Friday, February 12, 2010

 

PGE TO THE WINTER OLYMPICS

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You will love this item from Port Townsend, Washington State.

The photos, the maps, the text.

Go HERE ...

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Google:

BC Rail to shed Crown corporation status

CBC - Feb. 11, 2010

plus 45 other articles about BCRail.

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Comment from Mike Cleven:


Here's a thought: seeing the CPR Olympics ads (and noting that's the Kamloops Lake or Shuswap Lake shoreline in one shot, despite vague similarities to Howe Sound...), could it be that any thought of high-speeding Euro-style passenger service to Whistler for the Games was shelved long ago, because it was known that CP would be the Olympics sponsor and not the BC government's political partner?

Why would CN invest in passenger rail infrastructure for a Games it was not involved with?

Even the Rocky Mountaineer's expensive to-the-Games service seems like an afterthought to compensate for what to a European must seem like a glaring omission of design.....high-speed rail to Whistler for an eventual Olympics was mentioned all the way back in 1976, and has been bandied about in years since; but in all the years of Liberal-supervised planning for this event there was no mention of it at all.

In Socred days the animosity of the many car dealers in that regime made anti-rail politics understandable; but in the BC Liberals case (stocked with lawyers and realtors as they are) it's less understandable; until you factor in the Olympics sponsorship going to the company who openly criticized the BC government's rigged bidding process.

All railways, in North America at any rate, would rather run freight only, but in light of all the hoo-hah about high speed rail the most obvious connection in our region (Eugene-Whistler as outliers of Portland-Vancouver, with or without being part of the Cascadia MagLev) it just seems odd, or rather it seems that some kind of CN-related backdoor reason was why there was no effort at all to come up with Olympic rail service at a European (or Japanese...) standard.....

it's not like the technology, or the money, isn't there.....

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Comment from Kootcoot:

Rail service to Whistler would make sense for much more than just the Olympics. How much more enjoyable it would be to spend a day skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb, have a hot tottie and maybe a meal apres-ski at the resort and then tuck into a railcar to return to North Van rather than belting up for a go at the Sea to Die (with even faster speeds attainable).

However as to speculating on motive for these guys to neglect developing the BC Rail corridor - how about all the real estate opportunities for speculative opportunists (a la Gordo the Real Estate Profiteer) opened up by rail line abandonment (i.e. Britannia Bay, the North Van yards and hundreds or thousand more parcels spread from the Lower Vainland to the (not so)Peace(ful) Region of North East BC.

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 Comment from Mike Cleven:

That's exactly the point, koot. Not just at Whistler but everywhere along the line passenger rail would enhance property value and encourage development; that's the whole point of urban/suburban transit systems, in fact (which is why all the big developments along the Expo and Millennium Lines). The new Nita Lake Lodge even bills itself as having on its premises the Whistler train station (it's built atop an older railway lodge, the 1904 Jordan Lodge which as you can tell by that date pre-dated the PGE...I know because I lived in it....)

The lack of imagination about the use of passenger rail for urban/exurban expansion in BC is rather mind-boggling....though I remember a front-page feature back in the '80s which had this map of high-speed lines running up the side valleys of the Lower Mainland (Pitt, Stave etc) as well as up the inlets of the Sunshine Coast, all with condo/housing developments branching up and down the mountains, apparently using funiculars or other vertical transportation systems from the rail stations.....

Brittannia, Furry Creek, Squamish/Brackendale - all would make viable "rail suburbs", and with first-class cars like they have in Europe you could even cater to the snob class (as they do successfully throughout Europe; nobody drives to St. Moritz, for example....).

Commuter rail would also have its uses around Prince George, among other northern centres where rail-spurred residential growth would make a lot more sense than building places that need cars to get to (as with Greater Quesnel). Ditto around Kamloops and the Central Okanagan/Greater Kelowna. We have to stop building cities with the automobile as the core system; it's time to change, and you'd think given the European and Asian experience our "world class" politicians and planners would have thought of this, and applied it, a long time ago....

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Comments:
Mary, thank you for the Port Townsend link! I'll be spending lots of time there reading and, enjoying photo's I doubt we'll find anywhere else. A veritable gold mine!
 
Here's a thought: seeing the CPR Olympics ads (and noting that's the Kamloops Lake or Shuswap Lake shoreline in one shot, despite vague similarities to Howe Sound...), could it be that any thought of high-speeding Euro-style passenger service to Whistler for the Games was shelved long ago, because it was known that CP would be the Olympics sponsor and not the BC government's political partner? Why would CN invest in passenger rail infrastructure for a Games it was not involved with? Even the Rocky Mountaineer's expensive to-the-Games service seems like an afterthought to compensate for what to a European must seem like a glaring omission of design.....high-speed rail to Whistler for an eventual Olympics was mentioned all the way back in 1976, and has been bandied about in years since; but in all the years of Liberal-supervised planning for this event there was no mention of it at all. In Socred days the animosity of the many car dealers in that regime made anti-rail politics understandable; but in the BC Liberals case (stocked with lawyers and realtors as they are) it's less understandable; until you factor in the Olympics sponsorship going to the company who openly criticized the BC government's rigged bidding process.

All railways, in North America at any rate, would rather run freight only, but in light of all the hoo-hah about high speed rail the most obvious connection in our region (Eugene-Whistler as outliers of Portland-Vancouver, with or without being part of the Cascadia MagLev) it just seems odd, or rather it seems that some kind of CN-related backdoor reason was why there was no effort at all to come up with Olympic rail service at a European (or Japanese...) standard.....it's not like the technology, or the money, isn't there.....
 
Rail service to Whistler would make sense for much more than just the Olympics. How much more enjoyable it would be to spend a day skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb, have a hot tottie and maybe a meal apres-ski at the resort and then tuck into a railcar to return to North Van rather than belting up for a go at the Sea to Die (with even faster speeds attainable).

However as to speculating on motive for these guys to neglect developing the BC Rail corridor - how about all the real estate opportunities for speculative opportunists (ala Gordo the Real Estate Profiteer) opened up by rail line abandonment (i.e. Britannia Bay, the North Van yards and hundreds or thousand more parcels spread from the Lower Vainland to the (not so)Peace(ful) Region of NE BC.
 
that's exactly the point, koot. Not just at Whistler but everywhere along the line passenger rail would enhance property value and encourage development; that's the whole point of urban/suburban transit systems, in fact (which is why all the big developments along the Expo and Millennium Lines). The new Nita Lake Lodge even bills itself as having on its premises the Whistler train station (it's built atop an older railway lodge, the 1904 Jordan Lodge which as you can tell by that date pre-dated the PGE...I know because I lived in it....)

The lack of imagination about the use of passenger rail for urban/exurban expansion in BC is rather mind-boggling....though I remember a front-page feature back in the '80s which had this map of high-speed lines running up the side valleys of the Lower Mainland (Pitt, Stave etc) as well as up the inlets of the Sunshine Coast, all with condo/housing developments branching up and down the mountains, apparently using funiculars or other vertical transportation systems from the rail stations.....

Brittannia, Furry Creek, Squamish/Brackendale - all would make viable "rail suburbs", and with first-class cars like they have in Europe you could even cater to the snob class (as they do successfully throughout Europe; nobody drives to St. Moritz, for example....).

Commuter rail would also have its uses around Prince George, among other northern centres where rail-spurred residential growth would make a lot more sense than building places that need cars to get to (as with Greater Quesnel). Ditto around Kamloops and the Central Okanagan/Greater Kelowna. We have to stop building cities with the automobile as the core system; it's time to change, and you'd think given the European and Asian experience our "world class" politicians and planners would have thought of this, and applied it, a long time ago....
 
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