Innovations in technology continue to affect the role and reach of rail transport in Canada.
As passenger numbers increase and services reach their effective capacity, new and emerging technologies can help improve services through increased train speeds, ecologically-friendly upgrades, and improved passenger comfort.
Both GO Transit and VIA Rail are undergoing major upgrades intended to make railway services more relevant to a wider passenger base. However, as with any infrastructure project, these upgrades are expensive and difficult to accomplish.
Some factors that have impeded the development of new railway technologies in Canada, compared to other nations, include low population density, long distances between cities, and the general preference for cars. Also, many tracks are owned by freight rail companies, who prioritize their services over those of passenger rail.
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