Plans for passenger train from Calgary Airport to Banff become clearer – .

Plans for passenger train from Calgary Airport to Banff become clearer – .

Plans to establish passenger rail service between Calgary International Airport and Banff National Park took one step closer to realization on Thursday.
Invest Alberta, the crown corporation that attracts investment from the provincial government, announced that it has entered into a detailed memorandum of understanding regarding the passenger rail project with Alberta Transportation and the Canada Infrastructure Bank ( CIB), a federal Crown corporation.

Memoranda of understanding are agreements that outline shared plans between the parties but are not yet legally binding.

In a statement, Invest Alberta said CIB had “reaffirmed its support for the project and would continue to consider long-term investment.”

If the project goes ahead, it could see a 150-kilometer passenger rail service set up that potentially includes seven stops:

  • Calgary International Airport.
  • Downtown Calgary.
  • Calgary Keith (near Lynx Ridge Golf Club).
  • Cochrane.
  • Morley (Stoney Nakoda).
  • Canmore.
  • Banff.

Feasibility studies for the project were completed after a memorandum of understanding was reached in June 2020 between Alberta Transportation and CIB.

If the train line is built, it would be a public-private partnership.

David Knight Legg, Senior advisor to the board of directors and founding CEO of Invest Alberta, said CIB will now work with the company on the design, construction and technology to be used on the project.

“By the end of the year, we should come up with a development plan that will allow us to price what it costs to continue to operate a train like this over the long term,” said Legg at The Homestretch.

« [Plus], what will be the price for taxpayers, and then what costs will be borne by the private sector as part of its commitment to make these projects work. “

Traffic jams in Banff

In 2019, a joint study that saw Banff partnering with Calgary, Canmore, Cochrane, Lake Louise and Morley found that a train would not be feasible without provincial or federal funding.

Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen said passenger rail service has long been identified as a solution to alleviating congestion on highways and mountain roads.

“The communities of Bow Valley have been striving to bring affordable public transportation back for a number of years,” Sorensen said in a statement.

“We are delighted to see the progress made in developing an environmentally friendly service that would connect workers to jobs throughout the valley, reduce vehicle emissions and provide a fantastic way to enjoy this special place in the world. the Rocky Mountains. “

Passengers wait to board the Canadian at Banff in 1955. Banff was established as a tourist destination after employees of the Canadian Pacific Railway discovered the Sulfur Mountain Hot Springs in the 1880s. (Nicholas Morant / Town of Banff)

Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Premier Jason Kenney said the line holds economic and environmental promise for Alberta.

“We understand that Banff Park has the highest emissions, CO2 emissions, of any major park in the world,” Kenney said.

“It’s because of all the car traffic. This would take a large number of vehicles off the road while simultaneously improving the tourist experience. “

It is expected that the service would offer up to 10 departures per day from the airport to Banff.

It might also have the ability to run an express service from the airport to downtown Calgary every 15 minutes, according to Invest Alberta.

Invest Alberta has said it will engage with the market over the summer as the provincial government seeks advice from municipalities and Indigenous communities.


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