Strengthening an economic corridor in Oyen

The Alberta Government signs a Memorandum of Understanding to explore expanding economic corridors (l-r Don Dean (Oyen Regional Rail Corporation), Jodie Parmar ( Canada Infrastructure Bank), Minister Devin Dreeshen, Minister Nate Horner, Doug Jones (Mayor of Oyen).

The government has signed a memorandum of understanding with Special Areas and Oyen Development Corporation, Oyen Regional Rail Company and Canada Infrastructure Bank to support their assessment of whether the rail line between Oyen and Lyalta should be restored.

“Economic corridors connect key markets to Alberta by road, rail, pipelines and utility lines. That’s why we are supporting the exploration of this concept in east-central Alberta that can stimulate investment, eliminate supply chain bottlenecks and reduce shipping distances for producers.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors

“This proposed rail development will unlock the economic potential of all communities in the region. If approved, the rail line would support increased agricultural production and attract new opportunities to producers and processors in the area and across Alberta.”

Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation

The agreement will help to determine if a business case exists to support investment in the project. The goal of restoring shortline rail in Oyen is to provide access to critical export markets for Alberta products, including agricultural and agri-food products, fertilizer and energy products.

Shortline rail is widely used in Western Canada to enhance access to Class 1 rail lines, providing a rail option for shippers. Shortline railways expand access to export markets for agricultural products and other goods, helping to improve the competitiveness of Alberta businesses in supplying goods to other markets.

“Alberta’s government and the Canadian Infrastructure Bank working together quickly on a proposal to expand rail transportation is great news for local businesses and producers. If approved, the rail line would benefit every sector of our economy and make rural Alberta even more competitive.”

Don Dean, Oyen Development Corporation

“Expanding rail transportation networks presents a tremendous opportunity for east-central Alberta. Along with our recently approved transportation grant, this rail development would support growth and opportunities for years to come.”

Doug Jones, mayor, Town of Oyen

“Transportation networks are critical to supporting Alberta’s economic growth and are an investment priority sector for the CIB. We look to accelerate infrastructure investment across the country, which drives economic productivity, greens the economy and connects Canadians.”

Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank

This initiative supports the Economic Development in Rural Alberta Plan. The five-year plan's strategic directions and corresponding initiatives and actions support rural capacity building in the key areas of entrepreneurship, skills development, small business supports, marketing rural and Indigenous communities, promoting tourism, and rural economic development interconnectivity at the regional level.

Alberta’s government will work and proactively partner with Indigenous communities to plan economic corridors for the economic benefit of all.

Quick facts

  • Cost of the feasibility study is $1 million.

    • Government of Alberta - $475,000

    • Canada Infrastructure Bank - $475,000

    • Special Areas and Oyen Development Corporation - $25,000

    • Oyen Regional Rail Company - $25,000