The future runs on rails

Alberta is growing at a rapid pace with more than 4.75 million people already calling it home. We have one of the highest population growth rates in the country. As of October 2023, our year-over-year population growth rate is more than 4.3%.

Passenger rail services will be a vital factor to connect our growing population and shape the future of how we live, work and play.


By developing a Passenger Rail Master Plan, we are looking decades ahead and identifying concrete actions to build the optimal passenger rail system for the province.

We will explore a variety of delivery options including public, private or a combination of both.

The vision includes: 

  • Icon of a commuter train.
    Commuter rail

    A commuter rail system for the Calgary area that connects surrounding communities and the Calgary International Airport to downtown.

    A commuter rail system for the Edmonton area that connects surrounding communities and the Edmonton International Airport to downtown.

  • Icon of a high-speed train
    Regional rail lines

    Passenger rail that runs between Calgary and Edmonton and the Rocky Mountain parks, and an inter-city line that runs between Calgary and Edmonton, with a local transit hub in Red Deer.

  • Icon of light rail transit
    Municipal-led LRT systems

    LRT systems in Calgary and Edmonton that connect with the provincial passenger rail system.

  • Icon of a train track with a stop sign.
    Multi-modal hubs

    Provides links in major cities between commuter rail systems, regional rail routes and municipal-led mass transit systems.

  • Icon of a government building.
    Crown corporation

    A province-led agency to develop the infrastructure, oversee daily operations, develop a fare collection/booking system, keep up with system maintenance, and plan for future system expansion.

Alberta's vision for passenger rail 

Passenger Rail Master Plan

Alberta already has significant public mass transit systems in Calgary and Edmonton for the provincial passenger rail system to build upon. The Passenger Rail Master Plan will be a vital tool to guide the next steps in advancing Alberta’s passenger rail. The plan will include:

  • a comprehensive feasibility assessment that identifies what elements of a passenger rail system should proceed, in what sequence and based on what conditions
  • financial and delivery model options that consider private, public or hybrid services
  • options to ensure the effective governance and operations of the passenger rail system
  • engagement with Albertans and interested stakeholders
  • a 15-year delivery plan which will provide options and recommendations to government
  • Request for Expression of Interest

    Request for Expression of Interest for the Passenger Rail Master Plan issued

    April 29, 2024
  • Request for Proposal

    Request for Proposal for Passenger Rail Master Plan development issued

    June 2024
  • Consultant work begins

    Consultant work on the Passenger Rail Master Plan begins

    July 2024
  • Calgary study completion

    Calgary Airport Rail Connection Study completed

    August 2024
  • Stakeholder forum

    Passenger Rail Forum with rail stakeholders

    September/October 2024
  • Completion

    Passenger Rail Master Plan completed

    Summer 2025

Types of passenger rail

Passenger rail is a train consisting of one or more passenger cars used to transport and serve passengers.

  • Commuter rail

    Passenger rail that primarily operates within a metropolitan area, connecting commuters to a central city from adjacent suburbs or commuter towns, and is often traditional heavy rail.

  • Regional (inter-city) rail

    Provides inter-city passenger rail transport services beyond the limits of urban areas and can be traditional heavy-rail or high-speed services.

  • Light-rail transit (LRT)

    Urban passenger rail transit that typically operates small, frequent trains in an urban area. Calgary and Edmonton have LRT as part of their mass transit systems.