Is common sense finally making its way with politicians in Victoria?

Is the $4 billion price tag for the 16 km Expo Line extension to Langley (the Reelection Line) scaring the provincial treasury?

Has BC’s explosive fire season, capped with record breaking temperatures, finally conveying the message that politcal prestige must take a back seat to political reality?

Probably a combination of all three.

There ar many hurdles that must be crossed for the “return of the interurban”, including the entrenched SkyTrain Lobby, but the shock of extending the Expo Linr to surrey will cost around $250 million per km. versus the $9 million/km for a full build Leewood Study, connecting Vancouver/Richmond, to North Delta, central Surrey, Cloverdale, langley, Abbotsford, Sardis.Vedder, and Chilliwack.

For the cost of a 16 km extension of the Expo Line to Langley, we could build a regional passenger rail system connecting Richmond/Vancouver to Hope, on both sides of the Fraser River, with a train every 30 minutes to and from Vancouver!

It is time to think out of the “SkyTrain” box and invest in a proven regional railway network, starting with a Richmond/Vancouver to Chilliwack passenger service using the former BC Electric Railway route.

For more information about Rail for the Valley Click Here.

For more information about the Leewood Study Click Here.


B.C. considering Interurban for future transit

TransLink rejected the route, local advocates have lobbied for it

The provincial government is considering the future of the old Interurban rail link through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack.

Bowinn Ma, B.C.’s minister of state for infrastructure, visited a number of transit hubs along the Trans Canada Highway in Langley on Wednesday, July 21.

Ma said that the government is looking at land use and how the highway interacts with other transit options, including SkyTrain, as well as other potential rail commuter projects such as reviving the Interurban.

“We are taking a serious look at seeing whether that’s a viable option,” Ma said.

The Interurban line existed from the early 1910s to the 1950s, and was officially known as the British Columbia Electric Railway.

At its peak, it extended all the way from Vancouver through Burnaby, New Westminster, across the Fraser River to Surrey, and through Langley as far east as Chilliwack.

It provided passenger and light cargo service for what were then predominantly rural communities south of the Fraser River and out into the Valley.

The rail lines are still in place and are used by mile-long fright trains as part of the Southern Railway of British Columbia.

Ma said the province is looking at how various transit and road components fit together as part of an Integrated Transportation Development Strategy.

The resumption of the service has been promoted by South Fraser Community Rail, with involvement of local political figures like former Langley Township mayor Rick Green and former premier Bill Vander Zalm, who held “Rally for Rail” events in 2019.

However, a 2019 TransLink report said the existing rail route would be expensive and in many areas it does not connect high-density neighbourhoods. The rail line is close to Cloverdale and passes through downtown Langley’s core and the Gloucester Industrial Park, but much of its length in Langley is in rural areas.

Ma also said the province will extend the route of BC Transit’s Fraser Valley Express bus, which currently stops at Langley’s Carvolth transit hub, all the way to the Lougheed SkyTrain Station in 2022.

Removing transfers between TransLink jurisdictions and BC Transit areas helps reduce inconvenience, Ma said.


2 Responses to “RAIL FOR THE VALLEY – A Step Closer”
  1. Major Hoople says:

    We wish you luck but from our experience, dealing with your bureaucracy is like having ones tooth pulled.

    What truly makes a bad impression is your planners adherence to your light metro and even back 20 years with the Canada Line, there was a insane belief that light metro was the only route to go for your transportation needs. Even the use of modern trams instead of your pygmy SkyTrain cars was considered heresy!

    Your politicians, both extremely ignorant of modern transport practice and very caviler with the costs of building light metro, are impossible to deal with.

    Your three points are well taken, but do your overseers clearly understand what you are proposing? I doubt it, as the combined knowledge of your mayors, provincial and federal politicians, rates with understanding an episode of Thomas the Tank.

  2. Adam Fitch says:

    It seems that when translink evaluates any one else’s transit proposal, it asks two questions:

    1. How many customers will it serve? and
    2. how much will it cost to establish and operate?

    It seems that if the the number of customers that it will serve is low (lower than skytrain) then it is bad. and
    if it costs a lot to establish and operate, then it is bad

    Funny that they do not seem to apply those same questions and tests to their own plans. And further, they do not seem to take much account of time to establish the service (a long time), and what will happen with development patters and travel patterns and behaviors in the meantime.

    Zwei replies:

    To answer your question, the full build Leewood Study, Chilliwack to Vancouver/Richmond, about $1.3 to $1.5 billion.

    But ……………… the Valley rail would probably attract far more new users to transit than the Expo line extension to Surrey.

    The number of customers served 10,000 to 30,000 a day, depending on max. capacity, stations, etc. the line would servcie, Richmond/Vancouver (with fast connections to YVR), downtown new Westminster; North Delta; Central Surrey (including business parks), Cloverdale (including KPU Tech); Downtown Langley (including Kwantlen Polytech); Trinty Western university; Glouster business park; Downtown Abbotsford (including many business parks); Huntington (with fast connections to YXX and Sumas USA); Veddar/Sardis (Cultus lake); and Chilliwack.

    Operating cost $10 mil to $15 mil. annually.

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