Share your opinion with editor@langleyadvancetimes.com

LETTER: Poor design keeps SkyTrain as the poorer choice for Fraser Valley transit

Interurban link from Chilliwack through Langley to Vancouver better and cheaper than SkyTrain

Dear Editor,

It was such an ill-informed column about the valley rail proposal [Interurban won’t run again, Langley Advance Times, June 7 Painful Truth], that one would think it was a plant by those who want to spend billions on SkyTrain, which itself has proven poor in attracting customers.

SkyTrain’s high boarding numbers come from over 80 per cent of bus passengers forced to transfer from bus to SkyTrain, thus over 80 per cent of customers using SkyTrain are making a minimum of four boardings a day.

The real issue is that the regional rail network, SkyTrain, comprises of a conventional railway (Canada Line) and a proprietary unconventional railway called ART Movia Metro (Expo and Millennium Lines).

The now-called ART Movia metro is so unpopular because of poor design and operating characteristics that it has undergone six official name changes, and only seven such systems have been built in the past 40 years.

The author of the column shows his ignorance of railway operation.

A passenger and freight service can operate on the same line, and do so on literally thousands of railways around the world today. It is all about signaling and allocation of pathways for trains – the science goes back to the pre 1800s plateways, before the modern railway was even conceived.

The master agreement included with the portion of track purchased and used for the CPR allows up to 33 per cent “wheel-age” for passenger operations, with the owning railway (CPR) paying full cost of all track improvements, including double tracking.

A maximum of two freights a day on the remaining portion of line, poses absolutely no problem for passenger operation.

The Leewood Study, commissioned by the Rail for The Valley Group, done by Leewood Projects UK and released a decade ago, found that such a service was viable. The study was vetted by Canadian transportation specialists and Transport Canada.

In Europe, the Leewood Study had great exposure for its forward thinking and affordability, and featured in two transportation trade magazines.

In Canada it was ignored by the SkyTrain-centered cabal planning transit in civic, provincial, and federal levels.

The Leewood Study saw per km cost of a DMU/EMU/TramTrain service varied from $5.2 to $7.2 million/km.

ART Movia Metro’s cost per km is well over $140 million/km. Onerous operating and maintenance costs and lack of flexibility in operation makes it cost prohibitive to extend through Surrey to Langley.

The automatic ART Movia Metro was never designed as a regional railway, and it operates extremely poorly in snow.

The success for a return of the interurban is dependent on it operating into Vancouver, providing a seamless journey from Vancouver to Chilliwack. The failure of building a combined road/rail bridge replacing the decaying Pattullo Bridge and the decrepit Fraser River Rail Bridge, demonstrates a lack of foresight by regional politicians, especially the Mayor’s Council on Transit.

If Fraser Valley politicians want a rail connection to Vancouver, a rail service using the former Interurban line is the way, or they will be waiting at a station for a SkyTrain that will never come.

Malcolm Johnston, Rail for the Valley

_________________________________

Do you have anything to add? Share your opinion.

Email: editor@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

Langley’s Cottoy has first regular season game as Lion

Former Rams standout takes field against Bombers

Opponents, supporters of Langley Township tree bylaw speak to council

Councillors received a mixed response to the proposed bylaw

Golden Ears Bridge at 10: Community had called for a crossing for decades

From nothing, to the Albion Ferry, to the bridge was a long wait

VIDEO: How Lloyd Rossnagel came to be know as ‘the strawberry guy’

A Langley senior creates a roadside garden. Feel free to sample.

Arboretum centre interpreted through Rotary structure

Rotary Interpretive Centre opens at Derek Doubleday Arboretum this weekend

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read