Thread: Via rail
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Old Posted Jan 24, 2019, 1:09 AM
milomilo milomilo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Calgary
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Originally Posted by manny_santos View Post
This would be a ripe time to return passenger rail service to Calgary and Regina. Right now the only two ways to get from Vancouver to Calgary are either driving or by air.

There are many underserved parts of Canada when it comes to passenger rail service. Thunder Bay is another city without service.
It's a nice idea, but not very cost effective in reality. You wouldn't be able to fill the trains, so service would be terrible, further cementing the lack of ridership. And even if you could justify an acceptable number of trains, CP will take priority on the lines so without upgrading them, reliability will also be poor. Calgary - Regina might be OK, but upgrading the CP mainline through the mountains is a non starter.

In Alberta, we need to identify a manageable size line is that has the most bang for buck and greatest chance of success and build that first. IMO, it's likely a Calgary - Lake Louise line and/or a Calgary - Airdrie line, possibly with a link to the airport. Once something like that is built, as long as it's not a complete financial disaster, then building extensions and additional branches becomes a much more attractive proposition, as you are able to leverage network effects. An Edmonton - Red Deer - Calgary line has a much better business case if there's also a line to the mountains at the other end.
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