The inaccessibility of rail


in Ottawa, Rants

There seem to be a lot of rail fans who read this blog. Like me, they would probably lament how the main train station in Ottawa was moved from downtown to a site 5km out of town that is only easily reached by highway. Admittedly, this happened in 1966, but it only came to my attention recently.

Definitely one of the most annoying aspects of inter-city public transit is how the stations tend to be located in inaccessible and often dangerous parts of town. Of course, with real estate prices being where they are – and with the ever more entrenched dominance of the automobile – that seems unlikely to change soon.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob August 21, 2007 at 5:59 pm

Most major train stations in large European cities that I’ve been to are relatively central, even if they are not always the most salubrious parts of town.

. August 22, 2007 at 3:28 pm

The Death of Environmentalism
Global warming politics in a post-environmental world
By Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus

. August 22, 2007 at 3:42 pm

“The entire landscape in which politics plays out has changed radically in the last 30 years, yet the environmental movement acts as though proposals based on “sound science” will be sufficient to overcome ideological and industry opposition. Environmentalists are in a culture war whether we like it or not. It’s a war over our core values as Americans and over our vision for the future, and it won’t be won by appealing to the rational consideration of our collective self-interest.”

Mike Kushnir September 4, 2007 at 2:25 pm

oftentimes, the arrival of the railway station is exactly wht those neighbourhoods are unsavoury.

for example, paris’ gare du nord and châtelet stations are both pretty lame areas – they’re also areas with a HUGE number of transient folks (i don’t mean the homeless…i mean people who are just passing through with little regard for the neighbourhood). same could be said of the area around centraal station in amsterdam and termini in rome.

this is not always the case; gare saint-lazare has managed to have it’s neighbourhood remain a ritzy area, as with union station in toronto and part-dieu in lyon.

finally, a degree of nimbyism is probably going to axe the plans to have new railway developments in old city centres; note the example of barcelona, where local interests are frustrating efforts to finish the high speed link between catalonia and madrid.

Milan May 7, 2009 at 10:37 am

Thankfully, the Ottawa train station can be easily and quickly accessed by the buses that run along the Transitway, such as the 95 and 97.

Still, it would have been nice to keep the train station more centrally located.

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