The Calgary-Edmonton corridor has experienced some of the fastest economic growth and population increases in North America. Recognizing that sustained economic growth requires major transportation enhancements, the Government of Alberta, Canada's Dept. of Western Economic Diversification and Transport Canada have combined support for Canada's Van Horne Institute to complete a preliminary feasibility study for high speed train service between Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta.
The Van Horne Institute (VHI) contracted with the team of Colledge Transportation Consulting (CTC) and Economic Development Research Group (EDR Group) for the study of expected economic development benefits associated with the proposed high speed train service. The study focused on economic development trends and the potential for high speed train service to enhance economic growth and business attraction by broadening labor markets, business markets and connections to international airports.
The analysis process was based on the confluence three sources of information:
- evaluation of economic and transportation data, using EDR Group's TREDIS (Transportation Economic Development Impact System);
- interviews of economic development officials, concerning factors affecting business growth and attraction, and the roles of market access in affecting economic development;
- and case studies of economic impacts of high speed trains elsewhere.
Canadian Pacific Railway, SNC-Lavalin Inc., Bombardier Transportation, VIA Rail Canada and CANAC also contributed to the study. This socio-economic research was published as Chapter 7 of a larger compendium of research studies on the technical feasibility of high speed rail service.