Alberta Premier Danielle Smith wants to work with the City of Calgary to develop hydrogen-powered trains to Banff.
In a letter to Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek on Tuesday, Smith asked to consider an expansion of Calgary’s LRT system to the Calgary International Airport — and to examine options around another rail link between Calgary and Canmore/Banff.
“Such a line would benefit Calgarians, Albertans and all visitors to our province in accessing one of the world’s greatest natural wonders: our provincial and national mountain park system,” Smith wrote.
“It would also significantly boost international and domestic tourism while improving road safety and reducing strain on Highway 1 between Calgary and Banff as population growth and tourist traffic continue to grow. Calgary is a world-class city; it should be connected to our province’s world-class parks.”
The premier also said the potential of utilizing hydrogen-powered locomotives would reduce emissions while being aligned with her United Conservative Party’s government’s vision to make Alberta a world leader in hydrogen technology research, development and manufacturing.
Under Jyoti, Calgary City Council declared a climate emergency in November 2021.
Smith said Calgary’s municipal and provincial governments must ensure Calgarians can safely and efficiently get to where they need to go as the city grows.
“I look forward to working with Mayor Gondek in the coming weeks to discuss our mutual goal of ensuring Calgary continues to be a world-class city to live, work, visit and raise a family, including exploration of the above initiatives to improve the lives of Calgarians.”
In a ministerial mandate letter released on Tuesday, Smith also charged her new Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors, Devin Dreeshen, with exploring opportunities to work with the private sector and the City of Calgary on the construction of an LRT and rail link between Calgary International Airport, downtown Calgary and Canmore/Banff.