Slow Train Coming
And I am slow in catching up on this. I found it thanks to Transport 2000 Canada’s regular news round up. My Google alert for Vancouver +Transportation missed it.
Robert Alstead takes a journey north by rail from California and wonders if Canada’s vanished passenger trains will once again carry us from coast to coast
It is a sizeable slab of text with 6 web pages. Perhaps the best bit is the continuing story of the absence of the second train from Vancouver to Seattle, and the apparent lack of concern from both province and the feds. Well, Gordon got his photo op last year and the siding is built. My friend Dave Olson is quoted (in his professional capacity) and rubbishes the current “train bus” arrangement.
We really are being left behind. The rest of the world long ago realised that passenger trains will be increasingly important in a post peak oil, need to get the greenhouse gases down, there’s better ways than flying or driving world. We are stuck with this 1950s mentality. Trains are for museums. Kansas City can raise funds to restore Union Station as a “visitor experience” and a place for banquets (there seems to be a lot of demand for those still) but not seemingly for good quality public transport. Even of the current LRT proposal does get through the ballot, it will only serve the Missouri side, not the Kansas side, of the metropolis. Seattle is building one of the most expensive light rails schemes anywhere. But we cannot get a day time ride from here to there. There are no trains to Calgary – or Whistler – except the expensive tourist versions. And only three trains a week to the Rest of Canada.