The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Transportation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to complete studies and due diligence for the Calgary-Banff Rail project.

The project would create a critical airport-rail link to downtown Calgary and Banff National Park, increasing tourism opportunities and labour mobility, and reducing vehicle greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and congestion in the travel corridor.

The MOU confirms the CIB will collaborate with Alberta Transportation to review the project’s estimated costs and revenues, explore financing options and assess environmental, social and economic benefits prior to any potential investment decision by the CIB.

“We are pleased to be building a strong partnership with the Government of Alberta,” said Michael Sabia, chair of the board, CIB. “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.”

The Minister of Transportation for Alberta, Ric McIver, emphasized the potential benefits of this project. “Our government is creating an environment where investors and job creators can succeed in Alberta. We’re pleased to be partnering with the CIB to complete a feasibility study for the Calgary-Banff Rail project. The CIB brings expertise and experience needed for a project of this scale. We look forward to learning more about this exciting project and hearing from our community partners about how this opportunity can support our tourism industry and get our economy back on track.”

The new 130-kilometre sustainable passenger rail service would potentially include six stops (Calgary International Airport, Downtown Calgary, Cochrane, Morley, Canmore and Banff) along a dedicated line built within the existing Canadian Pacific Railway’s corridor. The service could have up to eight departures per day from the airport to Banff and the capability of running an express service from Calgary International Airport to downtown Calgary every 20 minutes.

The project would create an innovative, environmentally friendly public transit option and help the Town of Banff become more pedestrian friendly. Residents of First Nations communities would see increased employment opportunities with easier access into Calgary, Banff, Canmore and Cochrane. Visitors to tourism, cultural and recreational areas in Calgary and in the communities along the line would also benefit from more convenient and efficient travel from the airport and nearby communities.

Featured image credit: CIB.

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