Sun | Jun 20, 2021

Ja should revive trains

Published:Tuesday | May 11, 2021 | 12:06 AM


I recently read one Instagram postabout investing in the Jamaican railway for tourism and I had just written about this topic recently, so I thought I could share my perspective on it.

A major issue the Caribbean faces is climate change. Countries have been trying to reduce their carbon footprint over the past decade, and it has been difficult because the alternatives are expensive. The issue is that they lack the resources. Some of the largest imports of the Caribbean are petroleum and coal, which are imported more than things are exported.

A vast majority of the exhaust released into the atmosphere is from motor vehicles. Now, we can’t ask people to stop driving their cars, but what we can do is make public transport more appealing.

I suggest we reimplement trains into our daily life as the main form of travel, specifically those using steam engines. Steam engine-run trains are cheap, strong, but they require a lot of maintenance from wear and tear, and coal is an expensive fossil fuel.

To fix these issues, quality and efficiency of the steam engines can be improved by coating the iron with platinum, which is less reactive with water, to slow down the corrosion process, and substitute the coal-fuelled burner with an electric rechargeable one.

The direct results of making trains the main form of transportation is that it provides a cleaner alternative; reduces petroleum and coal importation, provides a new source of income and jobs. Or the alternative could be use electric-powered engines.

I believe that this is a simple but effective solution to many of the issues that Jamaica faces.