Edmonton

Final round of signal testing to shut down all LRT service on Saturday

All Edmonton LRT service will be suspended Saturday to allow for testing of the Thales signal system, the city said Friday.

Edmonton Transit will have replacement buses on Metro Line and Capital Line

Edmonton's LRT system will be shut down Saturday for signal testing. (CBC)

All Edmonton LRT service will be suspended Saturday to allow for testing of the Thales signal system.

Replacement buses will run every 15 minutes on the Metro Line between NAIT and Churchill.

On the Capital Line, replacement buses will run every five minutes until 7 p.m. After that, they will run every seven or eight minutes until the end of service.

Locations of the replacement bus stops can be found here.

Trains will be operating on the tracks for testing purposes but transit users will not be permitted to board.

Craig McKeown, director of engineering and maintenance of Edmonton Transit Service, said the LRT is not available to riders beginning Saturday at 5 a.m through to the following day.

Thales will test Metro Line trains every 10 minutes and Capital Line trains from Century Park to Clareview every five minutes on Saturday afternoon.

"These steps are an important step in the completion of the signal system," McKeown said.

"This closure if the last one planned by Thales as a part of their testing process, which is needed to complete their signalling system on the Metro Line by Dec. 4, 2018."

McKeown said the full-scale service outage had been planned months ago.

Its timing means that people attending special events, such as Saturday's Fleetwood Mac concert at Rogers Place, will not have LRT as a transportation option.

"We did our best to accommodate the request while keeping in mind attendance at certain events, so we did the best we could to schedule it around them, but not everything could be avoided."

After Dec. 4, the expectation is that the Metro Line will run every five minutes, as per the original contract with the city.

It has been operating at a reduced rate since it opened in Sept. 2015.

The city will continue to evaluate the system after Dec. 4. Those tests, McKeown said, will last for several months. 

The city warns drivers and pedestrians that there may be increased wait times at LRT crossings during testing.

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