PASSENGER RAIL IN CANADA: OPPORTUNITIES FOR RATIONALIZATION AND MODERNIZATION

The passenger rail as now operated in Canada produces increasingly large losses and provides low quality service; indeed, it is highly obsolescent and unable to compete with the newer road and air modes. Since the majority of the present rail service is already duplicated or could be replaced by faster, more frequent, cheaper and commercially viable buses, it is suggested that some 85% of passenger rail routes should be discontinued with the buses and airlines providing all public transportation. While the scope for continuation of traditional passenger services in Canada is shown to be very limited, it appears that the traffic levels in the Quebec-Windsor corridor might be high enough in the foreseeable future to allow operation of modern, 100 mph passenger rail as a mode competitive with the bus, the auto and the jetliner. The development and operation of high speed rail in the corridor would not be commercially viable, and would incur losses comparable to the losses now sustained in the operation of obsolete passenger rail throughout Canada. The introduction of the STOL mode in the corridor is not a substitute for fast rail: as a much more expensive mode than rail, STOL would serve mainly the business and the affluent passengers. Moreover, it would also require subsidization. In the long term, fast rail would be chosen as a socially more desirable and technically superior service.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Science Council of Canada

    150 Kent Street
    Ottawa, ONo K1P 5P4,   Canada 
  • Authors:
    • LUKASIEWICZ, J
    • Gelman, S
    • Swinton, M
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 24 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00182835
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Science Council of Canada
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Preprint
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1978 12:00AM