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South Edmonton LRT rail cracks due to extreme cold as region reaches record low temperatures

Click to play video 'Edmonton weather forecast: Tuesday, February 9, 2021' Edmonton weather forecast: Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Here's Jesse Beyer's Tuesday, February 9, 2021 evening weather forecast for Edmonton, Alberta and the surrounding area – Feb 9, 2021

Edmonton’s extremely low temperatures have led to a crack in an LRT line in the south area of the city, officials said Tuesday.

A rail that both Metro and Capital line trains use cracked near 51 Avenue and 111 Street, leading to “minor delays” at the Southgate and Century Park stations.

Rowan Anderson with the City of Edmonton told Global News the Capital Line was still fully running Tuesday, but using a single track, which created delays.

Edmonton Transit Service’s LRT line near the Southgate LRT Station on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. Global News

The Metro Line was running between NAIT and the South Campus/Fort Edmonton Park station due to the crack, Anderson said. Normally the Metro Line also runs to the southernmost Century Park Transit Centre on weekdays.

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Repair crews worked overnight, beginning at 7 p.m., to restore full service by the Wednesday morning commute.

In an updated tweet Wednesday morning, Edmonton Transit said LRT service was running normally “thanks to our track crew who worked in -40 C last night to repair a cracked rail.”

“We appreciate our #yegtransit customers’ patience during repairs and pass on massive kudos to the crew who safely completed the work.”

This isn’t the first time the LRT has cracked during an extreme cold spell. In January 2020, two cracks were found in the same area near 51 Street. 

Read more: Extreme cold causes 2nd crack in LRT line in south Edmonton

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However, Edmonton Transit Service said on Twitter while the rail that cracked Tuesday is at the same intersection, it’s not the same rail damaged last year.

The Edmonton region also broke a low daily temperature record on Monday. According to Environment Canada, the Edmonton International Airport weather station recorded a new record of -40.8 C, beating the old record on that date of -35.8 C set in 1979. Records have been kept there since 1959.

Read more: 15 new record lows set in Alberta as extreme cold continues

The record-breaking temperatures was one of 15 recorded Monday around the province.

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New daily low temperatures were recorded at 15 different locations in Alberta on Feb. 8, 2021. Global News
New daily low temperatures were recorded at 15 different locations in Alberta on Feb. 8, 2021. Global News

The entire province of Alberta is under an extreme cold warning. Extreme cold wind chill values in the province are continuing to sit between -40 C and -55 C, the agency said.

Read more: Nearly all of Alberta under ‘prolonged’ extreme cold warning expected to last into the week

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Environment Canada says the “prolonged cold snap” will likely last into the weekend for many parts of Alberta.