Plan calls for redevelopment of abandoned railway line to help bridge the gap between Deerfoot



A new report describes a vision for the reuse of an abandoned railway line that runs under Deerfoot Trail in northeast Calgary.

The old branch line of the Canadian Pacific Railway departs from the Nose Creek valley near Telus Spark, passes through a tunnel under the highway and enters the Franklin industrial area.

Celia Lee of Sustainable Calgary, one of the groups behind the report, says turning the six-kilometer line into a trail for cyclists and pedestrians could help bridge what’s known as the Deerfoot Gap – a sort of wall erected by the six-way motorway.

She says the report shows how reallocating old rail lines can change the way people view their cities.

“They create these protected areas with very few crossings, which makes them sort of safe, if you think of using them for pedestrians and for people on bicycles, for vulnerable users,” she said. declared.

“They create these protected areas which are often close to natural areas, so it is very pleasant to walk there.”

A new report describes the possible benefits of repurposing a former CP branch line in northeast Calgary into a footpath. (Sustainable Calgary)

Sustainable Calgary collaborated with the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at the University of Calgary and City of Calgary Liveable Streets on the research project.

The report states that the reallocation of the line could bring many benefits to the region and help stimulate the redevelopment of new dynamic public spaces, fostering a live workshop atmosphere with increased population density.

Lee estimates that there are about 100 kilometers of abandoned branch lines in Calgary.

She says she hopes the report will spark people’s enthusiasm for the possibilities and that the city is considering how the project might attract new investment.

“It’s kind of part of a conversation and hopefully a burgeoning conversation about Franklin, but also about what we want for our city, what rail lines have to do with. that, what shortcomings in our city have to do with it. So when we look at developing brownfields, that’s what we hope from that work, “she said.


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