Passenger service essential in region

From the time the Canadian Pacific Railway was built, subsidized passenger rail travel was provided.

Dear Editor:

From the time the Canadian Pacific Railway was built, subsidized passenger rail travel was provided — the distances in Canada between settlements, towns and cities was too great.

Ordinary people in the early days could not afford to pay the actual cost of passenger service.

Over the many years since passenger rail service was provided, the passenger trains always lost money. CPR and later CNR was paid a subsidy to keep the passenger service rolling. Today, the one railway that is not openly subsidized is the Rocky Mountain Rail Service.

Today bus service between towns and cities is an essential service: The Okanagan Valley has  large numbers of retired senior citizens: Many of those folks on limited pension, cannot afford the cost of air travel.

In 1987 CN and CP was let off the passenger rail hook. A new passenger rail service Via Rail — a taxpayer subsidized passenger rail service was introduced. CN-CP Rail sold their passenger rail rolling stock to Via for $500 million. What Via — the taxpayers — had actually acquired was $500 million worth of rolling junk. Most CN-CP passenger rail cars were worn out.

By the winter of 1991-92 one hundred cars were taken out of service due to major under carriage failure.

Those worn out cars were replaced by the Quebec manufacturer, Bombardier. God only knows how much Bombardier was paid by taxpayers to build the new Via Rail cars.

A simple means to provide the bus service would be to allow Greyhound buses to carry first class mail.

The government would kill two birds with one stone.

Greyhound, in the 1950s actually started the courier business in North America. Bus Parcel Express was a winner; why Greyhound dropped their courier monopoly is a mystery.

Regardless of why they did it should not matter. The mail service should be reinstated. The mail transportation business would actually not be a subsidy. Carrying passengers and first class mail would be a winner for everybody.

A side bar to such an arrangement would to be to actually have daily mail service once again between towns and cities with shorter bus routes..

Ernie Slump



Just Posted

Concert raised funds for Agur Lake Camp

Tim Nutt was headline act at Comedy Night Fundraiser in Summerland

Summerland music promoter wins national award

Paul Biro honoured at 2019 CCMA Awards in Calgary

PET OF THE WEEK: Teddy wants a quiet home of his own

Older cat enjoys evenings spent binge-watching Bonanza

Fill a bag and help those in the South Okanagan in need

The annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive takes place this week in Penticton and Summerland

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

Vernon race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

Man arrested after allegedly stealing race flags, assaulting woman in Kalamalka Lake park

Penticton man with multiple driving infractions loses appeal on ‘harsh’ sentence

Driver has been convicted multiple times, including for criminal negligence causing death

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

WHL action returns to Okanagan, Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

Big off-season changes, the Memorial Cup; it’s all coming together for Bruce Hamilton

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

Most Read