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[Rail] Commuter rail


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#2321 On the Level

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 11:59 AM

Holy smokes, he/she joins and bears gifts with the first post! Welcome to VV, UserofVic.

 

Here's something to consider, though. Wouldn't it make more sense to buy 255 $1 million Double Deckers that have the capacity to haul 20,000 commuters, rather than spend up to $600 million for a capacity of 1,000 people over seven rail cars?

 

Wouldn't that be like pretending the cost of rail is just the rolling stock?  255 double decker buses represents new full time resources, enhancement to maintenance facilities etc etc.

 

Further to that, the GVCC helped kill rail by heavily supporting a bridge replacement that did not include rail into downtown-proper. They famously (infamously?) distributed flyers to residents that showed a new bridge with a train track right before the referendum was held, and when it was pointed out that their image was incorrect by then it was too late.

 

So now you've got those 1,000 passengers arriving in Vic West and either having to walk a kilometre just to cross the bridge, or get shuttled by buses into downtown (about 12 double deckers worth of passengers).

 

What killed rail, IMO, is the new bridge. Had we still had rail into downtown it could have been extended into a purpose-built terminus at City Hall where several vehicles could stage in Centennial Square or below Centennial Square.

 

I agree that not including rail on the new bridge was bone headed, but the new bridge design does have areas denoted to rail should it be decided to add it.  

 

Of course the GVCC would fight that.  The problem with the GVCC is that their mandate is to push for lopsided transportation.  Everything must be for bikes which means that they must take away alternate options for others.


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#2322 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 12:08 PM

I know no one agrees with me on this site, but I still believe this is a win.  Why;

 

  • I was on the first run of the Westcoast Express...after the same complaints...was a success then used it for years.

 

there is a conversation that's quite taboo to talk about with commuter train services (versus buses and subways).  it's the class system.  

 

poor and black locals don't take commuter trains.  its true in toronto (go trains) and it's true in new york (long island trains).  it's also true in vancouver with the west coat express.  no poor people.  no kids.   it's seen by many as a more pleasant ride with white collar workers making up most of the passengers.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 29 April 2020 - 12:08 PM.

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#2323 splashflash

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 12:35 PM

there is a conversation that's quite taboo to talk about with commuter train services (versus buses and subways).  it's the class system.  
 
poor and black locals don't take commuter trains.  its true in toronto (go trains) and it's true in new york (long island trains).  it's also true in vancouver with the west coat express.  no poor people.  no kids.   it's seen by many as a more pleasant ride with white collar workers making up most of the passengers.


Call it snob transit. Sneering at flexible, more cost-effective buses when the geography simply does not suit rail - even the previous light rail studies rejected this corridor - simply does not cut it.
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#2324 On the Level

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 02:29 PM

Call it snob transit. Sneering at flexible, more cost-effective buses when the geography simply does not suit rail - even the previous light rail studies rejected this corridor - simply does not cut it.

 

There have been many studies on the corridor and depending on peoples opinion, they either point to the fact that it's idiotic to not have the route in use, or it doesn't cut it.

 

One things for sure, if public transit had a "like to like" study done of costs and infrastructure, it wouldn't be feasible either.    



#2325 UserofVic

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 05:47 PM

Holy smokes, he/she joins and bears gifts with the first post! Welcome to VV, UserofVic.

 

Here's something to consider, though. Wouldn't it make more sense to buy 255 $1 million Double Deckers that have the capacity to haul 20,000 commuters, rather than spend up to $600 million for a capacity of 1,000 people over seven rail cars?

It might, except 255 buses requires 255 drivers and is likely far beyond what buses can scale to. The thing with the $600 million is that most of it is fixed infrastructure costs. The rolling stock is comparable per passenger to buses, meaning the big question I have is the ability to double track allowing for all day 2 way service to at least Westhills, and the possibility of extra trips to Duncan and beyond even along a single track midday. If double tracking is cheap and space for train storage can be found, it's a lot easier to add some more coaches to reach a 20,000 person capacity than it is with buses. The studied scenarios are very bare bones. There's also the question of how do buses and commuter rail compare to an LRT system? BC Transit's 2011 study found LRT would end up with a low operating cost of $1.70ish/passenger by 2038. It has a hefty upfront price tag, but BRT can be built to the same standards of speed and priority if we allow it to. BRT can also be upgraded to LRT if designed correctly. As long as we don't pull an Ottawa and botch the launch of LRT.

 

with the bus lanes and the mckenzie interchange the bus will do the trip faster (and much more frequently - reducing dwell times and passenger waits at stations) than trains can.

 

The trains are stated to travel 28 minutes between Westhills and downtown. The 50 is about 30 minutes between downtown and Langford, 35-40 terminus to terminus. The real improvements won't come without reducing the number of stops and implementing fare prepayment. Stuff that the 2008 douglas BRT proposal would have allowed for. Shame the region was too short sighted to build functional cost effective rapid transit infrastructure.  It's likely had that been build there'd be priority lanes down the highway by now and we'd have saved many hours of highway 1 congestion. The curbside lanes are better than nothing, but still have to contend with cars turning through them and make level boarding (no wheelchair ramps needed) and fare prepayment difficult. They're a far cry from real rapid transit. There's a thing called the Downs-Thompson Paradox, which this video gives a bit of an overview of. Basically car traffic gets worse until transit/biking/walking becomes as fast.

 

I think rail is feasible, but ultimately improvements to the highway 1/Douglas corridor would likely be more beneficial for Langford commuters. Now for Duncan and Shawnigan Lake commuters though rail probably becomes a better idea, though in the short term just running the Cowichan Valley Commuter buses more would be pretty great. Add midday 2 way service and day trips to Duncan become possible on transit too. The current schedule of them has the last Victoria bound bus leave well before many of the connecting routes start service. It'd be a quick fix to capture some of the non-commuter market. Did you know it's possible to bus from Victoria to Lake Cowichan 6 days a week? Problem is coming back as the Saturday schedule is the only one with midday Duncan/Victoria trips, allowing the transfer back. How many people would specifically go between Lake Cowichan and Victoria by bus is debatable, but Duncan/Victoria has untapped potential especially as Victoria's growth is making it more and more of an outlying part of the region than a separate entity.

 

One thing I missed from the report, the location of Vic West's station:

VicWestStation.PNG

 

It's not in downtown, but they did ridership calculations based on it being close to the bridge. I always assumed it'd be a lot further.


Edited by UserofVic, 29 April 2020 - 05:49 PM.

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#2326 Brantastic

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 02:54 PM

^My dream would be for it to tunnel right along the highlighted section in the photo above, under the inner harbour and to end at an underground train station at Douglas and Pandora or Yates, similar to the Canada Line. I know this is far-fetched for a city of our size.


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#2327 Mike K.

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 02:59 PM

Ken Mariash will not be pleased to see the trains stop adjacent to the BMW dealership. It’s also far too tight there.

This just seems like such a folly. We’re too small to sustain the costs.

Halifax tried to make the numbers work, and they already have the rail in tip top shape, but they gave up on the idea and decided BRT was the way to go.
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#2328 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 03 May 2020 - 05:19 AM

Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne said some kind of commuter-rail system is needed between Langford and Victoria, but that’s all. He’s not in favour of a rail system to Courtenay, saying there is not enough demand, including freight, to justify the cost.

 

 

“There’s no way that it can be economically sustainable, Mayne said. “It’s a romantic idea that people just won’t let go of.”

 

The future of the corridor has been discussed for many years and nothing has changed, he said.

“That bothers me. We haven’t advanced an inch on this, other than we know that it is way too expensive,” he said.

 

 

 

 

https://www.timescol...nomy-1.24128586


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 03 May 2020 - 05:20 AM.


#2329 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 07:10 PM

Brent Edwards, a Snaw-Naw-As council member, said the purpose of the ICF is to protect the corridor and using the land for a purpose other than rail could achieve that. The Snaw-Naw-As currently has a civil lawsuit before the courts against the ICF and the Attorney General of Canada, asking for the return of land that they say was wrongfully taken away from them when the railway was initially built.

“We’ve had numerous First Nations that are part of the Island Corridor Foundation support our position and despite of that, they keep running amok, running ahead, saying ‘we’re going to get rail up and running one day,’” he said. “There’s a whole bunch of First Nations that would like to see it repurposed and that was the intent of the Island Corridor Foundation when it was set up was to protect the corridor and not have tunnel vision on rail.”

Edwards called the potential repurposing “the real opportunity.”

Stevenson said the purpose of the ICF is to reopen rail service, noting he would like to see trails developed as well as the rail line.

“The Island Corridor Foundation is very supportive of trails alongside the railway and in fact, we have built over 100 kilometres of trails on the Island and it’s our intent to continue building them in the future,” he said. “But we are still – the base of this organization is to restore train service to the Island.”

 

 

https://www.vicnews....f-en-rail-line/



#2330 On the Level

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 09:38 PM

More trails.  Wonderful.....joyous. 



#2331 Spy Black

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 05:39 AM

Brent Edwards and his First Nation have a massive agenda in this case, such that they have been in court against the Island Corridor Foundation and sued  them.

The rail line splits their reserve in half, and prevents the level of development they want to undertake, so they want to see the rail line reduced to a simple path, with no conditions attached.

 

The article is actually surprisingly slanted (as is the one in the TC), such that it should have been made apparent to the reader right off the bat that a pending legal case between the two parties makes any one of those parties statements so biased, and so agenda laden as to render it "not news", but simply pre-trial "positioning".


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#2332 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 05:42 AM

indeed. I’m not sure we need more intercity (paved) trails. Regional trails are fine.

#2333 splashflash

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Posted 06 May 2020 - 06:22 PM

Brent Edwards and his First Nation have a massive agenda in this case, such that they have been in court against the Island Corridor Foundation and sued  them.
The rail line splits their reserve in half, and prevents the level of development they want to undertake, so they want to see the rail line reduced to a simple path, with no conditions attached.
 
The article is actually surprisingly slanted (as is the one in the TC), such that it should have been made apparent to the reader right off the bat that a pending legal case between the two parties makes any one of those parties statements so biased, and so agenda laden as to render it "not news", but simply pre-trial "positioning".


Less biased than some articles by Stevenson and the ICF stating that this project would be an economically beneficial. The Snaw-na-As claim, "the railway line is nothing more than Victorian-era fantasy” is correct.

Also correct is "There is absolutely no business case for these immense investments,” asmstated by the Snaw-Naw-As in the release.

Lastly his vision is realty ...
He urged the foundation’s board to repurpose the trail, “which was envisioned when the ICF was created and why it is called the Island Corridor Foundation, not the Island Rail Foundation.”
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#2334 Spy Black

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Posted 07 May 2020 - 08:52 AM

I'm not particularly supportive of re-opening the entire E&N, nor do I agree with everything the ICF proposes, but I have to disagree with the concept that a First Nation Chief has any relevant comment related to the business case of re-opening rail on the Island. 

Brent Edwards has nothing to offer but his unprofessional, and highly personal opinion on the matter ... which is heavily influenced by the fact that he is in court currently with the ICF.

The interviewer who penned the article might have well asked any passerby on the street, and it would be equally relevant as asking Edwards about the business case.

 

You misread my post as being supportive of the ICF, which was not the point (and not at all reflective of my position) ... the point was that Brent Edwards unprofessional and personal opinion on the matter is completely irrelevant, and highly biased.


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#2335 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 05:08 AM

Stevenson has ideas on how to decrease costs. He suggests rather than a $60-million maintenance facility, as in the report, a $2-million facility using a Quonset hut could be set up on existing railyard land in Nanaimo.

 

The number of trains, the type of cars, and the frequency of trips outlined in the report could be cut back as well, he said.

Trains described in the report are high-end and high-tech, he said. Lower-cost trains could be used.

Fewer trains could run, going at peak travel times only, with perhaps one offered mid-day, he said.

 

https://www.timescol...cate-1.24134122

 

that does not work.  nobody wants to go downtown only to have to take a bus on the return trip if they leave work/shop/play/meetings early.



#2336 UserofVic

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Posted 13 May 2020 - 03:14 PM

If anything higher frequency would make it more worthwhile. For example, BC Transit has noted higher ridership growth than both population increase and service expansion hours in systems across the province. More trips is more convenient which means more people will choose a train over driving. Higher frequency always increases ridership when competing against driving. The study only had downtown bound morning trips, and outward/upisland bound evening trips, even though the upgraded track speeds should allow a single train set to do a round trip upisland and back before the afternoon shift. Just gotta hire a 2nd operator group for the morning round trip and the afternoon round trip. It'd also avoid the problem of what does the operator of the train from Courtney do in the day


Edited by UserofVic, 13 May 2020 - 03:18 PM.


#2337 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 03 July 2020 - 05:36 AM

Gordon Edwards, elected chief of the Snaw-Naw-As, said he is disappointed by the decision.

 

“In the coming weeks, we will consider our options, including whether or not to appeal,” Edwards said Thursday.

 

The E&N line runs between Victoria and Courtenay, with a leg to Parksville. It hasn’t been used for passenger service since 2011 when the track’s poor condition forced its closing. Only a small portion of the line in Nanaimo is still being used.

 

 

?

 

 

https://www.timescol...land-1.24164265


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 03 July 2020 - 05:37 AM.


 



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