An Alberta company is looking into the possibility of having a commuter train service link rural municipalities, like Grande Prairie, with larger urban centres.
Director of Global Sourcing Vern Raincock says the project is years in the making.
“I’ve been looking at Regional Rail for a few years. I formerly worked at Canadian Pacific Railway. Yesterday we did a presentation to the town of Didsbury, Alberta. We’ve received letters of support from the County of Stettler, Wetaskiwin, and Leduc.”
The first step for the company is to provide train service between Calgary and Edmonton, then add destinations from there.
“Our plan is to have a train that goes from downtown Calgary to Edmonton, stopping at 23 locations in the future. That includes smaller communities like Crossfield, larger communities like Red Deer, and linking the two airports together as well,” he says.
Raincock says that the plan is for the company to continue talking with smaller communities about proposed service in their area in the coming months, including Grande Prairie.
“We’ve had discussions with various council members in different communities and we hope to reach out to councillors in Grande Prairie, sometime between February and March.”
The plan is for Alberta Regional Rail Inc. is to take on refurbished Bombardier double-decker trains, which are being cascaded by companies like Amtrak, GO Transit, and VIA rail in the next few years.
“As of now, the only thing you can do between Grande Prairie and Edmonton if you’re driving your own personal vehicle, legally, is drive. Just imagine if we can have a daily train between Grande Prairie and Edmonton,” he says.