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The C-Train is the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system used in the city of Calgary to move thousands of people to and from work every day. Also serves as a transportation device for drunk people and all the other people going everywhere else.

One of Calgarians favorite pastimes, after complaining about the weather, is to complain about how slow and crowded the train is, especially as you watch the third jam-packed Brentwood train in a row go by from you vantage point on the last downtown platform.

The best thing about the C-Train, aside from the fact that it allows me to get to and from work to everyday, is the occasional operator, who will come on the PA in place of the cheesy recorded voice at each stop. One of them is quite funny, and it's comforting to here a real live human telling you what the next stop is first thing in the morning.

The bad thing about the C-Train is that when it get's cold and icy, as it is prone to do here, people tend to slide cars into the C-Trains. Or people get thier cars stuck on the tracks, and the C-Train runs into them. Somebody walked in front of one just recently and succeeded in removing himself from the gene pool.

In 2001, Calgary got a bunch of new C-Train cars. They are called SD-160s and are made by Siemens. Some differences between the SD-160s and the older (U2) trains:
  • The doors slide open rather than folding in and smacking you should you be standing too close. For safety reasons the doors beep when they are ready to close. Each door beeps at a different pitch so you can often hear a chorus of them when they close at the same time. It would be a pleasurable sound if only it was something other than a beep.

  • They are a lot noisier than the old trains, though not as loud as a typical bus. The fans on the old U2s are never as loud. When the old trains comes to a stop, their fans slow down and it becomes almost perfectly silent. The fans on the SD-160s are running all the time in order to offer better ventilation.

  • The seats no longer face each other. They face forward in the front half and backward in the rear half. The seats are blue rather than the red-brown color of the old trains. They are also higher so short people like me can’t reach our legs to the floor.

  • The SD-160s are A.C.-powered. Whenever the brakes are applied there’s an annoying buzzing sound that doesn't occur on the D.C.-powered U2s. This may have something to do with regenerative braking.

  • There is funny-looking equipment on the roof. Large white boxes are mounted near the ends of the cars - I believe these are ventillation units. At one-third of the way in from both ends are metal versions of the white boxes. They must be transformers or something related as you can hear the buzzing emanating from them as the train comes to a stop at a station.

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