C-Train service through downtown Calgary has stopped for the long weekend so crews can connect tracks to the new West LRT line.

Shuttle buses are running instead between the City Hall and Sunnyside stations, and C-Train service will start up again in time for the morning commute on Tuesday.

The City of Calgary's website still pegs March 2013 as the projected opening date for service on the new West LRT line,  but it looks like Dec. 10 could be the first day of business for the west leg of the C-Train.

'... to get the line earlier than anticipated is a real gift.'— Ward 6 Ald. Richard Pootmans

CBC News confirmed with the transit union that operators are signing up for shifts starting that week.

Construction delays led to the later-than-promised opening date in March, but good weather and intense work on the line seems to have brought the project back on its original timeline.

"They've been able to achieve the original date, so that's very exciting," said Ward 6 Ald. Richard Pootmans. "Of course we get to work with the line now and travel in the winter months when I think it's really going to shine as an option for people instead of driving."

The city has yet to confirm the new date, and testing is still going on up and down the line — which runs from the west side of downtown to 69th Street S.W. — to make sure it's running smoothly.

"People throughout the city, especially in the west end of the city, have been incredibly patient through the construction period and we've endured a lot of traffic jams over the past few years and to get the line earlier than anticipated is a real gift," adds Pootmans.

The last time an LRT line opened in Calgary was the N.W. leg in September 1987.