Calgary to Banff passenger rail project on track to start early development

via On-Site

The proposed rail line would have seven stops, including one at the Calgary airport. PHOTO: Adobe Stock/DGC

The developers behind a passenger rail line between Calgary and Banff still have a lot of figurative track to lay before they will be able to start on installing the literal rails, but a detailed agreement between several provincial and and federal agencies has put the proposed project one step closer to construction.

Invest Alberta Corp., the Alberta Ministry of Transportation and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) announced a detailed memorandum of understanding (MoU) July 15 that steers the Calgary-Banff Rail Passenger Project into the development phase.

Seven stops are proposed for 150-kilometre line, including one at the Calgary International Airport (YYC) and those in downtown Calgary, Canmore and Banff. It would be built on a new dedicated line within the existing CP Rail corridor.

“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,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said in a release.

Early plans show up to 10 departures per day and the possible use of hydrogen-powered trains.

Catherine McKenna, federal minister of Infrastructure and Communities, said the rail connection to the country’s busiest national park would cut down