November 28, 2018 10:45 pm

1 week from deadline, Thales says Metro Line LRT signalling system ‘ready to go’

Edmonton's Metro Line LRT on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017.

Vinesh Pratap, Global News
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There have been some “difficult discussions” with the City of Edmonton, but the company behind the Metro Line LRT’s signalling system insists the technology is ready to go.

Representatives from Thales were in Edmonton on Wednesday, one week ahead of the city’s deadline for the company to hand over a fully operational signal system.

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“We ran the system and we’re pretty happy with the outcome. We think the system is ready to go,” said Dave Beckley, vice-president of customer service and commercial operation with Thales.

“We’re hoping that the city is going to move to put the system into service and to drive the benefits as quickly as possible.”

READ MORE: Edmonton looking at alternate solution for Metro LRT Line if Thales can’t deliver

The problem-plagued Metro Line has experienced several issues since it opened 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.

Performance demonstrations were done on the LRT line on Aug. 18 and Nov. 10, both of which Beckley said went well.

Earlier this year, the city issued a notice of default to Thales. A new timetable was established to fix all of the remaining issues with the system, with a date of Dec. 4 to finally hand the system over to the city to operate.

WATCH BELOW: Ongoing Global News coverage of the issues facing Edmonton’s Metro Line LRT

Beckley said while discussions with the city haven’t always been easy, they’re both working towards the same end goal.

“We don’t always think that we’re on the same page,” Beckley said Wednesday.

“We know that we’re both committed to delivering a system and we have a contract to do so. And we both, I believe, have a common idea there’s been some frustration with this project, to be honest.

“We’ve had difficult discussions from time to time with the city, but we have to stick with our position — which we believe, from where we sit — we’re ready to go.”

READ MORE: City emails reveal frustration, concern after Edmonton LRT trains end up on wrong track

Thales executives held a closed-door meeting with city council on Tuesday to discuss the system.

Last Wednesday, a City of Edmonton spokesperson said they continue to work with Thales as the deadline draws near. Lindsay Yarmon said the city’s focus remains on “accomplishing the end result.”

“As Thales prepares to meet their deadline, the city is also preparing to undertake our own due diligence and quality verification to ensure they have met their contractual obligations.”

The city has said it has developed a backup plan in case officials aren’t satisfied with the Thales system. It would be based on the old signal technology used on the Capital Line.

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