Alberta Town of Canmore keen to join Banff on rail study

February 11, 2016

By: Tanya Foubert, Rocky Mountain Outlook

Canmore’s elected officials are keen to get more information about how a high speed passenger rail service from Calgary to the Bow Valley would operate.Website Insert Turnkey Packages copy

Canmore council voted Tuesday (Feb. 9) to support the Town of Banff’s application for a provincial grant to undertake a full feasibility study into the idea.

A council resolution from Canmore was needed in order to pursue the Alberta Community Partnership grant, according to municipal engineer Jacob Johnson.

Johnson said Canmore as a municipality has been working toward reducing the number of vehicles on the road and getting more people to walk or cycle throughout the community.

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Gazing back to look forward

An editorial from the Rocky Mountain Outlook

Interesting, isn’t it, that in looking at ways to reduce clogged traffic and parking woes in our mountain towns and the expulsion of pollutants into our Rocky Mountain air – which might all be considered high-tech problems – looking to the past may provide answers in the future.

In an age where almost anything dubbed high tech is embraced without question by the masses – cellphones, Internet, computers, wifi, electronic gimmickry in new vehicles, etc., Banff, Canmore and locations eastward are looking at the possibility of reviving rail travel.

Yes, rather than people piling into their vehicles in Calgary and racing westward to enjoy a slice of the mountain life, the future could witness a return to a somewhat more sedate, golden age of travel; on the rails.

Laying down a new rail line would cost in the billions of dollars, we’re guessing (if a right of way could be gained), so we assume a working relationship with CP Rail would be critical in running a passenger service on its tracks. We doubt CP would want to hold up freight trains carrying many thousands of tons of product to west coast ports in favour of, say, a six-car passenger train, so we imagine extra sidings would also need to be constructed.

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Parking plebiscite may not proceed

By: Cathy Ellis, Rocky Mountain Outlook

Banff politicians may end up deciding against holding a plebiscite on paid parking in 2017 based on the initial success of several initiatives to free up parking space during the busy summer tourist season.

Town council, which instituted a trial on user pay parking two summers ago, indicated it would hold a plebiscite on the controversial issue during the 2017 municipal election, or sooner, if the parking shortfall in the downtown core grew to 150 stalls.

Now, though, officials don’t believe that shortfall will be reached based on many of the short-term measures put in place, including an education campaign to get people to walk, bike or catch the bus and an enforcement crackdown on issuing parking tickets.

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