A fast and frequent train along the 40

A fast and frequent train along the 40?

The debate between a high-speed train (TGV) project and a high-frequency train (TGF) between Quebec and Toronto has ended. The federal government seems to recognize that this railway line must be able to do both.

In order for people to get away from the car or plane, train travel must not only be fast and frequent, but also affordable.

It is possible if we make it a societal choice.

Taking into account the true environmental, social and even purely economic costs of car travel should encourage all governments to accelerate the development of efficient rail networks.

Create fortunes here

Why do we ask for profitability when we talk about public transport like rail, but don’t ask the question when it comes to time spent on roads and private vehicles? We even pay roads to the mining and forestry industries, who appropriate our resources at low cost, without questioning that choice.

So by building roads for free, we indirectly subsidize multinational companies that create wealth elsewhere than here. We don’t make cars in Quebec and we don’t mine oil. However, trains and buses are built and sold all over the world.

In addition, unlike in road construction, investments in public transport create jobs in two phases: during the construction of the infrastructure and during the entire use.

Together it is much more profitable! Not to mention the many social and environmental benefits for health, climate and biodiversity.

In solution mode

We’ve been talking about TGV or TGF in eastern Canada’s most populated corridor for decades. It’s time to act.

According to Bruno Marchand, Quebec’s visionary mayor, we should explore the possibility of using the Highway 40 right-of-way to reduce costs and speed up the project between Montreal and its city via Trois-Rivières.

That’s an excellent idea!

In fact, the costs and negotiations involved in expropriating land to construct municipal infrastructure are generally obstacles to the realization of such projects.

By running this new railway line across land that we already own collectively, that is flat, away from residential environments and farmland, while already being used for transportation, we would save time and a great deal of money.

At least for part of the project. The idea also deserves to be explored on other stretches of road between Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Less traffic jams and fewer planes

Implementing such a project would help reduce congestion because we would have a real alternative to the car. Instead of sitting behind the wheel in a traffic jam, one could sit comfortably on a train and read or work, as so many Europeans do.

A fast train would also make it possible to reduce the number of air journeys, which are on average 80 times more polluting than with the TGV.

Once again I ask the question: What are we waiting for?

Who is Gaston Miron