Point/Counterpoint: C-Train or Edmonton’s LRT?

What train system is best?

Point: C-Train all the way!

I have to preface this by saying I’m a native Calgarian, and therefore just might have a little bit of bias. I don’t think that matters though when you examine the clear superiority of the C-Train to Edmonton’s LRT system.

Unlike Edmonton’s two lines, that just pretty much end up only going to two places, Calgary’s two lines technically reach out to the four cardinal directions. You can take nearly anywhere you need to, and if the train doesn’t quite get you far enough, you can just hop on a bus to take you the rest of the way. When I was living in Calgary, I was fairly mobile for someone who didn’t own a car.

There’s park and ride at almost every C-Train station, too, creating more incentive for car drivers to stop idling in traffic and speeding up our ever-impending deaths due to climate change.

Calgary has also updated nearly all of is LRT cars, unlike Edmonton, which is still using cars that are 40 years old. Yikes. When are you finally gonna retire those rickety old cars, YEG? Huh? HUH?!

The best part, though? The C-Train is free downtown. You read that correctly. FREE. You can hop on the train and get to the other end of downtown, without losing a dime, which is great for maximizing how much you can see and go to downtown in one day.

Anyone who says the C-Train sucks doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Don’t trust them. Trust me.

— Andrew McWhinney

Counterpoint: ETS LRT FTW!

I have to preface this by saying I’m a native Edmontonian. Fortunately, this means I have absolutely no bias whatsoever. I believe that the LRT is much better than Calgary’s C-Train.

Let’s make this simple. Edmonton’s LRT is the superior method of transit based on one feature: its boarding platforms are between the train tracks rather than strangely placed the on the outside of the train tracks, like the C-Train.

This neat feature means that every time I want to use the LRT, I can go to one station and have the freedom to go north or south without needing to walk 2 blocks in the freezing cold to go a different direction. This may not seem like a big deal, but this becomes very annoying if you live in Calgary and need to walk past a train station that can’t take you in your desired direction every single day.

Secondly, it gets cold in Calgary. Many C-Train stations don’t have heated buildings at boarding platforms. The ETS LRT has the attractive feature of travelling underground, this means that all of its downtown stations are nice and toasty warm at all times.

Calgarians love to pretend they don’t wait for the train in the lobbies of adjacent buildings and time their dashes so they can spend the least amount of time possible waiting on the C-Train’s frosty platforms.

In summary, let’s not ignore how secretly crappy the C-Train is while simultaneously recognizing that the ETS LRT is pretty good at taking you north AND south in comfort.

— Richard Bagan

Andrew McWhinney

Andrew McWhinney is a fifth-year English and political science combined honors student, as well as The Gateway's 2019-20 Editor-in-Chief. He was previously The Gateway's 2018-19 Opinion Editor. An aspiring journalist with too many opinions, he's a big fan of political theory, hip-hop, and being alive.

Related Articles

Back to top button