On-Site Magazine

Studying a possible rail link from YYC to downtown Calgary

By Adam Freill   


Province of Alberta working with City of Calgary to investigate the possibility of adding a new rail line to Calgary International Airport.

Calgary may gain a train from its airport to the city’s downtown. The provincial government is partnering with the City of Calgary to study the optimal rail alignment between downtown Calgary and the Calgary International Airport.

The government says the partnership will help ensure the province is on track to deliver on a future of world-class transportation infrastructure, adding that a new rail line would connect more people to Calgary’s downtown and revolutionize Alberta’s infrastructure for business and the tourism industry.

The Calgary Airport Rail Connection Study will include a ridership review, development and evaluation of different alignment scenarios and will identify the optimal connection from downtown to airport.

“As Calgary continues to grow, it’s vital to have a road map to build out a transit network that increases capacity and supports transportation needs now and into the future,” stated Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors. “This project is an important step forward in providing direction on affordable transit infrastructure that will best serve Calgary while respecting taxpayer investment.”


As part of the province’s 2023 budget, $3 million was allocated to the City of Calgary to lead the Calgary Airport Rail Connection Study. As such, an engineering consultant will be recruited to assist with the technical study, which will also include engagement with Canada Infrastructure Bank, the Calgary International Airport, Canadian Pacific Kansas City and various private rail developers who are developing private project plans to connect downtown with the airport and the surrounding region.

“It’s important for us to take a comprehensive look at all factors in this technically and physically constrained corridor to establish an optimal functional alignment that will best serve Calgarians, visitors and employees of the airport and surrounding lands,” explained Michael Thompson, general manager of infrastructure services at the City of Calgary. “The study will consider existing rail plans, past City of Calgary transit studies and other opportunities to help guide future transit planning.”

A request for proposals is currently in market for an engineering consultant to assist with the study. Once a consultant has been selected through the competitive process, the study is expected to begin in October with a target delivery date for the survey being August of 2024.

Recommendations from the study will ultimately be provided to Calgary city council to help guide the city’s short to long-term transportation and land use planning.




Stories continue below