Calgary Transit launches four-car train service early
Calgary Transit is pleased to announce it is launching four-car CTrain service ahead of schedule, starting today.
The successful three-week training period running two four-car trains prompted the call to keep both longer trains in regular service immediately, rather than wait until the scheduled launch in December. Two four-car trains will continue running on the 201 Red Line (Tuscany-Somerset).
“Four-car train service will be a dramatic improvement to our public transit service; we are literally adding 33 per cent capacity when it’s needed most,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Thanks to my colleagues in Calgary Transit who have managed this investment so well and allowed us to start running four-car trains immediately.”
The longer trains are carrying an additional 200 customers per trip – a major improvement alleviating overcrowding on some CTrains. With the capacity to carry 800 passengers per trip, four-car trains are providing more comfort for customers, especially during rush hour.
Plans to expand four-car train service will occur in the new year as new trains begin arriving in Calgary. Calgary Transit is expecting its first new “Mask” CTrain car in January. There are 63 new cars on order: 28 of them will be replacing the older U2 model which after having been in service for 34 years are reaching the end of their lifespan and contributing to reliability issues due to their age.
The new cars will be arriving incrementally in Calgary throughout all of 2016 with the last ones arriving in early 2017. Four car train service will be expanded as more of the new cars arrive.
The CTrain carries over 325,000 people every weekday making it the most successful light rail transit system (LRT) in North America.
It is also the only LRT system on the continent to operate on wind-generated electricity making it emissions free and easier on the environment. That is something we can all be very proud of.
Calgary Transit is committed to improving the customer experience. The decision to continue running the longer trains is helping us fulfill our new Customer Commitment to provide safe, reliable, and easy-to-use transit. Adequate training for CTrain Operators ensures safety on the system, and four-car CTrains will improve reliability and ease of use by increasing the passenger capacity on trains.
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FOUR-CAR CTRAINS FACT SHEET
- One three-car CTrain can carry as many as 600 passengers. A fourth car allows for an additional 200 people, bringing the total capacity to 800. This increases our capacity by 33 per cent on four-car CTrains.
- Calgary Transit has ordered 63 new CTrain cars. The first arrives in December, and all should be here by early 2017. We will see 28 of the new cars replacing the older U2 model. 35 are for growth. We currently have 192 CTrain cars.
- All of the 80 cars in the original U2 Fleet have travelled more than 2 million km.
As of the end of October:
- The lowest used U2 has travelled 2,118,160 km
- Car no. 2008 is the highest used U2 and has travelled 2,772,650 km (in service since 1981) – still delivering around 5,000 km per month. That equals 69 times around the globe so far (and still going) or three and a half trips to the moon and back.
- There has been much work happening behind the scenes preparing for four-car train service. That work includes:
- Platform extension work is complete at all 45 stations to accommodate the longer four-car trains.
- Aligning track at the stations and adding heated shelters for customers.
- Improvements and adjustments to the signal system to accommodate the longer four-car CTrain.
- Levelling the ballast (coarse stone used to form the bed of a track) for track longevity.
- Building powerful new substations to power the longer trains.
- In 2013, Calgarians were asked to help choose the design of the front of Transit’s new CTrain cars by voting on three options: The Bow, inspired by the Bow River; The Buffalo, inspired by the buffalo; and The Mask, inspired by a goalie mask. The design of The Mask represents individuality, reliability, style and protection, a fitting design to represent Calgary.
- More than 325,000 passengers are carried on the CTrain each week day, making it the most successful Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in North America.