City of Edmonton reiterates message on Valley Line LRT: ‘If you see tracks, expect a train’ – Edmonton

As Edmontonians eagerly await the official launch of the Valley Line LRT, some drivers are colliding with the new design.

This past weekend during testing, a Valley Line train collided with a car at 82 Avenue and 83 Street.

Police said the train and car were both headed south on 83rd Street, when the car turned right on a red light in front of the train.

Read more:

Valley Line LRT train and car collide in south Edmonton

Read next:

Ontario couple’s luggage containing tracker donated to charity by Air Canada

As traffic sign indicates, right turns are not allowed on reds at some intersections.

A Valley Line LRT train and a vehicle collided in south Edmonton on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

The city said drivers will have to get used to not having crossing gates and audible bells in order to stay safe. The new low-floor design is different from the city’s other LRT system, proving to be a tough adjustment for some.

Story continues below advertisement

David Cooper, principal of Leading Mobility consulting, is well versed in trains and design.

Cooper isn’t surprised there’s growing pain, but said this is the direction trains are going around the world.

“It actually follows a lot of industry standards: you go to Waterloo, Ont., you go to Toronto, you go to Portland, you go to Minneapolis — these are LRT systems that don’t have crossing gates, they’re pretty open by design,” Cooper said.

An Ottawa LRT train on the Confederation Line during a snowstorm in Ottawa, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.

Justin Tangm, The Canadian Press

“The design of this train line is a much slower speed, it has more frequent stations. You will not have the travel speed that you’ll see in the Capital/Metro Line.”

The 13-kilometre Valley Line southeast from Mill Woods to downtown is different from the current high-floor LRT system that Edmonton operates.

Story continues below advertisement

The line features new, low-floor, urban-styled trains that provide more pedestrian-friendly access with at-street level stops.

Click to play video: 'Valley Line LRT issues raise concerns over P3 projects'

Valley Line LRT issues raise concerns over P3 projects

In residential and commercial areas, embedded tracks are integrated to the established design and traffic flow of the area.

“I think there’s a frustration among Edmontonians about the Valley Line LRT at times, but I think when it opens — people will love it,” Cooper said.

“It’s very different, it’s going to open up the city in very different ways. It’s much less intrusive than we’ve seen some of the other LRT projects.”

The line is being built by public-private partnership contractor TransEd, a consortium made up of four companies: engineering firm Bechtel, construction company EllisDon, train builder Alstom (which acquired former builder Bombardier in 2021) and Fengate Asset Management.

Story continues below advertisement

TransEd is responsible for designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the line for the next 30 years.

Read more:

City of Edmonton blames P3 model for Valley Line LRT delays

Read next:

Scientists share source of signal captured from almost 9 billion light-years away

The City of Edmonton and TransEd reiterate their message and slogan on Monday, around the new train and safety.

“If you see tracks, expect a train,” Dallas Lindskoog, a spokesperson for TransEd, wrote in an email to Global News.

A Valley Line LRT train and a vehicle collided in south Edmonton on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News

The campaign includes education on the no right on red traffic signals.

Lindskoog said Saturday’s collision was the first time at the location near Bonnie Doon Center and was the first time a train struck a vehicle, as opposed to a vehicle striking a train.

Story continues below advertisement

“We have had one other collision in early Nov. 2022 where a motorist similarly turned right against a no-right on red signal and sign and sideswiped a train at low speed. This collision occurred on 66 Street northbound, as the vehicle was attempting to turn right and go east onto the Whitemud Drive on-ramp,” Lindskoog said.

Read more:

Valley Line LRT begins train testing in Edmonton’s Strathearn area

Read next:

Pamela Anderson alleges Tim Allen flashed her on ‘Home Improvement’ set

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said there’s no plans to change anything about the design and safety around the train, everyone will just need to adjust to it.

“It was unfortunate the collision that happened last week, but this is also part of the awareness that TransEd has been engaging Edmontonians on,” Sohi, said.

“It will require some adjusting, absolutely, but I am hopeful that there will be enough education and awareness as part of the testing.”

The train vs. vehicle accidents are covered by insurance, typically the at-fault insured, according to TransEd. Taxpayers are not on the hook for the cost of repairs to the trains.

Read more:

TransEd says ‘all’ cracked piers on Valley Line LRT repaired, still no timeline for opening

Read next:

Pink Floyd army comes for anti-LGBTQ2 fans outraged by new ‘rainbow’ logo

The opening of the Valley Line has been delayed several times and is two years behind schedule.

Story continues below advertisement

It was most recently expected to open summer of 2022 — but then engineers discovered cracks in several piers and different elevated sections of the track, delaying the project indefinitely.

TransEd said the cracks were caused by insufficient steel reinforcement inside the rebar of the piers.

Click to play video: 'Cracked piers repaired, winter 2023 opening for Valley Line LRT 'possible'

Cracked piers repaired, winter 2023 opening for Valley Line LRT ‘possible’

The next step towards an opening is resuming the testing process and having the $1.8-billion project certified by third-party safety inspectors.

There is no confirmed timeline for when the line will be open to passengers.

Read more:

More cracks on concrete LRT beam in Edmonton are not a structural concern: TransEd

Read next:

7 shot dead in 2 related shootings south of San Francisco, suspect arrested

— With files from Karen Bartko, Caley Gibson, and Dan Grummett, Global News

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *