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Redford hints at building Provincial high-speed rail network

Premier Alison Redford is hinting the province's $2 billion GreenTRIP program could be in for change -- changes that include building a high-speed, rail network in the province.

Premier Alison Redford is hinting the province’s $2 billion GreenTRIP program could be in for change — changes that include building a high-speed, rail network in the province.

In a year-end interview with the Edmonton Journal, the Premier says the program isn’t that far along that changes couldn’t be made to the program, which she says currently calls a funding envelope for LRT programs.

What the Premier would like to see are better connections and greater integration between existing public transportation programs.

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Some experts suggest that could be accomplished with a high-speed rail service, tying into municipal transportation networks and with stops at the Calgary and Edmonton airports.

To back her argument for the concept, the Premier cites European models as examples.

Conceived under the previous Stelmach government, GreenTRIP is meant to expand and build transit systems and to get vehicles off the road.  It’s part of the province’s carbon reduction efforts.

Under the program, the Calgary and Edmonton areas are scheduled to get $800 million, with another $400 million going to smaller centres in the province.