Full LRT service may not be restored until mid-December: City
OTTAWA -- While some LRT trains may be accepting passengers next month, the City of Ottawa says it could take another month to have full service restored on the Confederation Line.
In a memo to city councillors, sent Tuesday, City Manager Steve Kanellakos said the plan to restore partial LRT service to the line following the Sept. 19 derailment is proceeding and some service should be restored within the first two weeks of November.
"We can advise that significant progress has been made to prepare for the resumption of partial Line 1 service since the Transit Commission was updated last Wednesday. Additional RTG technicians have been deployed to inspect the trains and conduct necessary work to relaunch the system. The independent rail safety expert, Transportation Research Associates (TRA), is actively monitoring their progress," Kanellakos wrote.
The Confederation Line has been out of service since Sept. 19, when an LRT car derailed at Tremblay Station, damaging the car, the track, the station platform and track infrastructure. Council heard that improperly torqued bolts on one of the train cars led to a gear box becoming loose, which then led to the derailment. There were 12 passengers and the operator on board at the time. No one was hurt.
Kanellakos said RTG has provided a Nov. 29 target date to have full service restored, which includes 15 trains in the morning rush period and 13 in the afternoons. That, however, is dependent upon the same vetting process that is needed for the resumption of partial service using seven trains plus a spare.
"The November 29 date provided by RTG is a target and is subject to validation of the vehicle inspection program by TRA and the City. Accordingly, staff anticipates a return to full service is achievable by mid-December," Kanellakos said. "The City has made clear to RTG that the O-Train Confederation Line 1 will only return to service once TRA completes their assessment, and the City accepts their recommendations."
Kanellakos wrote that once partial service resumes, additional trains will be added incrementally as they pass inspection until the full complement of vehicles is available.
In his memo, Kanellakos said some testing would begin on parts of the line this week.
"These preliminary test trains will be used to verify correct operation of the trains and the infrastructure that was repaired," he wrote.
City council meets Wednesday, but presently the only transit-related item on the agenda is a motion to extend the transfer window between bus trips by an additional 60 minutes.