Switzer­land’s rail sys­tem puts On­tario to shame

Toronto Star - - NEWS -

Re Will high-speed rail be worth it for On­tario?, Cohn, May 25

Martin Regg Cohn is hav­ing sec­ond thoughts about high-speed rail in south­ern On­tario. The pop­u­la­tion den­sity in south­ern On­tario is at least as great as that in other parts of the world that have ex­ten­sive pas­sen­ger rail net­works. For ex­am­ple, Switzer­land.

Switzer­land cov­ers a land area slightly larger than the Greater Golden Horse­shoe, roughly the area that em­braces Ni­a­gara, Hamil­ton, Kitch­ener, the GTA, Bar­rie, Peter­bor­ough, Cobourg and points in be­tween. But Switzer­land is less densely pop­u­lated than the Greater Golden Horse­shoe.

Nev­er­the­less, as any­one who has trav­elled there can at­test, trains run ev­ery­where in Switzer­land. And they’re fast and fre­quent. As a re­sult, the Swiss are the world’s cham­pi­ons when it comes to per-capita rail rid­er­ship.

And un­like in south­ern On­tario, Swiss trains need to run up, down, through and around moun­tains, re­quir­ing huge con­struc­tion ex­pen­di­tures.

When it comes to trains, Switzer­land is the lit­tle coun­try that could. David White, Toronto

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