The Calgary - Edmonton corridor is the most urbanized area in the province of Alberta, and one of the densest in Canada. The busiest stretch of highway in Alberta, the QE2, spans the corridor. The region also has two major international airports, the corridor is one of Canada's busiest commuter flight sectors. The ARR plan would combine facets of the flights and intercity bus systems, with standard commuter trains that service all towns in the corridor, and fast express trains that service Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton.
In the early years of Banff National Park a series of grand hotels were built along the Canadian Pacific Railroad, with the Banff Springs Hotel advertised as an international tourist resort, tourists were brought in from across Canada by train. Under the ARR plan tourists will be able to fly from destinations around the world to Calgary International Airport, and then catch a train to Banff. The frequency of the trains would easily facilitate day trips into the Banff National Park.
Rail operations between Calgary and Edmonton started in 1930 with 3 trains per day in each direction, with a journey time of 6-7 hours. In 1955 the Budd 'Dayliner' was introduced to the service, the journey time was reduced to 3 1/2 hours, with 3 trains per day carrying 80,000 passengers in 1969.
By 1982 the service was reduced to 1 train a day carrying 53,000 passengers, with a fare of $27. In 1985 the service was terminated due to the frequency of at grade crossing collisions, causing delays to the service, leading to financial losses.
The vision is the reinstatement of the 'Dayliner' service, but an updated modern version suitable for today's, and tomorrow's, economy, creating a fast, frequent, efficient and safe transportation system. Focusing on peak time commuter services into Edmonton and Calgary, and off-peak and weekend services between. Also services into the mountains to Banff.
Utilizing efficient and environmental bi-mode diesel-electric multiple units, that will run on electric power in the urban areas of Calgary and Edmonton, and in the Banff National Park.
ARR can facilitate tourism destinations such as Banff National Park or Drumheller, Alberta. International travelers would be able to fly into Calgary’s International Airport and catch a train to Banff. The traveler would be able to enjoy affordable, stress-free travel with a homage to a classic time of using the Canadian Pacific Railroad to travel to nature, hiking, and grand hotels.
Entrepreneurs, employers, and workers would also benefit from ARR by providing safe and fast travel between cities and towns. Smaller towns that lack the people power to satisfy employment needs can bring workers in from other nearby communities. People who wish to travel on business can quickly expand their clientele by including neighboring towns. Rail travel is a win for both employers and employees.
Preserving our prairie landscape is important to us. Our plan is to use as much existing rail corridors as possible to avoid impacting the environment further. And even if there are areas where new tracks might be built, rail transportation uses less space than roads.
The trains themselves are highly efficient and have substantially less carbon emissions than cars and buses.