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Letter: Passenger rail travel is feasible in Alberta

Dear editor, I want to make it as a passenger rail developer and bring the concept of passenger rail to millions of citizens and visitors of Alberta. Do I think these things are possible? Yes, as this is my goal. There is so much we can do in Alberta, and so many goals I wish to take on once a passenger rail travel system is complete.
Airdrie letters_text

Dear editor,

Don’t believe in naysayers. Believe that we can do something. Believe in others. Be supportive.

I want to make it as a passenger rail developer and bring the concept of passenger rail to millions of citizens and visitors of Alberta. Do I think these things are possible? Yes, as this is my goal. There is so much we can do in Alberta, and so many goals I wish to take on once a passenger rail travel system is complete.

Don’t let people tell you that you cannot do things. Kids need to do things they are passionate about. Don’t be down on your kids or others who want to follow a path you have not taken. Most parents are not 100 per cent behind their kids. They take the wind from their sails. Often, a gift is left on the side of the road, and a child’s potential is negated.

Believing in the impossible – and the unrealistic – is essential when we set our goals, because some of these goals will be achieved. We will reach the goal of a regional passenger rail system in Alberta. Everyone I’ve spoken to during the pandemic is supportive. Regional rail would allow a nurse to live in Ponoka and work in Red Deer. It would offer the ability to travel from Calgary to Edmonton in under three hours to attend the Battle of Alberta, and return safely in the winter.

We cannot achieve this goal unless we work hard enough and collaborate with rights-holders, including Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National Railways, and municipal governments. Big government has failed us. We need to use the tools that we have in our toolbox, and improvise.

It may take a decade to complete this project. It would only take three years to connect Airdrie to Calgary, Leduc to Edmonton and Lacombe to Red Deer.

We started the Green Trips initiative in 2008. Our goal was to use emission offsets to help fund the project, but timing was not right. Thirteen years later, it is apparent that summers are warmer, wildfires are larger, and action, not words, must be the sign of our times.
Thirteen years is an insanely long time to advocate for a passenger rail project. But I just believed in the project as well as Albertans. I've never given up on the goal to offer a mobility solution along the Calgary to Edmonton corridor.

Alberta Regional Rail didn’t give up on this goal. The fact that we know we have tried our best fueled us to peer around the next bend of the road and a priceless experience. In 2021, the project caught the attention of national radio hosts and an international construction consortium. Last week, we presented our travel system proposal to Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s annual economic summit.

Adding a third lane onto the QE2 would be the easy way out. This is really important to me: grab onto a goal and ensure I’m leaving Alberta a better place for my children and future generations.

I invite you to join us for the ride of your life.

Vern Raincock

Airdrie


Airdrie Today Staff

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