Another nightmare day for LRT: power failures, stalled trains, switch issues and heavy snow
OTTAWA -- Another problem-plagued day Friday on the Confederation Line, with a multitude of factors creating serious delays and frustrations for commuters.
Two stalled trains had to be towed off the line in the mid-afternoon causing problems for several hours. Replacement bus service was implemented between Blair to St. Laurent, and Lyon and Rideau stations.
The day started with challenges too. Six of the 13 LRT trains were delayed in launching this morning.
In a statement, OC Transpo Transit Manager John Manconi said a “power outage” in the yard delayed the launch of six of the 13 trains.
“The first seven were on schedule however they experienced a power outage in the yard which caused a delay” to the final vehicles and “they have to follow a resetting process…once power is restored,” he wrote.
Manconi said there were “no major issues” during rush hour, with trains coming every five to six minutes, instead of every four minutes.
All trains were launched by 7:50 this morning.
But passengers reported problems with slow service throughout the line all day.
“Some customers may have experienced longer travel times just before 11 am due to a switch issue," said Troy Charter with OC Transpo.
"This was resolved at approximately 11:20 am, and service returned to normal," he said. "Additionally, in response to the weather event, there are staff performing snow clearing on the rail line, which may result in some trains being held at stations for a short period of time to allow for the snow clearing operations to occur.”
Manconi wrote the system also experienced a “switch issue” at Blair station after rush hour, holding several trains for “safety protocols.” There was also another switch issue during the afternoon.
It’s not clear what caused the major power issue in the yard prior to launch Friday morning.
There was a snowfall warning and approximately 14 centimetres was on the ground in Ottawa by the early morning.
OC Transpo has said one of the problems with the new trains is that they tend to have problems in wet or snowy weather, and they don’t know why.
Replacement bus service did not need to be used this morning on LRT.
Some LRT riders and citizen Transit Commissoner Sarah Wright-Gilbert expressed frustraton with OC Transpo's communication on Friday's problems on the system.
The problems this morning coincided with a meeting between transit officials and city councillors about longer term issues with Blair station.