Metro Line to Open in Early 2015

News Release

Metro Line to Open in Early 2015

MacEwan LRT Station

Contractor making progress on signalling system

The City is getting closer to opening the Metro Line, and now expects trains to start running on the LRT extension to NAIT in early 2015.

The Metro Line was originally scheduled to open in spring 2014, but the opening was pushed to the end of 2014 because the contractor is taking longer than anticipated to complete the new signalling system.

“We’re in the home stretch—our signalling system contractor is making progress, but unfortunately won’t be able to deliver the system in time to open the Metro Line this year,” said Dorian Wandzura, General Manager for Transportation Services. “We share in the disappointment of many Edmontonians that the line won’t open in 2014, but it’s going to take several more weeks to ensure that this complex system is working properly so it can safely manage the flow of trains and traffic.”

The new signalling system will increase the capacity of Edmonton’s expanding LRT network to meet growing ridership needs. It can pinpoint the exact location of each train in order to safely reduce the spacing between trains travelling on the network. This is particularly important now that two LRT lines will be sharing the same tracks.

The contractor is making progress on completing the new signalling system. They have upgraded enough trains with new signalling system hardware to support the operation of the Metro Line. They have also completed simulation tests on the system’s software, and testing has started on the trains and tracks in Edmonton. Thousands of different scenarios are being tested to ensure that the system will work properly when it opens to public service. The majority of these tests have taken place outside of service hours. In an effort to expedite the process, the City has taken the unprecedented step of shutting down the LRT several times to provide the contractor with longer windows of time for testing.

Testing will continue until the contractor hands the system over to the City. Once the City has received the system—provided that it’s working properly and can safely manage the flow of trains and traffic—then the City can complete preparations to open the Metro Line, including staff training on the new system.

“Thank you for bearing with us during this delay,” said Wandzura. “We are doing everything we can to achieve the earliest possible opening.”

The Metro Line represents the next major step towards transforming Edmonton’s transportation system. It is expected to add 13,200 weekday riders to Edmonton’s LRT network and link major destinations like NAIT, the Royal Alexandra Hospital and MacEwan University to the rest of the network.

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