IELTS Essay # 1110 - Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Governments should spend money on railways rather than roads.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Sample Answer 1:
Every government works hard so that citizens can commute safely and quickly while businesses get a solid transportation system for trade facilities. Thus when the question arises whether a government should focus on improving its railways or roads, people have divided opinions. I personally agree that the government should spend more money on the railway system.

Fast of all, railways offer a safer commuting experience both for the citizens and traders. The numbers of road accidents and highway casualties in many countries, for example, are far higher than that of railway accidents. Thus investing in a safer mode of transportation is a much more prudent idea. Moreover, rails cause comparatively less environmental pollutions while road vehicles are the main reason for increasing pollution and around the world.

Second, rails can carry hundreds of people and several hundred tonnes of goods at a time while road transports not built for that. Some shuttle trains are many times faster than that those of private cars and public buses. Thus improved railways would save peoples’ valuable time every day. Thirdly, rail lines are usually away from the main cities and that is why some busy cities have no other alternatives than to improve their rail transportation system. Express trains can reduce the traffic congestion in metro areas, and more investment to improve the railway is the only possible solution in many cities where population density is high.

Finally, the population of the world is increasing rapidly, and that is why investing more money in a faster and reliable transportation system is more logical than investing in the older transportation system. Railways will be the future in the transportation sector, and investment in it is the better choice for any government.

In conclusion, I believe that a government, either in a developed or a developing country, should invest to build a safer, faster and more reliable transportation system, and the railway, for this reason, should get an obvious priority.

Sample Answer 2:
Some people believe that a government should invest more in the rail system and build more railroads rather than diverting funds to improving highways and road transportation systems. To a certain point, I would agree with the statement, but I also believe that the decision of building railways or roads should be made based on the natural conditions of the area and the preference of citizens.

On the one hand, it is understandable if some people opine that a government should expand more railroads rather than roads and streets. Firstly, it is obvious that when a country has extensive rail networks, it will positively affect the logistic cost. The selling price of many goods would be cheaper since a single locomotive could carry tonnes of crops, goods or liquor. Secondly, by building integrated subway stations in city areas, traffic congestion could be avoided. For example, as Singapore has a very good train network, called MRT, most of the people rarely drive on their vehicles. As a result, Singapore is free from traffic congestion and air pollution.

On the other hand, it is also important for a government to do some feasibility studies about the geological conditions of an area before planning to improve railroads. It is a fact that some areas might not be suitable for railways, as those areas might have swamps or rocky mountains, for example. If the government finalise building railway networks, the investment cost might be unreasonably high. For instance, Borneo in Indonesia is one of the largest islands in the world, but most of the areas are swamps. So it is not suitable for railroads but good for an integrated water and road transportation system. Finally, the preference of citizens should also be considered before investing in construction on railroads or highways.

In conclusion, a government should invest in building railroads where applicable, but should also analyse thoroughly before spending money solely on railways. The authority needs to ensure that their areas are suitable for rail networks and people prefer that transportation system.

[By - Darwin Lesmana]

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.92 (71 Votes)

Thank you for your samples. It was very useful.
Abida Sultana
Should I write on both the agreement and disagreement parts, or only the one I support will be enough to cover the essay? Thank in advance.
It depends on what type of essay it is. If it is an opinion based essay, then write the points only that support your argument and nothing contrary to it, but if it is a discussion-based essay, write both positive as well as negative points.
Tom Zhang
It depends, there are some regular structures could be found online about 'to what extent do you agree or disagree' question.
Roads and railway transportations are two common means of passenger and goods transportation in many countries around the world. The debate of allocating proper budget to which of them for construction, expansion, and renewal has been at the central focus of the economists for last decades. I agree that the government ought to invest more money in the railway system since it is safer, economical and environment-friendly.

As far as safety is concerned, the railway system offers safer communing for both passengers and goods. The number of road accidents and highway casualties is higher than that of railway accidents. Thus investment in a safer way of transportation for goods and passengers could be a much more prudent idea. On the other hand, the price is one of the other key factors in transportation. Moreover, trains can carry hundreds of people and several tonnes of goods at a time while buses, trucks and private cars can carry only a few. Therefore, railway transportation decreases the total cost of transport and could be beneficial for people and governments alike.

Finally, from the environmental point of view, road-based transportations produce more greenhouse gases and cause more air pollutions than railway transportation systems. They are contributing to global warming which threatens our life on earth.

In conclusion, safety, speed, price, and environmental issues are important factors for passenger and goods transportation. As far as these factors are concerned, railway transportation could be considered as the safest, fastest, cheapest, and cleanest form of transportation. So I believe the government would invest more in railways than roads.

Zalak Bhanderi
Very nice.
You can extend as much as you want if your time allows, but remember that 'quality is much more important than quantity'.
Bùi Thị Phương Loan
Well said my friend.
Carrying people and goods in roads, air, rail and waterways are quite important for a country for its development. It is often debated whether governing bodies should focus on the development of railways or land transportation and I personally believe that roads should get more priority as highway transports are cheaper, more convenient, more widely used and provide the last mile connectivity. Laying roads is a cheaper alternative than building the rail network. The trains require a large infrastructure to construct its bogies, engines, platforms and so on and require a hefty investment from the government. On the other hand, roads are the cheapest source of commuting to places as it requires few labourers and raw materials. Citing an example, to construct a kilometre road, it requires roughly $25000, whereas to construct the same length of the rail network, the government has to allocate a budget of around half a million dollar. So it is more beneficial for a government to put more emphasis on the road transportation.Secondly, roads connect the remote villages, houses and areas to the main city. Railways have more emphasis on making profits as they connect only major commercial cites from where they can garner maximum profit. Besides, the roads can be constructed in any terrain or location and also in areas where it is not practical and feasible to lay rail tracks. For example, Siachen is the highest battleground of the world with a population of few hundreds only. The government has constructed a temporary road to supply arms, ammunition, and food for the troops fighting at such a high altitude and hostile terrain. In such cases, railways are not even an option.In conclusion, I will support the government to spend more on road networks than railways as it is more beneficial for the government to focus on roads, which requires less investment and can be constructed anywhere.
Hien Nguyen
Can you please score my writing?Transportation plays a very important role in a country's communication system as well as the economy. Both the railway and road transports have certain advantages and disadvantages, but in my opinion, road transportation is more popular and have greater values. It is cheaper and easier to build and renovate than railway communication, so I disagree with the idea that a government should allocate more money on railways rather than roads, especially in a country like ours.First of all, people tend to use streets for their daily commuting, especially in my country. Vehicles on road, for example, cars, buses, trucks, motorbikes, bicycles, lorry etc have better roles in carrying people and goods to the different parts in a country. Another reason for the popularity of the road transport is that it can be built anywhere while rail tracks require more money, complicated technology, labour and planning. Remote areas of the country are connected to the cities through roads, not rail lines. In my country, we have a large railway system which was built in last century but these days only 50% of them are used because of damages and low safety on rail transports. Furthermore, a government only need to build railways but also build the railway stations and import rails which need a big amount of money. So it is more prudent for our government to allocate more money on improving road transports and encourage local industries which are already manufacturing public transportations . In conclusion, road transport system has more advantages than railways. So a government should allocate more budget to develop the road system than the railway system.
Should we restrict to 250 or 255 words only or we can extend to further level? If we do over-wording i.e. more than 250-255 words will it be affecting our band score?
I feel very good from this models.
What band score will it get? Was it checked by an IELTS teacher?
Some individuals think governments should assign more funding to develop and expand railroads rather than roads. However, I believe extended highways are more essential for transportation. I have some strong reasons to support my belief which are presented in the following paragraphs.

Firstly, nowadays, the population has been drastically increasing at such a speed that in many countries governments have faced the issue of overpopulation. On the other hand, various types of public transportation systems like buses, monorails, and subways can’t respond to the needs of residents in overcrowded areas. Thus rich people have to buy their own cars to fulfil their requirements. City-dwellers need more roads rather than railways, hence governments should make plans in order to develop and expand roads. The other problem associated with extending railways is the matter of accessibility. Trains are not accessible from all areas which are hard to reach including the top of the mountains and bottom of valleys. So, how can residents who live in such areas travel to other regions? So, the best approach to solve this problem is building roads instead of railroads.

Although trains are a good transportation system for carrying huge cargoes and even large number of people between certain destinations, they have some serious disadvantages. From the environmental point of view, trains that travel long distances use coal or gasoline as their fuel. Burning these fuels produce lots of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide which has a negative impact on global warming. Furthermore, railways need a strong foundation, which costs much, in order to withstand the weight of trains and their loads for years. Even a small amount of changes in the vertical or horizontal direction may result in the deflection of trains from their route.

On the other hand, the costs of building roads are insignificant in comparison with railways. Therefore, it would be better for governments to invest their budgets to develop more roads instead of railroads.

To conclude, the governments should assign budgets for building roads rather than railways considering the benefits it can bring.