Calgary

Council committee gets first look at route for proposed train to Calgary airport

The first look at a proposed train line to the Calgary airport was unveiled at a council committee meeting on Wednesday, with a route that would connect the future Green Line LRT and an extended Blue Line to the east. 

Administration recommends line use automated people mover system, not LRT

This is the City of Calgary administration's preferred route for a future train line to the airport. (City of Calgary)

The first look at a proposed train line to the Calgary International Airport was unveiled at a council committee meeting on Wednesday, with a route that would connect the future Green Line LRT and an extended Blue Line to the east.

Administration's preferred route would start from the future 96th Avenue Green Line station and follow that roadway east before curving to the south and following a dedicated route across Deerfoot and into the airport terminal. 

Moving east from the airport, the line would go through the airport tunnel and follow a straight line before curving south to end at the Blue Line station at 88th Avenue N.E. 

The project is not funded at this time, and still requires the Green Line to stretch far into the north and for an extension of the Blue Line — both of which are unfunded as well. 

Administration also recommended the route use automated people mover technology — "an automated vehicle operating either on rubber or steel wheels similar to Canada Line in Vancouver" according to the report — rather than LRT.

It made that recommendation to improve travel times, increase flexibility of service, increase space for passengers and their luggage and to reduce costs compared with LRT. 

The full line could cost as much as $1.8 billion.

There is no timeline on when the project could move forward, but Coun. Jeff Davison says it's good to plan into the future. 

"You know, we've got a massive infrastructure project called the Green Line right now that we're moving forward with. But I think we're considering now how we would follow on to these lines," he said. 

"How would we extend the Blue Line? How would we extend the Green Line? How do we connect the airport into all of these things? And so it's really important to have those conversations now, to hope to get to a solution sooner than later."

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