I like trains™
Why Did I Do This?
I like transit, I needed to practise my Illustrator skills and I believe that Vancouver is ripe for a blossoming transportation system. I firmly believe we should invest in commuter rail along the rail corridors, and I believe we should look into high-speed rail investments. Connecting the city not only has massive positive impacts for the economy, but it also greatly helps in poverty management.
The names I chose to use to modify I did so intentionally. Many are obvious such as ‘Kerrisdale’ or ‘160 St’ whereas others less so. Many names are Indigenous in nature, and I opted for them to either be used as they are or have the local First Nations collaborate in the future to name stops.
qiyəplenəxʷ – The namesake of Capilano and Musqueam chief who lived at q̓ələχən and met George Vancouver.
Pacific Central–Science World – Changed from ‘Main Street’ so that the Millennium Line stop at Main can be named as such.
Adanac – Named for the park located next to the stop.
X̱wíliḵw – Means bird or duck in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim.
Still Creek – Named for the Creek that runs under this stop.
spál̓ – hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ meaning ‘raven.’ (placeholder name really)
Laurent Clerc – Helped bring Deaf education to North America and brought over LSF which later became ASL and LSQ, two of Canada’s manual languages.
Westminster – Named for Westminster.
Cedar Line – Named for the Western Red Cedar, a central tenant of Coast Salish cultures.
Salish Line – To honour the peoples on whose lands we illegally live.
səl̓ilwətaɁɬ Express – Renamed West Coast Express to make steps forward in reconciliation and recognise (in their languages, not ours) each of the First Nations in the GVA.*
sc̓əwaθən Express – Tsawwassen in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓.
SEMYOME Express – Semiahmoo in SEMYOME.
Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Express – Squamish in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim.
Stó:lō Express – Name of both the Stó:lō peoples and of the Fraser River in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓.
xʷməθkʷəy̓əm Express – Musqueam in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓.
Hiawatha Route – Leader and co-founder of the Iroquois Confederacy.
Bill Reid Route – Named in honour of illustrious Haida artist.
Ɂəlqsən Route – The hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ name of what is now Point Grey.
Deskaheh Route – Haudenosaunee chief who brought Iroquois concerns to the League of Nations in 1923.
Dianna Boileau Route – One of the first Canadians to have gender-confirming surgery in 1970.
Okalik Route – First Premier of Nunavut and first Inuk to be called to the Nunavut Bar.
Kenojuak Route – Notable Inuk artist.
Louis Riel Route – Leader of the Métis movement and helped to establish Manitoba as a homeland for Métis.
Odjig Route – Odawa-Potawatomi artist who was part of the Indian Group of Seven.
Art Manual Route – Secwepemc and Ktunaxa First Nations political leader.
Slahoot Route – Named for Geswanouth Slahoot who was chief of the səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation between 1951 and 1963.
I spent a lot of time day-dreaming about this project, so here are some additional notes that did not quite make it through to the map itself.
New West Station
The idea would be to reopen the New Westminster train station to function as a train station with the connection to the New West SkyTrain stop (possibly via underground route to make it more accessible for those with mobility issues). The station would connect one westbound commuter train whose terminus stations are YXX–Abbotsford Airport and Marine Drive; it would connect two westbound trams, one that cuts through Richmond, extends to and along the dyke and terminates at the old Steveston rail station, and the other that follows the northern shore of the Fraser River along Southern Vancouver until Marine Drive. Eastbound, there are three trains: one to Horseshoe Bay and Squamish, one to Tsawwassen and one to Abbotsford.
From this station, commuters will be able to visit the Steveston/Richmond dyke, take the SkyTrain, catch a direct connection to the Canada Line, visit the Greater Vancouver Zoo, take a flight from Abbotsford, take a ferry from either Horseshoe Bay or Tsawwassen or visit Squamish. In short, it complements the very productive Vancouver with Waterfront and Pacific Central.
The idea here is to re-relocate all heavy rail trains through here. As such, commuters will be able to catch the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Express to Horseshoe Bay/Squamish, the SEMYOME Express direct to White Rock or a number of long-distance trains, including the proposed HSR to Seattle and Portland. As well, from here, commuters will be able to catch a SkyTrain and two rapid tram lines.
The hope is for Translink to acquire the parkade just West of Waterfront Station to host a tram depot that connects within the station. Ideally, the six tram lines whose termini is Waterfront will be able to enter via Granville directly into the station where the platforms are reachable from the A&W side of Waterfront. With this acquisition, there is the potential to expand retail space within.
King George Station would ideally host the newly routed HSR to/from Washington state. À priori, it would be located under King George Blvd with the Slahoot Route running just above it. It would be one of two stations in Metro Vancouver, the second being Pacific Central Station.
The Cedar Line would see SFU students’ needs met by having direct SkyTrain access to both campuses. It would ideally be above ground by Kensington such that the grade need not be too steep. Underground tunnelling would offer additional retail or classroom space for SFU as well.
This route would connect UBC with Granville Island and downtown. Having a frequent light rail run along 4th Ave will be a boost to businesses there. The primary issue is the grade just West of the Jericho Military Base. The thinking is that the line could separate from the road and travel underground and a much more gradual grade, « connecting » (might be a level below due to grade issues) to the Millennium Line.
I made a concerted effort to connect downtown more succinctly. At the moment, the transit downtown is lacking (to an extent; it exists at least). As such, I thought to include a number of light rail lines for a number of reasons. First, you can separate light rail from traffic at different times by having a semi-protected lane. Second, tourists are more likely to take trams over buses due to the visual reception of the lines in the ground and the smoother ride. Finally, it would increase downtown mobility, especially along the Burrard, Davie and W Georgia/Pender corridors.
In planning this, I opted for the most amount of connections to other forms of transit and to services alike. As such, there is rapid transit servicing: both ferry terminals, UBC, SFU, BCIT, Douglas College, Langara College, Capilano University, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Trinity Western University, University of the Fraser Valley–Abbotsford, all three of our airports, Vancouver Aquarium, Greater Vancouver Zoo, PNE and Swangard Stadium. If you consider Squamish as a part of this network, Quest University could be considered here as well.
First Nations Reserves
I added in small font the names in their languages for the reserves around the Lower Mainland. I only included those whose names I could find, which resulted in all Squamish reserves in the region and two of the three Musqueam reserves. Others, like Katzie, Qayqayt and Kwikwitlem, were hard to find the names of the reserves in the languages. I did this to educate folks on the fact that these reserves exist and hopefully will shed some light on the racist history of reserve-creation; I did not include all the place names mainly because there are frankly too many, and there are Indigenous protocols that I would not be following.
* – Sorta. There are a tonne of First Nations in the Lower Mainland, but many have consolidated into Stó:lō which is also broken down into sub-groupings. The First Nations names I used here are Stó:lō and those not under the Stó:lō umbrella.