Light Rail subway and heritage tramway

Calgary's light rail line, one of the first in the North American continent's light rail renaissance of the 1980's, is known for it's Siemens cars which are identical to those of the San Diego trolley. Since then, new cars have been added.

Opened in 1981,the system currently has 3 lines totaling 58.5 km and 45 stations, all of which are above ground except for a recent ones on the West Line. Otherwise, only a small portion of the line is subsurface. Most stations are above ground, though Barlow is built into a hill and the zoo station is partially underground.

According to a third party conversation with a senior CT official, "very long term plans do contemplate a subway through the city centre. One recently built or renovated government building has a provision for a future station in its basement." This building is alleged to be theconvention centre.

However, a subway was begun in Calgary in the1980's. The section below City Hall has been visited by urban explorers. The tunnel goes under the CP rail tracks south of 9th Ave. downtown. This tunnel in use has a stub (the "secret tunnel") that veers west under city hall as the train leaves a tunnel that exits into downtown. The spur, once visible, was cruelly blocked off when CT discovered their secret under-region had been invaded by hapless civilians. The entrance to the stub is a hatch in the aldermen's parkade. There's a red sign near it that says "special procedures apply". Under the parkade, there's a concrete half-completed station with room for 4 tracks (1 island platform, 2 side platforms). The plan is to eventually have a tunnel under 8th Ave downtown.

In 2001, Calgary's CTrain became the first public transit system in Canada to use 100% of its electricity from a wind powered source.

Construction of the 8 km West LRT began in 2009, and opened in December 2012.  It features Calgary's first true subway station at Westbrook .

Don't forget to visit the Heritage Park Street Railway, which runs 1 km from 14th Street SW to  Heritage Park.

  • Calgary Transit Web Page including maps
  • Calgary LRT by Steve Perry (perhaps the best Calgary LRT site I've seen)
  • My 10 Minutes at Whitehorn Station (January, 1999)
  • Subway Mark's Calgary LRT page
  • Dave's Calgary pix
  • Calgary Citybeat: C-Train turns 20 years old
  • The Northeast LRT subway, a 5.2 km partially underground extension, now complete.
  • Photo essay from
  • Calgary anti-lightrail site


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