‘Rally for Rail’ coming to Langley, Cloverdale, Abbotsford

Organizers are trying to raise support for reviving the old interurban line

A former Langley Township mayor and a former premier of B.C. are among those holding rallies around the Fraser Valley in favour of reactivating the old Interurban line for passenger use.

Rally for Rail is scheduled to make appearances on Thursday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at the Elements Casino in Cloverdale at 17755 60th Ave., on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Aldergrove Kinsment Centre in Aldergrove at 26770 29th Ave., and on Tuesday, June 25 at 7 p.m. at the University of the Fraser Valley, in room B101 at 33844 King Road in Abbotsford.

Former mayor Rick Green and ex-premier Bill Vander Zalm, with the South Fraser Community Rail Group, have been lobbying to have the Interurban line started up again, almost 70 years after the last trolley ran from Chilliwack to Vancouver.

They are calling for a 99-km 90-minute route with 12 stops, running from Surrey to Chilliwack.

At the rallies, featured speakers are to include Patrick Condon, founder of the UBC Urban Design program, as well as Green and Vander Zalm.

Green has said that he belives the line could be reactivated for a fraction of the cost of building a SkyTrain line connecting Surrey to downtown Langley City, and that it would serve more people.

The group states the train proposal would cost an estimated $12.5 million per kilometre compared to the now-dead Surrey light rail project’s estimated $157 million per kilometre.

“All you’d need to do is reactivate the line, buy the vehicles, which in comparison to the cost of the Sky-Train extension is minuscule,” said Condon.

The old line ran from the 1910s to the early 1950s.

Abbotsford City HallCity of SurreyCP RailLangley