I sometimes wonder if Ontario premier Doug Ford has ever taken a train anywhere? It looks like he has even forgotten that the liberal government, his conservatives had followed into office, where in the process of converting Ontario’s GO Trains to electric. They were also eliminating the level crossings.
While this might seem expensive, it is the least expensive way to double the capacity of the system. Electricity-powered trains can come up to speed faster and stop faster. Combined with no level crossings, the province can effectively double their overall capacity. By using electricity, there is the added benefit of reducing pollution.
But Doug and his fellow conservatives seem bent on building roads through our good farming land and our wetlands, that act as reservoirs for our farmlands. They want their developer friends to build on our carefully preserved Greenbelt. They want the gas-guzzling family automobile to remain king in Ontario.
And did you know that Ontario was once a leader in intercity trains. As a youngster, I loved those trains. I used to take the intercity trains between Galt, Hespler and Preston (now known as the City of Cambridge) and then from there taking a coal-burning train back to Toronto.
But I liked the electric trains best. They were usually a baggage car for parcels and one or two cars for passengers. And they were fast.
And, don’t forget, we were also talking about building the first high-speed electric trains starting between London, Ontario and Toronto in that previous liberal government as well. My old friend David Collenette from East York who had served as Jean Chrétien’s transport minister was the point man on the project for the Ontario government.
Ideally, the first high speed trains in Canada should be a triangle route from Toronto to Ottawa, to Montreal and then back to Toronto. It would be faster than plane service to the three cities, cheaper and less polluting.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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