Retired Calgary Transit cars sold to salvager, not citizens

City said cars were sold prior to CBC article coming out

Calgary Transit U2 car. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

One Calgarian was disappointed when she was unable to purchase one of the retired U2 Calgary Transit cars. 

Instead, those cars were sold to a salvager.

Gina Lukey read a June 2019 CBC article that said the city was selling the old train cars for only $1. All buyers needed to cover was the cost to transport the cars off City property.

Lukey wanted one – maybe two – of the old Calgary Transit cars to turn into a greenhouse for her acreage just north of Calgary. The transportation, she said, wasn’t an issue for her.

“I made some phone calls and finally got through to this Mike at the transit [office] that does all the interactions with them,” said Lukey. 

“Then he gave me the run around.”

Lukey said she kept being told to callback. At first it was that the city wasn’t sure what they were doing with the old train cars. Then she was told to callback after Stampede. Then it was after the budget cuts, she said.

Lukey kept calling back and waiting to hear when she could come pick one of the cars up. Then she saw that the trains were being demolished. 

The Calgary Transit cars were never for sale

According to Rob Eccleston, manager of warehouse and inventory for the City of Calgary, the Calgary Transit cars in the CBC article were already sold before the article went up. 

“It wasn’t our intent to create the impression that there were a lot of these cars just waiting for a good home,” said Eccleston. 

When the city began the disposal program for the old U2 train cars a year ago, Eccleston said they received very little interest. The city then sold them to a salvage operation. 

Calgary Transit did a second round of media this June. That’s when the interest in purchasing these old trains cars came about, Eccleston said.

So Eccleston wasn’t certain why the second round was done. He said thought it was supposed to be more about sharing the history of the cars rather than trying to gain purchasing interest. 

Anyone who reached out to buy a car was put on a list to be contacted when the city had more cars to be purchased.

To Lukey, or anyone not getting clear communication about this issue, he suggested calling 311 and asking to speak to the warehouse and inventory department.

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