Why the valley interurban must service Vancouver.


The current thinking is that the proposed valley ‘interurban’ service terminate at Scott road SkyTrain station and this is a big mistake. Lest we forget the majority of interurban customers will want to go to Vancouver and forcing them to transfer to SkyTrain will add at least 30 or more minutes  to their journey. What is also forgotten is that one can lose upwards of 75% of potential customers per transfer, which was reflected in Karlshrue Germany, where after opening their first tram-train, eliminating one transfer point, from commuter train to tram, weekday ridership rocketed from 488,400 to 2,064,378 – a 423% increase in just a few weeks! So were sown the seeds of success!

The Fraser River Bridge is there, the line is mostly double tracked to Vancouver Central Station and gaining pathways for the interurban would be one of scheduling with the other users. Track-sharing and providing pathways for the interurban to service Vancouver maybe difficult, but  not impossible, the old interurban track-shared across the Fraser River Rail Bridge 100 years ago and certainly today it can again!

Servicing Vancouver, means the interurban will service a large population base, which would ensure ridership, which would bring an early success and is what the proposed interurban service needs! Rail for the Valley must include direct interurban service to downtown Vancouver, as the benefits of a direct Vancouver to Chilliwack rail service far outweigh the obstacles.


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7 Responses to “Why the valley interurban must service Vancouver.”

  1. Why the Valley Interurban Must Service Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) « Rail For The Valley Says:

    […] Rail For The Valley We’re a growing group of people across the Lower Mainland who agree that the Fraser Valley needs passenger rail service NOW! « Why the valley interurban must service Vancouver. […]

  2. David Says:

    80% of trips originating south of the Fraser end south of the Fraser.

    Let’s get rail transit going to popular destinations in the valley and then think about whether or not it makes sense to extend the service across the river.

  3. zweisystem Says:

    Those 20% of trips not originating South of the Fraser, may account for 80% of the interurbans ridership. It is foolish to the extreme not to go to Vancouver and if the interurban doesn’t, I sincerely doubt that it would be a viable proposition. To be blunt, what city in the world has a 80 km. light-railway or interurban service that doesn’t continue into the city and only stops at the far reaches of a metro system? London? Paris? Toronto? We must think “out of the box” and learn from the success of other new light rail lines being built.

  4. David Says:

    You make good points. The Scarborough RT is a failure in part because of the mode switch from ALRT to heavy rail subway and the DLR was only a limited success when it stopped at Tower Gateway. Of course the DLR really is a unique case because of the massive amount of new development surrounding the system. Fort Langley isn’t about to sprout 40 storey towers on every block like the London docklands have.

    Certainly a no-transfer journey from Langley to Vancouver is the ultimate goal here and the one with the best chance of attracting new ridership.

    At the same time we have to be realistic. We know how much the provincial government has invested in the SkyTrain myth, how many studies they’ve manipulated to make it look like the right choice. Let’s face it, TransLink insists all Vancouver bound buses dump their passengers at SkyTrain/Canada Line. If they won’t even allow a bus to compete with their “precious” light metro, there’s little more than a snowball’s chance in hell for an interurban tram that competes against SkyTrain.

  5. zweisystem Says:

    To answer your last question first; if the proposed interurban service is not operated by TransLink, but by let’s say, the S.R.R. of B.C. instead, I doubt very much that anyone could stop it from servicing Vancouver. Watch for a future posting on this issue. I do know that TransLink was seriously considering at one time to terminate the WCE in Coquitlam and force commuter train passengers to transfer to the Millennium Line to finish their commute to Vancouver! I think saner heads put that idea in the trash bin very fast indeed!

    A note on the Dockland’s light-railway. The original DLRR was built on entirely abandoned or disused railway formations and viaducts, with only a few new bridges built, which made the original installation very cheap indeed. Dockland’s, even though it’s an automatic railway and operates like a metro, is referred as a light-railway because it was built under the auspices of Britain’s Light-Railway’s Act.

  6. The Bistro Tram - Is it the right menu for the interurban? « Rail For The Valley Says:

    […] – https://railforthevalley.wordpress.com/2009/03/01/why-the-valley-interurban-must-service-vancouver/ talk about long distance rail travel from Vancouver, East to Abbotsford, YXX, and Chilliwack and […]

  7. TYRONE Says:

    I have advocated twinning the railway lines between Hope and Vancouver on both sides of the Fraser and electrify them for over 20 years already! This is do-able and practical, because it affords a direct link to all the other public transportation systems without any ‘forced’ off the train – get on the bus because we say so -scenarios. Lets make it happen and forget twinning the Port Mann bridge for all time!

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