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Why the train tracks should stay right where they are

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  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:43 am

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Re: “Train tracks should be relocated,” Letter, July 17

Dear Editor,

Ed Mayer stated “the tracks should be relocated outside the city.” I was dumbfounded that a person would suggest such a silly thing. Let me give you a little lesson. The train tracks opened up this wonderful country of ours. The train tracks were laid down and a railway station was built near the tracks. The railway stations at the time were the hot spot, newspapers would be dropped off, telegraphs would be sent and received, mail would also be sent and received, farmers would use the trains to ship their goods to the market - all of the above were shipped by train. The station was the focus point for everyone. It was a very important place. People would build near the station so they were in the know as to what was going on. The railway never asked them to move by the tracks the people made that choice.

As Ed suggested that the tracks be moved out of the city – obviously, he did not give it much thought. If the railways were told to move their tracks from all towns and cities it would bankrupt the railways.

They would have to purchase land from coast to coast, it would cost a phenomenal amount of money that they could not afford. Thus putting thousands of railway employees out of work, not to mention all the other jobs that rely on the railway for work. The roadways all across the country would need more repairs every year, how would the government pay for these repairs? They would have to increase our taxes. When the railway purchases fuel for their trains, they pay taxes like everyone else, their tax dollars help pay for the maintenance of our roads, the railway build their own rail road bed and maintain them by themselves.

In Ed’s letter he counted how many rail cars were on the train. If there were no more trains those 80 cars would result in about 400 hundred tanker trucks. If you calculate every train going from coast to coast and put everything on trucks, the roads would be unsafe. We would have wall-to-wall trucks on roads and they would have to be repaired every year.

Summing it up, the railway does a major service to this country and to the citizens. They did not ask for people to move near the tracks. In most cases, the tracks were there before anyone else.

They employee thousands of people. The fuel they use is taxed and the tax goes to maintaining our roads. No trains = no tax dollars = higher taxes for everyone. Trains make our roads safer by having less transport trucks on the road.

Glenn St Arnaud,

Airdrie


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