Zwei Reflects And Makes A Prediction

The Rail for the Valley Blog was started on December 8, 2008, to bolster awareness of the then newly formed Rail for the Valley group and the need for an affordable rail service from Vancouver to Chilliwack.

One can only write so much about the Rail for the Valley project and the blog branched out into such subjects as unconventional railways, railway history, railway signalling, local and international news, and the efforts of others trying to establish affordable light rail lines in their towns and cities. Along the way we have picked up a good following including transportation experts Cardinal Fang from the UK and, Haveacow from Ontario and our local professional engineer Eric Chris , whose insight and comments are always very welcome.

Zweisystem (German for two system LRT or TramTrain) has been a transit advocate since the 1980’s and has been long around the political shell game. A 27 year member of the Light Rail Transit Association, Zwei has the general knowledge of transit around the world and how transit mode is applied.

We have picked up detractors from the SkyTrain Lobby, but we have a lot of people who regularly visit the Rail for the Valley blog for their regional transit news. More and more regional politicians are using the blog for transit news and information that is free of TransLink speak.

From time to time Zwei does get it wrong, but the blog is well vetted and mistakes are made, but are corrected.

In the metro Vancouver region the SkyTrain lobby and their surrogates have held sway for for 34 years and during this time a number of SkyTrain myths have been created, including:

  1. SkyTrain is cheaper to operate than LRT because it has no drivers.
  2. SkyTrain can achieve a higher capacity than LRT.
  3. Light rail, as well as all at-grade transit systems are slow.

The answers pertaining to these myths are:

  1. SkyTrain does not have drivers, but it has attendants (170 full time) and transit police, plus a larger signalling staff means that SkyTrain actually has more employees than comparable light rail operations and more expensive to operate.
  2. Capacity is a thorny issue at best and in most cases, capacity is based on theoretical calculations and not practical in revenue operation. SkyTrain has been said to be able to achieve 30,000 pphpd, but that is with 8 car trains (MK.1 stock) with 100 metre station platforms, yet the current SkyTrain system can only operate 6 car trains of MK.1 stock on stations with 80 metre platforms. The claim is moot because in Karlsruhe Germany was seeing traffic flows of over 30,000 pphpd on a simple tram line.
  3. The difference between LRT and a streetcar is the concept of the reserved rights-of-way or a R-o-WAi?? reserved for the exclusive use of the tram. The Reserved R-o-W, plus priority signally, gives LRT the ability to travel much faster; it is the number of stations per route KM that makes LRT slower and with Skytrain stations up to 2 km. apart compared with with LRT stations are 500 to 600 metres apart, makes light rail somewhat slower. Studies have shown that with stations more than 600 metres apart, reduce ridership and make the service user unfriendly. Given the same quality of R-o-W and equal stations, LRT and SkyTrain can obtain the same commercial speeds.

Myths exposed, but it is strange how many people still believe in TransLink speak, but again I ask; “Why is nobody buying SkyTrain?

I have always said, to get a rail link to Chilliwack, we must put a wooden stake in heart of SkyTrain and expose the Lysenkoist science behind SkyTrain planning.

Lysenkoism is used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.

There is a shift in planning, TransLink is attempting to plan for LRT in Surrey, but it is being planned on the SkyTrain model, which will doom it to failure and this, I think, is what TransLink wants.

The TransLink referendum is the next ‘big story’ and Zwei thinks that the Premier is setting TransLink up to fail, and why, do you ask?

The answer could be, “Does the Premier and the BC Liberal Party want TransLink referendum to fail so it can privatize it?” From my perspective, the evidence points this way, but time will tell.



Comments are closed.