Vancouver’s Streetcar (Tram) Planning – TransLink Boldly Plans For The 1940′s

Recent comments on various transit blogs, by representatives of TransLink only confirm that TransLink does not wish to build with light rail and their current LRT/streetcar/tram planning for Vancouver is woefully dated.

It has been mentioned several times in the past month that a 2010 news item from Karlsruhe Germany, that the main tram line through the city was being relocated in a subway because of the success of the regional TramTrain network the main route through the city of Karlsruhe, was seeing 45 second headways.

45 second headways equals 90 trams per hour and with the Karlsruhe three section articulated trams and TramTrain having a capacity of about 250 persons; the capacity offered by LRT on this route about 22,500 persons per hour per direction. Except of course, many trams and TramTrains operate in coupled sets during peak hours, thus the peak hour capacity of this simple tram line was in excess of 40,000 pphpd!

Not true“, moan the venerable ‘trolley-jolly’ crowd, lost in their dreams of PCC heaven; “impossible” drone TransLink’s planners, “can’t be done“. Yet evidence demonstrates that not only is this possible, it happens every business day!

The Karlsruhe tram/subway story shows demonstrates two very important items:

  1. LRT/streetcars/LRT can carry large volumes of customers when needed.
  2. The threshold for building a very expensive subway, is much higher than TransLink’s guesstimate of 5,000 pphpd, or the more universally accepted 15,000 pphpd, rather the threshold for putting transit in a subway is probably in the 30,000 pphpd. range!

As modern light rail and its variants, including streetcars and TramTrainAi??continue to evolve, TransLink remains deaf, blind and mute about modern light rail and wastes the taxpayers money telling tall tales about streetcars, that lost their relevance in the 1940′s.

Is TransLink relevant?

Should TransLink be in the planning game at all?


One Response to “Vancouver’s Streetcar (Tram) Planning – TransLink Boldly Plans For The 1940′s”
  1. Andrew Dawson says:

    Karlsruhe should still keep the tracks on the surface, though move some tram routings under ground.