Sunday, 13 November 2011

C-Train, the Most Successful LRT in North America

Calgary Transit 2200 series (Siemens 160-SD AC LRV) at Brentwood Station on the Route 201

Recently, I had an opportunity to visit Calgary in Canada. Although I was very busy there, I tried to make an opportunity to ride the reputable C-Train, which is one of the most successful light rail transit (LRT) systems in North America.

The C-Train has been operated by Calgary Transit since 1981. The line consists of two routes, known as Route 201, which serves the southern and north-western areas, and Route 202 in the north-eastern sections of the city. The two routes merge along 7th Avenue in the downtown area. The total operating length is currently 48.8km.

Two types of vehicles are operated; one is the old model Siemens U2 LRV (2000s in car number, see the bottom photo), and the other is the new model Siemens SD-160 LRV (2200s in car number, see the top photo). DC motors are adopted in U2, whilst AC traction motors are used in SD-160. 2 cars of U2 (2100s in car number) exceptionally have AC traction motors.

I rode the train during the daytime in the weekend. But I was surprised that most of the seats were occupied. It's more crowded than I had imagined. Another amazing thing was that the downtown section of the line is fare free. What a big-hearted railway it is! The insides of trains were clean, and passengers were well-mannered. So, I had an enjoyable time during my short trip to the suburbs.

LRT will draw more and more attention as a means of transportation in urban areas throughout the world.

  Calgary Transit 2000 series (Siemens U2 DC LRV) at 6th Street Station on the Route 202

More information about C-Train: