Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Make Some Noise for Quiet Trains

High speed rail has not made much noise throughout this election campaign. It seems that parties are much more content to talk about the economy, health care, education and the usual instead of big infrastructure projects like bullet trains. Because apparently, Canadians are not concerned with fast transportation. They probably aren't, but high speed rail could provide many benefits to Canada and to parties that seek to talk more about it.

The economic benefits for Canada may not seem clear at first. Why would building a rail line spur permanent economic growth? Consider this: by making cities virtually closer together and therefore jobs much closer together, we will have a mobile workforce capable of getting from city centre to city centre much faster. This is in addition to the thousands of construction jobs created by the initial project and permanent jobs maintaining the rail line. Airplanes do not do this as airports are more frequently situated on city boundaries and not downtown like rail stations.

There are a few benefits I can think of for parties who seek to talk about high speed rail. Firstly, that party would be able to repeatedly show that as an example of their devotion to building a sustainable future for Canada. It would also show them as a party that will spur job creation and stimulate the economy. Finally, it would provide that party with that "vision" aspect that everyone wants. Supporting a project of this size to bring Canada closer together would surely benefit political parties.

So far, the only party that has talked at length about this issue is the Green Party. If others were to talk about it and commit to actually building high speed rail lines instead of study after study, they would, in my opinion garner more support.
While the idea of high-speed rail remains little more than a good idea along the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, it's a way of life in Japan. That country recently launched the "Huyabusa," a bullet train capable of speeds of 186 mph that's equipped with a businessclass carriage modelled on airliner cabins.
Read more at the Windsor Star.


  1. How is spending billions of federal dollars in Windsor helping Canadians? Sound like it's good for Windsor but not much else.

  2. A rail transit system through BC's fastest growing city (Surrey), connecting the terminus of the Sky Train to the rest of Surrey/Cloverdale/White Rock and even Langley would be a HUGE economic boost to the entire Lower Mainland economy - while helping the National economy by decongesting highways which feed the rest of Canada with import/export goods via the Ports at Surrey and Vancouver.

    It would also guarantee a huge shift in votes for whoever accomplishes this task. Not to mention personal fuel savings and the environmental benefits.


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