November 11, 2017 8:26 pm
Updated: November 12, 2017 12:03 pm

Issues continue to plague Metro Line LRT, as train enters wrong track

An Edmonton Transit Service LRT train at the NAIT station in Edmonton, Alberta. November 20, 2015.

Kendra Slugoski, Global News
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Global News has learned that on Saturday morning at around 6:30 a.m. a track signal failed at the NAIT LRT station.

“A southbound train entered a northbound track. Both of the trains stopped and there was no contact,” said city spokesperson Katherine Sweet.

READ MORE: Councillor calls Metro LRT delay ‘boondoggle’ after leaked report

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“The trains couldn’t move in either direction. One of the trains had to back up until it got to a switch point where it could get back onto another track.”

There are no details about which train was forced to back up or how close the trains got to one another before they stopped.

READ MORE: Concerns raised about train frequency on Metro LRT Line

There were passengers on both trains, though an exact number was not immediately available. Sweet said there was no delay in service and safety was not compromised.

“This is an issue with Thales, our signal contractor. We use their signal system. They are on site investigating what went wrong,” Sweet said.

Thales did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Metro Line LRT will operate at a slower speed until the signalling issues are resolved.

READ MORE: By the numbers: Seven-year saga of Edmonton’s much-delayed Metro Line LRT 

“It’s a complex issue. We would like to see the issue resolved as soon as possible.”

Global News has also learned there was a second incident hours later, also at the NAIT LRT station.

Sweet said it was “another signalling issue” but it is unclear whether it was the exact same situation as the morning incident.

In the second incident, Sweet said a track signal failed and two trains were delayed by approximately eight minutes in both directions. No further details were provided.

On Oct. 30, a crossing arm lifted prematurely near the NAIT LRT station. The train was shut down and nobody was injured. Speed restrictions were put into place four days later.

READ MORE: Edmonton’s Metro LRT Line under speed restriction after crossing arm inexplicably lifted

That incident was not reported to the public because, according to ETS branch manager Eddie Robar, it did not meet the protocol for when to announce LRT issues. However, an internal investigation is underway.

When the Metro Line opened, trains ran at a reduced speed of 25 km/h, due to problems with the signalling system. In February 2017, trains finally ran at full speed of 50 km/h through intersections.

The Metro Line was originally scheduled to open April 2014; it was delayed by 15 months.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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