TramTrain perfect for Valley LRT

Letter to the Editor

The Light Rail Committee has long supported the reinstatement of the Vancouver to Chilliwack interurban service and has long corresponded to transportation experts in Europe and the USA, who also support the return of the interurban.

The concept of TramTrain, where specially designed streetcars or diesel light rail vehicles can safely ‘share the track’ with regular railways, has never been explored by TransLink, who prefer to squander billions of dollars building the SkyTrain metro system on routes that do not have the ridership to support the mode. It is all so easy for TransLink, grab taxes from valley residents and spend it on SkyTrain and subways in Vancouver.

For almost 20 years the city of Karlsruhe, Germany has operated a large and ever growing TramTrain network (the longest route is 210 km) and the success of TramTrain is such that over 20 cities around the world, including Paris, France, now operate TramTrain Lines.

It is cheap to build, with costs starting at about $7 million/km to build; compare this with SkyTrain, with costs surpassing $100 million/km.

In an age of ‘global warming,’ the need is to build a large network for the region and the question is: Do we build with LRT and TramTrain with costs starting at $7 million/km or SkyTrain metro, with costs starting at $100 million/km.

Malcolm Johnston

Light Rail Committee


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