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

superelevation

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Based on what?

Taiwan opened its HSR line in 2006, with a stop at Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport. Despite this, the airports in other cities on the island like Kaohsiung and Taichung have only increased in passenger numbers and destinations.
There is no station at the airport, its way off the alignment to the north
 

Platinum107

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High speed rail might help that. There tends to be clusters of development around high speed rail stations.
I think high speed rail would be a game changer. There are already professionals who live here who commute to jobs in Edmonton, and we have well-paying professional positions that are difficult to fill. Opening Edmonton and Calgary's job market - through high speed rail - more widely to people who live in central Alberta would completely change the complexion of our city.

That said, I'm not sure the Edmonton-Calgary corridor has a large enough population to sustain more than 'fastish' rail, which would be awesome but not a game changer for potential commuters in this corridor.

If we can (allegedly) support a full on Hyperloop system we can def get a normal high speed rail line going 🤣

In all seriousness though any fast mass transit connection between the three cities would essentially turn central Alberta into a mini megalopolis with a population of almost 3 million. Red Deer will for sure get an entirely new high density residential mixed-use district built around their station, most likely on the western edge of the city. It could hurt downtown Red Deer for sure, however in the end each centre would only be like 15 mins away from each other so it'd be a net positive for the city overall.
 

EdmTrekker

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Build a new International airport for passenger traffic only in Red Deer and close YYC and YEG to passengers but preserve cargo only capacity using the YEG and YYC passenger terminals for cargo, manufacturing, startups and truck transport. A high speed rail of any time will be connecting 4,000,000 people and easily pay for itself. People will be forced to use rail if designed to motivate them to use rail.
 

BASE

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I don't think there would ever be the political will to get something like that done. Would need to guarantee YEG and YYC would be shut to passenger traffic or it could end up being another Mirabel or worse.
 

itom987

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Build a new International airport for passenger traffic only in Red Deer and close YYC and YEG to passengers but preserve cargo only capacity using the YEG and YYC passenger terminals for cargo, manufacturing, startups and truck transport. A high speed rail of any time will be connecting 4,000,000 people and easily pay for itself. People will be forced to use rail if designed to motivate them to use rail.
This is the only way HSR will ever become viable in Alberta with its current population.
 

EdmTrekker

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I think life will go on at both airports.
The fight over flights will go on. And both YYC and YEG will not achieve the global reach they could if there was a single airport physically located between the 2 cities. This would also be a great opportunity for high speed rail to garner traffic from Edmonton and Calgary to the airport and to build Red Deer into a major city. Tourist traffic could head West through the foothills past Rocky Mountain House into the Rockies and allowing much needed tourist development along highway 11 into Saskatchewan River Crossing to Jasper and Banff. 2 billion for a single new airport ought to do the trick.
 
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BASE

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When does this project realistically have shovels in the ground? 2025? What are the chances of a high speed rail happening in a reasonable timeframe (15 years)? 50%?

The more I contemplate it the more I am of the belief this could be incredibly beneficial to the entire province.
 

ChazYEG

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Realistically,
When does this project realistically have shovels in the ground? 2025? What are the chances of a high speed rail happening in a reasonable timeframe (15 years)? 50%?

The more I contemplate it the more I am of the belief this could be incredibly beneficial to the entire province.
As soon as the Gondola is financed, EllisDon is moving to start serious movement here.
If timeframes are somewhat similar (and the HSR already has an MOU and some work done), it's 3~4 years until we have shovels in the ground, counting from this Summer (hopefully).
 

jason403

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When does this project realistically have shovels in the ground? 2025? What are the chances of a high speed rail happening in a reasonable timeframe (15 years)? 50%?

The more I contemplate it the more I am of the belief this could be incredibly beneficial to the entire province.
I would hope there was a 25% chance, but more likely there is probably less than a 1% chance of this going forward in the next 15 years.
 

jason403

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I would love to see where you come with those number from.
It is a lot likelier than you believe, I'll bet you.
Nothing scientific about my prediction as I am not a transportation analyst. I would like to say there is a 0% chance in the next 15 years, but it is really difficult to predict beyond 5 years down the road if some transformative technology comes about which makes cost of constructing and operating high speed rail into a completely different economic environment. I think it would be very cool if we could get high speed rail / hyperloop built here, however I don't believe the economics support it.

First of all, there is no high speed rail in all of North America, unless you choose to count the limited network in the eastern US around Boston-Washington. With no precedent in nearby regions, this increases the risk of companies going forward with such a project, especially with such a relatively low population base in Calgary-Red Deer-Edmonton. If the economics aren't there to build high speed rail in places like California (or Ontario if you want a Canadian comparison), even with heavy government subsidies, the economics are surely not here in Alberta. There is a large need for government subsidies for high speed rail to happen, and there seems to be a serious lack of enthusiasm for funding this other than lip service. Traffic is not as much an issue in Alberta, and commutes between Edmonton and Calgary are not prohibitive.

While high speed rail is a time saver, it isn't as much as one would hope for. If travelling by vehicle, driving from a home in Edmonton to a destination in Calgary is about 3 hours. A direct high speed rail between Edmonton and Calgary is likely going to take an hour, which would be 2 hours of time saved. However the time to get to a high speed rail station has to be accounted for, then the time needed to arrive early, get through security, etc. Assuming a central location means those downtown could probably access the station within 10 minutes. However those from other sectors of the city would probably need up to at least 20 minutes to access the station by vehicle, and upwards to 40 minutes if accessing by public transit (if not situated adjacent to an LRT station connected to the network). Those in the south side of Edmonton, or living near the Henday, would already have low travel times to Calgary relative to others in the city, and time savings from residents in those quadrants of the city would be less incentivized to take high speed rail.

Cost would also affect ridership. One has to pay for transportation to the high speed rail station (unless have an ETS pass or live within walking distance), including parking, taxi/Uber. Cost of the ticket, as well as cost of transportation in the destination city (rental car, public transit, Uber/taxi). In the case of rental cars, this is another time disadvantage (same could be said for public transit as well if reason for going to destination in destination city is outside the downtown core). High speed rail also doesn't allow the same cargo capacity or flexibility of having a personal vehicle (although same could be said for taking bus/airplane as is done currently).

From the perspective of most potential riders doesn't provide enough of time savings, or cost savings. For a significant amount of people, there would be a giant advantage to high speed rail, however this population is simply not large enough to support the economics for the project. For business travellers or other personal trips that currently use airplanes would be the primary beneficiaries, so largely it has to be viewed as how much do these customers benefit from high speed rail over airplanes. All of this happening in a time where head offices are diminishing in Calgary, and ease of remote meetings since Covid really puts pressure on the benefits of high speed rail.

I think it would be really great if high speed rail could work in Alberta. However it is of my personal opinion that the costs of constructing and operating are simply too high, ridership would not be significant enough, and would have to rely on heavy government subsidies with giant losses to be part of the business model (which could be fine if you have the belief that subsidizing such a project has a net benefit to society).

In the next 15 years, I believe this is impossible. In the next 50 years, who knows, I'd say maybe...
 

archited

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Extremely well put @jason403 -- I don't see high speed rail solving any problems at all -- the CPR Dayliner went out of business many years ago. I do hold out hope, however, for the hyperloop as a goods conveyance that would help consolidate markets between Edmonton and Calgary and as a test case for connecting Edmonton to Prince Rupert, making the former a substantial inland port.
 

ChazYEG

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Extremely well put @jason403 -- I don't see high speed rail solving any problems at all -- the CPR Dayliner went out of business many years ago. I do hold out hope, however, for the hyperloop as a goods conveyance that would help consolidate markets between Edmonton and Calgary and as a test case for connecting Edmonton to Prince Rupert, making the former a substantial inland port.
Then it is a good thing for Alberta that the folks at EllisDon disagree with you both :) And you can be sure of one thing: they don't put their money where they don't see feasible returns.
We shall see who's right, but my money is on EllisDon.
 

jason403

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Then it is a good thing for Alberta that the folks at EllisDon disagree with you both :) And you can be sure of one thing: they don't put their money where they don't see feasible returns.
We shall see who's right, but my money is on EllisDon.
This is one project I wouldn't be upset being 100% wrong about. If somehow this could all get built and operated with a reasonable subsidy from government, I'd be so thrilled.

However if I had the time horizon to bet someone on this, I'd be pretty comfortable offering 100-1 odds for construction in the next 15 years.
 

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