Is there a quality, map of the old interurban route?
It does get a bit out of town in Abbotsford I think, a bypass would likely need to be made through there to bring it back down to the city.
Zweisystem replies: I think that the city of Abbotsford has grown around the interurban line. Certainly there is scope to add a small circle route within Abbotsford proper, as is done in several European cities.
That’s why I was wondering about the map… Doesn’t the line run up the Abbotsford Mission highway, then through the flats there, up to Mt Lehman, and Bradner, then over to 272nd and 60th? Mt Lehman and Bradner don’t have much going on there… Granted if that was setup, with a line down Mt Lehman to the AutoMall, where it could branch off to YXX and also along Maclure to South Fraser, And on to the sports center / UFV.
Granted I could be way off on where the existing line is, the map on valtac is hard to read.
Zweisystem replies: Zweisystem prefers YXX being served via Huntington as there is another transit destination in between – the penitentiaries, which like it or not, are transit destinations.
There were 4 interurban lines and most of them are still intact including the entire route from New Westminster to Chilliwack.
A cursory glance at a map would tell zweisystem that Abbotsford grew up around the old Fraser Highway rather than the interurban.
What’s interesting about that is that sections of the highway sit on another, long abandoned railway.
Prior to 1915 there was an east-west line running from Sumas to Ladner. There is still track on part of that line through Surrey, but elsewhere it was ripped up.
In some sections the rails were directly replaced by streets. Ladner Trunk Road is one of them, South Fraser Way is another. Yes, Abbotsford’s main street was being plied by steam engines less than a century ago.
I really wish I’d been interested in this while my grandparents were still alive. They spent most of their lives in Abbotsford and knew about branch lines that never made it onto any maps.
I would say a line along South Fraser, Maclure, or George Ferguson would be good, there are a lot of destinations. A shopping center at Townline. A park and trail system as well as a large residential population at Old Yale. Matsqui Rec Center, Columbia Bible College, Collen & Gordie Howe Middle School at Clearbrook (with more destinations a little further south, but still north of Hwy1). At Trethewey there is Rotary Stadium and Mouat Secondary, again, more dense residential. On South Fraser between Trethewey and pretty much all the way down to the very end where it joins onto the end of the Abby/Mission Hwy is full of business and shopping/dining locations, and is surrounded by a lot of Condos. South of Hwy1 there is YXX, and the Sports and Entertainment Center/UFV, plus I suppose the prison. A little further east on Sumas way there is some destinations also, a line running parallel there would probably be ideal.
Zweisystem replies: The problem is the high cost of ‘greenfields’ construction. The big push now is to get a service going and once that has been done, then plan for secondary routes. With a start-up capacity of about 500 to 1,000 pphpd, we must look at solid transit destinations with downtown Vancouver being the number 1., schools & universities are important, but one must ask: “How many people living on the interurban route frequent these destinations?”
What the interurban will offer is a long distance direct service to Vancouver or Vancouver to Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford or Chilliwack. We are trying to design an affordable transit system that will offer a viable alternative to about 10,000 residents in the lower mainland. Once in operation, passenger demand will bring new investment to the interurban, increasing destinations served and attracting new customers.
Oh I agree with that idea, I was just trying to point out, for future planning, most of the Abbotsford population is well south of the route (if the route is where I imagine it). It runs through the very rural northern part of Abbotsford which is mostly farms, where I would assume, people tend to work where they live.