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Train tracks and a train station in the Rocky Mountains near Banff

Canada Infrastructure Bank And Government Of Alberta Sign A Memorandum Of Understanding For The Calgary-Banff Rail Project

Partnership is a step towards rail service from Calgary to Banff National Park for the first time in 30 years

TORONTO – The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Transportation (Alberta Transportation) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to complete studies and due diligence for the Calgary-Banff Rail project. The project would support Alberta’s economy by creating a critical airport-rail link to downtown Calgary and Banff National Park, increasing tourism opportunities and labour mobility, and reducing vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and congestion in the travel corridor.

The MOU confirms the CIB will collaborate with Alberta Transportation to review the project’s estimated costs and revenues, explore financing options and assess environmental, social and economic benefits prior to any potential investment decision by the CIB. This phase of work is consistent with the CIB’s role to provide advisory services to governments.

Project Vision

The Calgary-Banff Rail project is a new, 130-kilometre sustainable passenger rail service that would potentially include six stops (Calgary International Airport, Downtown Calgary, Cochrane, Morley, Canmore and Banff) along a dedicated line built within the existing Canadian Pacific Railway’s corridor. The service could have up to eight departures per day from the airport to Banff and the capability of running an express service from Calgary International Airport to downtown Calgary every 20 minutes.

The project would create an innovative, environmentally friendly public transit option and help the Town of Banff become more pedestrian friendly. Residents of First Nations communities would see increased employment opportunities with easier access into Calgary, Banff, Canmore and Cochrane. Visitors to tourism, cultural and recreational areas in Calgary and in the communities along the line would also benefit from more convenient and efficient travel from the airport and nearby communities.

Benefits of the CIB’s Involvement

The CIB engages and builds relationships with all levels of government, Indigenous communities and private and institutional investors. It is uniquely positioned to conduct market analysis and provide specialized commercial and investment expertise, including innovative financial modelling, creative project structuring and procurement options to support project sponsors. The CIB’s Advisory and Investment team has specialized infrastructure insights in all the CIB’s priority sectors (green infrastructure, trade and transportation, transit and broadband).

We are pleased to be building a strong partnership with the Government of Alberta. An important part of the CIB’s role is to work closely with governments across Canada to advance new infrastructure opportunities. The Calgary-Banff Rail project is the first of many potential projects for the CIB in Alberta.

- Michael Sabia, Chair of the Board, Canada Infrastructure Bank

It’s great to see the partnership between the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Government of Alberta on a train between Calgary and Banff. A train to Banff National Park would reduce congestion, lower emissions, protect the pristine environment while creating jobs and economic opportunity. This initiative is an example of how the CIB is moving to a new phase focused on accelerating investment in projects that will grow our economy and make Canada more competitive.

- Catherine McKenna, Infrastructure and Communities Minister

The Calgary-Banff Rail project would create a new transportation option from Calgary International Airport to one of our national treasures. A sustainable and commuter-centric transport system is essential to serve the growing travel demands of both tourists and Albertans alike. The new rail service would take cars off the road and increase the mobility of visitors and commuters to the park in a stress-free way,

- Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport

Our government is creating an environment where investors and job creators can succeed in Alberta. We’re pleased to be partnering with the CIB to complete a feasibility study for the Calgary-Banff Rail project. The CIB brings expertise and experience needed for a project of this scale. We look forward to learning more about this exciting project and hearing from our community partners about how this opportunity can support our tourism industry and get our economy back on track.

- Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation for Alberta

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Alberta intends to structure the project as a public-private partnership (P3) to attract investment, transfer risks and drive performance.
  • The CIB is a Crown corporation mandated to invest $35 billion in federal funding and attract private sector investment into new revenue-generating infrastructure projects.
  • The CIB is focused on transformational projects that are in the public interest.
  • The CIB works to advance a new model of partnerships to help more projects get built.

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