Edmonton’s Metro Line LRT no longer running on Thales signalling system

The City of Edmonton says the Metro Line LRT is no longer running on the Thales signalling system.

The city spent the last four days testing the Metro Line’s alternative signalling system, which led to a complete closure of the LRT system over the weekend.

Read more: Edmonton LRT closures planned for signalling system work

In a statement Monday, the city said testing and commissioning work over the weekend was successful.

“The Metro Line is now officially operating on the new Alstom signalling system. The city is no longer using the Thales system,” communications advisor Katie Stewart said in an email Monday afternoon.

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In November 2019, the city announced a brand new signalling system would be installed on the Metro Line.

The city hired French company Alstom to install the new signalling system. The company planned to use a fixed-block system, which has been used on the Capital Line since it opened.

The city said this type of system controls trains based on sections of track called “blocks.” Each block is protected by signals that prevent a train from entering an occupied block.

The announcement of the new system came after years of issues and back-and-forth with the original signalling contractor Thales, which ultimately ended in the city terminating its contract with Thales Canada in April 2019.

The Metro Line experienced several issues after opening to riders in September 2015, including crossing arms coming down on green lights and trains heading in opposite directions on the same set of tracks.

Read more: New signalling system to be installed on Edmonton’s Metro Line LRT

Ward 4 councillor Aaron Paquette shared an update on the Metro Line on social media Monday. His tweet explained that the Thales system, which has been in operation since the line opened in 2015, has been turned off.

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Work will now get underway to make operational improvements, such as intersection performance. It’s not expected that train frequency will increase anytime soon.

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