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Edmonton preps for slower train operations along new light-rail extension


Trains along the Metro Line light-rail extension in Edmonton, Alberta, will initially run at slower speeds once the route opens Sept. 6, city officials announced late last week. 

For the past few weeks, the city of Edmonton has been working with its independent signal engineering consultant Hatch Mott MacDonald to develop an interim signaling solution that would allow the line to operate.

The project team developed and tested a "line of sight" operation that was deemed safe and suitable for public service, city officials said.

This mode of operation requires that trains along the line do not exceed approximately 15.5 mph between the MacEwan and Northern Alberta Institute of technology (NAIT) stations. The slower speeds allow train operators to stop within half of the range of their vision, Edmonton officials said.

"I want to be very clear that we do not yet have the finished product that Thales has been contracted to provide," said Dorian Wandzura, the city's transportation services general manager.  “In order to get the Metro Line into public service as quickly as possible our owner’s engineer has approved the … speed restriction as an interim solution."

The city is working toward full implementation that will remove the operating restriction and allow trains to run at maximum speeds of about 31 mph.

Once Thales fully implements the signaling system, the Metro Line will provide 10-minute service between the Health Sciences and NAIT stations, Edmonton officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/18/2015