I am a big fan of high speed rail for the Edmonton-Calgary Corridor. It has many advantages and yes it is a fiscal stretch in times of recession. So in the meantime we should at least be assembling the right-of-way so when the economic times are better we can start building the project.
There is lots of HSR activity happening around the world. Alberta has a small population but we have a strong likelihood of Alberta continuing to grow - dramatically. We should be anticipating the future and designing infrastructure to meet the needs, including reducing car travel with high gasoline prices. We could also help reverse the unfortunate image around the world of Alberta as a dirty oil dynasty with this very green HSR project that will garner international attention.
This is a very complex project but no longer cutting edge. Many other countries are seriously into HSR, including China, big time. We Albertans have studied the concept for decades and the time to do is is just about tight now.