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Edmonton LRT system-wide closure on Jan. 27 for Thales signal testing

Edmonton's Capital LRT Line on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.
Edmonton's Capital LRT Line on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. Dave Carels, Global News

The entire LRT network across Edmonton will be closed to passengers on Sunday as the city continues to test the signalling system by Thales — the contractor behind the Metro LRT system.

From 5 a.m. until the end of service on Jan. 27, service on both the Capital Line and Metro Line LRT will be suspended while the testing takes place. The city said trains will be running on the tracks, but people will not be permitted to board.

This closure is one of several planned as part of the evaluation of the Thales signalling system, which has been under scrutiny for years. A previous closure took place on the morning of Jan. 13.

READ MORE: Edmonton will spend months testing Metro LRT Line signal system; Thales says it’s ready

The city expects there will be one-and-a-half days of system-wide LRT closures each month to accommodate their testing.

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The city expects it will take a number of months to complete the evaluation, which it said includes a review of documentation and field testing to determine whether Thales has met its contractual obligations.

The Edmonton Transit Service (ETS) will have replacement buses every 15 minutes on the Metro Line between NAIT and Churchill, including eastbound bus stops by Bay and Central stations. Capital Line replacement buses run every seven to eight minutes.

The problem-plagued Metro Line has experienced several issues since it opened more than a year late in September 2015, including crossing arms coming down on green lights and trains heading in opposite directions on the same set of tracks.

READ MORE: New Metro LRT plan includes Thales deadline, bridge over Yellowhead, proposed train to St. Albert

Earlier this year, the city issued a notice of default to Thales.

A new timetable was established to fix the remaining issues with the system, and Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, was the date to hand the system over to the city to operate.

Thales said the system is ready after it was tested last summer. The city is now conducting its own testing.

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