionale Schienenverkehr – am Beispiel des
Karlsruher Modells, in: Hartmut H. Topp, (Hg.), Verkehr aktuell: Renaissance der
StraAYenbahn, Kaiserslautern, S. 61-67


Name : Ludwig
Firstname : Dieter
Telefon : ++49 / 721 / 599 59 02
Telefax : ++49 / 721 / 599 59 09
Address : Managing Director
Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe
Tullastr. 71
D – 76131 Karlsruhe


Karlsruhe :

The City of Karlsruhe has a population of approximately 270,000 and the
region accounts for some 1.2 million people. The region covers an area of 2,700
square kilometres. The City of Karlsruhe is a centre of administrative
authorities as well as the Federal Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht). Karlsruhe
has a Technical University and a nuclear test laboratory
(Kernforschungszentrum). The City is near the River Rhine and it has an
important port in the Karlsruhe-Rheinhafen district.



Project was added at 27.06.96
Project was changed at

Extract from the database ‘SURBAN – Good
practice in urban development’, sponsored by: European Commission, DG XI and
Land of Berlin
European Academy of the Urban Environment Ai?? Bismarckallee
46-48 Ai?? D-14193 Berlin Ai?? fax: ++49-30-8959 9919 Ai?? e-mail:


21 Responses to “The Karlsruhe model of a dual-mode railway system”
  1. R. G. says:

    Its too bad we have such short sighted politicians. I guess we have to thank the lack of far range thinking of government officials. It is interesting when I talked with John Les the MLA about rail for the valley five years ago, his comment was we do not have the population base. I thought you obviously have not travelled to Melbourne , Australia, where they have a great rail system for moving people. I guess when you like to spend taxpayers money on skytrain which is exorbitant in cost per mile you don’t seem to get what the rest of the world is doing. The time of the car has to come to an end when commuting. The big fight will be the Motor Dealer Association which has a powerful lobby in Victoria and my question will be how are we going to move people around the lower mainland when we have total gridlock and overinflated fuel prices. When does the public actually wake up to the fact that the car is in demise. Just a few thoughts.

  2. Evil Eye says:

    Any elected official who claims; “We don’t have the density or the population base for LRT is ignorant.

  3. rico says:

    The valley would have the density….but there is not a good corridor, the interurban line corridor between Chilliwack and Langley is very indirect. That means unless travel speeds are very high most people would be better served by a more direct bus….and more people using it will equal more frequency. I think the valley would be better served with a S-bahn type service on a new route even if it is more expensive. Although a tramtrain on the interurban could be reasonably cheap to implement its cost per rider would be very high because it would not be an effecient choice for almost anyone East of Langley.

  4. zweisystem says:

    A new route for the valley interurban would be so expensive that it would never be built in our lifetimes. The RftV/Leewood interurban study could see operation up and running in a year or two. Your nay-saying of the route is sad as you don’t have a clue about the dynamics of rail operation. If you have read the RftV/Leewood report, you would have found a 90 minute travel time from Chilliwack to Scott road on the present route. As well, buses just do not attract ridership, while a train does.

    The basic $500 million Scott road STN. to Chilliwack, would probably be more cost effect ice to operate than SkyTrain, something that TransLink and the province are very worried about!

  5. rico says:

    I am not a transit expert but from my experience with the interurban route….in particular with the alignment and number of stops proposed in the study the 80 to 100km per hour OPERATING speed quoted in the study does not pass the sniff test (for the record I think the 60km MAX the MoTH used is too low though)…that speed is higher than several heavy rail lines I have been on in Swizerland with better alignments. If such high speeds are truely feasible it may compensate for some of the alignment issues.
    It should be noted that Scott road is unlikely to be a final destination for any travellers most trips will have a greater time penalty than a trip to Scott road from Chilliwack. For example I looked up travel time by car on one of those map/direction sites(sorry can’t remember which one anymore but they should all be similar) travel time Chilliwack to Scott road stn is 65 min (vs Leewood 90min) but travel to Van city hall is only 82min (and DT would be less) obviously an express bus would be slower than a car but you can see it would be faster than the interurban route even assuming the 80-100km/hr OPERATING speed.

  6. zweisystem says:

    Rico, sadly your comments tend now to be desperate, but then the SkyTrain/light metro lobby’s pro SkyTrain spiel normally is. If one wished to look at the old interurbans operation, the trams regularly operated at 90 kph or more on the route. What slowed service was that the route was a freight/milk run with scores of stations or stops that slowed commercial speed to a snail’s pace. Specials ran much faster.

    Max’s fasted speed are 90 kph on selected portions of the route.

    Have you tried driving from Scott Road Stn. to Chilliwack lately, I think not, but 65 minutes, I would suspect is only valid from midnight to 5 am. 25 minutes more on a TramTrain, having a coffee and reading a newspaper of book seems a fair trade-off to take the train, I know I would and if the service extended to Vancouver, taking the train would be all the more easier.

  7. rico says:

    Note the Leewood travel times were based on Operating speeds of 80-100km/hr not max speeds. A 100km max speed is reasonable , a 80km operating speed based on the proposal is not. Maybe you should give me your definition of operating speeds because I am not sure you understand the difference between it and maximum speeds.

  8. zweisystem says:

    RftV will get Leewood Projects to repond.

  9. the Ragnore brothers says:

    We’re not sure Rico, of the point you are trying to prove?
    Could you enlighten us on what you would define, as the difference between Operating and Maxiimum speed.
    We suspect that you are using the AASHTO definition, no?
    A question for you Rico, what do you determine as the Operating & Maximum speeds on the following transit systems:
    West Coast Express
    Canada Line
    Calgary Transit `C Train’
    Edmonton LRT
    Toronto Subway and RT

  10. rico says:

    I had to look up what the aashto definition was…and no by operating speed I was refering to end to end run times including stops/boardings etc. Maximum speed would be the max speed a given vehicle could go on a given route.

    My recollection is skytrain has a max speed of about 90km/hr and an operating speed of about 40-45km/hr. I do not know the others but except for the West Coast express would expect them to be similar give or take 10-15km. The West Coast express should have a higher operating speed based purely on station spacing…not sure what the max would be.

  11. zweisystem says:

    Well done.

  12. rico says:

    Has Leewood responded?

  13. zweisystem says:

    About what? Look, Leewood Projects has a lot more better things to do, than play silly buggers here. If you have real questions, email Leewood directly.

  14. Rico says:

    I figured they would, I find it amazing they have devoted the time they have to RfTV of course you said RfTV would ask them to respond so silly me I thought you may follow through.

  15. zweisystem says:

    I find it amazing that you would expect a very busy overseas consultant to drop everything and respond to your questions.

    The sad fact is, much of your rhetoric is unfounded and anti-LRT. Having worked with Leewood projects for over two years has shown that much of what TransLink spews as fact is merely unprofessional drivel and that many take it as fact shows that they have been conned by some of the best in the game.

    Railways are railways and the same principles of operation are the same in Canada, Europe and Asia. The same is true of LRT, tram or streetcar, with the main operational impediment being politicians and hide-bound engineers, unwilling to accept modern public transit philosophy.

    Again, I go back to my question that you never answered; ” If SkyTrain is so good, why has it no one buys it?”

  16. Interurbans says:

    I’d say Rico that you’ve probably received as much of an answer as you’re ever going to get to your questioning, from the Ragnore brothers and Zweisystem
    Zweisystem is correct in what he says; the Leewood Projects European consultants published a detailed scheme proposal in September 2010, in which journey time planning, operating speeds, headways and timetabling were projected.
    You would be advised to contact Leewood Projects directly (contact details are included in the proposal) and take the matter up with them, rather than persist with your current line of questioning; which seems at best perverse & at worst divisive.
    I note from your 16 March response that the operating & maximum speeds you have quoted for Skytrain & WCE are in the same range as the proposal for the Interurban Tram Train, coincidence or do you not really have any worthwhile arguments?

  17. the Ragnore brothers says:

    It never ceases to amaze, that on-line forums attract such demanding and exacting individuals as you Rico, what we find concerning is that time & time again the debate becomes fixated on speed. Too many people are determined that to justify transit you have to specify a maximum achievable speed, in order to compete with the automobile.
    There is a lot more to designing a transit system than stipulating the maximum speed Rico, which as a Translink aficionado we would have thought you would have well understood?

  18. Rico says:

    Interurban, unless I misread the LeeWood letter the Interurban TramTrain was based on operating speeds of 80-100km/hr which would be more than double the Skytrain operating speeds. The portions of tracks I am familiar with tend to have relatively sharp corners and high grades for railways (certainly not undoable but I would expect lower maximum speeds in these sections), in addition the tram train proposal has a fair number of stops. I would expect it would take realignment of sections of the route and a reduced number of stops to achieve 80-100km/hr operating speeds. Maybe I am divisive, but I doubt many would consider me more divisive than zeisystem. That said I would favour spending more money on a better alignment that would see faster travel times and better ridership (I would rate an investment as cost per rider or cost per new rider so something that does not cost much (Tram Train version 1.0 500 million) may not perform as well as something costing lots, S-Bahn to Chilliwack 5 billion (number pulled from my ass))). If the government can be talked into including a lower deck for rail in the Patullo bridge replacement a S-bahn type service might work (for sure at least to Langley).

  19. zweisystem says:

    The BCE interurban line was designed for short wheelbase interurbans, which meant they could obtain higher speeds. During the trials for the British railways Pacer Unit in 1986, the unit reached its maximum speed of 120 kph on several portions of the line, but was restricted to a maximum of 50 mph/80 kph in revenue service. The BCE interurbans reached unofficial speeds in the 80+mph range on non-stop special services.

    We are talking modern trams on the line with high rates of acceleration, not 1910 vintage trams!

  20. Evil Eye says:

    So rico, how are going to get the taxpayer to ante up $80 mil., $100 mil./km for an S-bahn, when the Leewood study shows that TramTrain can be built for $5 mi. to $7mil/km? Or put his way, who is going to pay $16 billion to $20 billion, where $1 billion gets the job done.

    I am binging to see why this blog is focusing on Toronto; subways, metros, and S-bahns are cheap talk, but if no one going to pay for it, they are not going to be built.

    Dream on o subway, dream on, for the only subway to be built in Surrey and the valley are in the dreams of dreamers, who had too much BC bud.

    The Rail for the Valley people seem to understand there is only one taxpayer and pie in the sky transit, is just that, pie in the sky..

  21. rico says:

    I guess an apology of sorts is in order, I should of just reread the report and crunched my own numbers. The 90min end to end travel time is an operational speed of 65km/hr. Although with 18 stops and a lot of tight curves 65km/hr seems a touch fast it is not pie in the sky. At 1.5 hours to Scott road I still don’t think it will get many riders….that alone would be more than the total travel time of my cousin who lives in Zurich but works in Basel. The key is even when you are at Scott road your journey is not over ( unless you don’t have a HomeDepo?). I can’t see many people using 1\6th (4hrs) of their day to use it. I don’t imagine a lot of Chilliwack or Abottsford to Langly or Newton or Cloverdale trips either.