The first Valley Line light rail vehicle arrives in Edmonton
Mayor Don Iveson is confident the Valley Line LRT will be finished on time
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson is confident the city's next LRT will be finished on time and be running on schedule in 2020.
Iveson was at a show-and-tell Friday in Bonnie Doon, where train builder Bombardier displayed the first of 26 light rail vehicles that will transport passengers along the Valley Line's southeast leg, from Mill Woods to 102nd Street downtown.
Iveson took the opportunity to set the Valley Line apart from the problem-plagued Metro Line.
"Our contract really strongly motivates all of the vendors to deliver on time, including Bombardier," he told media.
"I'm confident that the city's interests are really well protected in this contract," he said. "We've learned from previous challenges with other contracts."
The company in charge of the Metro Line's signalling system, Thales, says it's still working to fix the problems that have led to mishaps on tracks and at intersections.
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On Friday, Bombardier Transportation's president for the Americas, Benoit Brossoit, said the LRV demonstrates the company's commitment to finishing the project on time.
The LRV is the actual train, unlike in February when the company showed a "mock-up" to the public. It will be on display until Aug. 1.
"This is the steel hitting the rail, so to speak," TransEd CEO Allan Neill said.
TransEd, the lead on the Valley Line's public-private partnership, is responsible for building the infrastructure for the line.
Assembled at a Bombardier facility in Kingston, Ont., the car has 82 seats and has a total capacity of 275 passengers in the low-floor platform style, Brossoit said.
After Aug. 1, the LRV will stay in storage at the Gerry Wright Operations and Maintenance Facility on 51st Avenue and 75th Street until it's needed, TransEd said.
"It's energy efficient, it combines proven elements and innovation," Brossoit said. "Edmonton, you really have a state-of the art vehicle here."
Iveson wanted to stress that the Valley Line runs on a different signalling system than the existing Metro and Capital lines.
"Everything is different about this line than what people are used to — and maybe frustrated by — with our older lines," he said.
Iveson also mentioned that the city is planning more "deliberately for infill and density" along the Valley Line, unlike developments along the other lines.
He also lauded the LRV's green and blue seats.
"My daughter's favourite colour is blue and my son's favourite colour is green," Iveson said. "My kids like the colour scheme and that's what matters to me."
The new line is expected to open to the public by the end of 2020.