Committee report favours LRT over high-speed rail between Edmonton and Calgary

A report says Alberta should not invest in a high-speed rail link between Edmonton and Calgary but instead focus on expanding light-rail transit in the two cities.

EDMONTON — A report says Alberta should not invest in a high-speed rail link between Edmonton and Calgary but instead focus on expanding light-rail transit in the two cities.

The report from the legislature’s standing committee on Alberta’s economic future says there are not enough people living in the Edmonton-Calgary corridor to make a rail line profitable.

It says the committee heard submissions that, to be profitable, a high-speed train should have a ridership of about eight million to 10 million people a year.

But estimates for an Edmonton-Calgary route predict 1.3 million to 5.4 million riders in 2021. It’s anticipated that could grow to between 2.8 million and 10.7 million over the next three decades.

The committee also heard how much of the congestion on the main highway right now occurs around the two cities and that investing in better urban transportation might solve that.

The report does recommend that the government start buying land for a possible future transportation corridor.

The report also suggests that the government create rules that would allow private investors to raise capital for a high-speed rail line.

“It’s a good idea but not … at the present time,” said committee chairman and Calgary legislature member Moe Amery. “But I think there was overwhelming support for starting to think seriously about it and urging the government to start preparing for it.”

Amery said rapid growth in the province still isn’t enough to justify a high-speed line.

“Even though we’re growing, and we’re growing very rapidly, we still in the opinion of the experts don’t have enough population to make it economically viable.”

Just Posted

Sport of axe throwing growing in Red Deer

True North Axe Throwing wants sport to be ‘Canadian version of darts’

Optimism remains for Red Deer hospital expansion

Red Deer’s incoming UCP MLAs both have been strong supporters of expansion

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

WATCH: An ‘Eggstemely Fun Easter’ at Bower Place in Red Deer

Bower Place mall made sure Red Deer families were able to have… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read