Canadian construction company forms partnership for Alberta high-speed rail line


C $ 9 billion project would link Edmonton and Calgary


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Illustration showing the schedule for the high speed rail project in Alberta
An illustration from the Prairie Link website shows a tentative schedule for the project (Prairie Link)

EDMONTON, Alberta – A major Canadian construction company has announced a partnership to continue construction of an Edmonton-Calgary high-speed rail line, a project estimated at C $ 9 billion over seven to nine years.

The CBC reports that Mississauga, Ontario company EllisDon has announced plans to connect the two cities via Red Deer, Alta., With a line that will be built entirely with private sector funding. A spokesperson for the Prairie Link Project said the company is currently working on a business case for the 170-mile highway; he expects this document to be completed in about six months.

A Prairie Link project website says EllisDon is partnering with engineering company AECOM on the project. A press release said the partnership already has a memorandum of understanding with the provincial agency Alberta Transportation for cooperation on project development, and that it has begun discussions with Indigenous groups about its plans.

The CBC report notes that the provincial government considered a bullet train plan in 2014 – the most recent examination of an idea dating back to the 1970s – but determined that the population along the route was not not sufficient for it to be profitable. Edmonton’s population was about 980,000 in 2017, while Calgary’s was 1.33 million and Red Deer’s was about 103,000. These are the three largest cities in the province.

But the spokesperson for the project says the partnership “thinks differently” about how to carry out the project.

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