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by Alberta Venture Staff
Senior executive: Dan Corns
High-speed rail has been a perennial topic in Alberta, where many would love a high-speed link between Edmonton and Calgary but agree that the cost would be prohibitive. Everyone except Dan Corns, the CEO of Magnovate Technologies, who says the problem is that we can’t seem to let go of the idea of a high-speed train. “The train metaphor is what makes it more expensive – big, heavy vehicles operating in train which require very robust, expensive infrastructure.” His solution is Magline, a high-speed rail system that consists of smaller, independent pods that can travel up to 500 kilometres an hour using magnetic levitation, making the trip from Edmonton to Calgary in just 45 minutes.
The advantage of Magline is that because it doesn’t consist of a single train, but rather smaller vehicles that can easily switch tracks, the system would allow for multiple stops and express trips. That means smaller communities between Edmonton and Calgary would also benefit from the service. Corns says that introduces some interesting funding options as well, since it provides the opportunity to create satellite communities along the track with tax revenues. “We’ve been creating a business model that uses the profits from these satellite cities to actually pay for the maglev system creating the value spikes.” Corns says he hopes the company’s next step will be to build a track surrounding Edmonton International Airport in order to test the technology, starting in 2015.