And we all saved a buck, as taxpayers. The removal and not upgrading of passing sidings cited above came when? When CN was still solidly a crown corp no? Heavily implied it was before the LRC era. Our government decided that it did not want to invest in passenger rail. What you're really complaining about isn't the policy as a whole, which has been widely successful, but focused results in very specific areas that the government of the day did not prioritize for passengers. The policy has been good for Canada - volume up and costs down (including for shippers).No, they wanted to save a buck. The country was fixated on cutting the deficit. Now we are left with the mess. It should not only come from the taxpayers. It should also come from the shareholders of CN and CP.
Were there a few lines that would have been useful to keep in hindsight? Maybe? Namely the subs that are now looked at for HFR. Most of those were never maintained to the standard needed for modern VIA service though - not since the immediately after WWII. Modifying corridors to allow more freight through double stacking, but with fewer double tracked sections - should that have been prevented to maintain train frequency? Should we have invested for 30, 40, 50 years to make something just a smidgen cheaper today? Certainly not on an NPV basis.
The facts are despite the frustrations of some, it can be better to rip something out and replace it, especially if you get decades of cost savings in between. Should the government have maintained and upgraded the systems for the Turbo priority? I can get behind that - seems a low relative cost compared to all the other fanciful ideas about how the system should have been run differently forever.