Calgary Airport-Downtown-Banff Rail Link Getting Close to Reality – .

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Calgary Airport-Downtown-Banff Rail Link Getting Close to Reality – .


Reducing congestion and environmental impacts in Banff motivated his family to start the project six years ago, said managing partner Jan Waterous.

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A hydrogen-powered passenger rail project connecting Calgary Airport to downtown and Banff has reached the design phase – an important step towards completion, according to its developers.

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Liricon Capital Inc. and Plenary America, who lead the Calgary Airport-Banff Rail (CABR) project, say they have submitted a proposal to Alberta Transportation, Invest Alberta and the Canada Infrastructure Bank to advance the concept they hope. to have completed in 2025.

“This breakthrough positions the project for success in the fifth and final phase, construction and implementation,” Liricon Capital said in a statement Wednesday.

The preliminary plan calls for a 150 kilometer rail line running south from the airport, parallel to existing CP tracks along the west side of Deerfoot Trail before crossing the Bow River on an existing bridge.

The proposed stations would be located at the airport, downtown, near the Stoney Trail on the Trans-Canada Highway, in Cochrane, Morley, Canmore and Banff. Its newly constructed tracks would follow CP’s existing freight corridor, delivering 10 trains per day to the terminus in the Rockies.

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The family-owned Liricon Capital owns the Mount Norquay ski area and has a long-term lease for the existing Banff train station, which would be an integral part of a project about to go ahead, said the ‘Managing Partner Jan Waterous.

“The cost of capital is not a problem; it’s in place, ”she said.

The project is dependent on the provincial government’s commitment of $ 10 million, or 10 percent of the design cost and $ 30 million per year to help pay off its mortgage, Waterous said.

“The province is due to make this decision in early February and we are really hopeful. . . This is great value for the province and it is doable.

A spokesperson for Alberta Transportation said there was little he could say about the proposal.

“The Government of Alberta has received this proposal for passenger service from Calgary to Banff and is in the process of reviewing the bid,” Rob Williams said in an email.

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Liricon / Plenary said the proposal is based on the railway line “capturing less than 25% of visitors to Banff National Park,” which welcomes more than four million people a year, by far the busiest of the national parks from Canada.

They estimate that a one-way ticket on the train – with discounts planned in the national park – would cost Alberta travelers $ 20 with a bonus for out-of-province users doubling that amount.

Perhaps most importantly for Calgarian visitors to the city, the line would offer express service every 15 minutes between the airport and downtown.

With its hydrogen propulsion system, CABR will be both environmentally and economically beneficial, said Mayor Jyoti Gondek.

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“The Calgary Airport to Banff Rail Project will put Calgary on the right track to help meet our climate goals through sustainable transit, boost our economy and provide a connection for Calgarians to access the airport from the center.” -ville, ”Gondek said in a statement.

“The low carbon rail line will be a game-changer for the tourism industry, bringing downtown visitors to all that Calgary has to offer, adding Banff as an added bonus to their trip.”

CABR supporters say the $ 1.5 billion line would expose the city’s downtown core to the more than two million visitors a year who land in the city and travel directly to Banff via the freeway.

Much of the work in the upcoming design phase will involve consulting with those along its route, project developers Liricon / Plenary said.

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It would also determine the location of a station in downtown Calgary with an option in the East Village and another by dusting the old VIA Rail station under the Calgary Tower, Waterous said.

“You could just paint this station and it would be good to go and it would also make sense to hook it up to the Green Line (LRT),” she said.

The public-private partnership (P3), which is expected to be 50 percent funded by the Canada Infrastructure Bank, hopes to see construction begin next year.

The plan would resuscitate Calgary’s passenger rail service through the mountains, which ended in January 1990 after Ottawa abandoned the southern line – due to major budget cuts – in favor of a northern route through Edmonton and Jasper.

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Reducing congestion and environmental impacts in Banff motivated his family to start the project six years ago, Waterous said.

“It’s really about getting people to change their mobility habits and to do that you set a reasonable price (for cyclists),” she said.

A railroad advocacy group said it was confident the developers’ announcement meant the concept would come to fruition – a much-needed concept as the impacts of climate change worsen.

“With the growing concerns about climate change, I think we need to take a very close look at our transportation system which is focused on the private automobile,” said Justin Simaluk, president of the Rail for Alberta Society.

“Rail travel is sustainable and should be a key part of any government action to reduce emissions. “

He echoed other supporters by saying that a rail link would also benefit workers traveling along the Bow Corridor and to the airport.

[email protected]

Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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