Timing is right for Interurban line – A letter in the Surrey Leader


More letters supporting valley rail. Sadly, if one links to the original story, one can see the same old anti-LRT rhetoric and unrealistic calls for spending $2 billion to connect Langley with SkyTrain, through “sparsely populated areas“.

TramTrain in the Black Forest

Re: “Transit at a crossroads,” The Leader, March 24.

I have been following with interest those who for years have advocated a restoration of the old Interurban line. Based on what I have read, it looks like the whole Fraser Valley had a superior transit system in 1910 to we have today.

Unfortunately, with the “progress” of SkyTrain, the entire bus system was re-worked so that most buses now lead to SkyTrain. Nice for those who live or work near SkyTrain, but not for South Fraser commuters going other places.

The Interurban would serve many areas that are presently poorly served by transit. Let’s bring it back. The price is right. The timing is right. The technology exists to make a light rail system run faster and cleaner than ever. If it worked 100 years ago with a tiny population, it should work even better now. Existing tracks and rights of way mean a minimum of construction, avoiding traffic delays, noise, cost overruns, and disruptive property acquisitions. Unlike a bus system, light rail is not Dependant on smooth-flowing traffic. As much of the system runs through ALR and less-dense areas, traffic pattern changes would be minimal. The sticking point for some seems to be that it doesn’t go everywhere. True, but neither does SkyTrain and lots of people ride that.

Developments along the existing track corridor are growing exponentially. Coming from Langley, stops could be Cloverdale town centre; at 152/Panorama Ridge shopping centre, with buses going north and south to Guildford and White Rock; stops at King George close to City Centre with buses connecting to SkyTrain; and further on to the Surrey-Delta border.

Let’s give it a try! There are several organizations working to restore old rail cars already. Give them some funding, get a prototype going ASAP and if it works why not eventually resurrect the whole thing, Chilliwack to Vancouver. The rail of the past can be the rail of the future.



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