A Slow Train to The Future

Something that is badly needed in BC and Canada, regional railways.

Local pundits have called for faster and faster rail transit, with some even advocating for high speed rail (HST) for the Fraser Valley as the only way to get people out of their cars.

Today, with gas topping $2.00 a litre is another way I guess, but I digress!

What is needed is a network of user-friendly rail line to entice customers to rail and those willing to try a modern DMU or EMU for a somewhat longer but far more comfortable trip may find a slower train far more enticing.

Rail for the Valley’s, Leewood Study sees a 90 minute trip time from Chilliwack to Scott road Station, about 30 minutes slower than taking the car, in perfect conditions.

For many, the extra 30 minutes travel time will be well worth not dealing with gridlock and congestion and just enjoying the journey itself.

A slow train to Chilliwack, just maybe, will be the fast train to success!

Screenshot 2022-03-04 at 10-16-47 chilliwacktosurreyinterurbanfinalreportr pdf

OPINION: France’s ‘slow train’ revolution may just be the future for travel

Famous for its high-speed TGV trains, France is now seeing the launch of a new rail revolution – slow trains. John Lichfield looks at the ambitious plan to reconnect some of France’s forgotten areas through a rail co-operative and a new philosophy of rail travel.


2 Responses to “A Slow Train to The Future”
  1. While it is 90 mins train trip vs 60 mins car trip, many riders live in between so the extra travel time for an average rider would be more like 10 to 15 mins.

  2. I totally agree with Nathan. The end-to-end trip is not for everybody. Most commuters ride for 20 minutes.

    There is something else that is very important to consider: Free wi-fi on board. If I am connected to fast internet, like I am now for example, then I can be doing this—and other work—on the train.

    Another 30 minutes will get you to downtown. With a Burrard Subway, the Surrey-Chilliwack service can go all the way to North Vancouver. Expanding the network of user-friendly rail will entice more customers to use rail.

    New municipalities would be added as partners along the route: New West, Burnaby, Vancouver, and three on the North Shore. That will add partners to the rail proposal.

    Housing people within a 5-minute walking distance of the stop will attract even more users. Especially when the housing is guaranteed-affordable, or 30% of the median household income.

    The Vancouver median income before taxes is $72,585. Divide that by 30% to calculate the cost of the affordable house and you get: $242,000. For $300,000 we can provide a Tesla in the garage and free charging at the tramstops and stations.

    The Leewood Study is based on 18 stops over 98 km operating between 80 to 100 kph, stopping at 10 stations and 8 tramstops. So it is already operating as a ‘express’ or limited-stop service. That may need to continue even when more stops are added in the form of new tramtowns. We don’t want to make the service much longer during rush hour.

    Following on this train of thought, modern tram would be delivering guaranteed-affordable housing to over 1 million people.

    With 20,000 people per new tramtown, 30 stops would net housing for 600,000 people. The balance of the houses would be delivered as neighborhood intensification taking place around new stations and stops in existing neighborhoods at less than four storeys.

    Modern tram is not just for tourism. Today, it represents our best shot at providing guaranteed-affordable houses in sufficient quantity to end the housing crisis.

    To do that, we must STOP building the Skytrain-and-Towers.

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