November 15, 2017 2:44 am
Updated: November 16, 2017 11:08 pm

Two trains headed in opposite directions on the same track, and other Metro Line LRT issues

WATCH ABOVE: Tuesday saw many questions be asked at Edmonton’s city hall about the problem-plagued Metro Line LRT. Vinesh Pratap reports.


Two trains, headed in opposite directions, ended up on the same track this weekend.

That was just one matter that some clearly frustrated city councillors asked administrators about on Tuesday amid a conversation about the Metro Line LRT’s latest issues.

Coverage of the Metro Line LRT on

“When do we anticipate all these issues to be addressed?” Coun. Bev Esslinger asked.

“How many safety-related incidents have we had since the line’s inception?” Coun. Mike Nickel asked.

City administrators say they’re looking for answers to the ongoing signalling and software problems experienced on the Metro Line.

But they said the system is safe since backup systems kicked in.

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READ MORE: Edmonton city councillor calls for probe of Metro Line LRT after latest glitches: ‘I’m starting to get concerned’

“They are very, very complicated systems,” Mayor Don Iveson said on Tuesday. “They’re very, very customized.

“That doesn’t excuse the contractor for one minute for the time it’s taken to deliver on the final product,” he said of Thales, the contractor responsible.

The city is withholding $17 million in payments to Thales until the issue is resolved.

“They will not be paid until it performs as spec’d (specified) for six months and 12 months afterwards,” Iveson said. “They’re a long way away from getting paid.”

“(For) a lot of people I’m talking to, this is the last straw,” Esslinger said.

Earlier this year, the city forecast that the Metro Line would run as planned by the end of 2017. The latest issues suggest that may not happen; Iveson was asked whether the Metro Line’s signalling system should be completely redone.

“I’m not going to speculate on what our alternate scenarios would be but council’s going to get some of that information about what would the implications be of starting over,” Iveson said.

The Metro Line trains are currently subject to some speed restrictions because of different issues.

When the Metro Line opened, trains ran at a reduced speed of 25 km/h, due to problems with the signalling system.

In May 2016, trains were allowed to operate at full speed, except through the five intersections they cross.

-With files from Vinesh Pratap

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