Road congestion in the Lower Mainland is literally getting in the way of the province's rail traffic. And, according to the railway industry, that's a problem the provincial government needs to address. In an interview with Public Eye, Railway Association of Canada government relations director Dan Rogers said his group is now lobbying the government to build more grade separations - the tunnels and bridges that allow rail lines to pass under or over a road.
"The congestion in B.C. is growing by leaps and bounds but the infrastructure on the rails isn't matching. So, basically, you're getting slower rail times," he said. "If we continue at the rate we are, we're going to come to a standstill."
As a result, Mr. Rogers said the government "should be looking at some grade separation to allow the considerable freight traffic that has increased with the development of the Pacific Gateway to sort of move through unencumbered."
Mr. Rogers said his association doesn't have a price estimate for how much those new bridges and tunnels would cost.
Instead, he explained, "At this stage, it's really about getting buy-in from government in B.C. and elsewhere - just on the importance of rail and just making sure that as governments plan their infrastructure that this is sort of top of mind."