• Alaska-Canada Rail Link Economic Benefits

      Watts, Teresa; Peter Wallis Consulting Limited; Metz, Paul A. (2019-07)
      Construction of the 1,740 km Alaska-Canada Rail Link (ACRL) between Fort Nelson, BC and Delta Junction, Alaska to join the North American rail system to the Alaska Railroad will result in tremendous economic benefits for Canada and the US. The ACRL will provide valuable additional east-west rail capacity and tidewater access to the Pacific, hugely benefitting not only the Yukon and Eastern Alaska regions, into which it will introduce rail transport for the first time, but throughout both countries. The economic benefits of ACRL construction are consistent with Canadian government’s desire to promote Northern development and comparable in significance to those of Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880’s and the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950’s. Construction of the ACRL alone will bring unprecedented economic stimulus to the region in terms of job creation, wages and income tax revenue over multiple years. Table 7-1 below summarizes the benefits from ACRL construction for the Yukon, BC and Canada as a whole. However, these estimates are conservative as they exclude benefits associated with pre-construction activities, railway operation post-construction, sales taxes and corporate taxes as well as all such benefits that will accrue to Alaska and the US.