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Surface routes, higher spending give Calgary system the edge over Edmonton LRT

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  • Surface routes, higher spending give Calgary system the edge over Edmonton LRT

    Surface routes, higher spending give Calgary system the edge over Edmonton LRT

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Surfa...736/story.html

    EDMONTON - There was joy in Edmonton last week when the province gave the financial commitments needed to finally roll ahead with southeast LRT construction,

    But even when the route to Mill Woods starts service in 2020, Western Canada’s first rapid transit system will still be only two-thirds as long as Calgary’s C-Train network.

    Tracks stretch into all four corners of the southern city, while Edmonton is served by a rough diagonal from southwest to northeast.

    Former councillor Ron Hayter described the line as a “bobtail” a decade ago when the University of Alberta marked the southern terminus.

    Calgary has spent about $500 million more than Edmonton laying track, building stations and buying trains, even taking the NAIT extension opening in June into account.

    It also focused on cheaper above-ground alignments, getting more distance per dollar than Edmonton’s underground route to the University of Alberta from Churchill, local historian Colin Hatcher said.

    “Basically, they built on the surface in Calgary, so the money they had stretched further,” said Hatcher, who has written histories of rail transit in both cities.

    “Edmonton grew in very small stages, while Calgary, because it was on the surface, grew in much larger stages.”
    The article doesn't mention other factors for quicker expansion of the C-Train:
    - 1988 Winter Olympics
    - favoritism from the Progressive Calgary Party of Alberta
    - COC was less afraid of using debt before COE
    - decades of anti-LRT sentiments in Edmonton, especially in City Hall
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sonic Death Monkey View Post
    Surface routes, higher spending give Calgary system the edge over Edmonton LRT

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/Surfa...736/story.html

    EDMONTON - There was joy in Edmonton last week when the province gave the financial commitments needed to finally roll ahead with southeast LRT construction,

    But even when the route to Mill Woods starts service in 2020, Western Canada’s first rapid transit system will still be only two-thirds as long as Calgary’s C-Train network.

    Tracks stretch into all four corners of the southern city, while Edmonton is served by a rough diagonal from southwest to northeast.

    Former councillor Ron Hayter described the line as a “bobtail” a decade ago when the University of Alberta marked the southern terminus.

    Calgary has spent about $500 million more than Edmonton laying track, building stations and buying trains, even taking the NAIT extension opening in June into account.

    It also focused on cheaper above-ground alignments, getting more distance per dollar than Edmonton’s underground route to the University of Alberta from Churchill, local historian Colin Hatcher said.

    “Basically, they built on the surface in Calgary, so the money they had stretched further,” said Hatcher, who has written histories of rail transit in both cities.

    “Edmonton grew in very small stages, while Calgary, because it was on the surface, grew in much larger stages.”
    The article doesn't mention other factors for quicker expansion of the C-Train:
    - 1988 Winter Olympics
    - favoritism from the Progressive Calgary Party of Alberta
    - COC was less afraid of using debt before COE
    - decades of anti-LRT sentiments in Edmonton, especially in City Hall
    100% right !! what's wrong with City hall in the 80's !!
    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

    Comment


    • #3
      PCs is throwing money at Calgary to keep voters down there happy
      Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the other interesting difference is that Calgary is still only running three car trains on their LRT (they have been working on upgrading the busy line to four car, but not their yet), versus five in Edmonton. There are pros and cons to that, as a passenger though, I think its preferable, because in Calgary you get more small trains more often, rather than larger trains less frequent, it matters a bit less what time you arrive at the station. On the flip side, I guess Edmonton's approach probably results in a lower operating cost per passenger, as fewer drivers needed.

        ^^on the "what was wrong with City Hall", a large part of the problem was that it was going to be very expensive to dig the trains out of the tunnel, that probably made them hesitant in a time when the economy was horrible. I remember it took forever to finally dig out at health sciences, I'm guessing it may have been even harder back in the 1980's (not sure if tunnel boring machines were as effective then).
        Last edited by moahunter; 22-03-2014, 10:14 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Also, the new Calgary routes are planned to go in a tunnel so the two cities will basically switch places, Edmonton building on the surface and Calgary underground.

          Last page here:

          http://www.calgarytransit.com/pdf/ct...twork_plan.pdf

          Comment


          • #6
            ^there is a lot of debate over that plan, SE LRT is basically dead as long as Nenshi is there, his preference is the North piece first, but it will probably go underground through part of downtown. There is even talk that it might make sense to have another line SW using perhaps crowchild and 14 street to communities like Evergreen rather than SE, North Central is the one they are focusing on:

            http://globalnews.ca/news/1204304/ci...h-central-lrt/

            But it won't be for a long time:

            Council is expected to finalize the route later this year although construction isn’t expected to begin until 2030, and only if funding is in place.
            Such an analysis earlier this year put the southeast LRT at the bottom of the list of other transit projects.

            A new transitway along Centre St. was ranked at the top of the list.

            The analysis showed that the southeast transitway, estimated at $642 million, isn’t the best option compared to other more cost-effective projects like Centre St., estimated at $120 million.
            http://www.calgarysun.com/2013/09/11...-of-to-do-list
            Last edited by moahunter; 22-03-2014, 11:22 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Edmonton is far more strategic and proactive than it was in the 1980's. Edmonton had a lot of civic debt to pay off, and bond rates were 10% or higher. A line costing $150 million could easily be $500 million by the time interest was factored in.

              While Edmonton didn't had the population growth to support long-term projects, it could have still planned ahead.
              "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

              Comment


              • #8
                Edmonton has made a few errors in judgement by not going under major intersections such as 87th Avenue. I prefer our LRT to Calgary's. The fact that ours goes underground at the University and downtown is far better in my opinion.
                Fly Edmonton first. Support EIA

                Comment


                • #9
                  Edmonton had little choice but to go underground downtown. Short blocks.
                  A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    City Hall in the 80's were in financial restraints and afraid to spend over $ 300 million dollars to expand LRT projects.
                    Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

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                    • #11
                      I bet Calgary would rather have a tunnel.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MrOilers View Post
                        I bet Calgary would rather have a tunnel.
                        I can't imagine 8th ave is going to be a cheap dig/bore when it happens...
                        I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Having surface LRT in downtown Calgary that doesn't have right of way, and stops at every red light, is not a good thing. Let's just hope Edmonton plans for our surface-level LRT downtown to have right of way...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by XTendEdmonton View Post
                            Having surface LRT in downtown Calgary that doesn't have right of way, and stops at every red light, is not a good thing. Let's just hope Edmonton plans for our surface-level LRT downtown to have right of way...
                            most cities in Europe and also some in the states doesn't have right of way at all on surface level LRT.
                            Edmonton Rocks Rocks Rocks

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Calgary's LRT shares 7 Avenue South with buses, that take up the street. At least 102 Avenue will have some kind of separation between the road and LRT.
                              "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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