September 15, 2016

We are upgrading the CTrain traction power system in order to provide the additional power needed to support 4-car CTrains. This requires a new traction power substation to be installed between Canyon Meadows and Anderson stations.

A small, City-owned greenspace located between Cantrell Dr and Canfield Rd SW has been identified as the location for the new substation. View map

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2017 and be completed by fall 2017.

Public engagement overview

Community members had the opportunity to provide input on some aspects of this project. Feedback was collected online between Oct. 12-26, 2016, and an open house was held at the Canyon Meadows Community Centre on Oct. 19. To see the results of the public engagement, view the What We Heard Report.

Traction power substation FAQs

What is a Traction Power Substation?

A traction power substation provides electrical power to CTrains through the overhead catenary system (wires above the CTrain). The CTrain runs on direct current (DC) power, but the electricity provided to the city is alternating current (AC). The substation transforms AC into DC electricity so it can be used to power the CTrains. Substations are similar in size to a shipping container, with a final site footprint comparable to the size of a double car garage.

Why do we need to install more substations?

We are introducing 4-car trains, which require more power to operate than 3-car trains. The power system needs to be upgraded and seven additional substations are being built around the city. The new substations are critical transit infrastructure that will improve transit use for over 300,000 CTrain riders every weekday.

Are traction power substations safe?

Substations are very safe and regularly used for light rail projects. They do not emit radiation, electricity or any harmful pollutants. They can be found in residential neighbourhoods throughout North America and around the world. All electrical equipment is enclosed within a locked building providing security and sound absorption.  Equipment is enclosed by sturdy, grounded metal compartments that contain the electricity.

Are they noisy?

Substations are quiet. The noise level of the substation is below 40 decibels, which respects city noise bylaws. This is equivalent to the noise emitted from a whispered conversation.

Will people be accessing it very often?

The substation will occasionally be accessed by maintenance personnel. The building will be fenced and locked.