edm-lrt

One of 37 new LRT cars, complete with air conditioning, which will start operating this fall. ((CBC))

City officials showed off on Monday one of 37 new state-of-the-art vehicles that will start carrying passengers on Edmonton's light rapid transit system this fall.

The trains are modern looking, and have air conditioning and built-in security cameras. 

Mario Peloquin, from manufacturer Siemens Canada, says the vehicles are also more energy efficient.

"The new technology on these vehicles now actually regenerates power into the power grid when the train's braking instead of wasting it all into heat. So that's a big energy saving." 

The 37 new cars will double Edmonton's current fleet, bringing it to 74 cars, said Wayne Mandryk from Edmonton Transit.

"We need these to service the current extension of the line from our Health Sciences station to Century Park, " he says.  "This order of cars will allow us to fully service all the track that's existing, plus everything down to Century Park."

The south line is being built at a cost of $673 million. Slated for completion by April 2010, it will add four more stations and 7.5 kilometres of track to Edmonton's current LRT system.

There are also plans in the works for a line which will link the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology to downtown, as well as discussions about a route to the west end.

Edmonton is in the middle of an aggressive expansion of its LRT system, which first opened in 1978.