Thursday, December 14, 2023

MP Taylor Bachrach tables bill towards priority for passenger rail transportation

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bacharach is about to go on a train trip back to BC  and as he prepares for his Cross Canada Rail adventure which starts this Sunday, Bachrach clearly knows what may be ahead, with a fair bit of time idling on a rail siding watching freight trains pass him by.

Towards improvement on Canada's National Passenger Rail service, the the NDP Transport critic has introduced a private members bill, the Bill C-371, it's titled the Rail Passenger Priority Act, which would give passenger trains priority when they share the tracks with freight. 

“Canada lags behind much of the world when it comes to passenger rail. One of the key things holding us back is the fact that Canadian passenger trains have to frequently pull off and make way for freight trains, resulting in poor on-time performance. My bill aims to address that problem. 

Every Canadian who has ridden the passenger train in the past decade knows how bad things have gotten. It's tragic that successive federal governments have allowed privatization and deregulation to undermine such an important service. My bill would put rail passengers first and help Canada get back on track."

The MP's bill has been crafted after consultation and collaboration with passenger rail advocates, with Terence Johnson, the President of Transport Action Canada noting as to how rail passengers remain off the radar for Federal officials.

“Modern and effective rail is central to a sustainable supply chain. The objective of passenger rail legislation is to the ensure that we Canadians who mine, farm, manufacture, and purchase all that freight have the right to reliable travel too.”

Mr. Bachrach introduced the bill yesterday in the House of Commons.

As the MP heads out on the rails this weekend, he'll be bringing a copy of the Bill with him to discuss with  those on the train with him, the best time to introduce the discussion topic, during one of the siding stops to let the freight roll by.

More on Rail travel in Northwest BC can be reviewed here.

A look at the work of the MP in Ottawa can be explored through our archive page.

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