Feasibility study for Calgary-Banff Rail Project funded

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CANADA: The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the Province of Alberta have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to undertake a feasibility study for a new passenger rail link between Calgary airport and Banff National Park.

The Calgary-Banff Rail project envisages a new 130km line between Calgary International Airport and Banff National Park, with the potential to add four additional stops in downtown Calgary, Cochrane, Morley and Canmore. The service could have up to eight departures per day and the capability of running an express service from Calgary International Airport to downtown Calgary every 20 minutes. Featuring dedicated infrastructure, the new line would be built within the existing Canadian Pacific Railway corridor.

The park attracts about four million visitors each year; a number that is expected to increase, putting additional pressure on highways and local roads. An estimated 23,000 vehicles use Highway 1 between Banff National Park and Calgary every day. It has been nearly 30 years since the previous rail link between the city and Canada’s most-visited national park closed.

CIB is to fund the study, working with Alberta Transportation to review estimated costs and revenues, explore financing options and assess environmental, social and economic benefits prior to any potential investment decision by the CIB as part of a public-private partnership.

"We are pleased to be building a strong partnership with the government of Alberta. An important part of the CIB's role is to work closely with governments across Canada to advance new infrastructure opportunities. The Calgary-Banff Rail project is the first of many potential projects for the CIB in Alberta," said Michael Sabia, CIB Chair.