The Metro Line LRT is better, but not close to where it should be after a soft ware upgrade on the weekend that has improved some wait times for motorists at key intersections.
City council’s executive committee got a verbal update a day and a half of regular rush hour testing for drivers.
“We think we are making significant strides, significant improvements in the work on our own and we have good positive results from the very preliminary testing,” city manager Linda Cochrane said after insisting that the city was out of the forecasting business of predicting when the Metro Line would be running at full speed and full frequency.
What you’ll see on the road is, trains won’t be tying up locations where the tracks cross the road. Right now the goal is to get to what they term “Plan B” where the trains all run at 50 km/hr, but that still isn’t happening as coachmen slow the train down to cross key intersections.
However the improvement in the signalling system is, the crossing arms won’t be down as long.
“The software patch gives us more certainty on the location of a train,” said infrastructure GM Adam Laughlin, “Which gives us more certainty around when the train is going to arrive at the various intersections so, yes we’re going to see some improvements at the intersections. The degree is still some of that testing that we need to do over the next little while.”
“The system is safe but it takes time for the train to get there and this software update gives us hopefully the ability to get to a point where we optimize the location of the train in relation to where the crossing arms are coming down.”
They’ll also hold trains at the NAIT station instead of MacEwan, as a way of improving on street timing. They figured out that this way two trains won’t hit intersections together.
Eventually they want to get to “Plan A” which is what was intended for 2014. That’s where the trains go at full speed, and at full frequency. Right now on the main Capital Line they leave a gap every three trains, to give time and space for a Metro Line train to weave into the run at Churchill Station.
McLaughlin told councillors that won’t happen until some time next year.