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Alberta high-speed rail in development phase

Monday, July 26, 2021

EllisDon and AECOM have formed Prairie Link, a partnership to advance the development of high-speed rail connecting Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary in Alberta.

“The notion of high-speed rail — a proven technology around the world — connecting Edmonton, Red Deer, and Calgary in Alberta is not new, but we believe that its time has come. We have built a team with both the capacity and faith in the future of our province to advance it in a meaningful way for Albertans,” said Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson, director with EllisDon Capital and project director for Prairie Link.

The Calgary-Banff Rail project proposes a new, 150-kilometre sustainable passenger rail service that would potentially include seven stops (Calgary International Airport, downtown Calgary, Calgary Keith, Cochrane, Morley (Stoney Nakoda), Canmore and Banff) along a dedicated line built within the existing CP Rail corridor. The service could have up to 10 departures per day from the airport to Banff and the capability of running an express service from Calgary International Airport to downtown Calgary every 15 minutes.

Prairie Link has secured a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from Alberta Transportation laying the foundation for cooperatively advancing project development. With an estimated capital cost of $9 billion, the project will be among the largest and most defining nation-building transportation projects in Alberta’s history.

“The YYC-Calgary-Banff rail project has the potential to be the first airport-to-mountain community transit solution of its kind in North America, making Alberta an even more compelling destination for global visitors year-round,” said Premier Jason Kenney.

According to EllisDon, the Prairie Link team has already commenced Indigenous engagement and established an advisory committee to guide project development.

The Government of Alberta will continue to assess the project, including seeking input from municipalities and Indigenous communities, and the potential to advance the project under a long term P3 model that would attract investment, and ensure the project can be supported for many years in the future.

If approved, the project would create an innovative, environmentally friendly public transit option and help the Town of Banff become more pedestrian friendly and support the Banff National Park Net Zero 2035 Initiative. The project would also support commercial expansion and job creation at the Calgary International Airport.


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