The Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Transportation (Alberta Transportation), Invest Alberta and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) have signed a detailed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to proceed with the proposed Calgary-Banff Rail Passenger Project.

The $793m (C$1bn) project involves building a rail link to connect the YYC Calgary International Airport and Banff train station.

After signing the MoU, CIB reaffirmed its support for the project and stated that it will consider a long-term investment.

On behalf of Alberta Transportation, Invest Alberta will be involved with the market place. Meanwhile, the Government of Alberta will continue to assess the project as well as seek feedback from municipalities and Indigenous communities.

It will also assess if the project can proceed under a long-term public-private partnership (P3) model.

After the signing of a MoU between Alberta Transportation and CIB last June, the feasibility studies of the project were concluded.

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In addition, Liricon Capital showed interest in performing the duties of project developer.

Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney said: “The YYC-Calgary-Banff rail project has the potential to be the first airport-to-mountain community transit solution of its kind in North America, making Alberta an even more compelling destination for global visitors year-round.”

The 150km long Calgary-Banff Rail Passenger Project is expected to feature seven stations along a dedicated line constructed within the current Canadian Pacific (CP) Rail corridor.

These potential stops would be at Calgary International Airport, downtown Calgary, Calgary Keith, Cochrane, Morley (Stoney Nakoda), Canmore and Banff.

From the airport to Banff, the service could have up to ten departures a day, with the capacity to operate an express service from the airport to downtown Calgary every 15 minutes.

The project, if sanctioned, would support the Banff National Park Net Zero 2035 Initiative.

It would also create job opportunities, expand commercial activities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, cut down congestion in the travel corridor and increase tourism opportunities.