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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 27, 1971, Lethbridge, Alberta 48 WE L'ETHBRIDGE HERALD Wednesday, October 27, 1971 CMnddian people seem to prefer other ways o! travelling of railway passenger service in hands of governments llv UOI1 DOUGLAS OTTAWA (CP) The fu- ture of railway passenger in Canada is in Mia Jiands of Canadian govern- provincial iiiul municipal. The Canadian people, at the moment, seem to prefer other v, ays of travelling. The reasons are planes are faster, buses arc cheaper and cars arc more convenient. Frequently, loo sirvice is better on other kinds of transportation. But there are compelling arguments for retaining pas- siMiger train service. Clogged Canadian highways create frustration and accidents. Cars pollute. Much depends on how dar- ing Canadian governments at the federal, provincial and municipal levels arc willing to Iv. if they guess wrong, their mistakes could be expensive. Railway management and unions often speak approv- ingly of the Ontario govern- ment decision to set up GO Transit, a Government of On- tario commuter service in the Toronto area. The Ontario government launched the service in May, 19117, to carry passengers be- tween Toronto and Pickering, 21) miles east, and Toronto and Hamilton, 40 miles west. EASED TRAFFIC The service is run by the Canadian National Railways financed by the province. GO Transit says so many commuters have been drawn away from the heavily-trav- elled Queen Elizabeth Way (hat traffic problems on that highway have been eased. CN and Canadian Pacific Railway both run commuter services in the Montreal area. F. S. Burbidge, CP Rail sen- ior executive officer, strongly hinled in a recent interview thai CP Rail would he happy if the- Quebec government de- cided to run a service similar to GO Transit in Montreal. GO Transit operates at a loss but the Lindcnwold Line a H-mile-Iong comimuiT serv- ice between Philadelphia and Ltmlenwold, N.J., brings in enough revenue to pay for op- erating costs. The line, owned by the Del- aware River Port Authority, is able to do this because it is a high-speed service operating on its own modern track with a minimum of labor. Most of its operations are computer- ized. The outlook for rail passen- ger service on longer routes is Irss bright. The only inter-city route that CN figured could be oper- ated at a profit in its system j Montreal-Toronto. HuL re- cently it filed an application with the Canadian transport commission lo obtain a fed- eral subsidy for losses on the line. TECHNOLOGY STATIC One of the big reasons that railways have lost passengers to other forms of transport is that rail technology has re- mained fairly slatic while other modes have made great leaps forward in speed and comfort. Governments and the rail- ways now are pushing new cx- p c'r i m e n t s in service and equipment to see whether the passenger trains can attract more customers. CN's Turbo, operating be- tween Montreal and Toronto, succeeded in drawing people away from the airlines, says Alexander Olynyk, CN's gen- eral manager of passenger sales 'flic Turbo is being train, called of MLW-Worthington improve train speed hauled by United light, rapid, modern trains than Corp. manufacturer of the speed v ti'i'iin, to ci-irect being developed by a LRC, which seems to have a promising future, is new track especially designed for passenger traf- chanical liiiticulUos. It is including Mean built of light-weight known when, or if the Ltd. of Montreal. is expected to travel Mr. Burbidge sug- will he reintroduccd. H Foundries and of up to 120 miles that it would be wiser to 'irsl scheduled .0 run in of Hamilton, Onl., track only for passenger bul was plagued by Industries Ltd., a says it is less This would allow traf- election Keep your eye on Premier llv DENNIS said: "He predecessors has short. He sought and won TORONTO (CP) of the national minister of Conservative nomination Grevill? Davis, riding in five, 10 or 15 last Tory premier to Peel, and was swept into cri'st of his first flection Mr. Stanfield were to George Drew, who in the 1959 election. He iorv as premier of one other federal after five years in held the riding since. has made himself a man to prospect in the office, a 1961 Mr. Davis became a stable is after losing his of Ontario Not only did the Lougheed, who put an end to 36 years of in the 1948 provincial election that saw the rest and a year later took .sandy-haired premier buck government in government returned the province's super-sen- trend set by the defeat ot a general election last education portfolio. other provincial governments at the polls in the past Mr. Drew c o u 1 d n a whirlwind of legislature ho increased his two Tory premiers have mucb in common: Louis St. Laurent's Liberals in two federal between his succes- tario legislature lawyers, Mr. Lougheed retired from politics. as premier March 1 and This newly-acquired a few months older immediate election call six months cal clout is bringing Ontario PC leader and John Robarts and Mr. Davis initiated or Davis mention as a have engaging both steered clear through more than key figure on the that make them federal items of individual legisla- scene of the Progressive leadership Davis was born into servative Tory family gave 18-year-olds the Four years ago Lougheed has Ont, northwest to vote, cased drinking iSlanfieki defeated former Manitoba premier Duff earned the reputation of a giant-killer. A July 30, 1929. He has never left the little put new curbs on pollution, introduced a form of no- years ago, few has served as a car insurance, limited leader. Mr. .Javis, tncn have bet a nickel on bas3 for his political investment in new io s education minister, had toyed briefly with the idea of knocking off Social At the age of 16 he cut houses and took the unprecedented step of suing a chasing the job himself although ho has shown no recent indication of such Davis has Ontario, with 4.4 million voters and teeth, serving as a delegate to a national party convention, and four company for million for polluting the St. Clair River water system. tions. He wound up in hospital he still has federal he was elected new premier also torpe- treatment of a back there is one the Peel North riding Toronto's controversial and had to drop out in Davis will have to Expressway and re- earlv slaves of the PC e r the Roman Catholic de- ship campaign. A of success Ontario obtaining his law for extending aid to issued bv Mr. Davis's office have had in Mr. Davis joined separate secondary school month before the 1967 None of Mr. law firm, but his fie to move more quickly as it would eliminate competition for track space between fast passenger trains and slower freights. This is the approach Japan has taken in setting up the famed Tokaido line between Tokyo and Osaka. This route, through the industrial Kansai corridor of Japan, is more heavily populated than any re- gion in Canada. The railways now are un- dertaking experiments in service as well. CN recently launched a new airline-style meal service on the Montreal-Ottawa train which had been without meals for about six months. The new system emphasizes conven- ience and low cost. TRIES STEWARDESSES CP Rail has just inaugu- rated improved service on the Calgary-Edmonton route fea- turing airline-type steward- esses. The company had been ordered by the Canadian trans- port commission to try new ideas in customer service. Such efforts seem short- term. But railways and manu- facturers in other countries are considering more ad- vanced ideas. One of these is the tracked air-cushion vehicle ,called TACT, a single-car train that travels on an air cushion on a guideway. It is, essentially, a guided novel-train. A recent Canadian transport commission study on passen- ger traffic in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor c o n- cluded that, financially, the railways would be better off to invest in advanced equip- ment such as the Turbo rather than to plunge into new schemes such as the air-cush- ion train. Richard Soberman, former director of the com- mission who recently returned to teach at the University of Toronto, says the study fo- cused on economic issues. ECONOMICAL VIEW But be said that other issues such as regional development could make a high-speed ground transportation system a must. People could live some distance from cities and travel rapidly and safely to city centres. The transport commission study was based on what would be economical between 1970 and 1990. It is possible the air-cushion affair would he a sound investment for the Quebec City-Windsor run if a longer-range view is taken. In the end, it all comes back to Canadian govern- ments at all three levels. What are they willing to try? Mr. Burbidge suggests fed- eral provincial and municipal governments will have to work with the railway compa- nies to maintain passenger service. Mr. Olynyk of CN calls for more government support for research on new and better rail equipment. PROPOSES TAKEOVER R. R. Cope, a Canadian transport commission vice- president, suggests that the government take over all rail- way tracks in the country re- moving a major economic burden from the shoulders the railways. If this were done, the rail- ways would be treated in the same way as bus companies and airlines since highways and airports are already sup- plied by government. Mr. Cope says a central au- thority could schedule the use of the tracks by the rail com- panies. MACLEODS CENTRE VILLAGE CHARGE IT! 1 I MARS Cherry Chocolates POPPYCOCK C i PIES Men's Sport Shirts 2'77 Varcon A11 oil, 1MO Windshield Washer Antifreeze 101 POPS lowneys bag 68C Humidifier Plates phg. Methyl Hydrate 380 Crimpknit yd Silvikrin Shampoo Rcg, oily, Cracker Jacks .....................3 ;