Known as the ‘CTrain’, the Calgary Light Rail Transit system services 95 million passengers yearly. To keep everyone safe, the CTrain uses the Security Center Omnicast™ video system to monitor over 500 cameras across 38 stations and 46km of track, from a central location.

The company

In 1981, the City of Calgary in Alberta, Canada opened the first leg of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line for the city’s visitors and residents. Today, the LRT has more than doubled the number of stations, added two additional legs, and offer services to around 95 million passengers per year. Now commonly referred to as the “CTrain”, the system includes 38 stations that connect 46 km of track. The three legs operate on 7th Avenue through the city’s downtown area. Another ten-station stretch in this high-density downtown area is a Free Fare Zone that reduces transportation congestion in the heart of the city.

The challenge

When the CTrain system was first built, an analog CCTV system was installed which transferred archived video to tapes and eventually to DVRs. As the technology aged, the City of Calgary knew that the system had reached the end of its lifecycle. Fearing system failure, key decision makers began searching for a new solution. They needed to make sure the security solution would help keep passengers safe while ensuring a timely travel experience. Since operators monitor all CTrain operations from a central control room, the system also needed to efficiently and effectively send back video from all stations to a single location.

“The scalability and usability from Omnicast ensure a system that is not only perfect for transit deployments but is also the strongest video management platform available right now.”


David Sime, Director of Operations, Contava


Today, the security team manages over 500 cameras across all stations from a central location. Operators within the OCC (Operations Control Centre) in Calgary’s Public Safety Office also have access to the system to track operations or handle emergencies. With the intuitive video system, operators have been able to identify individuals who have committed crimes. It’s also been easier for operators to find evidence and send it over to law enforcement.

“One of the major advantages of choosing Omnicast is its flexibility. The system’s architecture enables us to minimize single points of failure. The open architecture also allows us to choose ‘flavor of the day’ cameras. Plus, the whole system is cheaper on a per-camera basis, so we can maximize our coverage with allocated funds,” said Colin Adderley, Project Manager and Engineer at the City of Calgary for the CCTV system.

The solution

Unified data and video

Omnicast is integrated with a SCADA system. This allows operators to receive alarms and view video within the SCADA platform, so they can quickly see what’s happening.

Active Directory integration

With an Active Directory integration, all Windows user accounts are synchronized with the Omnicast system user account. This makes it easier to manage and update user privileges.

Intuitive system navigation

Omnicast has been very easy to use. Operators quickly navigate the 500-camera system, monitoring real-time events and handling post-incident investigations when necessary.

Keeping people moving

Using the Omnicast system, the security team can quickly keep an eye on transit operations by monitoring train arrival times or evaluating whether interlocks are working properly.

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