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M. Parsons

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    Edmonton
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    Eliminating Chucky and Co. COMPLETE.

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  1. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    The 7000's have roof numbers.
  2. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    7006 on Sunday and 7001 today (yes, with more snow).
  3. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    I can't imagine any of Edmonton's blocks are more than a kilometre long. The 2005 LRT design guidelines called for the signal system to support 2.5 minute headways. I'm sure that was factored in the NE Signal upgrades were designed. Can't find the document right now that would confirm that unfortunately. Some time ago I timed the time it takes to traverse a signal block and most were under 2 minutes at track speed, so, I don't really see the need to tighten blocks up. Certainly, without CBTC, or if CBTC gets scrapped, they might have to tighten up some Downtown blocks so that they are designed for headways of closer to 1.5-2 minutes rather than 2.5 minutes. Certainly, I don't think that Edmonton's signal system is in anyway extremely limited the way it is. Yes, Edmonton has some somewhat conservative speeds and it has more restrictive elements of the signal system than Calgary, but that seems to be the overall philosophy ETS has adopted for whatever reason, rather than actual limitations. In fact, having speed dumps and the call on signals is actually probably making greater use of the signal system than Calgary is, and arguably perhaps ETS's system is safer. The GE equipment in use on Edmonton's S-NE LRT actually looks very similar to the equipment Calgary uses on their WLRT. Long term, CBTC should be good for Edmonton. There's a lot of potential in it I gather and at this point I think the best thing is just to get it running. On the other hand, I don't think we should have bought it in the first place. I think the existing track circuit based ABS system with perhaps some adjustments would have been just fine and A LOT cheaper. I also don't get why they just didn't install CBTC along the whole line. Or why they required the existing ABS system would be maintained to act as a back up system.
  4. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    It all depends upon your definition of "existing single system". Sure, the original Siemens system wasn't configured for multiple lines, however, with the NE Signal upgrades that brought in the GE equipment to replace the Siemens equipment, that was designed from the start to include the Churchill junction, and of course it is the GE equipment that controls the junction today. How exactly it controls the junction, I'm not sure. Presumably there's an automatic mode which does know which train is which and handles routing. VTAG would be relevant perhaps if ETS didn't go with CBTC. Who knows what capabilities full CBTC would allow ETS. That we don't know yet. Should ETS have gone with something other than CBTC, it's possible they would have gone with some or all of those features. It's also possible that even with that capability, ETS might have simply maintained a philosophy that takes those options away from operators. Those are call on signals. Seems to me it would be a bad thing for a train to enter a crossing that isn't protected! This is more of a philosophy thing again rather than anything related to what type of signal system is in use. It might even stem from the original design of Edmonton's signal system which was quite minimal. Ditto on the speed dumps and 40 kph into the stations. Speed dumps are simply a feature Edmonton uses and Calgary doesn't, and Edmonton is a bit more restrictive on speeds. Edmonton's also had at least one incident of an impaired motorman which may have contributed to certain decisions about some of the features of the signal system!
  5. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    How does CT's system differ from the existing block system used in Edmonton? From my observations they are generally quite similar, expect for the West LRT. That seems a bit more of an elaborate signal system, although, that could also just be how the signal logic is set up.
  6. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    They started on Saturday. Presumably making sure that they work in advance of the requirement that Thales basically has everything up to snuff before the end of April. ETS is supposed to have a report on basically what to do if Thales doesn't have the CBTC up and running 100% by that time and that could include scrapping CBTC.
  7. VIA Rail Canada

    I didn't realize the Canada 150 livery had been changed to the 40th Anniversary version. So, this was a pleasant surprise when I went out looking for a 7 hour late VIA #1 through Edmonton.
  8. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    Just hanging and we found this thing unexpectedly.
  9. Sunshine Village Ski Resort

    Yep! Lots of CNG LFS's! With the NDP government there's been a lot of transit funding available.
  10. Feature Photo Submissions

    ETS 4046, class leader for the 1998/99 D40LF purchase, is seen working the route 81 on Lakewood Road at 31 Ave. Coming up on 20 years of service, these buses are up for retirement with the arrival of the 7000's this year. These buses introduced a lot of features not found on ETS's earlier 200 series that were carried throughout the low floor fleet in the following years. This included actual draught doors (as speced throughout the GM New Look years), warm wall heating (much like a New Look again), Bailous LED signs, and the Cummins C8.3 engine. Yes, it's April and there's still snow on the ground.
  11. I didn't realize that MCI low floor thing could do 50+ with 2 wheelchairs. Frankly, I assumed it would be less than 50. The ex Calgary bus at this point is specifically meant for the Lake Minnewanka service, which as you noted, they need a contracted bus to operate on last year. Presumably a few spares to back up that service, and hybrid refurbishing, could be why they are looking at 1-2 more ex Calgary buses. Service increases are 1 bus for each of the Route 1 and 2, plus presumably 1 spare. I dug up some intel on their GreenTrip plans which I apparently I didn't post here. This is from about a year ago. GreenTrip Project List: Received funding for: Park and Ride development (2 lots) 2018-2019 Phase 1 fleet increase (3 buses) 2017-2018 Phase 2 fleet increase (2 buses) 2019-2020 Shuttle services buses for park and ride lots. 2 lots X 2 buses + 1 spare = 5 buses 2018-2020 That's additional 10 buses in a few short years. Canmore fleet for spare capactiy and growth 2 buses 2018-2019 ID9 Fleet for Banff/ Lake Louise transit service 4 buses 2018-2019 ID9 Additional fleet for Lake Louise Local service 3 buses 2018-2019 ID9 Park and Ride development Lake Louise 2018-2019 Summary is 14 new buses between 2017-2020. 5 for Banff service increase, 5 for park and ride service, 2 for Canmore, and 7 for Lake Louise service. 2017 purchases are planned at $575,000/ bus. 2018 purchases are planned at $610,000/ bus. 2019 purchases are planned at $625,000/ bus. Frankly, I'll be surprised if all of this comes to pass, but, they do have the funding from the provincial government. The coach with low floor wheelchair access tender is for up to 4 units so that does match the plans from a year ago for the Banff/ Lake Louise fleet.
  12. The Lake Louise services are budgeted for 2019 at this point. For that, there's a separate tender out for vehicles for those routes which I can't make head nor tails or right now. They want coaches with seating for 50, plus low floor wheelchair access. Seems like it's more of a feeler for what the industry has available, and I guess if they find what they want they can buy it, or, go back to the drawing board. No details yet, but there is a plan to refurb their hybrids in 2018 which I'm sure would make it helpful to have an extra spare bus around for while one of those is a way, although, everything I've seen is that these 3 buses are strictly for 2018 service increases. There are also plans for buses for a parking lot shuttle. Details I believe are in the capital budgets (for which there is very little information for a Lake Louise service). I was curious how/ why Southland would keep those buses branded as such until the summer and how they could continue to use that branding. Make sense now though. I could see Southland using that branding for their commuter services in the future. Smart of them.
  13. 2016 Edmonton and Area spotting and news

    Newest railway in Edmonton. Electric powered too. Uses off the shelf railway rail and fasteners too.
  14. There should be 3 new LFS's in Banff now for increased service this summer, plus, apparently 1 Calgary Transit bus has been purchased. It's getting an engine replacement at Cummins, so, perhaps a 2001 or newer!? Possibly 1-2 more to follow. For the Lake Minnewanka service. Southland will be providing Calgary - Banff again this summer with the On It branded coaches, so, apparently that livery lives on for a while.
  15. 1998/1999 New Flyer retirements

    4090 is likely the first to bite the dust with the arrival of the 7000's. It's sitting with 4047, 4087, 4117, and 4184 in the Paterson Compound. 4090 was noticeably missing parts, but I don't think we noticed anything missing on the other buses. 4047 in particular hasn't been seen since January 31.
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