Railways: Why not walk the talk? Rural Ramblings
Year after year it’s the same, frustrated farmers unable to get their grain to market and a similar story with moving crude oil. For a nation that’s focused on pushing exports surely this is just plain dumb?
In the UK, the country is criss-crossed with railway lines. It used to be more. However, in the main it’s double tracked and more and trains go one heck of a lot faster. Yes, much of this is focused on moving people quickly, very quickly to take pressure of over crowded roads. However, since I came to Canada in 2004 I cannot understand why I’ve only seen one track railways.
Surely investing in double tracked railways, engines, railcars would make a difference. Should we be having twomile-long trains sometimes travelling at a speed that my kids could outrun? Canadian railways called for more investment in 2017 and there was a report on high-speed rail back in 2012.
An efficient railway only boosts a nation’s economy. In some areas high speed passenger transport is desirable but I believe the focus should be fixing the export bottlenecks first. This is not just one government at fault here.
Tackling massive investments to the railway system coast to coast is a huge undertaking that will require tens of billions of dollars in investment into bold and sometime contentious plans. I have no idea as to the amount of jobs such a task, tens or even hundreds of thousands I would guess, would create or the knock-on effects for domestic construction and steel industries and much, much more.
Building through the mountains will be problematic in places and yes, there will likely still be places where a single line is the only way. Thinking further ahead, railway stations again at small towns away from the cities with good passenger service to the city, even just a few cars, would allow people to live outside of the city, take advantage of small town or rural living and boost those economies, while taking the pressure off city roads.
Is railway infrastructure improvement going to be swept under the carpet again or is there a government or opposition willing to bite the bullet and be bold enough to start? For surely, it’s going to take more than one term to do it. Let’s walk the talk instead of talking the talk.