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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 13, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta Wednesday, October 13, 1971 THE LETH8RIDGE HERAID 35 Population goes up hut passengers go down Passenger train in danger of becoming us extinct as carrier pigeon i Inurisl travel boosted lolals to llXiS wliilc costs rose sharply People like the convenience would coneenlrati JSJTKV. ft Ktsvss..'I sat -SEW? By BOB DOUGLAS OTTAWA (CP) The pas- senger train, once the only sure link between isolated Ca- nadians, is in danger of be- coming as extinct as the car- rier pigeon. A recent application by the Canadian National Railways to the Canadian transport commission illustrates t h e current state of the rail pas- senger business. The CNR has asked for dis- continuance of some of the major inter-city passenger routes in Canada, all in the Quebec City-Montreal-Toron- to-Windsor corridor. The rail ways must apply for abandon- ment to qualify for subsidies. The application follows strenuous attempts by the CNR to promote the Mont- real-Toronto run. The railway had hoped to make the route profitable. But the losses claimed by tin railway for the eight cor- ridor routes totalled mil- lion in 1970. The Montreal-Toronto run alone lost million in 1970. The other seven money-losing routes are: Toronto-Sarnia, "Toronto-Stratford, Toronto- Windsor, Torontn-Brockville, Toronto-Niagara Falls, Ont., Montreal-Ottawa and Mont- real-Quebec City. KAPIDO MAKES MONEY The CNR says the fast Rap- ido service on the Montreal- Toronto run is making money but it must be included in the application as the transport commission wants figures for all services on a particular route. With this application, the CNR and the Canadian Pa- cific Railway now have filed for abandonment of all inter- city passenger services in the country. The National Transportation Act requires railways to file for abandonment in order to be eligible for federal subsi- dies of up to BO per cent annual losses. If the Canadian transport commission judges the routes are losing money and should be maintained in the public interest it can recommend subsidies. The commission may, of course, agree the lines should be discontinued. Until the late 1940s, the pas- senger train was a going con- cern. In 1920, the railways carried 51.3 million passengers for a total of 3.5 billion miles, a pro-Second World War peak. There was a decline during the hungry 1930s but war brought a passenger boom. More mil- carried in 1944 than at any other time in Ca- nadian railway history. They were carried for a record 6.9 billion passenger miles. DECLINE BEGAN But with the end of the war, a long decline began. By 1961, the railways were carrying only 18 million passengers for two billion passenger miles. TWs was going on at a time when the Canadian peculation was steadily rising. The popu- lation was 8.5 million in 1920, 11.9 million in 1944, 18.2 mil- lion in 1961 and 20.4 million in 1967. Freight hauled by the rail- ways also climbed. Trains carried 100.1 million tons i 1920, 155.3 million tons in the wartime year of 1944, and 153.1 million Ions in 1961, a poor year for the Canadian economy. By 1967, freight fig- ures had zoomed to 210.5 mil- lion tons. The CNR launched a vigor- ous promotional campaign in 1962 to increase passenger traffic. It came out with the red white and blue fare plan which offered cheaper tickets on days when the trains were normally lightly used. Passenger numbers rose, reaching a peak in 1967-Cen- t e n n i a 1 heavy tourist travel boosted lolals to 24.0 million, travelling 3.1 bil- lion miles. TRAFFIC DROPPED But interest in the railways dropped off again and by 1969, the railways had fallen back almost to their 1901 level. Along with the decline in passengers, service rapidly outpaced revenue. The CNR has issued a com- parison of revenue and expen- ses for the period 1961 to 1969 with 1961 figures equalling 100. Revenue fell to about 80 to 1965 while costs climbed to about 115. Revenue started rising again to about 93 in while costs rose sharply lo 150. Why has this happened? Why shouldn't passenger train service be as popular and profitable as it was in the boom years early in the cen- tury? One of the main reasons is that passenger trains now have lo compete for passen- gers with fast, efficient and comfortable airplanes and with buses using good high- ways. But the most formidable rival is the automobile. A Canadian transport com- mission survey of competing methods of transportation be- tween Edmonton and Calgary shows that the automobile claimed almost 92 per cent of the passenger traffic in 1969 with the railways getting less than one per cent. The rest was split evenly between air- planes and buses. BETTEK HIGHWAYS The national figures arc al- most as dramatic with the au- tomobile accounting for 85.5 per cent of Ihc mileage trav- elled between cities. Rail travel amounted to 3.9 pel- cent of (lie total, a fraction more titan buses and about half that of airplanes. Governments cater to this trend by building more and belter highways. About 83 per cent of the money spent hi the U.S. on moving goods and people goes for highway transportation. People like the convenience of cars and it will take con- vincing arguments to turn them back to rail travel. The problems the railways face are partly brought on by themselves. While their rivals were im- proving, passenger train equipment was standing still. CP Rail introduced the flashy transcontinental. T h c Canadian, in the mid-1950s at a cost of million but quickly lost hear', when it did not prove profitable. TRIED TURBO The CNR also came out with modern transcontinental trains, and has recently tried the new Turbo on the Mont- real-Toronto route. But throughout most of this post-Secnd World War pe- riod, the railways were being outdone by other forms of transport, particularly the air- lines. The complaint has been le- gitimately made that the rail- ways seemed more interested in freight traffic than in pas- senger trains It is easy to see why. CN estimates that passen- ger train services bring in about seven per cent of the company revenues while freight accounts for about 74 per cent. Yet more employees are needed to operate a pas- senger train than a freight. Any company whose share- holders want to see profits would concentrate on the money-making business. Critics of the railways say passenger trains have to wait on sidings while freights pass through. The railways say this is not their policy but even if it hap- pens only occasionally the delay is enough to divert more customers away from the passenger trains. 11 o w e v e r, the passenger trains are not being allowed to die. Every reduction in passen- ger service brings a storm of criticism in .Parliament. Concerned railwaymcn, as- sisted by government, arc be- ginning to grapple with the problem. The climate of public opin- ion is increasingly in their favor as there is growing dis- satisfaction with air pollution and increasing congestion on the highways. SPECIAL PROGRAM EDMONTON (CP) A spe- cial program for pharmaceuti- cal interns, the only one in North America, has been work- ing well in Alberta. The pro- gram, supervised by the Alberta Pharmaceutical Association with close co-operation of the University of Alberta, is aimed at giving practical experience. It covers all phases of the pro- fession and produces a more flexible pharmacist, said Eli Ambrosie of tire association. PASSENGER SERVICE Railway spokesmen say no amount of promotion will overcome the problems of rail passenger service. CN lost money in spite of its red, white and blue fare program introduced in the early 1960s to woo passengers. Transcontinental trains, such os the one shown in this photograph, cannot compete in speed with the airlines and sometimes in winter find themselves carrying fewer passengers than crew._____ __ betty Shop is PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE OF THEIR SECOND STORE IN COLLEGE HOT BUYS 8 to 16. Reg. CELEBRATE WITH US FILL OUT YOUR ENTRY BLANK FOR THE FOLLOWING GIFT CERTIFICATES 1st Prize 2nd Prize 3rd Prize DRAW TO TAKE PLACE SAT., OCT. 30th OPEN A BETTY SHOP CHARGE ACCOUNT YOUR PASSPORT TO A WONDERFUL WORLD OF FASHION MiSS Name Mrs. Mr. Surname First Name ADDRESSES Res. Phone....... OCCUPATION Bus. Phone......... WHERE EMPLOYED TRADE REFERENCES: Lomplclc the above application form, mail or deposit at either of your Betty Shop locations CENTRE VILLAGE MALL COLLEGE MALL Blue, Gold. S.M.L.XL Reg. styling in outstanding so silk or wool knits. Plain ond printed for day wear. Sizes 8 to 20. Reg. Special purchase on fall's laic fortrel silk knits, wool. Dressy styles. Short or long sleeves. Asst'd. colours and prin 20. Regular to 29.98. FROM CELEBRATE WITH US. SHOP FOR THESE OUTSTANDING VALUES WE'RE CELEBRATING THE OPENING OF ANOTHER BETTY SHOP AT THE COLLEGE MALL IN LETHBRIDGE HATRED COATS with cosy zip-in-out I 69-98 Just arrived soft suple leather with cosy zip-in-out pile lining. Fashioned in single or double breasted styles. Grey, Tan, Green, Navy, Black. 10 to 18. COATS In midi fashions arc sweeping the country. Styled for lad- ies and Juniors. Wool tweeds and plain come with vari- ous detailings, from braid to fake fur, on the collars, cuff and a round the bottom. Colours arc fall's latcsl. 8 to 29 .98 ON HOT PANT SETS Sizzlers Far Fall Styles you will want to put yourself in. They're tailored or dressy, plain and print- F od. Polyester blends and Fortrel make these fabrics so versatile and durable. Colours t come in a wide variety. SKI JACKETS For slopes or city weor. Nylon outershell with quilted designs. Fortrel fibre fill concealed ,oods and storm cuff. Bright beouti- ul shades or basic colours. 5.M.L. FROM S15 19 HOT BUYS ON PANT SUITS SKI JACKETS BY S. E. WOODS Nylon oulershell for wind resistance. Down fill in body and sleeves give extra warmth with- oul weight and twice as much comfort. Con- cealed hoods, storm cuff. Colours Navy, Snappy dress styles over hot pants. In plain or figured fortrel, silk knits and wool. Sizes 5 lo 15. Regular M9 s 25 FREE DRAW There wil be a free draw for all Ctiargt. L j Customers (old or who charge i Thurs., Fri. and Sat. of a: GIFT CERTIFICATE Draw to take place Sat. 5 p.m. M SWEATERS Cardigan style. Boucle wool knit. Asst'd. colours. S.M.L. Regular 12.98 IMPORTED WOOL KNITS. Two and three piece styles. Stripes, checks, in contrasting shades. Also self colored embroidery shades of bluc-greon-goki etc. 8 lo 18. Values to 79.98. FROM WOOL KNITS. Plain and tweeds. 8 to 18. Values lo 39.98 FALL SPORTSWEAR CLEARANCE PARIS STAR and TIVANI. Co-ordinate these tops, skirts, pants, sweaters. Celarn or wool knits, plain, QCC Vrr itripes, nubhy bouclas and tweeds. blue, etc. Broken sizes CENTRE VILLAGE PHONE 328-5025 COLLEGE MALL PHONE 328-2809 JACKETS No.lhcrn styling in longer lengths. MI." outershell, wlh sell or contrasting embroid- ered trim. Forlrcl fibre (ill insulated for extra warmth without weight. worm pile lining and fur trimmed. Navy, Green, Brown, Blue. 10 to !8. FROM 5OOS wuriii S25 PANT SUITS Indoor or outdoor, in wool, fortrel. Two styles hove tunic, jacket, or vest lops. piece come with jacket and skirts. Checks and Tweeds. 8 to 18. Reg. to 49.98. piece Three Plain, SKIRTS Pure wool A line. Plain or Tweed. 5 to 15. Reg. 7.98........... betty shop Centre Village Phone 328-5025 ;