Alberta Regional Rail acknowledges that it will be operating passenger rail services on traditional territories in Alberta of the many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit whose footsteps have marked these lands for centuries.
Treaty 6 territory, a traditional meeting grounds, gathering place, and travelling route to the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Métis, Dene and Nakota Sioux.
Treaty 7 territory, the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Nations, including Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai, the Tsuut’ina Nation and Stoney Nakoda First Nations.
We come with respect for this land, and the people who have and do reside here, we pledge to commit to advancing reconciliation and partnering with Indigenous peoples in our work.
Alberta Regional Rail believes in "Responsible Transportation".
But what is that?
"Responsible Transportation" is a term that refers to the use of transportation methods that are sustainable, cost-effective, and benefit the communities they serve. In the context of regional rail, "Responsible Transportation" means utilizing existing infrastructure and retrofitting rolling stock and locomotives to increase their efficiency and reduce their environmental impact.
While high-speed rail is exciting and gets a lot of attention in the media, it is not always the most responsible mode of transportation or investment. Building and maintaining high-speed rail lines can be incredibly expensive, and the economic impacts may not always be beneficial to the communities they serve.
Retrofitting existing infrastructure, on the other hand, is a more cost-effective and responsible option that still provides a very fast mode of transportation that can provide significant benefits to communities and the environment.
For example, retrofitting regional rail lines between Calgary and Edmonton in Alberta can provide increased economic impact for communities along the route. This can be achieved through the use of alternative fuels, such as natural gas or hydrogen, which can reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.
Additionally, incorporating indigenous communities into the project and its operation can further enhance the responsible nature of the transportation system by being inclusive.
Furthermore, regional rail is a more responsible option than short-haul air flights between Calgary and Edmonton. Air travel often involves longer processing times at airports and additional transit to downtown, making it less efficient and convenient for passengers. In contrast, regional rail can provide a more direct and efficient mode of transportation.
Overall, "Responsible Transportation" is about making conscious choices that prioritize sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and community benefits.
Regional rail, rather than high-speed rail, is a more responsible mode of transportation, a more responsible investment, and a more responsible social and environmental impact, providing significant benefits to communities while still being cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Regional Rail. Bringing fast, responsible transportation that works for everyone
"Responsible Transportation That Works for
Everyone" refers to a transportation system that is designed to be built, funded, and operated in a way that is ethical and considers the needs and benefits of all stakeholders, including the local communities and indigenous groups in the area, as well as the environment.
This type of transportation system prioritizes safety, sustainability, and accessibility, and seeks to reduce carbon emissions and other negative impacts on the environment.
One key point to consider in building a "Responsible Transportation" system is that investing in and maintaining a high-quality, sustainable system is often less expensive in the long run than investing in high-speed or unsustainable transportation options.
For example, retrofitting existing locomotives with natural gas or hydrogen engines can reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, and be more cost-effective than building net new high-speed rail infrastructure.
Positive Economic Impact for All
Another important consideration is the positive economic impact of "Responsible Transportation" on the communities served by the system. In the case of Alberta, ARR’s "Responsible Transportation" system between Calgary and Edmonton would likely have positive economic benefits for the communities located along the route. This could include increased tourism, improved access to goods and services, and greater economic opportunities for local businesses and residents.
In addition to these economic benefits, "Responsible Transportation" can also help reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. For example, by retrofitting locomotives to run on natural gas or hydrogen, a "Responsible Transportation" system can reduce its carbon footprint and help mitigate the impact of climate change.
Fast rail between Calgary and Edmonton is a safe transportation option. This is particularly important in Alberta, where the winter months can bring challenging weather conditions that can make transportation dangerous and difficult. With more traffic on Highway 2 including more trucks mixed with cars and motorcycles, moving some of that traffic to rail is good for road transit and safety.
Finally, a "Responsible Transportation" system would be inclusive and would include the voices and needs of indigenous communities in its planning and operation.
ARR has already reached agreements with first nation authorities and expects them to be at the table for this approach. This could include incorporating traditional knowledge and practices into the design and operation of the transportation system, as well as ensuring that indigenous communities have a meaningful role in decision-making and benefit from the economic opportunities generated by the system.
By considering the needs and perspectives of all stakeholders, a "Responsible Transportation" system can work for everyone and help to build stronger, more sustainable communities.