Rail line that would connect Alberta to Alaska gets U.S. approval
Train tracks are seen in this undated file photo.
EDMONTON -- The dream of a rail line hauling oil and other natural resources from northern Alberta to Alaska moved one step closer to becoming a reality this week.
U.S. President Donald Trump signed a presidential permit approving the American side of the project on Tuesday.
The proposed 2,575-kilometre A2A cross-border rail project would connect an area near Fairbanks, Alaska to the oilsands region of northern Alberta, going through Yukon and the Northwest Territories.
Alberta's provincial government welcomed news of the approval.
"We support the development of trade corridors that can unlock new markets for many of Alberta’s products including oil and gas, new mineral production and agriculture," the premier's office said in a statement to CTV News Edmonton.
Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy thanked Trump Tuesday and called the permit “a game changer for Alaskans.”
“The rail link between our state, Canada and the rest of the country has been a dream for many generations,” Dunleavy said in a statement. “This is a big win for Alaska and our entire country.”
According to the company proposing the project, trains would carry passengers and commodities including grain, fertilizer, pipe, containers and sulphur.
The presidential permit is expected to boost investor confidence to spend more money on detailed engineering and environmental reviews, Alaska vice chair of the Alaska to Alberta Railway told the Associated Press.
The multi-billion dollar project still must undergo a host of regulatory testing.
With files from the Associated Press.