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Calgary LRT West and Northeast Extensions

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#1
I was in Calgary two weeks ago and took photos of the West and Northeast extensions of the C-Train network.

The West LRT is something else. It will feature both the first elevated and tunneled LRT stations. The Sunalta station, elevated, will connect the far western end of the city centre and the Greyhound Terminal.

Westbrook will be underground and support the re-development of old commercial and institutional uses for a more dense, mixed use area.

Sunalta Station and viaduct:







Westbrook (note new condo towers)


Sirooco Station:






Northeast LRT extension - McKnight-Westwinds to Saddle Ridge


This is lower-key than the impressive West LRT. The extension only goes for two stops further to the northwest to Saddle Ridge, a circular roadway containing suburban plazas, parks and such surrounded by low and medium density housing stock. All crossings, except nearest the existing LRT, are at grade.

Extension from McKnight-Westwinds:


Martindale Station - a simple stop without amenities like parking or bus terminal





Saddle Ridge Station:




 

Hipster Duck

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Thanks for these photos, Sean.

It's not everyday that you see a city embarking on two major rapid transit expansion projects simultaneously - and a city of 1 million to boot!

I noticed two things from your photos. The first is that the West LRT has been one, big construction project from end-to-end. As soon as they started building the viaduct near downtown, they also started grade separation on the west side of town, and tunneling near Westbrook. Contrast this with Toronto's habit of focusing construction projects on one side of a line, and gradually inching toward the other end (eg. St. Clair, Georgetown sub improvements, etc.). I think Calgary's approach might be a more efficient use of larger economies of scale, but I'm just guessing here.

The other thing I noticed is how Calgary's approach to LRT alignments runs the gamut from tunneled sections, to viaducts, ROWs to the side of highways and even - in the case of Martindale station - building in a ROW behind people's backyards! They don't accept this ridiculous false choice between "it must be in the median of a street" or "tunneled" that has cost Toronto tremendous amounts of time and money.
 

ShonTron

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The current LRT extensions were certainly, literally, something to write home about. I'm a bit of a skeptic when people say in the "West" that there's a "can-do" attitude, but the experience of Calgary and Vancouver enforces this stereotype. Calgary is the North American model for nearly-continuous growth of hard transit infrastructure with a willing ridership. Also, the implementation of LRT fits the area it is going in, something that is preposterous in Toronto.

It should be said that the ROW for the Northwest LRT was decided before the developers went in, so they can get away with backyard LRT without a NIMBY backlash, as signs similar to those in Mississauga warned of LRT expansion before people moved in.
 

ShonTron

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The current LRT extensions were certainly, literally, something to write home about. I'm a bit of a skeptic when people say in the "West" that there's a "can-do" attitude, but the experience of Calgary and Vancouver enforces this stereotype. Calgary is the North American model for nearly-continuous growth of hard transit infrastructure with a willing ridership. Also, the implementation of LRT fits the area it is going in, something that is preposterous in Toronto.

It should be said that the ROW for the Northwest LRT was decided before the developers went in, so they can get away with backyard LRT without a NIMBY backlash, as signs similar to those in Mississauga warned of LRT expansion before people moved in.
 

BMO

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Looks like the metro that was built in Dubai, or atleast the elevated station structures do!

Thanks for posting the photos ShonTron!
 

Hipster Duck

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The current LRT extensions were certainly, literally, something to write home about. I'm a bit of a skeptic when people say in the "West" that there's a "can-do" attitude, but the experience of Calgary and Vancouver enforces this stereotype.
Well, it's not all rosy out in the west. The Evergreen line may never get built because Burnaby's mayor is being stubborn about how much his municipality should pay.

But, yeah, most of the time planning is much less of a political football in the Western cities than it is in Toronto.
 
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Markster

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So... uh... four years later, they've opened the West LRT!

And guess what, it's an election year, so here come the funding promises for the next!

Federal funding to fast-forward Green Line to LRT

In a historic move, the federal government has announced 1.5 billion dollars from the Public Transit Fund will be awarded to the Green Line project. This is the single largest infrastructure investment in Alberta’s history.

What does this mean for Calgarians?

The Green Line was initially planned to be constructed over 30+ years, starting as a bus-only Transitway, and later converting to LRT. This announcement from the Federal Government means that Calgarians in the north and southeast areas of the city will be able to enjoy faster, more reliable, light rail service ahead of schedule. Currently, 290,000 Calgarians are estimated to live along the Green Line corridor, with thousands more working and visiting the newly developing employment hubs and community activity centres on the route. The Green Line will not only bring transit into communities, but will connect neighbourhoods where Calgarians can live, work and play close to transit.

Changing the face of Calgary’s LRT network

The Green Line will add an additional 40 kilometres of track to the existing 59 kilometre LRT network. End-to-end, the route will connect North Pointe and Seton to downtown.

Modeled after the existing CTrain system, which is 100 per cent powered by renewable wind energy, the Green Line will be an environmentally sustainable addition to the city’s transit service.

Today, Calgary’s population is 1.19 million and will increase to about 1.89 million in the next 30 years. It is estimated that the Green Line will service 41 million passengers annually.
- See more at: http://www.calgarycitynews.com/2015...-fast-forward-green.html#sthash.ZEsbwiB2.dpuf