If you are following my travels on the West LRT, then you know the first station I visited at 69th St was deeply trenched below street level and the one at Sirocco sat at ground level. The C-Train runs every 15 minutes during off-peak hours, giving me enough time for a quick look around at each stop. The third station heading east along 17th Avenue is at 45th St SW (aptly named 45th St) and this station is like a hybrid of the first two. Nestled between the AMA building and the north side of 17th Avenue; the 45th St station is at street level at its west end (47th St) and is trenched below grade just a block east, where it goes under 45th St, leaving that important intersection unobstructed by the rail line.
It is a credit to the engineers and designers who had to tread the careful balance between functionality and cost effectiveness as they dealt with all the hills and elevation changes heading west out of downtown. It is also a big relief to people like me who prefer that our modes of transportation do not go up and down too often like a roller coaster because that gives us motion sickness.
The 45th St LRT station is very much a ‘community’ station serving the surrounding neighborhoods within walking and cycling distance because it does not have a park and ride and the only commercial building is the AMA. (Does anyone else remember when that was the site of the 17th Ave Drive-In Theater?) While standing on the platform taking pictures I saw that some finishing touches still had to be done on the station, but what I really noticed was how chilly it felt there because the cold air settled down in the trench and the sun never came high enough to warm things up. Thank you for the heated shelters while I wait for the next train to take me to Calgary’s only underground LRT station. Westbrook coming up soon. And as always, I like to add the City of Calgary infographic for those who are interested in seeing more.