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Alberta studies high-speed train between cities

(The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. posted the following article on its website on April 9.)

CALGARY -- The Klein government is looking into whether a proposed high speed rail link between Calgary and Edmonton is feasible.

A protoype "jet train" locomotive built by Montreal-based Bombardier could travel at speeds of 240 km/hr and deliver passengers between the two cities in an hour and a half.Congestion on Highway 2 is making road travel more dangerous and air travel is still impractical and expensive for many frequent flyers between the two cities.

Transportation minister Ed Stelmach says high speed rail could save money for the government and boost the economy.

" How many cars can we take off the highway? What will be the savings be on road repair and future road maintenance if we have less vehicles"? he said. "We're also looking at the growth in large trucks".

The province is interested in exploring the issue and is currently waiting for a report being done by the Van Horne Institute at the University of Calgary.

Major upgrades would be needed to existing rail beds and crossings to handle the jet train, at an estimated cost of $2 billion.

Bombardier is lobbying the private sector, the federal and provincial governments to fund the jet train. No price tag has been attached to it yet, but it's estimated to run well into the billions.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003

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