'It was a crazy experience': C-Train riders slam transit for long delays after crash shuts Red Line

C-Train service has resumed fully in southeast Calgary but some commuters are seething after the collision of a truck and train shut down the Red Line for hours, with complaints that shuttle service took far too long.

LRT route reopened hours after Thursday accident in southeast

A truck was sent careening into the wall of a nearby business after a collision with a C-Train at 36th Avenue S.E. on Thursday. (James Young/CBC)

C-Train service has resumed fully in southeast Calgary but some commuters are seething after the collision of a truck and train shut down the Red Line for hours, with complaints that shuttle service took far too long.

Around 11:30 a.m., a black truck headed east on 36th Avenue S.E. from Macleod Trail failed to stop for a crossing train, police said. The truck was struck by a northbound C-Train, then crashed into a nearby wall.

The collision shut down the Red Line at 39th Avenue Station, so trains coming from Tuscany only ran to Erlton and trains coming from Somerset stopped at 39th Avenue Station. 

According to the city, 14 shuttle buses were dispatched to transfer stranded commuters following the shutdown. The Red Line reopened fully after 2 p.m.

Long wait raises temperatures

However, it may have been too late to appease many passengers, who complained of having to wait excessively long times before being able to get on a shuttle bus.

Lethbridge resident Doreen Chorm, 81, said she waited more than an hour for a shuttle to take her and her husband to the Calgary Stampede. 

Transit woes 0:43

"We've been standing here for over an hour," Chorm said. "We don't know the city. I don't know how far it is to the Stampede Grounds and I am 81 years old. I'm not prepared to walk there. And it is a hot day."

Chorm said she was disappointed in the transit system.

"I know it's something unusual but you would think they would have something in place that we were picked up or a shuttle bus right there, getting off the train. But we don't know what's going on."

She and her husband finally jumped into a cab with some strangers.

"By the time we do eventually get to the grounds, it will be time to turn around and go back home," Chorm said.​

Commuters wait in a long lineup for shuttle buses following a collision between a truck and a C-Train on 36th Avenue S.E. (James Young/CBC News)

Shuttle mix-up

Emma Lamb said the problem was that the shuttle buses picked up people who weren't in the trains before they picked up people who had actually been in the crash.

"I had to walk all around the tracks to come up here and get the bus. Eight buses went by without room to pick us up because they're only picking people up from the train station," she said.

"A big group of people left in cabs and Ubers and stuff. I'm trying to get a cab," she said.

"It was a crazy experience."

Police believe the driver of the truck suffered from a medical issue. The driver was taken to hospital in stable condition.

Emma Lamb was in the train that collided with a truck on Thursday. She described the experience as "just crazy." (James Young/CBC News)

The intersection at 36th Avenue S.E. and Burnsland Road was also shut down, but has since reopened.