Calgary, Alberta government to conduct study on feasibility of train to airport

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City and province to study feasibility of train to Calgary airport
WATCH: A new study is looking at the feasibility of connecting a rail line between Calgary international airport and the downtown core. Michael King reports. – Jul 11, 2023

The City of Calgary and the Alberta government will be conducting a study on the potential of a train connection between the city and Calgary International Airport.

According to two separate releases, the study will start in October and is scheduled to be completed next August. It will include a ridership review, development and evaluation of different alignment scenarios. It will also include a study to identify the optimal connection from downtown to the airport.

The province said it has allocated $3 million in Budget 2023 so the city can lead the Calgary Airport Rail Connection Study.

The city said an engineering consultant will be recruited to help with the technical study, which will include consultations with the Canada Infrastructure Bank, the Calgary International Airport, Canadian Pacific Kansas City and various private rail developers.

If the study concludes in favour of a rail connection, Calgary will be the third major Canadian city to have a direct train connection from its airport to the city centre. Currently, Calgary Transit provides bus service between the airport and the city: Route 100 between the airport to McKnight-Westwinds LRT Station and Route 300 BRT between Centre Street and the airport.

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Toronto and Vancouver are the only cities that have trains from their airports to their downtown core.

“It’s important for us to take a comprehensive look at all factors in this technically and physically constrained corridor to establish an optimal functional alignment that will best serve Calgarians, visitors and employees of the airport and surrounding lands,” said Michael Thompson, general manager of the city’s infrastructure services. “The study will consider existing rail plans, past City of Calgary transit studies and other opportunities, to help guide future transit planning.”

“As Calgary continues to grow, it’s vital to have a road map to build out a transit network that increases capacity and supports transportation needs now and into the future,” said Devin Dreeshen, Alberta’s economic corridors and transportation minister. “This project is an important step forward in providing direction on affordable transit infrastructure that will best serve Calgary while respecting taxpayer investment.”

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