News / Edmonton

Edmonton still without timeline on getting Metro Line to run at full speed

The city says it’s waiting on a company to sign off on safety audit for the LRT

Adam Millie says he’s spent lots of time sitting in traffic waiting for trains that arrive much later than they should.

Jeremy Simes / Metro

Adam Millie says he’s spent lots of time sitting in traffic waiting for trains that arrive much later than they should.

Adam Millie says he would spend 30 minutes in traffic just to travel a few blocks. The reason? The Metro Line. 

“Four times a day and a half an hour each time,” said Millie, who lives near the Kingsway/Royal Alex Hospital station. “It was really frustrating — you’d call to complain and you’d get an answering machine.”

Some city councillors were also dismayed Tuesday when city officials said they have no timelines to get the Metro Line running at its intended 50 km/h speed — it's currently traveling at half that. 

Getting the line to move at that speed requires fixing the current signalling system. 

“We’re continuing to push and continuing to challenge the contractor to get things done,” Deputy City Manager Adam Laughlin told council Wednesday. “But there’s still no timeline on the Plan B switch.”

Coun. Bev Esslinger asked, “So we’re just going to keep working and we’re not sure when that might happen?”

“Correct,” Laughlin replied. 

 Esslinger retorted, “Alright, that, too, is disappointing.” 

City spokeswoman Holly Budd said in an email Wednesday that Edmonton is sill waiting for a sign-off from Rail Safety Consulting, which is conducting a safety audit before the Metro Line can go to full speed. 

However, the only areas the line isn’t running at designed speeds is on roadway crossings north of Churchill station, Budd added. 

Traffic congestion also reduced when the city modified the system at the Princess Elizabeth Avenue and 106 Street intersection. Edmonton also made adjustments to the layover time at the NAIT station to improve traffic flow. 

But Millie recalled times when no train would show up despite signals flashing and railroad arms being down. 

“And after the train comes, the traffic that was stuck waiting the longest doesn’t get to go first,” he said. 

But he acknowledged signalling has improved slightly since then. 

He said he would like to see the train come to a complete stop at 111 Street, wait for the signal to flash and the arms to descend, and then move along. 

“It’s been slowly getting better, but it was completely unreasonable before,” he said.

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