Alberta Explores Reinstating Shortline Rail in Oyen

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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Alberta Government

The Alberta Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding on March 23 with Oyen Regional Rail Company, Special Areas and Oyen Development Corporation and Canada Infrastructure Bank to support their assessment of whether the rail line between Oyen and Lyalta should be restored.

“Economic corridors connect key markets to Alberta by road, rail, pipelines and utility lines,” said Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Transportation and Economic Corridors. “That’s why we are supporting the exploration of this concept in east-central Alberta that can stimulate investment, eliminate supply chain bottlenecks and reduce shipping distances for producers.”

The agreement will aid in determining whether a business case exists to support project funding, a release said. The purpose of reinstating shortline rail in Oyen is to provide access to critical export markets for Alberta products, including agricultural and agri-food products, fertilizer and energy products.

Western Canada relies on shortline service to enhance access to Class 1 rail lines, providing a rail option for shippers. 

“Alberta’s government and the Canadian Infrastructure Bank working together quickly on a proposal to expand rail transportation is great news for local businesses and producers,” said Don Dean of Oyen Development Corporation. “If approved, the rail line would benefit every sector of our economy and make rural Alberta even more competitive.”