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Urban Development and Proposals Discussion

Surrealplaces

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retrofiturbanism

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"It would take 35 years to remove it," she said, "and to rebuild on the east side of the city, going around instead of through. And it will cost about $1 billion."

I don't think there's any will to do something like this at the moment, but I still hold hope it can be done someday.
Yup, that is the presentation I saw. It was actually fairly rigorous in terms of the financial modelling, but IIRC the cost was covered by land sales of the purchased land from CP. Interesting idea.
 

darwink

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Yup, that is the presentation I saw. It was actually fairly rigorous in terms of the financial modelling, but IIRC the cost was covered by land sales of the purchased land from CP. Interesting idea.
But why would CP sell the land to allow the value to be captured by someone else? It would be different if Canada had a public operator like a network rail, where a move like this could be done with the economics getting to zero over a long time frame. With a private owner, the economics have to be much better since the costs are up front and the benefits are in the deep back end.
 

DougB

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Relocating the CP mainline would be tough. There are few places west of the city with gentle enough grade for the tracks to rise out of the valley. Doing so would likely require an expensive bridge or tunnel, and might be so far away from Calgary to compromise its utility.
 

Mull

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But why would CP sell the land to allow the value to be captured by someone else? It would be different if Canada had a public operator like a network rail, where a move like this could be done with the economics getting to zero over a long time frame. With a private owner, the economics have to be much better since the costs are up front and the benefits are in the deep back end.
Not to mention, I doubt they capture the cost effects of any investment sacrificed in other parts of the City due to a new swath of inner City land being opened-up.
 

Surrealplaces

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A lot of talk of what to do with the area should the tracks be moved revolves around some type of park. That seems the logical thing to do. I wouldn't mind seeing something like the Highline, it's one of coolest things I've had a chance to check out.

I've always been pushing the idea of turning it into a canal, by diverting water from around Crowchild area, and running it though downtown and lining the canal with restaurants/residential buildings, etc.. putting the water back into the river by Fort Calgary. I think it would turn Calgary into a world class tourist destination, but it's a lot of money to do it.
 

Zoom

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CP would only do it if there was something in it for them...like lotsa $$$. and that could happen, it would be a massive project, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities.
But why would CP sell the land to allow the value to be captured by someone else? It would be different if Canada had a public operator like a network rail, where a move like this could be done with the economics getting to zero over a long time frame. With a private owner, the economics have to be much better since the costs are up front and the benefits are in the deep back end.
 

darwink

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I know this is out there, but it would be super cool if the city was able to "encase" the rail track through downtown and turn it into something like the New York high lineView attachment 211013
Yeah it would be awesome. The only issue is that modern safety standards would have the bottom of the structure over the track being at least 8 meters (26 feet), going off of old West LRT documents, where crossing the tracks was a major design constraint. fortunately at 5th street, the underpass gives 4 meters of clearance, so can throw something together to show how high that is - for the bottom of the structure:
211095


The reason is to allow blast pressure clearance iirc - so it would also mean not encasing it. Once it had a roof, it would also mean you couldn't build buildings up to the tracks without alternative paths to relieve pressure.
 

Mull

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Yeah it would be awesome. The only issue is that modern safety standards would have the bottom of the structure over the track being at least 8 meters (26 feet), going off of old West LRT documents, where crossing the tracks was a major design constraint. fortunately at 5th street, the underpass gives 4 meters of clearance, so can throw something together to show how high that is - for the bottom of the structure:

The reason is to allow blast pressure clearance iirc - so it would also mean not encasing it. Once it had a roof, it would also mean you couldn't build buildings up to the tracks without alternative paths to relieve pressure.
Wow - the knowledge our posters have on this forum is astounding!
 

UrbanWarrior

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I remember a friend who used to be a senior planner for the city telling me that's why not much has been built along the tracks for decades is because of the "blast zone" and that "(we would) be shocked if you knew what they ship through the middle of this city"... I was like "oh shit" o_O
 

Cowtown

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A lot of talk of what to do with the area should the tracks be moved revolves around some type of park. That seems the logical thing to do. I wouldn't mind seeing something like the Highline, it's one of coolest things I've had a chance to check out.

I've always been pushing the idea of turning it into a canal, by diverting water from around Crowchild area, and running it though downtown and lining the canal with restaurants/residential buildings, etc.. putting the water back into the river by Fort Calgary. I think it would turn Calgary into a world class tourist destination, but it's a lot of money to do it.
If they built a canal, it would be a good amount of 'waterfront' property. A nice bike path system running along one side of it, and maybe a one lane road on the other side, would be totally epic.
 

Skyfire

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I remember a friend who used to be a senior planner for the city telling me that's why not much has been built along the tracks for decades is because of the "blast zone" and that "(we would) be shocked if you knew what they ship through the middle of this city"... I was like "oh shit" o_O
Good point, we can't forget the Lac Megantic Rail Disaster
 

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