Alaska lawmakers pass resolution to connect railroad to Canada
The Alaska Senate wants a federal border permit that would allow a railroad crossing to be built between the state and Canada.
Senators voted 19-0 on Senate Joint Resolution 11, according to a release from the Alaska Senate majority Monday.
Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, is chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and says a railroad through Canada would benefit people all over the state.
“A railroad connecting Alaska to Alberta would provide a huge boost to our state’s economy,” she said in the release. “Access to the North American railroad system would mean faster and more efficient shipping of goods, lowering the cost of living for all Alaskans.”
The Senate majority's release noted there would be no state funds used to build the railroad.
Congress approved construction of up to 1,000 miles of railroad to connect coastal and interior areas of Alaska, meant to support development, rail service and military operations.
In 2004, the Alaska Legislature authorized a corridor between the existing railroad and the Canadian border. The bill also allowed the Alaska Railroad Corporation to look at an extension from the border to connect with the North American railroad system — which can’t be done without a federal permit.
SJR 11 now goes to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
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