Discussion of Canadian Passenger Rail Services such as AMT (Montreal), Go Transit (Toronto), VIA Rail, and other Canadian Railways and Transit

Moderator: Ken V

jct. wrote: It's seems that it was pretty fast service - 3h and 10min for 309km = average speed 97,6 km/h !
What was main reason of cancelation trains from Edmonton to Calgary ?
There was a lot of competition from Pacific Western Airlines (later known as Canadian Airlines) which operated the “Chieftain” Airbus between Calgary and the Edmonton Municipal Airport......Hourly shuttle flights......just show up and go and buy your ticket on board. The Municipal Airport is practically downtown (and across from the current VIA Station) unlike the International Airport which is miles outside the city.

The track between the cities was straight, level and fast which lead to another problem......a lot of accidents on the numerous unprotected grade crossings and farm access roads.

High Speed Rail has been proposed and it certainly may make sense now. It’s 190 miles between the two cities which continue to grow with populations of about a million each. In Edmonton, all flights now use the International Airport......you could be half-way to Calgary on a High Speed train by the time you drive out to the Airport for a shuttle flight!

Click on the Calgary-Edmonton Study link (on the left) here:

  by electricron
Conditions change over time. Twenty or thirty years ago, the per gallon price for gasoline (including whatever gas taxes) was significantly lower than it was today. Airports open and close, airlines are started, bought out, or went bankrupt; all of these changes may affect the viability of passenger trains.

190 miles distance is idea for high speed trains, even slower trains may attract far more business than they did twenty to thirty years ago.

If adding train service between these two cities just lowered airline fares it would be worth the expense to restart train service. The Hawaii Superferry had all sort of problems, but while it was around airline flights between Hawaiian islands fell to match the ferry's fares. Now that the Superferry has left, airline fares have rose back again to normal.

No one should be surprise how having just a little competition will have on fares.