Monday, June 1, 2009

Passenger Rail Continues to Make News at The Tyee

Monte Paulsen over at the Tyee continues his series on passenger rail. Today's installment includes extensive quotes from John Vissers and I.  Once again Paulsen hits the nail on the head with his knowledge of the New Westminster rail bridge challenges, Washington State not taking BC very seriously when it comes to passenger rail, and the Canadian federal government focus on the Greater Toronto area and their transit needs. Here's some quotes from the article.

"So let's pose the question: If we were building a new north-south rail line in the 21st century, would we run it along the shore of the Georgia Strait, as was done in the mid-1800s? Would we purchase thousands of hectares of the most expensive waterfront real estate in the Pacific Northwest? Would we wind our new track around rocky outcroppings and bridge it across coastal wetlands?"

"Or would we look at the less expensive and less environmentally sensitive flatlands to the east? Would we look for a route through Surrey and Langley, perhaps crossing the American border somewhere near Cloverdale?"

"That is the obvious alignment," said John Vissers, who speaks for a citizens group called Rail for the Valley. "There aren't all that many possibilities for high-speed or higher-speed rail corridors across the Fraser Valley."

"I like the Portland model where you have streetcars and then you have the MAX line," agreed Joe Zaccaria of South Fraser OnTrax.

"That's the way I see passenger rail in the valley working. You'd have local streetcar systems, each of which connects to a regional spine," he said. "That regional spine would need only three stops: Abbottsford, Langley, Surrey."

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