Edmonton Light Rail Transit System, Canada
Edmonton Light Rail Transit (LRT) system is a pilot light rail transit network in Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. Also known as Route 201, the system is currently operating with a single line. It is operated by Edmonton Transit System (ETS), Canada.
The LRT is a 20.5km stretch beginning at Clareview station and ending at Century Park station. It currently has 15 stations with five more stations planned to be built in the future.
Line routes on Edmonton's light rail transit system
The Edmonton Light Rail Transit connects Clareview to Century Park, via Belvedere, Coliseum, Stadium, Churchill, Central, Bay or Enterprise Square, Corona, Grandin or Government Centre, Dudley B. Menzies Bridge, University, Health Sciences or Jubilee, McKernan or Belgravia, South Campus and Southgate stations.
The Churchill, Central, Bay or Enterprise Square, Corona, Grandin or Government Centre and University stations are underground stations, while all the other stations are above ground.
Original need for the LRT system and construction timeline
The construction of Edmonton LRT began in 1974. The first line connecting Belvedere to Central station was opened in April 1978, just in time for the 1978 Commonwealth Games.
The line was extended to Clareview in the North and Corona station in the South in April 1981 and June 1983 respectively.
The D.L. MacDonald Yard, located the between Clareview and Belvedere stations, was built in December 1983 to store, maintain and operate the light rail vehicles (LRVs) operating on the Edmonton LRT system.
The line was further extended to Grandin or Government Centre in the South downtown in September 1989 followed by University (August 1992), Health Sciences (January 2006), South Campus (April 2009) and Century Park (April 2010) stations.
The Clareview and Belvedere stations were refurbished to incorporate a roof and elongated platforms for facilitating the use of five-car trains.
Infrastructure and rolling stock on the Edmonton Transit System (ETS) operated line
The stations along the Edmonton LRT are equipped with automated ticket vending machines and offer full accessibility to senior citizens and disabled passengers. Clareview, Belvedere, Stadium and Century Park LRT stations feature Free Park & Ride facilities.
The Edmonton LRT currently utilises Siemens-Duewag U2 and Siemens SD-160 cars. A total of 37 SD-160 cars were ordered for the LRT between 2005 and 2007. The first SD-160 was delivered in May 2008.
Signalling and communications systems
PNR RailWorks Signalling & Communications was contracted to install new signals and track appliances, renovate the entire system and reconstruct five signal control rooms at a cost of $7.5m. The works are to be completed while the transit system is operational.
Thales Canada was contracted by the city of Edmonton in July 2011 to install a SelTrac Communication Based Train Control (CBTC) solution in the LRV fleet.
The CBTC significantly meliorates operations and train frequency, integrates computers onboard the train to track and enables communications through radio transmissions.
Future expansions of the pilot light rail transit network
A number of further expansions have been planned for the Edmonton LRT system.
The Clareview - Century Park line route will be extended to the Ellerslie station in the South downtown as part of the South LRT expansion. The expansion will also extend the line from Ellerslie to Edmonton International Airport and Leduc.
The city of Edmonton awarded a $300m contract to SNC Lavalin and Graham Infrastructure collaboration in October 2011 to execute the North LRT expansion. The expansion involves construction of a new 3.3km branch line from Churchill to Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) station, via MacEwan University, Kingsway and Royal Alexandra Hospital stations.
The construction work commenced in March 2011 and is expected to be completed by December 2013, for start of operations in April 2014. The extension was designed by AECOM, who have also been awarded a project management and engineering services contract for the extension.
The North LRT expansion further involves construction of an additional line from NAIT campus to St Albert by 2019. It will also extend the line from Clareview to Gorman station and then to Fort Saskatchewan.
Two extension lines will be built to Mill Woods Centre in the South East and Lewis Estates in the West as part of the Southeast and West LRT expansions respectively.
AECOM was awarded a $35.5m contract by the city of Edmonton in September 2011 to render preliminary engineering design services for the Southeast and West LRT expansions. The work will begin in 2012 and is expected to be completed in September 2013.