A Letter to Vancouver Island Politicians

With the spectre of global warming wreaking havoc on our province, it is time to get serious about doing what we can to alleviate emissions from internal combustion engines. At the same time we must invest in ways other than asphalt solutions to mitigate endemic traffic congestion. Today, only a rail based transit system can achieve this by providing an affordable and user friendly alternative to the car and retaining the ability to carry freight.
In 2009, Rail for theValley engaged Leewood Projects (UK) to do an independent feasibility study about the viability of using the former BC Electric railway route, reinstating the former interurban route from Vancouver to Chilliwack.Released in September 2010, the Leewood Study showed that not only was a passenger service viable, reinstating a passenger rail service was affordable.The Leewood Study can be accessed on the Rail for the Valley website at www.railforthevalley.comIn 2021, adjusting for inflation, a regional passenger rail service is still very affordable, when compared to extending Metro Vancouver’s SkyTrain light-metro lines, which now has a base cost in excess of $200 million per km to build!

The Leewood Study found that a Scott Road Station to Chilliwack passenger service, adjusted for inflation for 2021 dollars, would be $594,847,133.00) or $6.07m per km).

The service would see a maximum of three trains per hour per direction (20 minute service), with a total journey time of 90 minutes from Chilliwack to Scott Road.

Upon advice from Leewood Projects, the use of modern light diesel multiple units (DMU’s) was envisioned, as there are many suppliers, providing a wide range of product. Modern low-floor DMU’s have wheelchair accessible W.C.’s and some models also offer a “Bistro Car” option, serving light refreshments for longer trips.

TramTrain Zwikau3
A German DMU .

Today’s modern DMU’s are modular and capacity can be increased by adding a module to the vehicle. Second hand DMU’s can be obtained at very reasonable prices, due to the fact many have been retired early when the lines they operated on have been electrified.

A Victoria to Courtney, via Nanaimo passenger service using the E&N is the affordable approach of providing a user-friendly transportation alternative to the car and the modern DMU has become dominant on regional railways.

The Leewood Study provides the framework for an affordable and proven 21st century transportation solution for Vancouver Island, instead of bigger and wider highways, which will attract more cars, leading to even greater future congestion and pollution.

Using existing railways greatly reduces building rail costs, enabling a larger rail network, providing more destinations, which is a proven winner in attracting new ridership; especially the motorist from the car. In the UK and Europe, abandoned, disused and mothballed railway lines are being reopened for passenger service and this trend of opening long lost passenger railway routes is steadily increasing.

River Line
New Jersey’s River Line, operating in the gutter lanes of a roadway.

The estimated cost of the 234 km refurbished to operate a modern DMU service, with a maximum of three trains per hour would be under $1.5 billion from Courtney to Victoria. The Port Alberni rail connection could be reopened soon after.

Put another way, a refurbished E&N would cost less than half of the now $3 billion, plus, 5.8 km Broadway subway or one third of the cost of the potentially $4.5 billion, 16 km Expo Line extension to Langley! A refurbished E&N would also, by its very nature, attract more new customers to transit than both of the proposed Metro Vancouver light-metro lines combined!

In the age of Global warming, where severe weather conditions are becoming the norm, Vancouver Island politicians must demand the provincial government spend the money to provide an affordable and attractive alternative to the car and that can only be a rail based decision. Vancouver Island has been treated as a pauper by the provincial government and it is time to give the Island its fair share of transit investment.

One just cannot blacktop their way out of global warming!

Do not be left at the station, waiting for exotic solutions that will never come or vague politcal promises that are never kept,  but jump on board a modern 21st century DMU, calling at all stations to Victoria!


Rail for the Valley


A RegioTram DMU in southern Germany


The Stadler Flirt DMU, now being used on Ottawa’s Trillium Line. The modular design allows the DMU to increase capacity affordably, by adding modules as ridership grows.

A 2020 50 year cost comparison by Ontario’s Metrolinx showing the 50 year financing on a per kilometre basis. The proposed Valley Rail would be less than that of a bus and the same would be true for a refurbished E&N Railway.
 Cost comparison


The Comparative cost of BC railway projects.

The 5.8 km Broadway subway – Now over $3 billion

The Expo line Extension to Langley – Now over $4 billion

The mid life rehab of the Expo and Millennium Lines – $3 billion

The Extension of the Broadway subway to UBC – Now over $5 billion

The North shore Rapid Transit Extension – Now over $5 billion

Rail for the Valley, Vancouver to Chilliwack - Under $1.3 billion

The E&N refurbishment with a Victoria to Courtenay DMU service – Under $1.5 billion


14 Responses to “A Letter to Vancouver Island Politicians”
  1. Bill Burgess says:

    Island politicians are more likely to pay attention to a recent, serious study of the E&N than to the Leewood proposal for rail service in a very different context.

    The BC Government commissioned this 2020 study of the rail bed, bridges etc. to restore freight and passenger operation of the E&N, see https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/driving-and-transportation/reports-and-reference/reports-and-studies/vancouver-island-south-coast/en-railway/ircca-report-2020/ircca-_summary_report_master_v13.pdf

    The cost to repair/upgrade to an initial stage (Class 2 track; 30 MPH passenger, but not suitable for 286k loading) was $327 million for the 140 km from Victoria to Courtenay plus the 40 km from Qualicum to Nanaimo. For an intermediate phase (Class 3 track, 60 MPH passenger, 286K loading) the cost would rise to $552 million, and for an ultimate phase with more trains, $729 million.

    However, sections of the full E&N could be put into service for much less $$$, and the section closest to Victoria could be upgraded to accommodate commuter-level service. Also, the Island Corridor Foundation, a non-profit society who now own the roadbed indicated think the first phase repairs could be had for less $$$. (See https://www.islandrail.ca/.)

    A competing approach is to instead dedicate the road bed to bicycle/walking trails.

    The study did not address the issue of rolling stock, but DMUs a la the Leewood Study would presumably be one choice.

    Meanwhile the repair/upgrade of only 1.5 km of Highway 4 at Kennedy Lake is now officially projected to cost $54 million. The final cost will almost certainly be much higher, as well as taking two years longer than originally proposed.

    Obviously, whisking mostly-wealthy tourists to Tofino a tiny bit faster is more important than initiating a strategic shift in transportation modes!

  2. Bill Burgess says:

    Oops, the 40 km from Qualicum to Port Alberni.

  3. Avery Johnson says:

    Where do you get the rehab cost for expo line as $3 billion? Oldest part of millennium line isn’t that old and I’m not aware of any significant additional track maintenance work over regular grinding. Replacing the running rail only cost $5 million: https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/translink-replacing-running-rail-on-expo-line . I can’t image most projects costing multiples more than than that. There’s new trains but that’s adds capacity rather than just pure maintenance since new cars are bigger and have open gangway. I’ve seen you post about some “operating certificate” for these lines yet I haven’t been able to find any evidence of that in my own research.

    Zwei replies: This has been an ongoing discussion with RftV.

    The rehab must include a complete upgrading of the electrical supply to operate at capacities, exceeding 15,000 pphpd. A complete new automatic train control system (ATC) as Bombardier is no longer supporting their CityFlow ATC. About 40,000 km of cabling needs replacing. All the switches (points) must be changed for higher speed operation. All stations must be rebuilt, which is ongoing. and those are just the major projects for the rehab. The new MALM cars is $2 billion, if Alstom adhere to the contract.

    The Expo Line is now 37 years old and was built to accommodate the old ICTS/ALRT cars and was slightly rebuilt for the larger and heavier Bombardier Innovia ART cars. I have been told locally that to operate 5 car trains, portions of the Expo line must be rebuilt.

    All rapid transit lines need rebuilding after 35-40 years of operation, it is a fact of life often over looked and certainly not financially factored in.

    This all is very, very expensive.

  4. zweisystem says:

    All transit systems operating in Canada need approval from Transport Canada and the Operating Certificate authorizes that the system is safe to use. The operating certificate limits the SkyTrain light metro’s capacity at 15,000 pphpd. it will increase slightly if 5 car trains are used but there is not enough electrical supply to maintain this.

  5. Haveacow says:

    As for the 5 car Skytrains, they will increase the maximum passenger capacity eventually, when your entire operating fleet is made up of 5 car trains, to 17500 people/hour/direction. Unfortunately, to raise the maximum operating frequency beyond the current limit of one train every 109 seconds, a whole lot of the old infrastructure, including the maxed out electrical power infrastructure, needs upgrades or outright replacement and Translink already knew this.

    Transport Canada warned them them the last time they had their maximum operating frequency raised to the 109 second limit. This legal/operational safety test/process can take up to two years and cost tens of millions of dollars to complete. An entire series of lists of recommended upgrades were going to be required if Translink wanted to go below the 109 second frequency limit.

    This meant that Translink is now being forced to do what other rail operators would mostly have done from the beginning, make your trains longer before you add more trains (increasing frequency and tempo of operation). This is one thing we have learned about commercial railway operation since the Manchester and Liverpool Railway started in 1832. The fact that so much infrastructure has to be upgraded at the same time is normal, unfortunately the shear amount of infrastructure needing upgrades is unusually high because of the atypical LIM propulsion and the unfortunate operating basis Skytrain started with by design.

    Unfortunately, the basis of the entire model of the UTDC Light Metro system (Vancouver’s Skytrain) was and still is, to go small and light on the trains, the infrastructure and make up for it by raising the operating frequency to maintain medium levels of capacity. Therefore, the entire tempo of operations has to increase. This goes against 189 years of historical railway operating experience.

    High tempo operations makes maintenance very expensive because it automatically makes certain conditions critical, you now HAVE TO make a much greater percentage of your fleet operational in the same or in less time as compared to a system with lower operating tempos. High tempo operations wears out vehicles, track and infrastructure faster, which is bad when you have gone to smaller, lighter, less robust vehicles, track and infrastructure from the beginning. It leaves your entire operation very susceptible to breakdowns and general delays. Minor delays quickly become major delays when operating frequency is high unless, remedial action is immediate. That is very hard to do when your infrastructure is old and wearing out and or, already needs replacement. If your rail network is well used, the now cheap but far too low capacity infrastructure becomes a serious never ending operational issue and potentially, a serious safety problem.

    This operating basis that UTDC started with back in the 1970’s was to please politicians and to sound good to the public, actually implementing it or upgrading it is difficult and expensive, more difficult and expensive than other more conventional operating railway types like LRT. All these UTDC promises look good when your system is new and still small. It’s easier to deal with breakdowns on a rail system when you only have 19 km of main line, fewer trains, far fewer stations and everything is brand new. Once the system is 35-40 years old and spare parts for everything are far more expensive and your dealing with 65+ km of main line, much greater numbers of quickly aging over used stations, many of those promises UTDC made so long ago don’t look so good.

    Especially, when you have 19 km of the original concrete tunnel and above grade right of way all needing work at once. Portions of which, including the entire main track slab, the completely separate piece of concrete, not the viaduct itself but the concrete pad the track actually sits on, needing outright replacement. You can only do this by ripping out the track and track infrastructure sitting on it. Expensive and very time consuming. There are also many other items including concrete portions of the 19 km viaduct itself that need attention. Remember concrete ages geometrically, as does its repair costs.

    When it became critical that Toronto’s TTC needed to upgrade their ancient subway signaling system as well as other key pieces of infrastructure over the entire length of the 40 km long, Yonge Subway Line, the TTC had 2 choices (the original section of the line and all the signaling system technology was 60 years old at the time). The choices were to either close sections of track and do the work on the weekends for 7 or more years or close the entire line for 2 to 3 years. This line is by far, the busiest rapid transit line in the country, what would you do? Translink is going to have to make a choice like this soon for the original portion of the Expo Line.

    Zwei replies: Thank you very much for this. I would wager that the entire TransLink Board and the mayor’s Council on Transit is completely ignorant of this.

  6. Qualicum says:

    BC should be back all 3 former railways.
    1. Victoria to Courtenay & Port Alberni
    2. North Van to Prince George & Fort Nelson & finish the line to Dease Lake.
    3. Surrey to Chilliwack & Hope

    How much would it all cost?

    $3-5 Billion?

  7. Avery Johnson says:

    “Transport Canada warned them them the last time they had their maximum operating frequency raised to the 109 second limit. This legal/operational safety test/process can take up to two years and cost tens of millions of dollars to complete. An entire series of lists of recommended upgrades were going to be required if Translink wanted to go below the 109 second frequency limit.”.

    This is interesting, but where are you getting this from? Can you link to a public document supporting this. Please post a public link to this operating certificate saying “15k pphpd”. Otherwise this is hearsay. I see that there is a “Station Access and Safety Project” to support 5 car trains which hits at the fact that the limitation is generally station design and circulation which is expected. Calgary had to rebuild several of it’s stations to support 4 car trains some years back. It’s not obvious to me that its even possible run trains past 109 seconds with normal dwell times and passenger circulation. If we end up requiring that level of capacity then it is likely worthwhile investing into additional relief lines.

    The part of about frequencies is backwards. Matters is the # of train cars * their weight per year. If you run 8 car train every 10 minutes it’s the same wear as 5 minutes. Beyond that, high frequencies are very good for ridership and transit riders generally. If you look at systems like the BART their terrible frequency puts a serious damper on ridership growth. You could invested a bunch of money into having incredibly long platforms but unless you have incredibly high ridership you’re either not using them or your handicapping frequencies which makes transfers and total trip times more painful. The platform lengths themselves that Skytrain uses are not particularly unusual. Paris, Singapore, and Boston all of lines with similar platform lengths. Having short platforms is in some ways useful because it lowers you long term costs of creates the possibility of cheaper subways and elevated stations. Compare this with the 2nd avenue subway project in new york which costs at long in part because they have to build these massive stations. Same with Seattle Link which has worse frequencies and longer trains.

    Zwei replies: Well, you opened this door on TransLink’s unsavory public relation practices and it is best to ask for an F.O.I on the subject, but i will spare you the trouble, it will come back heavily redacted.

    I have found that I can learn far more about our SkyTrain light metro system by professionals back east or in Europe than locally.

    As your theory of short platforms does not hold water, not on their metro system station platforms are between 75m to 90m, with some stations having 105m long platforms.

    I would better listen to Mr. cow because he is a transportation professional and until I have evidence from you, you are not. Short platforms do not lower long term costs, on the contrary it increases them, The Canada Line is a good example, it has 40m long platforms and can only operate 2 car train-sets, with a maximum capacity of around 9,000 pphpd. To increase Capacity $1.5 billion is needed to rebuild the stations to have longer platforms to operate longer trains. Again, TransLink conceals the truth with questionable statement.

  8. Haveacow says:

    @Avery Johnson, Transport Canada licenses every rail rapid transit service in Canada. These services get an operation certification that lists limits of things they are allowed to do. If a transit service wants to change these limits they have to show Transport Canada that they can do it safely, in a series of tests. Transport Canada sends a series of teams that looks at everything from maintenance practices, operating infrastructure conditions and ability to the scheduling capabilities of the rail service. The transit service runs a series of test runs showing that the changes and or upgrades they want to run can be done. Transport Canada then writes a report recommending whether or not they can become qualified to make the changes or not. They (Transport Canada) also include recommendations if further improvement can be made and what the transit service must do to qualify for it. This is usually done quietly behind-the-scenes out of public view. Usually the public doesn’t find out about it until the process is long over. This entire process can vary between 2 to 3 months in length up to 2 years depending on what the Transit service wants to do and how many resources and people Transport Canada has available. Since the massive cuts (30% of the entire staffk) under Harper unleashed on TC between 2011-2014, it has been difficult for TC to get anything done quickly.

    I know about Translink’s circumstances because my former neighbour, whom is now retired from TC here in Ottawa where I live, was in charge of many Transport Canada test teams. You use to be able to get the reports for free but they charge for this service now. The cuts at TC decimated their report library so maybe you can get it, if it still there?

    One of the many reasons Translink is having to build so many new Skytrain Operations and Maintenance Centres is because they have run out of storage space for trains and unfortunately maintenance spaces. This maintenance space shortage is a direct result of high operating tempos on maintenance practices. Got to go my tablet is dying more later.

  9. Bill Burgess says:

    Mr. Havacow, I can appreciate that high tempos reduce the time to work between trains. However, can you explain what is wrong about the idea that in terms of ‘wear and tear’ of tracks, wheels, etc., there is no qualitative difference between running 2 cars every 2 minutes and 8 cars every 8 minutes? And there might even be an advantage in terms of station length, maximum power supply, etc?

    The original idea of what is now Skytrain was an intermediate level rail service for demands below those of a full metro but above the capacity of street rail. Are you saying that this original notion is what is flawed; that the lighter infastructure is prone to proportionately higher maintenance requirements? And that it is not about LIM propulsion?

    This blog is the only source I am aware of for claims that Skytrain maintenance costs are relatively high. Can you point to more credible and authoritative sources?

    Zwei replies: ICTS or what was the first name of what is mistakenly called SkyTrain, was developed to bridge the gap from what Toronto streetcars could carry (12,000 pphpd) and that of a subway (15,000+). The TTC’s ART Study showed that ICTS cost up to ten times more to install than LRT for about the same capacity, or put another way ICTS cost more than a subway with four times its capacity.

    This made ICTS unsalable and the name was changed to ALRT to hide this fact, which fooled no one except the Social Credit party and a like.

    In the late 80’s the GVRD were worried about the costs of ALRT and in their “Cost of Transporting people in the Lower mainland, found that the annual subsidy of the Expo Line, just to new Westminster was $157 million annually, more than the trolley and diesel bus systems!

    TransLink never included the attendants in operating costs, which with around 300 attendants (full and part time), is a large expense.

    Back in the early 2000’s The Expo line to Whalley cost about 40% more than Calgary’s C-Train to operate (both operating the same amount of route at the time and carrying around the same ridership) which certainly was not published in the local media.

    But the big clue youu ignore, is that no one wants the damn thing. Only 7 built in 40 years and only 3 seriously used for urban transit, tells the tale.

  10. Haveacow says:

    Station Platform Lengths

    In North America, most LRT station platforms are between 60m to 125m long, there are a few that are longer. The reason you want longer platforms is that, longer platforms gives built in long term passenger carrying capacity that allows for future passenger growth and you don’t have to pay for later. The Canada Line has long term problems because the long term ability to handle increased numbers of passengers is highly limited by its very short station platforms. Any attempt at making the platforms longer becomes catastrophically expensive, especially if its above grade. Never purposely limit your infrastructure at low level capacity. Many transit operations and governments purposely limited infrastructure to lower capital (building) costs of new rail transit lines, much to their long term detriment.

    Heavy Rail (Metros/Subways) system platforms are longer usually, between 100 to 180 metres long. Toronto and Montreal for example are 150 and 152 metres respectively, around 500 feet in imperial measure. Most new heavy rail systems built today, start with station platforms around this size.

    Many mainline railway line station platforms start at 200 and go up to 350 metres in length. For example new GO Transit Regional/Commuter Railway station platforms on the mainlines are around 320 to 330 metres long. This allows for 12 bilevel passenger car long trains (85ft or 25.5 m for each passenger coach) with extra space for the 68ft (21m) MPI MP54 or MP40 Push-Pull Locomotives

    Operating Frequencies

    In most cases in North America, frequency of service is based on what the operating agency can afford. In the US, most rail transit agencies have their operational budgets paid by fares, as well as local and state taxes. These are the budgets that are most often attacked by transit unfriendly politicians. The terrible frequency in most American rail transit operating agencies is because of limited ability for those agencies to get local and state politicians to raise or increase the coverage of those taxes.

    Why BART is Different and Strange

    In the case of BART you have to understand what it really is. BART is a Heavy Rail/Regional Rail Hybrid System. It’s not a main trunk line level rapid transit service, like Skytrain, a Subway or an LRT system. It’s a hybrid regional rail system designed to connect the various municipal transit and rail rapid transit systems of the San Francisco Bay Area. The distances between stations is much greater in most cases than other heavy rail systems It’s operating frequency is limited but its designed to try and emulate a high level rapid transit services (Heavy Rail Subways and Metros), operating at regional scale distances and higher operational speeds.

    Commuter Rail Lines and Networks in North America, like the West Coast Express can and do operate at regional distances but most often have limited service frequencies (usually peak periods only). Very few of those operators try and succeed to operate like true Regional Railways. Only GO Transit, Metro North, the LIRR, New Jersey Transit, METRA, SEPTA and the MBTA even try in North America to operate outside of peak periods with a useable frequency because of the cost of doing this on mainline railway tracks.

    BART was set up from the beginning to have frequencies of 3 to 8 trains per hour on most lines but operate at distances that most Heavy Rail, Light Rail or Light Metro Systems (like Skytrain) are incapable to do because of the shear capital costs and or operating costs of the large distance between stations. One of the main issues/problems of Skytrain Lines to places like Surrey is that, the operating technology used doesn’t operate at peak efficiency or affordably when distances become large. The need for multiple train storage and maintenance yards, is just one problem which forces high operational costs on the Skytrain network when operating at regional distances, instead of the Trunk Line level distances it was designed to operate at.

    One of the many reasons for the high cost of the Skytrain Expo Line Extension from Surrey to Langley ($3.95 Billion and rising) is because a new light maintenance and storage yard is required (OMC #5), cost $400 to $500 Million. Even if they had enough maintenance and storage space in existing yards, the great distance between Langley and the closest yard plus large number of stations served between those places means, trains would have to be stationed/parked closer to Langley. Even simply because of the distance needed to travel to Langley from the closest existing yard would mean far less time available for maintenance and the start times for trains needing to start their day from Langley have to leave the yard earlier, than other trains starting at more realistic service distances.

  11. zweisystem says:

    From what i can see running 2 cars every 2 minutes, rather 8 cars every 8 minutes, is that the 2 car train is doing 4 times the work.

  12. zweisystem says:

    This blog from the beginning has been under the scrutiny of professional engineers who wrap my knuckles if i get it wrong.

    I know of four professional engineers who regularly read the blog and I am emailed if it is wrong. Mr. cow, Mr. Hoople and Mr. Fang are professional engineers who answer via comments and there is another to corresponds by private email. Thus the information provided is solid.

    The other sources tend to be from “Armchair Experts” or the Hive which has become TransLink’s official organ. I do not read them because I am frustrated with the complete lack of knowledge about railways, which ultimately what the SkyTrain light metro is. Example: MALM cars use an “Attractive LIM”, which the late professor Laithwaite who had international recognition stated in a letter to the late Des turner, “was the wrong sort of LIM”. The attractive LIM needs a 1 cm air-gap between LIM and reaction rail. To maintain this air-gap, because of rail and wheel ware, is expensive and failing to do so, impeded performance and increased maintenance costs. The fully steerable axle trucks are also another maintenance hog not much reported on.

    There is a reason no one buys the proprietary railway, with only 7 sold in the past 40 years, yet very few question why.

  13. Haveacow says:

    The difference is that every 5000 to 7500 km, depends on maintenance, parts packages chosen and the relative complexity of the vehicle design (usually takes 26 to 28 days in Ottawa), whether they need it or not under federal rail maintenance rules, the bogies on rail rapid transit vehicles (trucks-the part of the train that has the motors and wheels) have to be removed. The motors have to be removed, inspected and tested. Same for the phlanges (train wheels), axles and many other components as well. A railway that has higher operational tempos not only have more rail vehicles running but they do more km’s per rail vehicle as well. So they (the maintenance staff) have to do this more often. The Skytrain vehicles are extremely maintenance intensive, due to their complex design because of where the LIM units have to be located. Modern LRV’s are much simpler vehicles, with fewer components and designed from the ground up so that maintenance, can be done faster, with fewer staff.

    I have been in your shops, I saw this process done, it takes multiple hours with each train, with 3 staff people involved (2 if Health and Safety and or Transport Canada are not watching). Whereas modern LRV’s can safety do most of the work with 1 staff person and mostly without having to remove bogies from underneath the LRV’s. When the bogies do need to be removed, fewer things have to be inspected. The 3 people can work on several other LRV’s at once, then come together and remove the bogies for multiple vehicles at once. They do it cheaper because the heavy maintenance equipment is more often standard easily available equipment with very little LRV specific equipment needed. Whereas everything with Skytrain is expensive, Skytrain only maintenance equipment. From the building lift cranes, smaller specialist equipment hoists, the lifting gigs themselves, even the wheel lathes, are non standard railway equipment. The time it takes to do one Mk 3 Skytrain, the TTC can do almost 3 LRV’s or one much, much larger 6 module Toronto Rocket subway trainset.

  14. Lawrence Ransom says:

    armchair observer here – will future Skytrain upgrades and LRT expansion be dependant on a successful bid on Vancouver/Whistler hosting the 2030 Winter Olympics? Re: the Cambie line extension and 2010 Winter Olympics incentives.

    Zwei replies: Could be right but with the current financial fallout from the recent flooding and deluge, I doubt the province can afford the Olympics.

    The only SkyTrain to be built in time for the Olympics is the Broadway subway to UBC and that is $5 billion and the much needed rehab which is another $3 billion.

    The money is just not available for the Olympics and i think public opinion will nip it in the bud.

    Just a note, if you mean the Canada Line (Cambie Line), as it is a P-3 complicates any extension and an up front $1.5 billion rehab is needed before any extension can be made.

    We can only afford one rapid transit line a decade and UBC is next because of the massive amount of politcal credibility has been invested in it. Notice that the Expo Line to Langley is now somewhat an Albatross around Surrey mayor McCallums neck, with very little politcal credibility invested by others.

    LRT is completely out of the picture because if even one LRT line would be built, it would show the complete scam of our 40 plus years building with SkyTrain and that cannot happen.

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