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Do High Speed Rail Lines Make Money?

Perhaps the most often asked questions to me is, "Does High Speed Rail make money?". Unfortunately the anti passenger rail folks who love asking this question, do not ask the same question of other infrastructure projects.

Do roads make money? Car ownership and the building, maintaining and use of the roads is one of the largest financial and environmental costs to Canadians. One example to illustrate the cost of roads is the PEI Confederation Billion dollar bridge. We as taxpayers are paying a staggering $44 million a year for the next 33 years to in effect pay the mortgage on it.

Does providing policing, sewage treatment and health care make money? Of course not, these are things that are done for the public good.

We also seem to ignore the cost overruns associated with the building and maintaining nuclear power plants. An example: Just one plant, the Darlington Nuclear Plant original cost in 1993 was estimated to be $3.95 billion. The final cost was a staggering $14.4 billion. Now repairs are necessary at the plant and the cost is estimated at $6-10 Billion. Most assume this repair cost estimate will rise dramatically. That does not even address the question of how to deal with the costs associated with storing the thousands of tons of dangerous radioactive nuclear waste. This waste stays radio active for 250,000 years.

I found an excellent article on the subject of high speed rail lines and if they make a profit. It was written by Noel T. Braymer. READ IT HERE.

So in the future, when you are asked the question about high speed rail profitability, you can respond with existing things we do as a society for the public good and have the facts about high speed rail costs.


  1. High speed rail is dead. Driverless cars are going to kill this dated technology. Take for instance a business man wanting to travel from London To Guelph. the rail could get him close but then he has to transfer to some other system. Conversely he could call for a driverless car and it will drive him to his exact location. He can complete his presentation while in the car. Upon reaching his destination the car leaves, no maintenance, no insurance, no worries. the answer isn't bigger more expensive union built antiquated technology. Smaller, route specific transport will win the day. It is only logical. All the government has to do is - NOTHING a task they excel at.


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