Alaska-Canada Railway Would Boost Economy & Industry
Rep. Rauscher returns from visit discussing new Trans-Alaska railway
Friday, September 08, 2017, Sutton, Alaska – A new partnership with our Canadian neighbors could soon provide the state with jobs and increased resource development. Rep. George Rauscher (R-Sutton, Valdez, Delta Junction) has just returned from High Level, Canada where he attended meetings hosted by the Northern Alberta Regional Development Initiative and the Peace Region Economic Alliance discussing the North to Alaska project.
The North to Alaska project would create a rail link between Alaska and oil fields in Alberta. If constructed, the project will increase Alaska ports exports to world markets. Already Alaska and Alberta conduct $255 million in bilateral trade. The new project would allow stranded Canadian bitumen, a product used in road construction, to move economically to tidewater. The project has the potential to create jobs for Alaskans and provide increased throughput in the Trans Alaska Pipeline.
The privately funded development of 1,516 miles of railway from oil fields in Fort McMurray, Canada to Delta Junction would enable stranded commodities to safely reach market. Over 200 miles of tracks in Alaska would connect the Alaska Railroad system and the Trans Alaska Pipeline.
“The potential for this project is exciting,” Rep. Rauscher said. “I traveled with a delegation from the State of Alaska and the City of Valdez to engage in discussion on this project proposal. The scope is larger than I thought and the economic potential for my district and Alaska is exceptional.”
In addition to Rep. Rauscher, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Marc Luiken, representatives from the governor's office and officials from Alaska communities attended the meeting along with their Canadian counterparts.
“The thing that peaked my interest most is that the project would be privately funded,” Rep. Rauscher continued. “It would cost more than $20 billion to construct the rail link and should bring between 300-600 permanent jobs to Alaska.”
The meetings and travel were at the expense of Northern Alberta Regional Development Initiative and the Peace Region Economic Alliance.
For more information contact Rep. Rauscher at Rep.George.Rauscher@akleg.gov or Press Secretary Mallory Walser at Mallory.Walser@akleg.gov