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EllisDon to Lead Prairie Link High-Speed Rail Partners - Edm-RD-Cal

Any sort of reliable rail service along that corridor would be an improvement, even if not 'High Speed' (which is a pretty relative term, as in the Acela services is the U.S.). A bit faster than the bus, with better station locations/connections, and a consistent, reliable schedule is good enough for me, personally. It's about providing access, especially for those of us who don't have cars or have grown weary of the death race that is the QE2.
This conversation comes up every once and a while at ERRS; given the large number of railfans involved in the organization. I've talked to a few people about the 'Budd Car', the intercity service that connected Edmonton (Strathcona) with DT Calgary, via the CPR mainline. The service is remembered fondly by a lot of guys, if only for the convenience. They way they describe it, the cars themselves were fast (90mph, so faster than (law-abiding) QE2 traffic) but hampered by the poor design of the route. 200 level crossings, innumerable stations and stops in random places that the car had to stop at, and constant freight traffic bottlenecking the line made the service unreliable. the level crossings were a constant issue; from what I've been told, people would cut in front of the train as it was approaching, not recognizing it's speed and thinking they would make it. The Budd Car was not a freight train, however, and was often running much faster than a normal train to make up time. this led to innumerable T-bone accidents. This all led to a Shoddy reputation for the service. When service was shut down in 1985, Edmonton Mayor Laurence Decore applauded the move.
Here's a great little article about the service, with pictures.
I'd love to see some sort of rail service between Edmonton and Calgary. I don't know/care if it's 'High Speed' or not (also, define high speed? that threshold get defined differently in different places) as long as it can beat the 3hr mark Downtown-to-Downtown, is safe, and with a reliable schedule, I think that's a win. there's a lot of people who would ride that, if only to avoid the nonsense that is the QE2. driving that mess is an Albertan rite of passage a lot of us wish we didn't have to engage in anymore.
 
I hope that this Edm/RD/Cal can begin a trend of shifting travel away from single user vehicles to mass public transportation. If other parts of the world can do it and do it well, why can't we?

FREEDOM
Lack of density
Lack of walkability
Lack of 'last mile (or five or ten in our case) connections or amenities
Lack of centralization of employment
Lack experience/habit
Geographic size
Winter
 
FREEDOM
Lack of density
Lack of walkability
Lack of 'last mile (or five or ten in our case) connections or amenities
Lack of centralization of employment
Lack experience/habit
Geographic size
Winter

This answer makes no sense. So you're saying we should double down on car travel because we don't have density?

Also:
- lack of 'last mile'? last time I checked we had buses, and expanding LRT network, car share, ride share, e-bikes, taxis, etc.
- Winter? Exactly. think about this one a bit longer
- geographic size? 3m+ ppl in the corridor is all that matters here
- lack of experience/habit? So people in Alberta should never have given up on the horse and wagon then. Albertans are more open to change than you might think, if they have the option
 
Count me in as another proponent of HSR between Edmonton and Calgary!

There are some factors I want considered though:
Will there be other stops besides Red Deer (e.g. Ponoka, Innisfail)
Stops at each airport
New rail line that roughly mimics CPR or roughly mimics the QE2
How to handle cross-traffic with other highways (Hwy 11, Hwy 53, Hwy 27, etc)
Land acquisition
Cost per one-way trip and two-way trip
Safety
Contingency plans if the HSR has any accidents
Fuel
Overall environmental impacts
 
Classic deflection.

It's simply not convenient enough, perception of safety issues continues to push many away and to be honest with you, many simply prefer their private vehicle because they can.

I'm a walker first, transit user second. . . driver third and would absolutely love more viable mass transit, but it very much is an uphill battle.
 
Classic deflection.

It's simply not convenient enough, perception of safety issues continues to push many away and to be honest with you, many simply prefer their private vehicle because they can.

I'm a walker first, transit user second. . . driver third and would absolutely love more viable mass transit, but it very much is an uphill battle.

Not convenient enough? perceptions of safety? as in people think cars are safer than trains?? lol that's a new one. that bud in Canmore must be good :)

You should share your wisdom with EllisDon. I'm sure they didn't do their homework...
 
Even Red Deer has public transit. I’m thinking with the number of daily flights between Edmonton and Calgary, there are many arguments for looking into High Speed Rail.
 
Folks, I'm watching this conversation closely and will edit replies or delete posts altogether if you are focusing on someone's character instead of the subject at hand. Please frame your comments in a way that is respectful.

As for Ellisdon, have they released the third party engineering report on the economic viability of the line that they committed to last year? I haven't seen anything at this point and my understanding is that Ellisdon is still doing their homework on feasibility.
 
Lack of density
This is relative. Density where? In the cities, in the whole area covered by the rail line?
Terminal stations, as per Ellis Don plans, would be in the densest areas of Calgary and Edmonton. A total population of about 3.5~4M people between the two cities is also not negligible (reminder that this is a 9 year project from breaking ground to operation. With 20 years into operations, population could be very well closing in to 5M in the corridor)
Lack of walkability
All issues considered, Edmonton and Calgary central areas are quite walkable and, let's face it, these are the two main nodes. Also, at least in Edmonton, the plan is to have a Southside station connected into a ToD.
Lack of 'last mile (or five or ten in our case) connections or amenities
Connecting to the LRT in Edmonton and C-Train in Calgary, both airports and having the stations in major transit nodes is part of the plan. Not to mention the already listed busses, car-share options, e-bikes, rideshare services, taxis, etc...
Lack of centralization of employment
This doesn't mean much, especially with Edmonton's population growing rapidly in the south and both Calgary and Edmonton making a push for densification around transit nodes, not necessarily only the Downtowns. As long as the major employment and residency nodes are connected to rapid transit, it doesn't matter.
Lack experience/habit
We should've stayed with wagons and horses, then, should we? Actually, we had trains replace that, didn't we? and then cars? What makes it so impossible to create this habit, over time? No one is claiming (or projecting) that it will happen overnight.
Geographic size
300km on a flat, straight line is not a significant barrier
What is it that makes individual cars so much better for winter? I dare you come up with a reasonable, technical argument for that, substantiated with facts.
It's simply not convenient enough, perception of safety issues continues to push many away and to be honest with you, many simply prefer their private vehicle because they can.
What is not convenient about parking your car in a park-and-ride (or hopping on the LRT) and jumping on a fast, reliable and comfortable train, with your hands and attention free to do whatever you want, get to your destination fast and reliably on time?

What is so much safer about cars? Are they less prone to accidents (winter or not)? Are they less likely to be targets for break ins?
I'm a walker first, transit user second. . . driver third and would absolutely love more viable mass transit, but it very much is an uphill battle.
I am sorry if this is hard to believe, based on your positioning regarding many things related to the transit/bikes/waking vs cars issue
 
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Folks, I'm watching this conversation closely and will edit replies or delete posts altogether if you are focusing on someone's character instead of the subject at hand. Please frame your comments in a way that is respectful.

As for Ellisdon, have they released the third party engineering report on the economic viability of the line that they committed to last year? I haven't seen anything at this point and my understanding is that Ellisdon is still doing their homework on feasibility.

I don't believe the report is complete yet...there is supposed to be two years of 'pre-development' before a FID or anything like that. But they are obviously feeling far more optimistic about what the outcome will be then some of the less informed posters on this forum: “We have been in talks with some investors already,” said Colin Hill, vice president of EllisDon's civil west division and a Prairie Link board member, in an email. “At this time, we are not disclosing where commitments have been made but I can tell you that we have invested considerably in the project already.” (https://www.enr.com/articles/52192-aecom-ellisdon-push-72b-investor-funded-high-speed-rail-proposal)
 
I don't believe the report is complete yet...there is supposed to be two years of 'pre-development' before a FID or anything like that. But they are obviously feeling far more optimistic about what the outcome will be then some of the less informed posters on this forum: “We have been in talks with some investors already,” said Colin Hill, vice president of EllisDon's civil west division and a Prairie Link board member, in an email. “At this time, we are not disclosing where commitments have been made but I can tell you that we have invested considerably in the project already.” (https://www.enr.com/articles/52192-aecom-ellisdon-push-72b-investor-funded-high-speed-rail-proposal)
Talk is cheap. They have obviously invested in their PR team. I think folks here are only as informed as what Ellisdon has released publicly, which isn't much at this point in time.

I do look forward to when they release more concrete details though. For me, the fact that they are partnering with AECOM carries more weight.
 
I don’t disagree. I also look forward to more concrete info. What bothers me is when people make generalized statements without any facts suggesting essentially that HSR will not happen because Albertans like cars too much, we don’t have the population or because Monotail didn’t work out for the Simpsons…
Times are changing and obviously a number of players are interested in exploring this idea in more detail. If it was such an obvious no-go as people like IanO suggest, no one would be sniffing around. And I would argue they are clearly doing way more than just sniffing around.
 
SF - LA does not have HSR

Dallas - Houston does not have HSR

Philly-Pitts does not have HSR

Again, I'd be the first to use it, but we don't have the population, tourism demand, density or last mile(s).

Set aside the ROW for 3035 and call it a day.
 

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