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EDMONTON
 Alberta . Canada

Edmonton LRT Line 2001 © UrbanRail.Net

 System

University © Xuan ZhangEdmonton has a population of 750,000 in the city and 1 million in the metropolitan area and was the first North American city with less than a million inhabitants to build a light rail system, which runs underground in central areas, just like a European Premetro or Stadtbahn system.

Construction on the initial LRT line began in 1974 at 95 Street and 106 Avenue. The first segment between Belvedere and Central was inaugurated in April 1978, in time for Commonwealth Games. The line follows a CN right-of-way (National Railways) from Belvedere to Stadium, from where it continues in a new tunnel to Central station. In 1981 it was extended north to Clareview, and later in stages through the city centre: to Corona in 1983 and to Grandin in 1989. In 1992, the light rail trains reached the deepest station of the line, at 23 m below street level, at University of Alberta, after crossing the North Saskatchewan River on the Dudley B. Menzies LRT Bridge, which has a lower level for pedestrians and cyclists.

Since 1983, all stations have been built with full accessibility for the disabled, other stations are currently being upgraded. In the late 1990's Clareview and Belvedere stations were covered and their platforms lengthened to allow the use of 5-car trains. While the underground sections have full metro standards, there are level crossings along the surface sections.

After the completion of the South LRT project in April 2010, the LRT line has a total length of 20 km (4.4 km underground), with 6 underground and 9 surface stations.

Initially, there were 37 light-rail vehicles in use (24.3 m long, 2.65 m wide, built by Siemens-Duewag, similar to the 'U2' vehicles in Frankfurt and San Diego). In June 2008, Siemens delivered the first of 37 SD 160 type light rail vehicles.

 History

22 April 1978 - Belvedere - Central (6.9 km)
26 April 1981 - Belvedere - Clareview (2.2 km)
June 1983 - Central - Corona (0.8 km)
Sept. 1989 - Corona - Grandin (0.8 km)
23 Aug 1992 - Grandin - University (1.6 km)
01 Jan 2006 - University - Health Sciences (0.8 km)
26 Apr 2009 - Health Sciences - South Campus (2.0 km)
24 Apr 2010 - South Campus - Century Park (5.3 km)

South Extension © Xuan Zhang South Extension © Xuan Zhang LRT Tunnel at University © Xuan Zhang
Photos © Xuan Zhang

 Projects

A new line from Churchill in the city centre to NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) in the north of the city is under construction, opening mid-2014.

 Photos
Bay © Xuan Zhang Belvedere © Xuan Zhang University © Xuan Zhang LRT Bridge  © Xuan Zhang LRT Bridge  © Xuan Zhang
Photos © Xuan Zhang
 

 

 Links

ETS - Official Site

LRT projects

Edmonton Light Rail at Wikipedia

Some nice photographs at lightrail.com

More photos by Jon Bell

LRT in Edmonton

 

 
95th Street crossing © Robert Chew DL MacDonald Garage © Robert Chew DL MacDonald Garage © Robert Chew Inside LRT train © Robert Chew SD 160 © Siemens
Photos (1)-(4) Robert Chew; (5) Siemens

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2007 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)