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Talk of high-speed train line
picking up steam?
 
reprinted from Red Deer Advocate (Canadian Press) December 11, 2013
 
EDMONTON -- Rapid population growth around the province has many Albertans pushing for a high-speed passenger rail service.

That's what the standing committee on Alberta's Economic Future will be examining in briefings this week with transportation officials holding hearings in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer.

Paul Langan, the Founder of High Speed Rail Canada, says it's something Albertans have wanted for a while.

But Transportation Minister Ric McIver said he doesn't think the government should pay to build a high-speed rail line.

A 2009 government study estimated the cost of a link between Calgary and Edmonton at between $3 billion and $20 billion, depending on the technology and type of train chosen.

It has been 28 years since passenger rail service existed between Calgary and Edmonton.

Opposition Finance critic Rob Anderson called the train a make-work project, and said a lack of commuter traffic makes the prospect unrealistic.

"Frankly, it's just not a fiscally responsible thing to do right now," Anderson said. "We have a large ongoing deficit that's occurring; we've got $17 billion in debt on the books by 2016."

Edmonton's mayor took to Twitter to weigh in: "What we need are complete LRT systems at both ends." Iveson tagged Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in his message.

Meanwhile, a local developer admitted the concept could have its appeal, but doesn't think there aren't enough people in Alberta to make it a profitable venture.

"In terms of paying for it, and actually having it used, to the point where there's enough trains and enough traffic to provide the ridership, it's very, very difficult," said Ken Cantor, vice-president of Development for Qualico.

The report is expected May 25.
 


News articles related to high speed rail
(Forth Junction supports the concept of a future rapid passenger rail service connecting major destinations as efficient and enviro-friendly but is not directly advocating for any specific high speed rail proposal):

       News article: City touting high-speed rail stop at downtown station
(Red Deer Advocate Jan.2013)
       News article: Fast-tracking bullet train a ticket to nowhere
(Red Deer Advocate Dec.2011)
       Commentary: Steam good alternative for high-speed rail link
(Red Deer Advocate Apr.2011)
       News article: Business officials laud rail proposals
(Red Deer Advocate Apr.2011)
       News article: Chamber pressing high-speed rail plan
(Red Deer Advocate Jan.2011)
       Editorial: Train's future needs path
(Red Deer Advocate Nov.2010)
       News article: Project creates issues for rural residents
(Red Deer Advocate Nov.2010)
       Editorial: High speed rail back on
(Red Deer Advocate July 2010)
       News article: Rail plan returns
(Red Deer Advocate July 2010)
       News article: Get moving on high-speed rail link: expert
(Red Deer Advocate June 2010)
       News article: Rural groups want high-speed rail study
(Red Deer Advocate March 2010)
       News article: Political will lags behind train debate
(Red Deer Advocate Oct.2009)
       News article: Province offers update on high speed rail (Red Deer Express July 2009)
       News article: Company pushes for high speed rail (Red Deer Express April 2008)
         News article: Rail group projects service in five years (Red Deer Advocate April 2008)

Rise and Fall of Passenger Rail in the C&E Corridor
 
 

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