Capital Line crossing the North Saskatchewan River
|Opened||April 22, 1978|
|Operator(s)||Edmonton Transit System|
|Character||Surface line outside of city centre, subway style line under downtown and the UofA.|
|Depot(s)||D.L. MacDonald Yard|
|Line length||21 km (13.0 mi)|
|Number of tracks||2|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in)|
|Operating speed||70 km/h maximum|
The Edmonton LRT Capital Line is a light rail transit line running from northeast Edmonton to the south. Operated by the Edmonton Transit System, the line provides access to Downtown Edmonton and the University of Alberta. The Capital Line currently consists of fifteen stations, six of which are underground. Seven stations are shared with the Metro Line.
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On April 22, 1978 the line opened between Belvedere and Central stations. At the time (and for another 37 years) the system consisted solely of the single line. It was not named the Capital Line until 2012 when expansion plans were revealed for additional lines.
The 1980s were a decade of expansion for the Capital Line. It expanded northwards toward Clareview in 1981, and westwards toward Bay and Corona, under the downtown core in 1983. Another underground extension was completed in 1989 with the opening of Grandin Station.
During the 2000s, under the mayorship of Stephen Mandel, the Capital Line was expanded southward. Health Sciences opened in 2006, the first new station in 14 years. In 2009, McKernan/Belgravia and South Campus opened, followed by Southgate and Century Park in 2010.
After the completion of the south leg of the Capital Line, city council shifted their efforts towards the new Metro Line.
In January 2008, Mayor Stephen Mandel announced that the southern leg will be extended further south along 111 Street to Anthony Henday Drive, and then west to 127 Street SW. There will be a station and a 1,400-car park-and-ride at the intersection of Ellerslie Road and 127 Street SW, then the LRT will continue south for another stop at 41 Avenue SW, with a possible new LRT yard in between. City council approved the route to the Ellerslie Station, and for construction to begin on the park-and ride in July 2009, but they have yet to announce when the station will be complete, as well as approval for the extension to city limits. There are no current plans for an extension to the Edmonton International Airport and Leduc. In late April 2012, the city launched bus route 747 from Century Park Station to the airport.
Construction on the south LRT is scheduled to begin in 2019 and be completed by 2023. The extension will add the new station, Ellerslie, to the line. The Ellerslie station itself will have a 1400-stall park 'n' ride. A new LRT maintenance facility will also be built as a part of the expansion. The City of Edmonton is also looking into extending the line even further within the same timeframe, adding 3 additional stations; Provincial Lands, Heritage Valley and Desrochers. By combining the two projects, the city could be potentially saving up to $50 million than if it were to be completed as two separate projects. In 2017, the Government of Alberta announced that a new state of the art hospital would be built just adjacent to Ellerslie station, increasing ridership, demand and urgency to fast track the South LRT project to be completed by 2023.
In 2008, Edmonton City Council approved a plan to extend the Capital Line northeast by one station to Gorman Towne Centre. On April 30, 2009, Mayor Stephen Mandel announced a $210 million project to extend the LRT system to a new Gorman Station with a park and ride lot, which was touted to accommodate commuters from outlying areas including Fort Saskatchewan. The expansion beyond Clareview Station was planned to continue along the CN right-of-way to a station and park-and-ride north of 153 Avenue and Victoria Trail. The plan would have received funding from three levels of government. However, funding was shifted to the Metro Line in July 2009 as city officials saw that line as a higher priority for the city. The city has not ruled out a near-future extension to Gorman. The City completed preliminary engineering on this project in 2010, however there is no budget or timeline for design and construction.
From a land use planning perspective, the City of Edmonton has approved two area structure plans beyond Gorman and Anthony Henday Drive that depict different alignments for further LRT extension into Edmonton's far northeast. Adopted in 2010, the Edmonton Energy and Technology Park Area Structure Plan depicts extension of the LRT along 50 Street across Manning Drive to the north, and then generally paralleling Manning Drive to approximately Highway 28A. This ASP qualifies that this "is a potential alignment only, and will be updated to reflect the completed planning for the Northeast LRT when a final route is determined."
Adopted in 2013, the Horse Hill ASP depicts extension of the LRT along 50 Street to the north, and then northeast along Fort Road to Meridian Street before crossing Manning Drive in a northwesterly direction into the Edmonton Energy and Technology Park. This ASP qualifies that "extension of LRT service will be subject to LRT system planning and design, as well as the availability of funding" and that the alignment it depicts "is preliminary and subject to change."
|Clareview||Surface||Northeast||April 26, 1981|
|Belvedere||Surface||Northeast||April 22, 1978|
|Coliseum||Surface||Northeast||April 22, 1978|
|Stadium||Surface||Northeast||April 22, 1978|
|Churchill||Underground|| Metro Line
Valley Line (2020)
|Downtown||April 22, 1978|
|Central||Underground||Metro Line||Downtown||April 22, 1978|
|Bay/Enterprise Square||Underground||Metro Line||Downtown||June 21, 1983|
|Corona||Underground||Metro Line||Downtown||June 21, 1983|
|Grandin||Underground||Metro Line||Downtown||September 1989|
|University||Underground||Metro Line||South||August 23, 1992|
|Health Sciences/Jubilee||Surface||Metro Line||South||January 3, 2006|
|McKernan/Belgravia||Surface||Metro Line||South||April 26, 2009|
|South Campus/Fort Edmonton Park||Surface||Metro Line||South||April 26, 2009|
|Southgate||Surface||Metro Line||South||April 25, 2010|
|Century Park||Surface||Metro Line||South||April 25, 2010|
- Hoang, Linda (January 31, 2013). "City announces five new LRT line names including 'Energy Line,' 'Capital Line'". CTV News Edmonton. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
- "South LRT Extension" (PDF). City of Edmonton. July 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2010-04-24.
- "Edmonton International Airport Service". City of Edmonton. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- City of Edmonton - Northeast to Gorman LRT Archived 2012-08-19 at the Wayback Machine.
- Kent, Gordon (May 1, 2009). "LRT to take northeast extension". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on May 3, 2009.
- "NAIT LRT line a go after feds approve funding: report". Edmonton Journal. 2009-07-02. Archived from the original on July 5, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
- "Northeast LRT to Gorman". City of Edmonton. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- "Plans in Effect" (PDF). City of Edmonton. May 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "Edmonton Energy and Technology Park Area Structure Plan (Office Consolidation)" (PDF) (PDF). City of Edmonton. May 2011. pp. 66–67 (PDF pages 69–70). Retrieved October 16, 2013.
- "Horse Hill Area Structure Plan (Office Consolidation)" (PDF) (PDF). City of Edmonton. July 2013. pp. 34 & 54 (PDF page 38 & 58). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.