Mark and Vic look at a different way of getting to play in the mountains with bikes. To the Alps by train. Words & Photography Mark As I start writing…
Ok, at the moment it’s a ‘proposal’ for a post covid-19 recovery plan for the south BC area and the plan is designed to allow for the affordable expansion in to the suburbs around Vancouver for the expected 1 million extra inhabitants by 2050. But with the nearest proposed station just a short taxi ride from the airport one benefit could be much quicker transfers from Vancouver to Whistler for mountain bikers and snow lovers. If it gets the go-ahead of course.
The proposal has been put forward, along with strong environmental and economic arguments, by a group calling themselves the Mountain Valley Express. The advocacy group consists of academics and urban planners who want to see a sustainable solution to the growing road based transport issues that are getting progressively worse year on year in the area. They group states in their proposal that the project would provide a “leaner, greener restart” for the area post Covid.
The route of the proposed rail link mostly covers existing rail infrastructure but would require new tracks to be laid to enable train speeds up to a whopping 300km/h. This would allow for transfer times from Waterfront station to the north of Vancouver city to Whistler in around 30 minutes. Current transfer times by road from Vancouver airport south of the city currently take around 2.5 hours via the Sea to Sky Highway.
Those with longer memories may remember that there was a train link from Vancouver to Whistler on a service called the Rocky Mountaineer, which was mostly a sight seeing journey up through the west coast mountains. It was slow and not cheap. That service was closed down several years ago but it remains the proposed route of the new high speed line.
Would the possibility of being in the lift line with your bike or snowboard around 2 hours from collecting your gear off the airport carousel appeal to you?
All we need now to be better environmentally aware travellers is for these hydrogen planes to hurry up and get invented.
If you want to read more about sustainable transport for mountain bikers who travel then check out our feature below on travelling to the alps by train.
View the MVX PDF proposal in full here (PDF)
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