Letter: TramTrain would work very well on E&N line

Today there are over 35 TramTrain operations around the world

TramTrain would work very well on E&N line

Your April 28 editorial is bang on; in today’s world, rail transit is the proven way to reduce car use, thus reducing pollution and congestion.

The one mode that would work very well with the E&N is TramTrain.

What is TramTrain?

A modern tram or streetcar (some modern trams can hold over 250 passengers or have a coffee bar and a WC) that can operate both on streetcar tracks and mainline railways.

In essence, TramTrain is the modern interurban and has been proven extremely successful in operation.

The first modern TramTrain started operation in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1992 and within six months ridership on the TramTrain route grew from 533,600 a week to 2,555,000 a week, a massive 479 per cent increase!

Today there are over 35 TramTrain operations around the world.

The cost per kilometre for TramTrain is cheap because it uses existing railways, with short networks of streetcar operation in urban centres. The cost for TramTrain is today around $10 million a kilometre, expensive yes, but compared to TransLink’s current cost estimate for the Expo SkyTrain extension to Langley of over $400 million/km, TramTrain is a bargain.

It is time the provincial and federal governments start investing in proven and economic rail solutions for today’s global warming emergency instead of the current dithering about doing nothing, while pretending otherwise.

It is time that proven 21st century solutions are used to meet current 21st century problems.

Malcolm Johnston

Delta, B.C.