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Trains. Why doesn’t Canada get on board?

Just a quick observation as I’m sitting on a VIA train halfway between Ottawa and Montreal… why is it so damned difficult to get a concensus on the future of rail in this country? It is SUCH a superior way to travel!

  • No security crap.
  • A helluva lot more comfortable than air travel.
  • Better for the environment re: GHG emissions than air travel – for sure – and arguably better than car travel as well.

But any time the debate is launched, the leaders in this country twist themselves into pretzels explaining how we cannot afford the cost of the infrastructure. Or how new rail lines or trains will have negative social impacts on communities.

Or they are just silent.

Can someone more knowledgeable than I am on these matters explain why this is so?

Anyone? anyone? Beuller?


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One Comment

  1. Certain routes, I totally agree with you. I love trains. I’ve taken some in Germany and Switzerland and they’re just great. Ottawa-Montreal is good. I haven’t done Toronto-Montreal but I suspect its fine.

    But have you ever traveled between Montreal and Halifax by train? Wow, does it ever suck. It takes about 24 hours and costs more than a plane ticket – that’s without sleeping room. I’ve taken it a couple of times when there were seat sales, and the train stops in the middle of nowhere for hours… I’ve no idea why, except to let freight trains have priority maybe. I can drive in have the time at a fraction of the cost, on my own schedule. It’s as if there’s some force at work, trying to sabotage it.

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