Friday, December 12, 2008

Oh, SkyTrain

Good morning, I just walked into work and last nights’ OMNI NEWS: PUNJABI EDITION was airing a lengthy story about yesterday’s re-announcement of SkyTrain by Minister of Transportation Kevin Falcon for Fleetwood. Officially it looks like the ministry is still pushing the SkyTrain option. While I couldn’t understand most of the story (not in English) the new CEO of Translink, Thomas Prendergast, was talking about the need for better transit in the South Fraser as did Mayor Dianne Watts. I also noticed they used the words rapid transit, not SkyTrain. Maybe I missed something, but this is important as both Prendergast and Watts appear to show more interest in light rail over SkyTrain for the South Fraser. At the very least they want to give it a good, fair study…

3 comments:

rbo said...

I'm already such a fan of Prendergast. Now if only we could get Falcon out of the way...

and p.s. there's no way the skytrain could simply descend to an at-grade track is there? (I assume the track electrifying would be too risky on ground level, unless it was barricaded up ala 29th ave station)

Nathan Pachal said...

yes, it would have to be like 29th Ave which would make the areas were at-grade could work very, very limited... SkyTrain + At-grade = doesn't work...

Light Rail Guy said...

The reason SkyTrain can't operate at grade is that it is driverless. The extensive and fragile signaling system is just too exposed and the track must be segregated, either by tunnel, viaduct or Berlin wall style fencing.

The Southern region electric railway in the UK has many level crossings, despite the fact that the system uses the "3rd" rail pick up. The French have successfully used the APS electric system, which electrical pick up is done on a special "3rd" rail, flush on the street, without danger to vehicles or pedestrians.

SkyTrain, being a 'drverless' system, needs a segregated rights-of-ways.