With start of surveying activities, A2A Rail achieves another development milestone
EDMONTON, AB, July 7, 2020 – The Executive Team of the Alaska – Alberta Railway Corporation (A2A Rail) has commissioned engineering firm HDR to immediately commence with detailed land surveying along the Alberta segment of the railway’s proposed route. HDR will work with respected local contractors and subcontractors, including Quantum Spatial, a geospatial analytics pioneer, and Lawson, a certified Indigenous owned and controlled surveying firm. Having secured funding for this critical pre-construction activity, A2A Rail and its technical team will now embark on a 3-month planned process of field investigation and topographic modeling. Flight plans will be filed with NAV Canada next week, and the ground crews will commence setting targets and benchmarks for the Aerial Survey to proceed. The surveying process is part of an accelerated development effort that will allow A2A Rail to engage in early field activities (such as land clearing, fencing and access road preparation) in Alberta within the next 3 to 6 months.
For A2A Rail Founder and Chairman Sean McCoshen this is yet another important milestone in the project’s impressive progress towards the start of construction work: “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.”
Once constructed, the A2A railway will be a modern, safe and efficient way to transport a wide range of bulk commodities including oil, grain and ore in addition to containerized goods. The proposed route will connect the North American railway network via Northern Alberta to the existing Alaska Railroad network and Alaska’s deep-water ports. With the start of surveying activities, A2A Rail is now also delivering tangible economic impact for the province of Alberta. Besides creating jobs for local communities, investments associated with surveying will total tens of millions of dollars over the next months. But, this barely scratches the surface of the economic stimulus A2A Rail will create, as McCoshen lays out:
“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. 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%.”
About A2A Rail’s development process:
Surveying work is required ahead of construction for any major infrastructure project. The associated field research and topographical modelling enable detailed engineering, permitting applications and construction planning. The start of surveying activities is a significant achievement that acts to remove uncertainty, facilitating the continued development of engineering, business partnerships, financing, Indigenous relationships and environmental approval.
A2A Rail’s stated goal is to commence field activities in Alberta within the next 3-6 months and to have the railway operational in the mid to latter part of this decade.
A2A Rail will now intensify efforts to move forward with the following groups:
- With Indigenous communities along the rail corridor, A2A will provide significant opportunities for employment, procurement, business development and equity in the new railway. As Indigenous communities are an essential partner in making this project a success, the A2A team will build on ongoing discussions in both the U.S. and Canada.
- With national and regional permitting agencies in the U.S. and Canada, A2A will begin environmental impact assessments necessary in both countries to determine the most sustainable way to build and operate this railroad. This decision builds upon a crucial joint-venture agreement made last summer with the Alaska Railroad (“ARRC”).
- With future customers (e.g., importers, oil producers, agricultural traders and others), A2A can offer new, safe and efficient rail infrastructure to facilitate expanded production and more competitive transport of a variety of goods and resources. The ‘common carrier’ railway will move containerized and bulk freight through northern Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Yukon to Alaskan ports, shortening end-to-end shipping times between North America and Asia by as much as 2-4 days.
Alaska – Alberta Rail is a privately owned corporation. Business leader and seasoned infrastructure financier, Sean McCoshen, is the Founder and Chairman. Based in Calgary, Alberta, A2A also has offices in Vancouver, British Columbia, Washington, D.C., and Anchorage, Alaska.
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