Metro Line Testing Update

UPDATE: March 19, 2015

The City and its contract partner made more progress on the Metro Line last weekend. The practice signalling tests went well and Thales Rail Signalling Solutions is prepared to proceed with the next round of testing over Sat. March 21 and Sun. March 22. ETS will be shutting down the entire LRT system again this weekend, except for during the Oilers game Saturday night.

LRT will be out of service from 5 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sat. March 21. Buses will replace LRT service by shuttling between LRT stations at street level. LRT will be brought into service from 5 p.m. until end of regular service at approximately 1:30 a.m. to accommodate transit to and from Rexall Place.

LRT will be out of service all day Sun. March 22, with bus replacement service in place.

Test trains will be running on the tracks during the shutdown, so please remember to stay safe by never stopping on the tracks and following all traffic signs and signals at LRT intersections and pedestrian crossings.

Next week we will have a better sense of the status of the Metro Line and work will continue to bring it into public service during spring 2015.

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The City is making some progress on the signaling system for the Metro Line.

Signaling system tests that Thales Rail Signalling Solutions conducted over last weekend went well. Not perfect, but good enough that ETS is now preparing to shut down the entire LRT system over the March 14-15 weekend to allow the second-last system-wide signalling test; the last practice before the final signaling exam on March 21-22 that Thales must pass in order to hand the signaling system over to the City on March 23, as promised. Buses will replace LRT service between LRT stations during the shutdown.

However, the March 14-15 LRT shutdown does not mean the City is stopping LRT service over 48 hours through Saturday and Sunday. We need LRT online for the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in downtown Edmonton  on Saturday, March 14. Large crowds are expected and fans are being encouraged to take the LRT, especially since the City is closing Groat Road over the weekend to lift the girders for the 102 Ave Bridge replacement. So Thales is flexing its testing schedule, and ETS will start LRT service at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday March 14, provide increased service from 4-11 p.m, and regular service again until end of service around 1:30 a.m. Sunday. LRT service will be shut down all day Sunday March 15, with bus bridging in place.

Part of the challenge of completing the signaling tests for the Metro Line is the need to maintain public service on the LRT while doing the work. Another complicating factor is all the other transformation that Edmonton is going through, such as the 102 Ave bridge replacement. Such projects can only proceed and succeed with the patience and understanding of Edmonton residents, for which everyone at the City is very grateful.

We can’t say the end of the inconvenience is in sight yet; we can only say that we are still cautiously optimistic for a grand opening of the Metro Line sometime during spring 2015.

Thanks for bearing with us. We’ll keep you posted.

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About the Author
Graeme McElheran
Graeme McElheran is the Communications Manager for Transportation Services, Financial Services & Utilities.
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