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More about choo-choos

OK – so I’m on a bit of a high horse right now… I blame the Sleeman’s…

Things in Canada that would benefit from an integrated and modern rail network:

  1. The environment – in terms of GHG emissions, ozone depletion, noise pollution, land use and unsustainable settlement patterns
  2. Better service to the downtown cores of communities and not just to the soul-eating outskirts.
  3. Economic impacts in terms of building / renewing the rail infrastructure but also the positive impact of improving the transportation corridors to smaller centres.
  4. Everyone and anyone who travels any distance by train immediately has a better appreciation of the beauty and vastness of this country. And who doesn’t like beauty and vastness?
  5. Less collective anger over weather delays and cancellations, lost luggage, surly Air Canada staff, exorbitant additional fees, cramped seats, etc., etc.
  6. Increased productivity since you can do actual work on a train… but this increase may be negated by the ready availability of alcohol.
  7. More Canadians get to see cool and interesting stuff – like this cloud for example:


Any others positive results that would comes from a better planned and integrated rail network?

Anyone? Anyone? Beuller?


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One Comment

  1. XUP says:

    I agree with you. I love the train and I did a post on this very thing a couple of years ago. The feedback I got was that the train took too damn long and wasn’t that much cheaper than air travel — this from the business community who make up the bulk of travel within the country. VIA is trying to compete with its Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto triangle deals, but it still takes over 4 hours to get from Ottawa to Toronto and the cost for business travel (i.e: upgradiing seating, last minute booking, peak hour travelling) is as much if not more in some cases than getting there by plane. Especially now that Porter has those excellent deals and will fly right into downtown. Ottawa to Montreal is a no-brainer. Doesn’t take much longer than a plane and the price is right. But anywhere else? Time is money. When I was in Halifax people would often pop off to Ottawa for a day of meetings and back the same day. You can’t do that on a train. It’s sad, but true.

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