News Rockies

Province eyes rail service between Calgary and Banff

The Alberta government is assessing the feasibility of a new passenger rail service between Calgary and Banff.

The service would run between Calgary International Airport and Banff, with potential stops in between.

“The Calgary-Banff Rail project is the first of many potential projects for the CIB in Alberta,” said Michael Sabia, board chair, Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism, said this project is the type of bold and innovative strategic thinking the province needs to showcase Alberta’s landscapes and scenery.

“We know that Alberta’s tourism industry is world-class, and we will build it to new heights.”

Miranda Rosin, MLA, for Banff-Kananaskis, has advocated for the project.

The potential for a beautiful passenger rail service running through the Rocky Mountains poses a tremendous opportunity to attract international visitors and grow our tourism economy here in Alberta and is an opportunity I am extremely excited about. At a time in our history when many tourism economies have been effectively devastated by COVID-19 travel restrictions, I believe there is no better time to consider this strategic investment in our tourism industry and give hope to our industry operators than right now. Today’s announcement serves as a vote of confidence from our government that we support Alberta’s world-class tourism industry and are committed to helping it grow to its full potential over the course of our governance.”

The cost of the feasibility study will be paid for by the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

Banff National Park attracts about four million visitors a year. About 23,000 vehicles travel Highway 1 in both directions at the Banff National Park gates every day and the growing number of visitors to the area is increasing traffic congestion on highways and local roads.

The province aims to build a1 0-year tourism strategy to double tourism spending in Alberta to $20 billion by 2030.

Ivaylo Ivanov photo

-sarah.murphy@albertapressleader.ca

Sarah Murphy/Alberta Press Leader

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