Tuesday, May 15, 2012

First test train rides the West LRT tracks

The final phase of the West LRT construction project, the testing phase, officially kicks off today with the first two test trains being added to the line.

Over the coming months, a total of four test trains will be placed along the West LRT tracks in order to thoroughly test the mechanical, electrical and operational systems.

Testing will happen in three segments: the contractor's testing, The City of Calgary's testing and Transit’s LRT operator training. The entire process is expected to take up to eight months to complete.

Testing is done to make sure all the mechanical, electrical, safety, audio and visual systems on the new line are functional and fully integrated into Calgary Transit’s existing systems. Extensive testing is necessary to ensure LRT vehicles operate in a safe, proper and consistent manner on all lines.

Testing will also give Calgarians their first opportunity to see the new Sunalta Station guideway in use and witness the testing of the safety systems, such as the crossing arms, along the entire line.

While we are still months away from opening day in early 2013, this marks a significant and exciting milestone for the project. Much of the visible construction, including road paving and resurfacing along the West LRT route, will be complete by the end of summer. However, crews will remain hard at work testing the line and completing the interior construction at the Sunalta, Westbrook and 69 Street stations until the end of 2012.

The West LRT is designed to serve communities in Southwest Calgary that are generally located west of the Centre City, between the Bow River and the Glenmore Reservoir. This area is expected to grow from its current population of more than 105,000 to approximately 120,000 in the next 20 years.

The project also sets the ground work for bringing Transit Oriented Development opportunities to the Sunalta and Westbrook LRT Stations, which is a big step towards making Calgary a more sustainable city.

For more information on the West LRT Project, please visit www.westlrt.ca.

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