Canadian Consulting Engineer

Calgary-Banff commuter rail service to be studied

June 10, 2020

Banff railway

Photo credit: CIB.

The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in partnership with Alberta’s ministry of transportation to study and conduct due diligence for a 130-km Calgary-Banff passenger rail service project.

The vision is for six stops—Calgary International Airport, Downtown Calgary, Cochrane, Morley, Canmore and Banff National Park—along a dedicated line built within an existing Canadian Pacific (CP) Railway corridor. The service could combine (a) up to eight departures per day from the airport to Banff and (b) an express service from the airport to downtown Calgary every 20 minutes. Alberta’s government intends to structure the project as a public-private partnership (P3).

The project could increase pedestrian-friendly tourism opportunities in Banff and labour mobility, including greater employment opportunities for residents of First Nations communities, while reducing congestion and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions along the travel corridor. The MoU confirms the partnership will review the project’s estimated costs and revenues, explore financing options and assess environmental, social and economic benefits prior to any CIB investment decision.

“We’re pleased to be partnering to complete a feasibility study,” says Ric McIver, Alberta’s minister of transportation. “The CIB brings expertise and experience needed for a project of this scale.”


“The project would create a new transportation option from Calgary International Airport to one of our national treasures,” says Marc Garneau, federal minister of transport. “A sustainable, commuter-centric transport system is essential to serve both tourists and Albertans alike.”




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