Banff's upcoming rail transportation hub a 'game-changer': mayor
Banff mayor hopes project another step toward commuter rail service with Calgary
Banff's historic rail lands are set to be transformed into a mass transportation hub for the town.
The goal is to have the heritage train station serve as the arrival and departure point for current and future mass transit options, including regional public transit and shuttles from Calgary.
The plan also includes a parking lot with capacity for up to 900 vehicles.
The project is being spearheaded by long-time Banff residents Adam and Jan Waterous, of Liricon Capital.
"The entire town of Banff was built around this train station, not the other way around," said Jan Waterous.
"So travel originated here and the town was built out from it. So what we're doing is kind of bringing it back to the future and bringing Banff back to its roots."
During the heyday of rail travel, up to seven trains arrived daily at the Banff station.
Another goal of the project is to make the town more pedestrian friendly.
This is a game-changer for us in Banff- Mayor Karen Sorensen
"So in our view there was only one possibility of where a mass transit lot could be located, and that was the train station," Waterous concluded.
Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen said she was "ecstatic" at the announcement.
"This is a game-changer for us in Banff," Sorensen said.
She said the hope is eventually there will again be passenger rail service between Calgary and Banff in the future.
"To have the three-pronged vision is wonderful. ... The redevelopment of the train station itself, recognizing and celebrating the history of Banff, which was founded on the railway — and the opportunity to provide a mass transit hub … is something we have been working for, for many, many years."
Liricon is working closely with the town and Parks Canada on the redevelopment.
The anticipated start date for construction is this summer.
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With files from Monty Kruger