Push for improved rail service
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Nov 12, 2014  |  Vote 0    0

Push for improved rail service

Stratford Gazette

Re: Saving VIA Rail still makes sense, column, Nov. 6

I moved to Stratford in September, after a careful consideration of its many positive characteristics. One of those was the VIA rail connection.

I did not realize that the service had been cut back two years ago and could possibly still be under threat.

I moved from a rural home near the Vermont border of Quebec that was a very short drive to White River Junction, Vermont. I was able to park my vehicle and catch an AMTRAK train into New York City’s Penn Station, right in the heart of Manhattan.

The Vermont state government, pressured by the people of Vermont, subsidizes two such regional routes. The states of Maine and Virginia have recently begun to subsidize regional routes in their states.  They recognize that they can not sacrifice service to the smaller regional routes and focus only on the denser ridership routes in the North East Corridor.  Punishing people in small centres is not democratic.

Rail travel continues to be more energy efficient than either auto or plane travel, so both the Ontario ministers of Environment (Climate Change) and Transportation need to hear from us about the effective regional routes being subsidized by state governments in the US.

A city like Stratford, with its railway heritage and can-do spirit, has everything it needs to make fine rail passenger service a reality in this area. Onward and upward!

Mary Jane Amey


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