Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

  by Pensyfan19
A construction company has signed an agreement to pursue building a privately funded passenger rail service called Prairie Link between Calgary and Edmonton via Red Deer. The project will take about 7-9 years to complete with a top speed of 200kmh (150mph) and will likely be using diesel, battery or hydrogen powered trainsets, with the company referencing Brightline's Siemens trainsets as likely candidates for their rolling stock. I'm enthusiastic to see another privately funded passenger railroad enter the market and to bring needed passenger service to an underutilized corridor as Canada's first privately funded passenger railroad in decades! (Or essentially, Canada's first Brightline!)

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... rail-line/
EDMONTON, Alberta — A major Canadian construction firm has announced formation of a partnership to pursue construction of an Edmonton-Calgary high speed rail line, an estimated $C9 billion, seven-to-nine year project.

The CBC reports Mississauga, Ontario, firm EllisDon announced the project to connect the two cities via Red Deer, Alta., with a line to be built entirely with private-sector funding. A spokesman for the Prairie Link project said the company is currently working on a business case for the 170-mile route; it expects to have that document completed in about six months.

A website for the Prairie Link project says EllisDon is partnering with engineering firm AECOM on the project. A press release says the partnership already has a memorandum of understanding with provincial agency Alberta Transportation for cooperation on project development, and that it has begun discussions with Indigenous groups about its plans.
Here is Prairie Link's website for more details.
  by Shortline614
While I'm all for private investment in high-speed rail, I'm skeptical. The three cities they are talking about connecting have a total population of 2.4 million (Alberta has 4.3 million in total). The territory that Brightline serves currently in South Florida alone has 9.3 million while the entire Northeast Corridor has 50 million. The Texas Central in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston alone will serve 10 million while Brightline West will serve around 20 million (Las Vegas only has 600k but it's a massive tourist destination). I don't think Alberta has the population to justifiy high-speed rail.

Additionally, I know quite a few Albertans and to me the travel patterns seem to be more from small rural cities to the big cities than from big city to the big city. I don't know how many people would use this service.
PF: I agree with SL here - this is a 182 mile corridor that will have a limited appeal and directly compete
with Alberta Route 2 - an interstate-type highway - running through mostly small towns and open areas.

Edmonton (812,202) and Calgary (1,096,833) (2015) are the two major Alberta cities served.
The one significant intermediate city is Red Deer (90,564) (2015) for this new proposed service.

For a history of the Edmonton-Calgary passenger rail service see:

There were reasons that VIA Rail Canada's past Edmonton-Calgary RDC service was discontinued.
One of these was the poor location of the Edmonton station - a distance south of the city center.

There is air travel between Edmonton (YEG) and Calgary (YYC).
Search "Edmonton-Calgary Airline Flights".

Bus service is operated on this route - the new train would have to be least competitive pricewise.

This service would need significant infrastructure and have to operate with a fare structure that is
relatable to what driving between these cities cost to succeed on this routing.

  by electricron
Inner cities have suburbs, even in Canada.
Edmonton Metropolitan population per Wiki is 1,321,426
Calgary Metropolitan population per Wiki is 1,477,582
Edmonton city population per Wiki is 972,223
Calgary city population per Wiki is 1,239,220
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonton_ ... tan_Region
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary_M ... tan_Region

Is that enough population for a commercially viable HSR train? I do not think so.
Is that enough population for a commercially viable passenger train? Maybe.

It's 183 highway miles, 293 kilometers, between the two cities.
For a 3 hour sweet spot to compete with flying, a train would have to average 61 mph (97.7 kph)
For a 2 hour steal most of the business travel time, a train would have to average 91.5 mph (146.5 kph)
They do not have to run 300 kph (200 mph) maximum speed trains to average the average speeds calculated above.