SkyTrain for Surrey, not LRT!


Grief outpours after 6-year-old girl struck, killed by light rail train in Calgary

Calgary, Alberta – October 15, 2018

Today our hearts are with those affected in Calgary, Alberta where a 6-year-old girl has been struck and killed by a light rail train. The incident this morning prompted expressions of grief from both Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and also from hundreds of transit riders who were caught in more than 3 hours of service delays due to the incident.

“When she was trying to cross the tracks, she unfortunately got confused because the lights and the arms started to sound.”

– Calgary Police Sgt. Chris Agren, in statement to news

According to CBC news, CTV News Calgary and the Vancouver Sun, police say that the driver of the C-Train light rail vehicle saw a ‘panicked’ girl on the train tracks after warning gates had come down, and applied the brakes, but not early enough before the girl was then hit by the train. The girl was rushed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where she subsequently died of her injuries.

Aerial footage from Global News shows firefighters and paramedics rushing the girl on stretcher into an ambulance, and then the ambulance subeqeuently rushing to the hospital.

Calgary “cheaped out in the 80’s”

LRT service was shut down in the Somerset-Bridlewood station area as a result of this incident at appropximately 7:56 AM mountain time. The service was subsequently replaced by shuttle buses, and this arrangement continued for over 3 hours until regular service was restored by Calgary Transit at approximately 11:00 AM mountain time.

C-Train passengers vented their frustration on social media, offering suggestions and posting pictures showing long line-ups, crowds and confusion as a result of the delays. Some people pointed out that “many people had been hit over the years”, as a result of the at-grade running of the system.

Outpouring of grief

The resulting incident resulted in an outpouring of grief on social media channels from various people, including Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who described the incident as “every parent’s nightmare”.

BREAKING: Another pedestrian struck and killed

It looks like within hours of this incident, another pedestrian has been hit by a light rail train in Calgary and has died of their injuries on the same line.

See full post: Another pedestrian is dead after hit by LRT train in Calgary

Surrey’s LRT proposal will be prone to fatal collsions.

The proposed Surrey Light Rail Transit system will run at street level on segments of 104th Avenue, King George Boulevard and Fraser Highway. Incidents like this where LRT trains are involved in collisions with vehicles or pedestrians can prove fatal for those who are hit, and generally necessitate complete shut downs of that segment of the LRT system.

Once again, this incident highlights a major, fundamental flaw of the proposed street-running light rail system endorsed by TransLink, the Regional Mayors’ Council, and the City of Surrey. The proposed LRT lines run in the medians of major arterial roads, and would cross through several busy intersections at street level.

Accidents have disrupted light rail service in Calgary in three separate incidents that were highlighted by SkyTrain for Surrey: in May, July and September.

SkyTrain for Surrey has called for the cancellation of the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project, the conversion of the Surrey-Langley LRT into a SkyTrain extension of the Expo Line, and the construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on King George Boulevard and 104th Avenue (instead of an LRT). With BRT’s ability to detour around accident areas, and SkyTrain’s ability to simply pass overhead, a rapid transit system built on SkyTrain and BRT would not be subject to total disruptions.

Surrey residents expect their future rapid transit system to be trustworthy and reliable. A street-running LRT system will not deliver.

About SkyTrain for Surrey

SkyTrain for Surrey is the community organization that advocated for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension, and continues to push for high-quality rapid transit projects in Surrey and Langley. We began as a petition calling for the scrapping of a street-level LRT proposal, which eventually amassed more than 6,000 signatures, and later contributed to making SkyTrain an election issue as a registered third-party advertiser. SkyTrain for Surrey continues to call for high-quality projects that offer a positive return-on-investment and recognize the rapidly increasing demand for transit.

Media Contact:

Daryl Dela Cruz ​– Founder, SkyTrain for Surrey
Phone: +1 604 329 3529, [email protected]

Grief outpours after 6-year-old girl struck, killed by light rail train in Calgary