News & Reviews News Wire Effort seeks to revive Edmonton-Calgary passenger service

Effort seeks to revive Edmonton-Calgary passenger service

By Trains Staff | January 31, 2022

| Last updated on March 30, 2024

Alberta Regional Rail seeks to launch commuter operation including 2-hour express service

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Logo of Alberta Regional RailEDMONTON, Alberta — An effort has begun to relaunch rail service between Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, a route last served by RDCs in 1985, the Edmonton Journal reports.

The Alberta Regional Rail proposal estimates it would cost about $2.2 billion to upgrade infrastructure on the 185-mile route between the cities, improving existing Canadian Pacific right-of-way, to offer commuter rail service. Organizers say that cost would be just a fraction of that required for a high speed rail line or expansion of the Queen Elizabeth II Highway between the two cities.

The plan proposes an express train between the two cities, taking about two hours, as well as trains stopping at most intermediate communities along the route, the most densely populated in Alberta.

Alberta Regional Rail is in the process of presenting its plan to local governments along the route, seeking to organize them to lobby for the proposal as a single entity. Organizers Verne Raincock and Thomas Fryer say they are not currently asking for funding from the municipal governments but will use private funding while assessing and pursuing available federal and provincial grants.

Canadian Pacific declined to comment to the newspaper about the proposal.

The proposal is outlined at the Alberta Regional Rail website.

7 thoughts on “Effort seeks to revive Edmonton-Calgary passenger service

  1. Looks like there are 6-7 round trips per weekday, taking about 3.5 hours. It is convenience, not blistering speed, that draws drivers from their vehicles. For the railway to accommodate that many psgr trains would require major improvements.

  2. Low gasoline prices are not conducive to passenger rail transportation. I just paid in B.C. 1.69 per litre for gasoline, the current price in Alberta is about 1.40 which is the lowest in Canada.
    And Alberta, as a result of putting their faith in now disappeared high oil prices, is not in good economic health. Eventually this group would be going to the provincial government for help with the project and it would be hard to find any sympathizers in the cabinet.

  3. In America, Amtrak doesn’t do it’s job so local authoriities must step in. Canada is even worse. This obvious service in Alberta is one of many that VIA has walked away from — in addition to frequency reductions on the tiny handful of remaining routes.

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