Not a Sentimental Journey
What's Behind the VIA Rail Cuts, What YOU Can Do About It

Davis, Jo (ed)
Publisher:  Turnaround Decade Group, Waterloo, Canada
Year Published:  1990
Pages:  240pp   Price:  $9.95   ISBN:  0-921078-01-3
  Dewey:  385.22
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX4117

A response to the attack on passenger rail service in Canada.

This book gives the real reasons why VIA failed and why we need an expanded rail service. Davis attacks the official reasons for the cuts, disproving the claim that we can't support rail service on our sparse population. The editor makes the argument in a punchy, fast-paced format: a compilation of interviews, statistics, House of Commons debates, rail trivia, political cartoons, and newspaper articles (including pieces by such heavyweights as David Suzuki and Dalton Camp). All of this is stitched together by frequent editorial commentary and summed up in practical plans of action.

One of the more effective arguments presented in the book counters the government's claim that only three percent of Canadians use the rail. In establishing the popularity of air travel, the government drew on ridership statistics from over 50 scheduled Canadian airlines; trans-border, overseas, and freight flights were included. Bus statistics included Toronto's GO-Transit and Montreal's MUCTC. When it came to rail statistics, only VIA was considered (which puts it at a fraction of the other two); omitted are GO-Transit, MUCTC Transit, B.C. Rail, Ontario Northland, Algoma, two shared AMTRAK routes, and others. With all of these included, rail quintuples its passenger services in Canada, beating out air and bus respectively.

In defending the need for a passenger rail service in Canada, Jo Davis has also advanced the need for a new way of thinking: "This book isn't just about trains, but about trains as a metaphor for values and change." The people responsible for the book, the Turnaround Decade Group, focus on the major shift in values needed to make critical economic and environmental changes by the year 2000.

[Abstract by Ulli Diemer]

Table of Contents
1. Not A Sentimental Journey
2. The Secret Life of Trains
3. Yes, Minister
4. On The Radio Again
5. Jabberwocky
6. Pips and Poops
7. The Skydome Effect
8. Us

Subject Headings

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