The ‘train’ train just keeps on chugging folks! Around a year after the initial news broke, a passenger train project between Calgary and Banff announced another major step forward this morning. Not only are Alberta and private companies really diving into the idea, but a federally-funded bank is helping it get off the ground.
The Calgary-Banff Rail, as it’s currently known, would connect the Calgary Airport to Banff National Park, which is both the most popular and oldest in the country. It would be the first time in 30 years that a passenger train would connect the two after Via Rail’s own line was shut down in 1990.
Backed by both the provincial and various municipal governments, the project has also received support from private investors hoping to get things moving. And, if that wasn’t enough, the federally-managed Canada Infrastructure Bank will be consulting on the project, while they decide on joining in on the investment party.
Which, by the way, is substantial. While official projections are few and far between, the potential cost of the project was estimated at around $660M in 2019, but more recent numbers put in around $1B. Luckily, the hydrogen-powered train would be expanding the current freight train route, instead of creating something entirely new.
As mentioned, provincial and municipal governments seem to be on board. Town of Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen said that ‘the return of passenger rail connecting Calgary and Banff has long been identified as a way to take traffic congestion off our highways and mountain roads, while improving the overall experience for people visiting Canada’s first national park.”
When complete, the Calgary-Banff Rail could feature up to 6 stops running between the Calgary airport and the town of Banff. For more information on this ambitious new infrastructure project, you can check out the official press release right here. Enjoy the day, folks!