First Flexity low-floor in Edmonton

Written by John Thompson, Canadian Contributing Editor
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More than 3,000 Edmontonians viewed their city’s first low-floor LRV during the week of July 27 at Bonnie Doon Mall. The seven-section, double-ended Bombardier Flexity Freedom car was on public display after recently arriving by CN from the Kingston, Ontario plant. It is 131 feet long with couplers folded; 137 feet with couplers out. There are 82 seats; the cars can accommodate 275 passengers.

The Flexity has been moved to the new Gerry Wright Operations and Maintenance facility on the Valley Line for examination and static testing. Operational testing will be carried out next year when a section of completed track is available.

The new arrival is the first of 26 LRVs being built for the Valley LRT line, scheduled to open in late 2020. This will be Edmonton’s first low-floor operation. The Bonnie Doon Mall will be served by the line.

Edmonton opened its first LRT line in 1978; as such, it was the first new line in North America, and the northern-most one. To date, the original section and all extensions have been built utilizing high-floor loading. However, the economic and construction advantages of low-floor operation have resulted in this mode being approved for the Valley Line.

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