EDMONTON — Calgary-based Alaska-Alberta Railway Corporation (A2A Rail) has commissioned engineering firm HDR to start detailed land surveying along the Alberta segment of a proposed railway route from Anchorage to Edmonton.
HDR will work with geospatial analytics firm Quantum Spatial and Indigenous-owned and controlled surveying firm Lawson while A2A Rail’s technical team undertakes a three-month filed investigation and topographic modeling process.
“A2A Rail continues to gather momentum. The start of surveying activities means that we are now officially ‘boots on the ground’ here in Alberta. Combining that with our progress on completing our feasibility study, it is safe to say that A2A Rail has advanced well beyond the early idea first investigated by the Van Horne Institute, into a mature infrastructure project only months away from breaking ground,” A2A Rail founder and chairman Sean McCoshen said in a statement.
The proposed route will transport a range of bulk commodities including oil, grain, ore and containerized goods through the North American rail network and will connect that network via northern Alberta to the existing Alaska Railroad network and the state’s deep-water ports.
“This is a world-class infrastructure project that will generate more than 18,000 jobs for Canadian workers at a time when they are most needed, provide a new, more efficient route for trans-Pacific shipping and thereby link Alberta to world markets,” McCoshen said.
“The new rail line will create new economic development opportunities for a wide range of businesses, communities and Indigenous communities in Canada and Alaska. We estimate that A2A Rail could unlock $60 billion CAD in additional cumulative GDP through 2040 and lift household incomes by an average of 40 per cent.”
A2A Rail will intensify efforts for engagement with Indigenous communities along the rail corridor and will begin work with national and regional permitting agencies in the U.S. and Canada for environmental impact assessments, an A2A Rail release stated.