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Airport-Integrated High Speed Rail Networks. High speed trains refer to passenger rail systems running at operational speed between 200 and 300 km/h. They have been developed in Japan, France, Germany, Spain and South Korea. Another high speed system in Taiwan, linking Taipei to Kaohsiung, is scheduled to be completed in 2006. The high speed train passenger system era truly originates from Japan. More->

Rail is the answer for rapid airport connections

Jerry W. BirdSince becoming involved with travel and transportation media a decade or so ago, one of my pet peeves at Canadian airports is the lack of seamless connections with local rapid transit to the heart of the city. In Vancouver's case, I am saddened each time we drive along the boulevard in Kerrisdale and see the ideally located interurban rail corridor going to waste, when in my high school days (sems like yesterday), BC Electric's fleet of bright red trams whisked passengers from downtown Vancouver to Richmond's Steveston Village. How efficient such a service would be as way to make Vancouver International Airport a true 'agora'. Such were the thoughts and the words of Professor Mayur of India, a friend I met at the Globe Business and the Environment Conference in 1998. Returning from my trips to Africa via Europe in recent years, I am always impressed with the way that major railways are linked with the airports, making these facilities true hubs of transportation. That's why the following report from Transport Canada this year was so encouraging.



RICHMOND, B.C. &emdash; Raymond Chan, Member of Parliament for Richmond and Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific), on behalf of Transport Minister David Collenette, today announced federal funding of $250,000 to study the potential for a rapid transit link between Richmond, Vancouver International Airport and downtown Vancouver. The study will assess the need for a rapid transit link between Richmond, Vancouver International Airport and downtown Vancouver, define general performance and design specifications and examine funding options and the potential for private sector involvement. Jointly funded by the federal government and the Vancouver International Airport Authority, the $500,000 study will be led by TransLink, in cooperation with Transport Canada, Vancouver International Airport Authority, the Province of British Columbia, the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the City of Richmond, the City of Vancouver, and Port Vancouver.

"Getting out to Vancouver International Airport can be a challenge for both travellers and employees." said Mr. Chan. "It's a challenge that creates congestion, wastes time and damages the environment. A rapid transit link between Richmond, Vancouver International Airport and Vancouver that is convenient to use, even with parcels, luggage or a briefcase has the potential to meet that challenge. That's why we need to examine the idea of building a rapid transit link in partnership with the various levels of government, public bodies and the private sector in Greater Vancouver."

The study will build on the recently completed $25,000 Transport Canada study on Rail Access to Vancouver Airport. That preliminary study recommended all levels of government work to promote separate right-of-way rail transit service in the Richmond - Vancouver corridor, with a connection to the Vancouver Airport.

"There is a need to coordinate public transportation to high-use hubs and key employment centres such as ports and airports so they are convenient to use," said Mr. Collenette. "This feasibility study will take a detailed look at the need for a rapid transit link to Vancouver International Airport and is part of the federal government's commitment to examine ways to find cleaner, more efficient ways to move people and goods. With eight different organizations working together on this study, it is a good example of how we must pool our resources and build upon partnerships, both public and private, to solve our transportation challenges."

Contact: Rod Nelson
Communications, Vancouver
(604) 666-1675

Transport Canada is online at http://www.tc.gc.ca/.