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Condo Review: Union

Vancouver-based Anthem Properties has made its Victoria development debut with the Union, a two building lowrise condo project between the 500-blocks of Pandora Avenue and Fisgard Street in Old Town’s amenity rich Chinatown district. The Union property, left barren for nearly a decade after the failure of a previous condo development, is a stones throw from the Inner Harbour and literally at the nexus of a rapidly changing and increasingly desirable historic area. [Read more]



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E&N Railway (VIA Rail) discussion


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#1 UrbanRail

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 09:45 AM

Does this sound far fetched? Nope.

Your thoughts are welcome.

Johnston St Bridge to Store St.


Store St to Government St.


Government St to Douglas St (Option 1)


Government St to Douglas St (Option 2)



Douglas St Terminal



Thanks Aaron
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

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#2 G-Man

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 10:17 AM

Hi Aaron,

While I think the ROW material is good I think moving the station into the core would have little benfit and would create many difficulties especially surrounding traffic, pedestrian movements and also speedof rail vehicle movement.

I think that a station should either stay in the current place or move to where the PSW Natural Foods place is. You could still run LRT along your proposed ROW to the terminal but would need a large and expensive downtown depot.
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#3 UrbanRail

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 10:40 AM

thanks
I do have plans for the PSW Natural Foods site as well. I did look at examples in Europe (and continue to do so). THere are technologies to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from getting stuck in the tracks (a rubber filler between the asphalt and rail, which is compressed when the train goes over but returns to its original shape after). At the same time, traffic control technology has come a long way. Train traffic would be coordinated with the traffic lights, delay i would suspect would be minimal. Train frequency would probably be 2 or 3 trips during morning and afternoon rush hours initially. Eventually I envision every hour as development and population increases. Interaction between train and traffic would only be at the intersections. I think it is doable and i feel would benefit the downtown core. City council keeps on saying it wants to attract more residential and commerical in the core, so i feel this concept would help.
As for speed of the rail vehicles, I dont feel would be a great concern (say 10km/h).

But we will see.

:)
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#4 Nparker

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 12:32 PM

Very good food for thought. I like the idea of commuter rail coming "right downtown". If nothing else, let's hope a decent terminal could be built, as the current "dollhouse" although rather pretty, is absolutely useless as a station.

#5 Galvanized

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 02:54 PM

Great looking proposal! I'd love to see the train downtown again, what if the station was put in up Store St where the proposed bus terminal is?

Since this is not an actual development I've moved this thread to the Infrastructure forum.
Past President of Victoria's Flâneur Union Local 1862

#6 UrbanRail

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 03:12 PM

Great looking proposal! I'd love to see the train downtown again, what if the station was put in up Store St where the proposed bus terminal is?

Since this is not an actual development I've moved this thread to the Infrastructure forum.


thanks for moving the thread. I realized i had put it in the wrong area. I did think of store st before, and it has been mentioned in other forums i am a part of. It was even mentioned back in the 80s.
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#7 Caramia

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 05:22 PM

I sincerely believe that in the next couple of decades downtown will have expanded boundaries and within a generation or two the centre of downtown will have changed (again). If you ask an old timer, they will tell you that the centre of downtown is City Hall, a younger person might say Douglas and Fort, and a tourist might say it is more likely Government and Broughton. I can imagine the "Heart of Downtown being shifting north again and a Store Street Station (kinda sounds good too eh?) becoming a critical junction.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#8 Holden West

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 07:34 AM

Interesting quote from Hansard, June 15, 1979. I'm sure it will make Urbanrail cry. The quote is from Barber (I believe it's Steve Barber, NDP opposition member)

Does the minister today, or perhaps in committee, find himself able to tell us the current estimated final capital cost for the building? [a waterfront trade and convention centre on Wharf St.] We appreciate, of course, that the government proposes to contribute $2.5 million. That's very generous. I don't criticize that at all. I wonder if you could tell us what the final capital cost is now, as prepared for you by the Provincial Capital Commission.

The lines of at least the first drawings of the building and the restraint and the architectural sensitivity of the first models coming forward are really fine. They must be honoured; they must be respected. There is no point in putting up an enormous garage for human beings with four plain walls and presuming that we've done justice to the remarkable location made available to us here at the Inner Harbour. No one wants that - it wouldn't serve any good purpose. The site is extraordinary and so the building should be. The sea access is extraordinary and should be reflected in the design and the usability of that building. The access to the Inner Harbour by a promenade for ordinary citizens - not necessarily coming for a convention centre or coming for trade centre purposes, but simply wanting access to the site - is also extraordinary and it must be respected and honoured in the design.

There are other remarkable aspects here that have to be understood and have to be integrated into the final design. One of the lucky circumstances is that this site connects with virtually every significant form of transportation, save one, to and from Vancouver Island - and I refer of course to Swartz Bay. It has bus access, it has seaplane access, it has direct access to the Coho and the Marguerite.

There is one more form of access that it could incorporate, and I simply propose it as something worth studying. I don't know if it's entirely practical - I'm advised it is - but it would be up to the government to conduct the feasibility studies that may make it so. Would it not be possible to simply consider extending the E&N track down Wharf Street for four blocks and using the convention centre at ground level on Wharf Street as the terminus of that service? Would it not be a marvelous thing to be able to invite tourists who come for convention centre purposes to catch the train at their front door right there on Wharf Street, all of four blocks from the present terminus, go across the Johnson Street Bridge and proceed up Vancouver Island? Would it not be a marvelous thing for all of us on the Island to be able to encourage that direct, local and physical use of the last remaining active rail line on the Island? Would it not be possible to at least consider extending the E&N track from where it now ends at the foot of Johnson Street down Wharf Street to the foot of Fort? It's all of four blocks. I'm told that to extend the rail line itself that short distance may cost less than 5 percent of the total final cost of the convention centre and the related facilities. It may well be that that 5 percent could make a first-class difference. It may well be that that 5 percent, should the figure prove accurate, should the feasibility study bear it out, could allow us to heighten and enhance the outstanding connectedness of that really outstanding location to all of the forms of transportation that we enjoy in downtown Victoria. It is at the very least, I think, worth some study.

There is one final argument that I'd like to make. The commercial enterprise values of this convention centre are self-evident; they are not in dispute by anyone. It is important that they be enhanced here. The commercial worth of this site.... Its annual operating losses, which one can predict will be in the order of $200, 000 to $400, 000 in the first years - so we're informed - are worth bearing, because the final result, the indirect asset, is much more considerable. So it is that this House every year justifies the small operating losses of the Princess Marguerite, because the overall benefit to the economy is enormous. So too the small operating losses of this convention centre can be more than justified by the overall impact of the literally millions of dollars that will come in in convention centre activity. Those values are self-evident and we respect them. The opportunities for retail space, for active, small, private enterprise space down there - also serving the interests of the people who come for convention centres - are significant, worthy of respect and worthy of incorporation into the final design.


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#9 Caramia

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 09:34 AM

This city is full of the ghosts of projects that could have been and never were.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#10 UrbanRail

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 04:24 PM

Interestingly, the ideas to improve the E&N have been around for 30 years (well at least since the 70s). Dozens of groups, and hundreds of people on this island (including myself) have worked hard to promote the improvement and expansion of the E&N. The interest from government and the general public wasnt enough to go ahead. Until now.

The explosion of development, population and traffic experienced in just the last 5 years is beginning to change the mind set. The time is right to promote the E&N as a major hauler of passengers and hopefully freight, supported by good transit connections.

The above quote doesnt make me want to cry, it just motivates me more. Six years later the station was moved to where it is today. Unfortunately the convention centre never got off the ground on the Wharf St Site.
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#11 UrbanRail

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 04:32 PM

Great looking proposal! I'd love to see the train downtown again, what if the station was put in up Store St where the proposed bus terminal is?

Since this is not an actual development I've moved this thread to the Infrastructure forum.


The proposed bus terminal is for PCL and Greyhound only, not for transit. My thinking is moving the station closer to Douglas St (a major transit corridor), which would have a greater impact on reducing traffic.
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#12 Galvanized

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 11:28 PM

^My thinking was if you had the Bus Terminal and the Train Station in the same area that Transit would come to them. They could always re-route the 11 so from Gorge it turns down Government St to Pandora and goes right onto Douglas, reverse it would go down Yates to Government and then to Gorge.
Past President of Victoria's Flâneur Union Local 1862

#13 UrbanRail

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 01:34 AM

Found this in the UVic Archives. These drawings are part of a larger study done by the Victoria Planning Department in March and April 1984. We all know the outcome of the study by just looking at the current station.

Anyway, its an interesting piece of history. On a personal note, I strongly believe that the station should be closer to Douglas St for better integration with the transit routes.

What better way to celebrate the transportation side of Victoria's 150th Bday bash in 2012, than with a new rail terminal for the E&N and the return of the streetcar in modern form.

Option A Site Plan
http://www.urban21.c...84/Option A.jpg

Option A Rendering
http://www.urban21.c...A Rendering.jpg

Option B Site Plan
http://www.urban21.c...C Rendering.jpg

Option B Rendering
http://www.urban21.c...C Site Plan.jpg
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#14 jklymak

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 10:34 AM

Thanks UrbanRail. Those are both interesting proposals. The station could be centered on the Bambu hole.

Running it up to the next block into Sesqui-centenial Square still strikes me as troublesome. You'll have a lot of businesses p/o'd about the loss of parking on Pandora for a train that runs once or twice a day.

#15 G-Man

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 02:01 PM

^ Well one could hope that it would run much more often than that.

I like the first rendering too bad that never came about.

#16 UrbanRail

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 04:26 PM

Thanks UrbanRail. Those are both interesting proposals. The station could be centered on the Bambu hole.

Running it up to the next block into Sesqui-centenial Square still strikes me as troublesome. You'll have a lot of businesses p/o'd about the loss of parking on Pandora for a train that runs once or twice a day.


Actually the loss of parking along Pandora, is minimal. Myself and those working on the commuter rail proposal, envision the trains running a lot more frequent than 1 or 2 times a day. In fact I see the trains eventually running every hallf hour to an hour. I have walked along Pandora and there are hardly any cars parked on the north side of Pandora.
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#17 Coreyburger

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 05:08 PM

I used to work at 3 Fan Tan Alley, right at the corner on Pandora. I noticed a few things:

1. Those parking spots weren't used to visit the merchants on Pandora St.
2. Bambu being dead is a major hole, filled by homeless people
3. The two buildings between Fan Tan and the Bambu hole have no apparently purpose. Aside from the cheapest pop in the city (the machine behind fencing is 75 cent/can), I once noticed about two dozen middle-aged Chinese women lining up to get into the Eastern building (at the corner of Fan Tan and Pandora). Aside from that, the buildings sat empty. Can anybody comment on this?
4. Swans has about 300 compliants on file about the homeless around the hotel.

All this means something has to be done and fast. One possibility for a station might be to run up Pandora, through the Bambu project and then down Fisgard. The major issue with this is how do you get the buses down to that area to transfer people who work in other parts or are going to Camosun/UVic.

#18 UrbanRail

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:27 PM

I used to work at 3 Fan Tan Alley, right at the corner on Pandora. I noticed a few things:

1. Those parking spots weren't used to visit the merchants on Pandora St.
2. Bambu being dead is a major hole, filled by homeless people
3. The two buildings between Fan Tan and the Bambu hole have no apparently purpose. Aside from the cheapest pop in the city (the machine behind fencing is 75 cent/can), I once noticed about two dozen middle-aged Chinese women lining up to get into the Eastern building (at the corner of Fan Tan and Pandora). Aside from that, the buildings sat empty. Can anybody comment on this?
4. Swans has about 300 compliants on file about the homeless around the hotel.

All this means something has to be done and fast. One possibility for a station might be to run up Pandora, through the Bambu project and then down Fisgard. The major issue with this is how do you get the buses down to that area to transfer people who work in other parts or are going to Camosun/UVic.



which allowing the trains to run up Pandora by taking away one parking lane along the north side wont be a big deal.

Pandora is basically 4 lanes, 2 one way lanes for traffic and 2 for parking. It has the advantage of allowing a straight uninterrupted connection to Douglas St (transit routes and BRT). For cyclists, since the row would be at right angles to the intersections, it would make it impossible for them to get their bikes stuck. Between the intersections, the tracks would be fenced off from pedestrians on the sidewalks and cars on Pandora. Emergency vehicles could use the rail right of way as a quick bypass. Rubber fillers between rails and asphalt at the intersections.
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#19 UrbanRail

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 06:33 PM

One more thing, I would recommend the use of lowfloor DMUs for the E&N. Here is a list of manufacturers.

Railcar Manufacturers (DMUs)
(Alstom Transport)- France
http://www.transport.alstom.com/home/

(Skoda)- Czech Republic
http://www.skoda.cz/...-transportation

(Stadler)- Swiss
http://www.stadlerrail.com/

(Vossloh)- Spain
http://www.vossloh-e...About_us_1.html

(Siemens Transportation)- Germany
http://transportatio...en/pub/home.htm

(Pesa)- Poland
http://www.pesa.pl/p....php?id_sesja=0

(Bombardier Transportation)- Canada
http://www.bombardie...1_19/index.html
Aaron

Promoting the return of the streetcar in modern form to Victoria and the use of the E&N as a commuter rail link on Vancouver Island.

Member of the E&N Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
Camosun College Student, Amateur Artist, Transit and Rail Advocate,
Currently working on a documentary film to promote the E&N Rwy

Follow me on Twitter; http://twitter.com/IslandRail
Commuter Rail Facebook Group; http://www.facebook....139261686101247

#20 van-island

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Posted 06 January 2008 - 07:15 PM

Tsk tsk, such a western view of things:

http://www.khi.co.jp...inal/pro_e.html

http://www.kinkishar...e_sharyotop.htm

http://www.tokyu-car...g/rs/index.html

You want to learn how to build a train system right? Head to Japan my friend, the Europeans have nothing on them.

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