After nine days of planned interruption, regular CTrain service has resumed at the Victoria Park/Stampede station.
Crews worked around the clock to switch trains to a new platform.
A spokesperson for the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation thanked Calgarians for their patience while the complicated and highly orchestrated work was completed.
“Over the course of the last nine days, more than 100 crews worked 24 hours a day for nine days on a schedule that was planned to the hour to tie in new tracks to the rest of the line, string overhead power lines to connect the new station to the existing network, install new track signals at pedestrian crossings, start demolition of the temporary platforms, and build temporary pedestrian access to the new station,” Clare Le Pan said, noting the work was completed on time.
While the old Victoria Park/Stampede station was out of commission, Calgary Transit had shuttle buses in place to supplement the train service.
“It was the largest replacement shuttle we’ve ever done in Calgary,” Doug Morgan, City of Calgary general manager of operational services, said. “That planning paid off.”
He said the platform swap was “the most intensive work” ever done in response to a closure, rivalling efforts that followed the 2013 flood.
“There were, of course, travel times that were different than on the train, and we’d expect that. But we didn’t get very much negative feedback from customers.”
Morgan said there were fewer than 50 calls to 311 about the transit supplement.
The portion of the Red Line that the Victoria Park/Stampede station sits on has over 6,000 Calgarians on it during peak hours.
Visitors to the new station that sits beside the Calgary Stampede grounds, the Scotiabank Saddledome and the eastern edge of the Beltline will notice improved accessibility and improved pedestrian access. What was previously one platform is now two, requiring riders to navigate the appropriate one whether travelling inbound or outbound.
One transit rider was impressed by the size of the new platforms.
“It’s very big. I feel like there’s a lot more room,” Auggie Hunter said. “The old station was a tight squeeze, especially during rush hour when kids are leaving school and people are leaving work.
“I’m happy the trains are up and going now.”
Work continues in that stretch along Macleod Trail to complete things like pedestrian and vehicle crossings at 14 Avenue and 17 Avenue, sidewalks, planting trees, constructing benches, and other finishings like handrails, lights, signage and cladding.
Le Pan said that work should be completed in time for the opening of the BMO Centre expansion in the summer.
The planned work also allows for more people to get in and out of the facilities on the Stampede grounds after events like hockey games or concerts.
“We need that queuing space and public realm space so that people can cross Macleod Trail safely, they can access the train station safely. So all of those components really start to create a very different experience when you come into Stampede Park,” Le Pan said.