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About the Author || 1: What this book is about


The Premier of Ontario had to be up and out in the middle of the night. John Robarts didn't usually get up as early as that, but he had to get out to Oakville to catch a train at ten minutes before six in the morning, and he didn't want to miss it. He had to be on it. Well, not exactly had to be. But it was his train and he had better be on it! Well, not exactly his train. It was his Government's train. He and his Ministers had decided this would be their train service. His Government was betting on it big.

Betting on it they were. Lots of people were saying out loud there was no way commuters would get out of their automobiles and ride to work on a TRAIN! Anyway there were no trains for them to ride on, so who did they think they were!

"So now we are testing them. We're running some commuter trains to see what they will do. We're giving them the best modern service we can find. We have sunk $24 millions into a rail commuter service that could end up with nobody riding it. We got it ready to go in two years. That was our act of faith in 1965. Now here we are starting it in May 1967. Will they ride it? What shall we do if they don't? We could end up with egg on our faces. We must call an election soon. Is this good enough to get us elected again? It is still dark. It isn't even dawn yet, and here we are starting out on the first train of our new commuter service. Now we'll see how many will ride it. Now we'll show them!"

Ride it they did. 8,000 on the first day, 15,000 per day within eight months, 24,000 to the Exhibition in one day, over 100,000 per day within thirty years. The parking lots had to be extended right away. The government was re-elected again, with a good majority. Was this proof, if proof were needed?

This the story of how it happened, by the people who did it, where they came from, how they did their jobs, and were it went from there.