I really hope VIA has a plan for the HP2 Fleet in mind for when those cars are displaced from the corridor. Might I suggest Calgary-Edmonton or would that be too much of an ask.
Just the image VIA would want to portray for a new service! 70 year old equipment that was new when the competition was flying North Stars and Viscounts between McCall Field and Edmonton Municipal Airport.
If there is anyplace for a new rail service outside of the eastern corridor it's Calgary <> Edmonton and even then.....they're really not large cities: Calgary 1.4M and Edmonton 1.3M....about 300km/180mi apart. There's a lot of travel between the two and for years when the Edmonton Municipal Airport was open close to downtown...PWA operated an Eastern Airlines style Shuttle......the 'Chieftain Airbus' between the two.
Perhaps initially the CPR track between the two cities could be upgraded but if an entirely new HSR route was built.....the Queen Elizabeth II Highway is relatively flat and straight with a wide median that could possibly accommodate a rail line.
And what stations would be used? CP Rail/Calgary Tower that hasn't seen a daily train in 31 years and Strathcona? There is no easy route to the VIA Edmonton Station and even that is in an out-of-the-way location.
Build new glass and aluminum stations (a la Brightline) downtown portraying a contemporary image with easy access to the LRT in each city. Something to grab the public's attention. Not old railcars arriving at an old heritage station!
(And would it even have to be run by VIA??)
You won't get an argument from anyone but VIA. This corridor has been identified for decades (see other posts on this subject) and any service would be better than the status quo. The problem is politics - pure and simple. Alberta doesn't vote with the governing party. "No trains for you!"
Yup.....if there was ever a 'Red State' (Province) in Canada.....it's Alberta!