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Calgary Airport Rail Connection Study

Project update – February 2024

In partnership with the Government of Alberta, The City of Calgary is undertaking a study to identify the optimal rail connection and route between Downtown Calgary and the Calgary International Airport as part of an integrated transportation network.

The request for proposals (RFP) for a consulting firm to assist with the study closed in August 2023 and the contract was awarded to Arup, an international consulting firm, in October 2023.

With the consultant on board, Arup has been advancing engagement with identified interest-holders to understand their varying plans and interests regarding the direct connection between the Calgary International Airport and downtown. To date, Arup has met with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), Calgary Airport Authority (YYC), Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) railway and private rail developers who are proposing the private development of transit services that connect downtown Calgary with the airport and the surrounding region.

Updates will be posted on this page as work progresses.

Project overview

As the City of Calgary grows, a rail connection will ultimately provide improved access between Downtown Calgary and the Calgary International Airport for those who live, work, and travel within our city.

Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors has a mandate to explore cost-sharing arrangements with the private sector and/or municipalities that support economic investment in Alberta’s transportation system. This includes taking into consideration public transit, heavy rail, and bridge infrastructure that better connect Calgary and Edmonton airports to their downtowns, regional communities to Calgary and Edmonton, and Calgary to the province’s Rocky Mountain parks system. As part of Alberta’s Budget 2023, $3 million in funding was allocated to the City of Calgary to lead the Calgary Airport Rail Connection Study. This study will identify the optimal rail connection and alignment between Downtown Calgary and the Calgary International Airport.

The study will include:

  • A comprehensive ridership review
  • Review of global best practices in airport rail connections
  • Evaluation of technical factors, including technology and route
  • Development and evaluation of different route options

Recommendations from the study will be provided to Calgary City Council to help guide The City’s Infrastructure Services and Planning & Development departments.

Project background

In recent years, public and private interest in a rail connection between Calgary and the Bow Valley as well as a high-speed rail connection between Calgary and Edmonton has increased.

Additionally, The City of Calgary previously conducted several studies to develop recommendations for a transit connection serving Calgary International Airport. In 2020, Council approved the recommended route and station locations for the Airport Transit Connection between the future Green Line and Blue Line LRTs.

The Calgary Airport Rail Connection Study will develop a long-term vision for rail access to Calgary International Airport, considering the connections to the future Green Line and Blue Line LRTs, and the exploring the potential for a direct rail connection to downtown Calgary along the west side of the Deerfoot Trail.

The Calgary Airport Rail Connection Study will look holistically at rail access between Calgary International Airport, Downtown Calgary, and other regional destinations as part of an integrated transportation network. The study will also consider the interaction of public and private proposals and establish a comprehensive understanding of technical factors, route options and anticipated ridership, using past studies and current research.


  • RFP for study consultant in market: Summer 2023 - COMPLETE
  • RFP contract award: Fall 2023 – COMPLETE
  • Planning, research and engagement with rail developers and key parties: Fall 2023 – Spring 2024
  • Study completion: Late summer 2024
  • Presentation to City Council: Fall 2024

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  • $3 million
    Funding provided by the Government of Alberta

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For more information, please contact the project team at:

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This information has no legal status and cannot be used as an official interpretation of the various bylaws, codes and regulations currently in effect. The City of Calgary accepts no responsibility to persons relying solely on this information. Web pages are updated periodically. ​