News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 02, 2020
 8.3K     0 
News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 01, 2020
 39K     0 
News   GLOBAL  |  Apr 01, 2020
 4.5K     0 

The main benefit of HSR would be economic development (bringing Edmonton and Calgary very close and international cool factor) if the private sector is paying for it I don't mind at all. I would like to see a publicly funded traditional rail service to run on the CP line to hit all the towns between though, similar to the Northern Lights Express project in Minnesota
 
A disaster of truly biblical proportions would have to happen for it to be tens of billions to be honest. ~250km extension of the Hokkaido Shinkansen has escalated to around $20 billion and a majority of the route is through mountain tunnels
$30B USD CAHSR IOS I guess you could argue but you'd have to try to screw up as bad as that :/
 
That we don't have the density to support a rail connection. There are 14 flights/day between Edmonton and Calgary and at least 40 busses.
The number of people who think of Alberta as a still being a sparsely populated rural province is astounding. For the bottom half of the province it's just not a reality anymore!
 
Want to bet?
Man, it's a ~250km line with a pre-existing ROW, on an absolutely flat and straight area. As someone said, we'd need a catastrophe of biblical proportions to shoot it up to the 10's of billions.

As per the regular flux of passenger via plane and bus, currently between the cities, it's already a significant daily number. If you sum this with the potential to capture at least SOME of the drivers, and keep in mind that a project like this would take 5-10 years to complete, you'd be looking at a very healthy number of passengers, on a daily basis.

10 years from now, both Calgary and Edmonton's CMA will probably be creeping up to the 2.3-2.5M population mark each, if current growth rates keep up.

Not to mention that these cal also carry cargo.

If a private company is willing to consider putting that much money on it, then you can bet that there's a case to be made for it.

Part of their plan was tu use the DT-Airport legs, in both cities, to run as a commuters lines with a couple of stops between the airport and DT, to help offset the costs in the beginning of the operations, running regular trains with higher frequency in these, and then have 3 or 4 daily trips DT to DT, with a stop at each airport and Red Deer. The number worked, fairly well, might I add, especially considering the population growth forecast, which saw a 5M+ population served by it at beginning of operations, between Edmonton CMA, Calgary CMA and Red Deer.
 
I think that this project would undoubtedly be very cool and would bring in a lot of investment. I also think that it's not entirely necessary. Edmonton and Calgary aren't Toronto and Montreal or Seattle and Vancouver it's not quite a slam dunk as much as those. I would much rather Alberta build out a larger network connecting up the Edmonton and Calgary suburbs and potentially lines heading out to the mountains. Not saying that it isn't viable or wouldn't be a good idea. But I think that building out a regional Albertan rail network would do more good than having one high speed line between Edmonton and Calgary. The YEG-YYC line could be like the HFR (High Frequency Rail) that is being implemented on the Laurentian Corridor.
 
I've always found it fascinating how terribly Alberta's heavy rail network has declined from what it was in the past, especially with the slow and probably intentional death of the Edmonton-Calgary Via service. This province would basically not exist (in its current form at least) if it wasn't for trains, and it's a shame that Canada as a whole does regional and intercity rail so horribly.

"2nd biggest country in the world, can't support it!"

1: Windsor-Quebec City corridor
2: Edmonton-Calgary corridor
3: Lower Mainland BC

in total 24-25 million people live in these 3 areas, 64% of the country's population in these 3 densely populated regions. Nothing can excuse the fact that the only form of relatively reliable and accessible form of transportation are busses, since planes aren't reliable and cars aren't accessible by nature.

As for this project, it's really a shame that oil industry will try its best to quash any attempts at getting this built (which is why I believe the province keeps not finding a "business case" for it, in the face of billion-dollar highway expansions). But I do believe it will happen in either this form or another, and that eventually we'll have a somewhat integrated rail network with a high-speed spine and regional services from large hubs. It's just shitty that it doesn't already exist I guess.
 
What's the magic recipe to make it work? We have a route that shouldn't be too difficult to build on with a good population and good economic connections. Here are some of the hurdles I think need to be addressed.

  • Don't have the same tourist draw as many places with HSR like in Europe
  • Don't have a fully built out commuter/transit rail system (important for the beginning/ending of trips)
  • Strong car culture (As with most of North América)
  • Won't likely be linked to other reliable/frequent/fast rail connections anytime soon or ever (Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, etc...)
Won't have all of these answers and habits will change as a result but they are valid questions/concerns to address.
 
Good comments Base.

-Tourists can be a big one. Especially if we could get daily or double daily train service between Edmonton and Jasper. Would allow a circle route compared to today where most tourists currently head to and from Vancouver through Jasper or Banff.
-For the end of line, in 8 to 10 years Edmonton and Calgary will have more LRT throughout. Commuter rail might be a little longer to get.
-Strong car culture, yes but getting weaker as more young people view a license as a nuisance compared to a right of passage.

Ever hopeful. And if UCP really wanted to show an Alberta advantage, high speed rail before eastern Canada would do it,
 
So,
What's the magic recipe to make it work? We have a route that shouldn't be too difficult to build on with a good population and good economic connections. Here are some of the hurdles I think need to be addressed.

  • Don't have the same tourist draw as many places with HSR like in Europe
  • Don't have a fully built out commuter/transit rail system (important for the beginning/ending of trips)
  • Strong car culture (As with most of North América)
  • Won't likely be linked to other reliable/frequent/fast rail connections anytime soon or ever (Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, etc...)
Won't have all of these answers and habits will change as a result but they are valid questions/concerns to address.
Exactly, especially the last two. The distance from other major centres is an issue.

Our provincial government seems to float this idea every once a while. I'm not sure why, but perhaps for political reasons. This gets everyone's hope up, then nothing more happens. It probably doesn't help that the 10 million population figure they mentioned recently seems somewhat unrealistic.

I think the commuter/transit rail system will get built out more soon and feel that rail service to the mountain locations (Jasper and Banff) should also be improved right away, but some of that is up to the Feds, not the province.
 
What's the magic recipe to make it work? We have a route that shouldn't be too difficult to build on with a good population and good economic connections. Here are some of the hurdles I think need to be addressed.

  • Don't have the same tourist draw as many places with HSR like in Europe
  • Don't have a fully built out commuter/transit rail system (important for the beginning/ending of trips)
  • Strong car culture (As with most of North América)
  • Won't likely be linked to other reliable/frequent/fast rail connections anytime soon or ever (Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, etc...)
Won't have all of these answers and habits will change as a result but they are valid questions/concerns to address.
  • Don't have the same tourist draw as many places with HSR like in Europe
    • I agree it's an issue, especially for Edmonton. Banff is one of the most (I think it was THE most in 2022/22) visited destinations in Canada. If we can make it so that Jasper gains a little bit more traction, especially with a frequent rail connection, that'd make a huge difference.
  • Don't have a fully built out commuter/transit rail system (important for the beginning/ending of trips)
    • Again, the issue is harder on Edmonton, sadly, than Calgary, as their terminus station would be DT proper, and ours would likely be in Strathcona, too far from the LRT. But as it was been pointed out, in 10 years time, both cities should have much more robust transit rail systems. Also, the announcement of a HSR could speed up the LRT to the airport, where connecting would be convenient.
  • Strong car culture (As with most of North América)
    • I think that with the ever increasing cost of ownership of cars, the different mindset of younger generations and the recent influx of immigrants and internal migrants from places with less of a car culture, we'll see that become a little less of an issue. I don't think it'll ever go away, for many reasons, but should be less of a barrier, as both the absolute and percentual number of non car owners grow.
  • Won't likely be linked to other reliable/frequent/fast rail connections anytime soon or ever (Vancouver, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, etc...)
    • This is a major issue, and it's probably the hardest to overcome. We could MAYBE see Saskatoon and Winnipeg, but Vancouver is something I can't possibly imagine ever happening, due to the ridiculous costs and lengthy travel times. Even the fastest HSR would take at least twice as long, and probably cost more, than flying from either Calgary of Edmonton.
 

Back
Top