Posts Tagged ‘streetcars on Broadway’

The Leewood Projects ‘Full Build Option’ or “Full Meal Deal”. Finally a Transit Plan With Vision!

September 28, 2010

Click here to download the full 84 page report

What is interesting about the Rail for the Valley/Leewood Projects TramTrain or interurban report is the vision shown by the author. Not only does he plan for the ‘politically correct’ (for valley types) Scott Road to Chilliwack TramTrain he also looks to the future with extensions to Vancouver, Richmond and Rosedale, with the ‘Full Build Option’ costing just under one billion dollars!

For a better perspective, the 11 km. SkyTrain Evergreen Line extension will cost over $1.4 billion and service far fewer potential transit customers, this has lead to demand for more density along the Evergreen Line in the Tri-Cities region to try to increase ridership on the metro. The RftV TramTrain doesn’t need such high density as there is plenty of population along the route to provide ridership. The density issue for rail transit has become a SkyTrain only issue as there is sufficient population to ensure economic operation with much cheaper to build light rail.

For the same cost as the Evergreen SkyTrain Line, a  full build (Full Meal Deal) Valley TramTrain, Vancouver/Richmond to Rosedale could be built and with the remaining $400 million, a Vancouver/Richmond to Maple Ridge TramTrain operation could also be funded.

The planned SkyTrain subway to UBC is estimated to cost $3 billion to $4 billion, yet for the same amount of monetary outlay, we could build a BCIT to UBC/Stanley Park LRT/streetcar ($1 billion); a full build RftV TramTrain ($1 billion); a new multi track Fraser River Rail bridge (approx. $500 million); TramTrain to Whiterock (approx. $300 million); and LRT/tram lines in Surrey and Langley ($500 million to $1 billion+)!

For the cost of one SkyTrain subway line, we could fund a sizable regional LRT network combining light rail, TramTrain and streetcar/tram, with the potential of being able to get on a tram in Rosedale and take the same tram to Stanley Park or UBC or Richmond! This is the vision behind the Rail for the Valley/Leewood Projects Report, it is not just a one politically and bureaucratically prestigious rapid transit line, rather a plan to implement affordable light rail transit in the region, providing affordable ‘rail‘ transit for generations.

The sad fact is, Premier Campbell lacks such vision with his childish, TransLink Speak, remarks regarding light rail and his pronouncements are a continuing embarrassment for those  trying to get affordable rail transit built in the Fraser Valley.

The Fraser Valley municipal politicians had better show transit vision now and board the valley TramTrain, lest they be left waiting at the platform, paying Vancouver’s fare for a new $4 billion SkyTrain subway under Broadway.

A Karlsruhe TramTrain operating on tram tracks. The same LRV can operate on the mainline.


Prefab tram track = fast construction! Friends of the Broadway Light Rail/Streetcar Take Note!

August 26, 2010

The following article from EccoRussia, gives an account of the installation of 670 metres of prefabricated tram track on the Athens (Greece) light rail/tram in just 10 days or about 67 metres of new tram track a day! At this speed of track laying it would take a mere 14 days to lay one kilometre of new track!

What is important, is that new tram/LRT construction would not unduly affect local merchants for a great length of time, as one’s storefront would not see construction in front of it for more than a few day, unlike Susan Heyes, whose business was disrupted for years by subway cut-and-cover construction!

It also means that a 20 km. BCIT to UBC LRT line would take less than 300 days to build! Or having two construction groups, working from BCIT and UBC towards each other, would take about 150 days. Now that is something to think about!

The first extension in the Athens tram, was duly finished and commissioned for circulation, in mid-October.

The extension measuring 670 meters comes as a trial for new technologies rather than a substantial addition to the already operating 22 km network.

One of them and surely the most important is the introduction of prefabricated segments for the substructure.

The segments were used in the crossing of Poseidonos avenue, a high velocity motorway in the south of Athens and gateway to the seaside tourist and nightlife areas.

In order to facilitate the construction of the crossing and the sequential congestion of traffic, given a conventional construction, prefabricated segments came as a natural choice.

The segments were constructed in a prefab plant in the outskirts of Athens, using Belgian know-how adapted in the local conditions.

The segments incorporating the rails and all major network duct ways were laid in less than ten days, including the soil and substructure preparation, a major advance to the other ways monthly time span.

Behavior up to now in the heavy traffic is said to be very smooth, and it is almost certain that prefab segments are to be used in the next extension to Peraeus.

Tram S.A. was founded in March 2001 and is a subsidiary company of ATTIKO METRO S.A.

In 2002, the company begun the construction of the new Athens tram network, while commercial operation started in July 2004, a few weeks before the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

TRAM S.A. is a public service corporation supervised by the Ministry of Transportation & Communications.

The company’s mission is to design, develop and operate the modern tram network.

Light Rail Fits In! Useful Links for LRT

June 30, 2010

A reader of this blog from the UK has sent Rail For The Valley some very useful links for those advocating for light rail.

Zweisystem send a a hearty thank you!

Urban Transit News from the Light Rail Transit Association ~ Oregon streetcar gamble starts to pay off

May 28, 2009


Oregon streetcar gamble starts to pay off : The project to set up a US tram manufacturing capability in the Oregon city of Portland seems to be paying off. After last month’s order for six Czech-licensed cars for Portland, Oregon Iron Works has announced a USD 26 M order for seven trams of the 10T type from the Arizonan city of Tucson.

The Tucson version will have more powerful air conditioning. The city has enjoyed heritage tramway operation on city streets by a volunteer group for several years, and is now extending the tracks into the city to provide a city centre circulator.

It seems modern streetcars are being made quite close to the Greater Vancouver area.

28 May 2009