Comment 31543

By beancounter (registered) | Posted June 05, 2009 at 21:48:30

There is a difference between Canada and the other G8 countries.

A little less than 20 million people live in the 1,150 km Windsor-Quebec City corridor. The scale and density is the same as you find in European high speed rail corridors.

We have comparable population and density to Europe in many areas of Canada, especially along primary corridors connected with the U.S. - including Windsor-Quebec City, Calgary-Edmonton and in south-west BC.

I am sure that Ryan and arienc are correct in their comments, as far as they go. But note the word "corridors" is found in both of their responses. There lies, I believe, the essential difference between Canada and the other G8 countries. While we have corridors, they have networks. Our corridors are mostly east-west, exept for the Edmonton - Calgary corridor.

Look at Jonathan Dalton's example. Of all the cities he lists there are only two that could be said not to lie on a more or less continuous east - west corridor; these would be Kitchener and Ottawa. (I am suggesting that the main corridor would be from Detroit/Windsor through London, Brantford and Burlington to Toronto and then on through Kingston to Montreal and Quebec.)

Don't get me wrong; I spent a good part of my youth in the Netherlands which has an incredible railway system. I fell in love with trains at an early age, but the particular city I lived in had passenger trains going in seven different directions! When you have trains running in a corridor, however, there is only one place to go when you get to the end; that is to go back.

Nevertheless, I do think Toronto to Montreal would be a good place to start. I recall going to Montreal on Via Rail and where the railroad runs parallel to Highway 401, the train was running faster than most of the vehicles on the adjacent road. Just think what that would be like if the train was going 200 to 300 km/hr. instead of around 140!

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