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  #16321  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2021, 8:34 PM
ssiguy ssiguy is offline
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Right now, taking the train is seen as a more environmentally friendly way to travel which of course it is. It is, in part, one of the reason why it has seen ridership increases over the last few years.

The problem for VIA is that cleaner reputation is going to decline quickly as more electric cars continually get onto the market and new ICE vehicles can no longer be purchased after 2035 and vast majority will be electric well before that.

Of course many will not want to travel by car for medium distance travel and for that segment VIA's biggest rival is intercity buses. Buses however will be the very first medium distance transit option to decarbonize as we are already seeing with local transit buses. Whether that be battery or hydrogen makes no difference, they will be the environmentally positive way to travel.

Even air travel will begin mass production of zero emissions vehicles by 2035 making them the preferred option for medium to long distance travelers in an increasingly climate change conscious world.

As we move to zero emissions transport, VIA is going to start looking like what a diesel truck does today. Yes, Tier 4 are cleaner but still not clean by any stretch of the imagination but VIA seems to have no plan on how to decarbonize it's network. Even electrifying the Tor-QC Corridor is at least a decade away and that's assuming it even gets built which is no guarantee.

Unless VIA makes aggressive plans to decarbonize it's entire system, in just 20 short years VIA's media campaign could look like "GO VIA..........and do your part to help fry the planet!".
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  #16322  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2021, 8:52 PM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
Right now, taking the train is seen as a more environmentally friendly way to travel which of course it is. It is, in part, one of the reason why it has seen ridership increases over the last few years.

The problem for VIA is that cleaner reputation is going to decline quickly as more electric cars continually get onto the market and new ICE vehicles can no longer be purchased after 2035 and vast majority will be electric well before that.

Of course many will not want to travel by car for medium distance travel and for that segment VIA's biggest rival is intercity buses. Buses however will be the very first medium distance transit option to decarbonize as we are already seeing with local transit buses. Whether that be battery or hydrogen makes no difference, they will be the environmentally positive way to travel.

Even air travel will begin mass production of zero emissions vehicles by 2035 making them the preferred option for medium to long distance travelers in an increasingly climate change conscious world.

As we move to zero emissions transport, VIA is going to start looking like what a diesel truck does today. Yes, Tier 4 are cleaner but still not clean by any stretch of the imagination but VIA seems to have no plan on how to decarbonize it's network. Even electrifying the Tor-QC Corridor is at least a decade away and that's assuming it even gets built which is no guarantee.

Unless VIA makes aggressive plans to decarbonize it's entire system, in just 20 short years VIA's media campaign could look like "GO VIA..........and do your part to help fry the planet!".
The problem is that planners think that there has to be a singular reason for using a mode of transportation. Walking would be the most environmentally friendly way to get around, but people don't walk to be environmentally friendly.

For long distance travel, electric buses could easily be put in place. I doubt people will flock to them over Via.

Decarbonizing Via is hard. They don't own most of the lines that they run on. even with the HFR, they still will have nothing west of Toronto, or East of Montreal. You can only electrify the lines that via owns without much challenge. Outside of that, it is CN/CP that you have to deal with. Putting overhead wires on their lines will not go well as it will restrict their loading gauge.
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  #16323  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2021, 4:29 AM
ssiguy ssiguy is offline
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The issue is that VIA doesn't seem to have any concrete plans on how to decarbonize.

As far as buses go, yes for rail is always more comfortable but buses are increasingly going upscale with far nicer interiors, better chairs and supports, more leg room, better suspension, and with electrification they will also be far quieter as well.

The buses of today and tomorrow are not your Grandma's Greyhound.
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  #16324  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2021, 4:41 AM
lrt's friend lrt's friend is offline
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Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
The issue is that VIA doesn't seem to have any concrete plans on how to decarbonize.

As far as buses go, yes for rail is always more comfortable but buses are increasingly going upscale with far nicer interiors, better chairs and supports, more leg room, better suspension, and with electrification they will also be far quieter as well.

The buses of today and tomorrow are not your Grandma's Greyhound.
The lack of intercity bus service as result of Greyhound's departure from the Canadian market is a big problem.
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  #16325  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2021, 11:00 PM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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20 years from now if CP and CN aren’t deep into decarbonization, I will be surprised. VIA will adopt a version of whatever system(s) CP and CN adopt.
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  #16326  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2021, 11:52 PM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker View Post
20 years from now if CP and CN aren’t deep into decarbonization, I will be surprised. VIA will adopt a version of whatever system(s) CP and CN adopt.
By then they will have Tier 5 ,6.... etc. Electrifying the entire network will be a huge undertaking that will be put off as long as possible. As far as taxing them, they will just pass that on to their customers. Unless we have electric trucks that are driverless and can run 24/7 with minimal stops to recharge, it won't be enough for them to change. It will take an act of parliament to have it happen.
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  #16327  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 12:53 AM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is online now
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The entire point of a high carbon price is that it incentivizes transition where economically cheap options exist. If there's no business case at $170/mtCO2, there's probably no suitable and economical technology at all. But every activity and every organization has to transition on the same schedule. The government's plan recognizes that some sectors and activities are easier to decarbonize than others. And since rail is a tiny portion of Canada's emissions, the industry has the luxury of decades to figure it out.

As for VIA, with the bulk of their emissions happening in the Corridor and all other trains entirely at the mercy of CN and CP, they really can't do much, but wait for CN and CP to tell them what do, and work with Metrolinx and Exo on Corridor electrification.
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  #16328  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 12:53 AM
MalcolmTucker MalcolmTucker is offline
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
By then they will have Tier 5 ,6.... etc. Electrifying the entire network will be a huge undertaking that will be put off as long as possible. As far as taxing them, they will just pass that on to their customers. Unless we have electric trucks that are driverless and can run 24/7 with minimal stops to recharge, it won't be enough for them to change. It will take an act of parliament to have it happen.
As CN pilots battery locos and CP pilots hydrogen locos. Your cynicism is misplaced.

Fuel is 1/6th of their costs today, and their carbon charge is set to hit their balance sheet even more. CP has committed to reduce emissions s from their locomotive fleet by a lot - 38%!. https://investor.cpr.ca/news/press-r...s/default.aspx
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  #16329  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 12:59 AM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is online now
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Originally Posted by MalcolmTucker View Post
As CN pilots battery locos and CP pilots hydrogen locos. Your cynicism is misplaced.

Fuel is 1/6th of their costs today, and their carbon charge is set to hit their balance sheet even more. CP has committed to reduce emissions s from their locomotive fleet by a lot - 38%!. https://investor.cpr.ca/news/press-r...s/default.aspx
CN and CP's own efforts aside, simply reducing shipments of coal and oil, with demand reduction and pipelines (for oil and gas) would notably cut freighter demand, reducing their emissions too. I expect TMX and the elimination of coal power in Canada over the next decade will reduce rail emissions too.
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  #16330  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 2:24 AM
Beedok Beedok is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy View Post
Right now, taking the train is seen as a more environmentally friendly way to travel which of course it is. It is, in part, one of the reason why it has seen ridership increases over the last few years.

The problem for VIA is that cleaner reputation is going to decline quickly as more electric cars continually get onto the market and new ICE vehicles can no longer be purchased after 2035 and vast majority will be electric well before that.

Of course many will not want to travel by car for medium distance travel and for that segment VIA's biggest rival is intercity buses. Buses however will be the very first medium distance transit option to decarbonize as we are already seeing with local transit buses. Whether that be battery or hydrogen makes no difference, they will be the environmentally positive way to travel.

Even air travel will begin mass production of zero emissions vehicles by 2035 making them the preferred option for medium to long distance travelers in an increasingly climate change conscious world.

As we move to zero emissions transport, VIA is going to start looking like what a diesel truck does today. Yes, Tier 4 are cleaner but still not clean by any stretch of the imagination but VIA seems to have no plan on how to decarbonize it's network. Even electrifying the Tor-QC Corridor is at least a decade away and that's assuming it even gets built which is no guarantee.

Unless VIA makes aggressive plans to decarbonize it's entire system, in just 20 short years VIA's media campaign could look like "GO VIA..........and do your part to help fry the planet!".
Honestly, considering the environmental impact of mining the material and manufacturing the electric car, and then charging it on a likely still partially fossil fuel grid, and then multiplying that by the hundreds of people the train could carry… I suspect an efficient and modern diesel train will still be better for the environment per rider than an electric car.

And zero emissions airplanes require a lot of breakthroughs that are generally seen as unlikely by industry insiders from everything I’ve read.

Electric buses could probably compete, though.
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  #16331  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 2:50 AM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
The entire point of a high carbon price is that it incentivizes transition where economically cheap options exist. If there's no business case at $170/mtCO2, there's probably no suitable and economical technology at all. But every activity and every organization has to transition on the same schedule. The government's plan recognizes that some sectors and activities are easier to decarbonize than others. And since rail is a tiny portion of Canada's emissions, the industry has the luxury of decades to figure it out.

As for VIA, with the bulk of their emissions happening in the Corridor and all other trains entirely at the mercy of CN and CP, they really can't do much, but wait for CN and CP to tell them what do, and work with Metrolinx and Exo on Corridor electrification.
I can see Via converting the lines they own to overhead lines. GO and EXO will likely do the same. This would help them all meet their goal of being carbon neutral. That means most of the route between Toronto - Ottawa - Montreal would be electrified.

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Originally Posted by Beedok View Post
Honestly, considering the environmental impact of mining the material and manufacturing the electric car, and then charging it on a likely still partially fossil fuel grid, and then multiplying that by the hundreds of people the train could carry… I suspect an efficient and modern diesel train will still be better for the environment per rider than an electric car.

And zero emissions airplanes require a lot of breakthroughs that are generally seen as unlikely by industry insiders from everything I’ve read.

Electric buses could probably compete, though.
This is what most armchair environmentalists don't think of. It isn't just about the gas in the tank, but it is the carbon footprints of each mode and the realities of how it gets to you. If we really want to change spending habits, we need to get rid of the idea of credits. Everything has a carbon footprint. Nothing is exempt from it, so nothing should be exempt from the carbon tax.
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  #16332  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 12:42 PM
Beedok Beedok is offline
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
This is what most armchair environmentalists don't think of. It isn't just about the gas in the tank, but it is the carbon footprints of each mode and the realities of how it gets to you. If we really want to change spending habits, we need to get rid of the idea of credits. Everything has a carbon footprint. Nothing is exempt from it, so nothing should be exempt from the carbon tax.
And, also, even if it doesn’t have a carbon footprint, it can still be absolutely horrible for the environment (and humans who live near the minds). Like those giant piles of arsenic near Yellowknife that contain enough toxic material to kill every human on earth. Or the coup in Bolivia that was cheered on by Elon Musk because the far right groups trampling democracy would mean Tesla could have cheaper batteries.

Like, yes, carbon footprint is the emergency issue right now, but that doesn’t mean we forget about all the other impacts of what we’re doing.
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  #16333  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 1:51 PM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is online now
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Originally Posted by Beedok View Post
And, also, even if it doesn’t have a carbon footprint, it can still be absolutely horrible for the environment (and humans who live near the minds). Like those giant piles of arsenic near Yellowknife that contain enough toxic material to kill every human on earth. Or the coup in Bolivia that was cheered on by Elon Musk because the far right groups trampling democracy would mean Tesla could have cheaper batteries.

Like, yes, carbon footprint is the emergency issue right now, but that doesn’t mean we forget about all the other impacts of what we’re doing.
Anytime people bring up the surface pollution of metals mining or political instability caused by resource extraction, I really wonder whether they gave forgotten about all the same caused by the demand for oil and gas. The difference here is that lithium extraction isn't imperiling humanity and lots of other species.

On topic, decarbonization of VIA is and should be pretty damn far down the list. There's so much more low hanging fruit to pick at. And VIA needs to know the plans of CN, CP, Metrolinx and Exo before they invest. The idea that this imperils VIA ridership is nonsense. Very little of VIA's ridership is driven by environmental concerns exclusively.
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  #16334  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 2:01 PM
Beedok Beedok is offline
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
Anytime people bring up the surface pollution of metals mining or political instability caused by resource extraction, I really wonder whether they gave forgotten about all the same caused by the demand for oil and gas. The difference here is that lithium extraction isn't imperiling humanity and lots of other species.
It’s a good thing I didn’t forget about that, then. My point is that both are bad, so the train, using less resources in general, is better for everyone.

Like, I’m not saying electric cars are as bad as gasoline powered ones. I’m saying that hundreds of electric cars are worse for the environment than one train.

Even if we fix our carbon footprints, the West is still using multiple planets worth of resources and the rest of the world wants what we have. Climate change is just the most pressing of dozens of environmental emergencies simmering because of our material hungry way of life. Electric cars are addressing only one of the emergencies while encouraging the bad habits that have led to the rest.
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  #16335  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2021, 4:37 PM
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Nouvellecosse Nouvellecosse is offline
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You both raise an important point! We need an "all of the above" approach to dealing with climate and environmental sustainability meaning that we can't just point at one culprit and expect that fixing it will solve all our problems. It's possible to understand that while discussing on one issue at a time, but such conversations can be difficult because there are so many people who try to distract from one problem by focusing solely on another and using "whataboutism" tactics.

We need an overall reduction in consumption and resource usage. We need greater electrification - both battery and wired. We need cleaner internal combustion vehicles. We need a modal shift to rails from roads and from private to mass transportation. We need increased population density. We also need increased mitigation and resiliency approaches given that some of the damage is locked in. And none of these things are really replacements for the others and none is a complete solution on its own.

But now that we're all on the same page, we don't need to worry that one another has forgotten any of this even if we don't add explicit qualifiers or disclaimers to every argument or statement.
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  #16336  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2021, 12:23 AM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
Anytime people bring up the surface pollution of metals mining or political instability caused by resource extraction, I really wonder whether they gave forgotten about all the same caused by the demand for oil and gas. The difference here is that lithium extraction isn't imperiling humanity and lots of other species.

On topic, decarbonization of VIA is and should be pretty damn far down the list. There's so much more low hanging fruit to pick at. And VIA needs to know the plans of CN, CP, Metrolinx and Exo before they invest. The idea that this imperils VIA ridership is nonsense. Very little of VIA's ridership is driven by environmental concerns exclusively.
Someone said that these new trains can be converted to duel mode. Sounds like Via is planning for it. I expect when GO electrifies the lines, Via will follow with their lines. I am thinking that will be in the 2030s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beedok View Post
It’s a good thing I didn’t forget about that, then. My point is that both are bad, so the train, using less resources in general, is better for everyone.

Like, I’m not saying electric cars are as bad as gasoline powered ones. I’m saying that hundreds of electric cars are worse for the environment than one train.

Even if we fix our carbon footprints, the West is still using multiple planets worth of resources and the rest of the world wants what we have. Climate change is just the most pressing of dozens of environmental emergencies simmering because of our material hungry way of life. Electric cars are addressing only one of the emergencies while encouraging the bad habits that have led to the rest.
If the politician got serious and decided to half our carbon emissions by shutting down the worst, it would not just be the oil sands that would be shut down. It would be all mining. It would also be any future hydro dams too. If you notice, no one has said "pre industrial revolution" or "pre 1950s(60s/40s/etc)" levels. That is because there comes a point where we cannot do much more without a drastic change in how we live. However, switching to lower carbon methods is the way to go. Everyone likes to argue about the mines, but it is more about the energy. My 11,000 Watt emergency generator for my home uses 20 litres in about 8 hours. That time/output is enough to charge any electric vehicle. Find me a car that can do 400km on 20 litres.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
You both raise an important point! We need an "all of the above" approach to dealing with climate and environmental sustainability meaning that we can't just point at one culprit and expect that fixing it will solve all our problems. It's possible to understand that while discussing on one issue at a time, but such conversations can be difficult because there are so many people who try to distract from one problem by focusing solely on another and using "whataboutism" tactics.

We need an overall reduction in consumption and resource usage. We need greater electrification - both battery and wired. We need cleaner internal combustion vehicles. We need a modal shift to rails from roads and from private to mass transportation. We need increased population density. We also need increased mitigation and resiliency approaches given that some of the damage is locked in. And none of these things are really replacements for the others and none is a complete solution on its own.

But now that we're all on the same page, we don't need to worry that one another has forgotten any of this even if we don't add explicit qualifiers or disclaimers to every argument or statement.
The problem is that not enough politicians are willing to risk their job to dot hat shift that is needed.
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  #16337  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2021, 1:10 AM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
If the politician got serious and decided to half our carbon emissions by shutting down the worst, it would not just be the oil sands that would be shut down. It would be all mining. It would also be any future hydro dams too. If you notice, no one has said "pre industrial revolution" or "pre 1950s(60s/40s/etc)" levels. That is because there comes a point where we cannot do much more without a drastic change in how we live. However, switching to lower carbon methods is the way to go. Everyone likes to argue about the mines, but it is more about the energy. My 11,000 Watt emergency generator for my home uses 20 litres in about 8 hours. That time/output is enough to charge any electric vehicle. Find me a car that can do 400km on 20 litres.
Technically... there are several different hybrids that burn 5 litres per 100km or less. The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Blue has an official highway rating of 3.9 in fact. But the Toyota Prius, Kia Niro, and the hybrid versions of the Hyndai Sonata, Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, etc. all get 5 or below. I don't think any non-hybrid can, but they should be able to as well on the highway since hybrids don't get their great highway efficiency from being hybrids since obviously there's very little brake recovery on the highway. It's mostly the special treatments that reduce weight, improve aerodynamics, and reduce rolling friction (often special tires) and these things could be applied to any car.
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  #16338  
Old Posted Dec 7, 2021, 1:13 AM
swimmer_spe swimmer_spe is offline
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Technically... there are several different hybrids that burn 5 litres per 100km or less. The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Blue has an official highway rating of 3.9 in fact. But the Toyota Prius, Kia Niro, and the hybrid versions of the Hyndai Sonata, Honda Accord, Toyota Corolla, etc. all get 5 or below. But I don't think any non-hybrid can.
Now, try fitting people and stuff in them. Point is, going electric can make sense if you understand all vehicle construction is bad for the environment. Even train construction is bad for the environment.
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  #16339  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2021, 1:57 AM
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Calgary to Banff passenger rail costs increase to $1.5 billion

Banff-based Liricon Capital Ltd. has partnered with Quebec-based Plenary Americas to submit an updated proposal to Alberta Transportation, Invest Alberta Corporation and the Canada Infrastructure Bank to move to the design phase of the proposed Calgary to Banff passenger rail project.

Cathy Ellis

BANFF – A $1.5 billion plan for the return of passenger railway from Calgary to Banff is on track to be potentially up and running as early as 2025.

Banff-based Liricon Capital Ltd. has partnered with Quebec-based Plenary Americas to submit an updated proposal to Alberta Transportation, Invest Alberta Corporation and the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) to move to the design phase.

The proposal is to deliver a passenger train service from Calgary International Airport to downtown Calgary, which could include an express service every 15 minutes, and on to the mountains in Canmore and Banff by 2025.

Jan Waterous, managing partner of Liricon, said her family is thrilled that Plenary Americas has joined as co-developers of the Calgary-Banff railway project, which has the potential to be hydrogen-powered.

https://www.rmotoday.com/banff/calga...campaign=Email
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  #16340  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2021, 2:28 AM
ssiguy ssiguy is offline
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That would be great for Calgary.

Seeing Calgary has no rail to the airport, this also gives regular Calgarians a fast trip to downtown. It would relieve some of the labour shortages in Banff/Canmore and also get a lot of passengers from Cochrane commuters.

Being hydrogen is even better as it will be quieter, have higher de/acceleration, be environmentally friendly, and help boost and showcase Alberta's growing hydrogen sector.
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