As we’ve long pointed out, regular Interurban rail service could be up and running the whole distance between Chilliwack and Vancouver within 2 years, with political will. The Fraser Valley has been clamouring for this service for long enough. It is now time for our provincial politicians to act. This is our golden opportunity!
One ideal infrastructure project that is simple enough to undertake immediately is to upgrade the entire stretch of Interurban track to passenger grade rail, as is currently being done in Surrey for their Heritage Rail Project. Such an upgrade is quite inexpensive, simple to carry out, and necessary for any sort of regular passenger rail service to be implemented.
By performing the necessary upgrades in 2009 using federal economic stimulus money, a Valley-wide demonstration project in time for the Olympics becomes viable.
While the track upgrades are ongoing, an implementation task force could be established to plan the next phase of Interurban infrastructure development – type of service, station locations, areas that are in need of double tracking, etc. Implementation of regular service could then be fast-tracked with the help of federal funds.