Valley Line Southeast LRT opening Nov. 4
Posted October 24, 2023 10:27 am.
Last Updated October 24, 2023 7:02 pm.
After years of construction delays, pandemic slowdowns and testing hiccups, Edmonton’s Valley Line Southeast LRT finally has an opening day.
The City of Edmonton says the Valley Line LRT will open to passengers Nov. 4, with service beginning at 5:15 a.m. at the Mill Woods stop and 102 Street stop downtown.
A formal grand opening ceremony will be held in 2024.
The city says the LRT has been independently certified by engineers, a safety auditor and a certifier.
Construction on the 13-kilometre-long line connecting Mill Woods to Edmonton’s downtown began in 2016 and was supposed to be completed in 2020.
The opening of the line was postponed multiple times due to various complications, most notably when cracks were discovered on 18 of 44 concrete piers that support the elevated tracks.
More recently, testing was paused in June when signalling cable lines needed to replaced “to ensure future reliability.”
Testing on the Valley Line SE was also marred by a number of collisions, with vehicles making illegal right-hand turns on reds onto the tracks.
It’s been a long time coming for Coun. Ashely Salvador; part of the Valley Line runs through her Ward Métis.
“I’ve heard stories from residents in Ward Métis, who moved to communities along the Valley Line specifically because they wanted to live that transit-orientated lifestyle.”
Troubles with Valley Line Southeast
Coun. Tim Cartmell hopes the city can learn from the beleaguered project, specifically as it relates to the western expansion of the line.
“I’ve heard just a few weeks ago from some of the business owners along Stony Plain Road, how they’re not seeing the business they were promised,” said Cartmell. “So absolutely, questions will arise on that west line, particularly because of what’s happened on that southeast line.”
TransEd, the company building the rail line, will be conducting “final operational exercises” leading up to the opening to ensure train operators and control centre staff are prepared for any day-to-day challenges.
TransEd will also be completing curb and landscaping maintenance over the coming weeks.
“This has been a long journey, with challenges and detours, but we’re confident in the system we’ve built,” TransEd CEO Ronald Joncas said. “We’re excited to welcome passengers on board these brand-new trains.”
Hours of operation
The Valley Line Southeast will have the same hours of operations as the Capital Line and Metro Line. Transit fares and tickets are also the same.
From 102 Street stop: service will begin at 5:15 a.m. seven days a week.
From Mill Woods stop: service will begin at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 5:15 a.m. on weekends.
For both stations: final trains leave at 1 a.m. from Monday to Saturday and 12:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Deputy city manager Adam Laughlin, who has been with the City of Edmonton since the project was first planned in 2008, says the new LRT line won’t open at peak capacity just yet.
“It will open at a 10-minute frequency, and progressively move up to the five-minute frequency in the peak hours,” said Laughlin.
–With files from Darcy Ropchan