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

it has nothing to do with an airport and everything to do with flights (or the lack thereof). if you're unsure of how that works, look at mirabel or yyj...
Why couldn't we, a major city with over a million people, attract direct flights after a HSR/Hyperloop is built? It isn't like we're a suburb of Calgary, a train ride in either case will still take an hour or more covering 300 kilometers, (and will have intercity train prices). I genuinely don't see how EIA could become a Victoria International or Montreal Mirabel.
 
There is major opportunity here for YEG to massively grow its base, not shrink it.

Especially as air travel continues to get cheaper, and YEG is far less land-constrained than YYC, there is more room to grow. You already saw the start of this when Icelandair served YEG (exclusively) and Calgarians would drive up. The trick is to become more competitive than YYC so that new entrants (especially lower cost carriers) want to be at YEG to take advantage of the nearly 3 million combined population.
 
This is interesting:

An Alberta rail advocacy group said it’s cautiously optimistic about the prospect of a dramatic leap forward the Prairie Link proposal might offer.

“High-speed rail provides the potential for an efficient, clean connection between major destinations on the Edmonton-Calgary corridor and with careful planning, regional communities can connect with these larger cities,” said Justin Simaluk, president of the Rail For Alberta Society.

But he cautioned against a high-speed line that would bypass most municipalities between the major centres.

“Current rail technology has improved to where non-high speed trains are fast enough to connect regions safely and affordably,” said Simaluk.
 
This is interesting:

An Alberta rail advocacy group said it’s cautiously optimistic about the prospect of a dramatic leap forward the Prairie Link proposal might offer.

“High-speed rail provides the potential for an efficient, clean connection between major destinations on the Edmonton-Calgary corridor and with careful planning, regional communities can connect with these larger cities,” said Justin Simaluk, president of the Rail For Alberta Society.

But he cautioned against a high-speed line that would bypass most municipalities between the major centres.

“Current rail technology has improved to where non-high speed trains are fast enough to connect regions safely and affordably,” said Simaluk.
Here's how I'd imagine things going: Prairie Link would be an express style service with it's own greenfield route to connect the largest cities in the province, bypassing other smaller towns along the corridor. However, VIA or AB Rail or whoever will create a more local service along the CP mainline in between E and C, linking those smaller cities and towns like Wetaskiwin and Olds to either the Red Deer station to transfer to the HSR or to E or C directly (depending on how close they are).

This project would give reason to expand Alberta's rail system even further, jumpstarting routes like the Calgary-Banff regional and commuter services in and around Edmonton's metro area. Very exciting imo!!

I am curious, however, to see the idea they come with for the Central Edmonton station. I'd love an underground downtown station with a 4-track bridge crossing the North Saskatchewan, but with it being 100% private they'll probably just make an Old Strathcona Terminus (unless funding from the government comes in specifically for that one section to be built).
 
^^
Harbour Air has already flown an electric aircraft, plans to start regular with them in ‘23 and plans to convert their entire fleet entire fleet of 42 de havilland beaver and otter aircraft. while not westjet 737 competitors (yet), they do fly 30,000 commercial flights a year.
 
I think it is too soon to say how this would affect our airport and flights. I could actually see it going either way. For instance people using high speed rail could take away from traffic from connecting flights between Edmonton and Calgary and result in Edmonton's airport finally becoming a more independent hub.

I know this has been talked about for a long, long time, but as the population of Alberta continues to grow (with much of the growth in the Edmonton Calgary corridor), this becomes more viable. I suspect somewhere along the way there could be significant Federal money for such a green initiative too.

I notice there is also talk again recently about high speed rail in Ontario and Quebec, so it might finally be the time for this to come to Canada.
 
Here's how I'd imagine things going: Prairie Link would be an express style service with it's own greenfield route to connect the largest cities in the province, bypassing other smaller towns along the corridor. However, VIA or AB Rail or whoever will create a more local service along the CP mainline in between E and C, linking those smaller cities and towns like Wetaskiwin and Olds to either the Red Deer station to transfer to the HSR or to E or C directly (depending on how close they are).

This project would give reason to expand Alberta's rail system even further, jumpstarting routes like the Calgary-Banff regional and commuter services in and around Edmonton's metro area. Very exciting imo!!

I am curious, however, to see the idea they come with for the Central Edmonton station. I'd love an underground downtown station with a 4-track bridge crossing the North Saskatchewan, but with it being 100% private they'll probably just make an Old Strathcona Terminus (unless funding from the government comes in specifically for that one section to be built).
Good points. Yes, the line could also be used for other trains between some of the other communities on the line and prompt some expansion of rail service in central Alberta too.

I suspect the Edmonton station would be somewhere in south Edmonton perhaps at one of the LRT stations would make the most sense, so people could easily transfer to go other places in Edmonton, including downtown.
 

Of course the most important part of the story was not rail but this: "Edmonton-based construction giant EllisDon Corp. says it’s formed a partnership with infrastructure consultant AECOM dubbed Prairie Link to move the $9-billion infrastructure project forward." I mean who knew EllisDon moved its HQ to Edmonton! Must be a closely guarded secret.
 
Or in reverse could some companies seeking cheaper real estate for their offices or warehouses pick Edmonton or Red Deer instead of Calgary now that the distance/time isn't as much of a factor for employees.
More like keeping their head office where it is and moving operations to lower cost environment.
 
RMtransit has provided his encyclopedia-esque take on the project. Overall a good overview of the project; it was interesting to hear his breakdown on two 'grades' of high speed. he made an odd projection of a terminus by Government Centre LRT Station. The rest seems pretty logical.
I think a terminus south of Whyte Ave, where the CN yard is, makes the most sense. Some sort of improved transit is coming to Whyte eventually (hopefully both the Gondola and an LRT line, imo) so a station there would have good access to the wider city. I see this as the best option. A second location, in my mind, would be South Campus LRT. the location is decently central, with lots of space to build a station. the LRT, with a grade separation at University Ave and 114th, would be able to get the Metro and Capital Lines into this station and provide good service. not ideal, but better than the Via Rail Hut. There is also a lot of development land at South Campus that would allow the builders, University, and Province to make some money off of. IDK.
I don't see this crossing the river into downtown. the River Valley in central Edmonton, from 116th to 95th streets-ish, is super busy with bridges, crossroads, and heavy top-of-bank development. trying to line things up for a bridge and tunnel, either straight on or curved, would be hugely difficult, expensive, and trigger a lot of environmental review (see what hoops the gondola project is jumping through). Reusing the High Level bridge and its associated ROW would make some sense, but this would involve tight clearances to private property, tight curves, and very little space for a station. even if they bought out and plowed over all of railtown park, it would be tight, and very unpopular. I don't see this crossing the river.
 
I think the Strathcona Station would be the easiest location for a terminal, but more transit links like LRT would be needed, given the volume of pedestrian traffic. I do like the idea of having a stop at South Campus. At least there would be LRT and other vehicle access.
 
It would likely mean the end of the High-Level to have the station downtown which I don't know if I would be okay with. The under-utilized CP Yards in Strathcona while not being downtown would be actually a very good option as it has a large customer base who would be more willing to take train (ie. University Students). It would also fill out that area of Strathcona very nicely which has always had a very sharp transition between Edmonton's premier pedestrian/ biking neighborhood and an industrial wasteland. and if the Centre Line LRT ends up getting constructed there would have direct access to the city's rapid transit network. It would also be walking distance from the potential gondola station providing easy and convenient access to downtown. Overall I think the positives of preserving the history of the High-Level Bridge, avoiding the cost of building a new bridge and still having easy access to downtown would outweigh the benefits of going all the way, It also provides more space to do something interesting with the space. I cannot overstate how happy I am that HSR is finally coming to Canada with projects in both in the east and west and announced within days of each other and whatever the final plans end up looking like having this type of infrastructure is LONG overdue. I envision a station similar to Central Station in Utrecht Netherlands (pictured below) but obviously as a terminus station.
Utrecht-Central-Station-by-Benthem-Crouwel-Architects-10-889x530.jpg
 
Yeah, I think I'm leaning towards liking a Strathcona Central hub concept too. It's a central location (and THE cultural hub of the city) with so many possible transit options in such close proximity. Only one transfer to the Gondola, ERRS, or (hopefully) LRT in the future and you're downtown.
 
The Centre Line LRT isn't going ahead to my knowledge; the city is looking at doing BRT somewhere on the east-west corridor in that area; Whyte Ave is one candidate. This explains the transit (but not LRT) bridge being planned for in the mid-term. I think it's near Groat Road? But I could be wrong; there's a page for it on the forum. The Centre Line isn't going ahead mainly, I think, because the difference in efficiency between BRT and LRT isn't that huge along Whyte. It's not official yet, but it'll go before council in early 2022 I believe.

I was talking with my dad about this, and he made a good point about the terminus: Strathcona is a very 'romantic' location, but doesn't have enough room for the sort of parking the station would need. If we want it to be a competitor with EIA for Calgary-Edmonton commuting and not just a place for folks who have easy access to transit or walking/biking/etc, it might need to go further south where there's more room to add parkades.
 

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