Mayor Jim Watson reacts to LRT disruption
Published Thursday, September 5, 2019 12:10PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, September 5, 2019 12:22PM EDT
Reacting to yesterday’s Light Rail disruption Mayor Jim Watson says he is concerned about what took place. Watson says he will be briefed today on what happened and why it took the number of hours it did to fix.
The Confederation Line was stopped at several stations Wednesday after the system was knocked offline.
“Obviously I’m concerned about what happened yesterday” Watson said following the Mayor’s Breakfast Thursday.
“This is part of the process of testing at this period of time so we’re better to have the challenges now as opposed to September 14th.”
OC Transpo general manager John Manconi told CTV News that the problem started around 4:30a.m. Wednesday with tests lasting until about 2:30p.m.
Officials are investigating the possibility that the radios -- essentially the GPS of the system that shows exactly where the trains are -- could have been knocked out by lightning in a massive thunderstorm around 3 a.m.
The city said three radio units that are a part of the control system needed to be reset.
Three trained were ordered stopped in the Tunnel.
The city says two were taken to Tunney’s Pasture and one returned to operations in the east end.
City officials are investigation if this was related to the lightning that struck around 3a.m. Wednesday.
“We can’t control the weather, obviously, whether it’s lighting or a massive snowstorm but we’ve tried over the last year to take into account all of the challenges the trains would face,” Watson said.
Watson says he has full confidence in the experts that the Alstom trains are the best for Ottawa’s environment.
He adds that the system is safe and will launch to the public on September 14th.
“The system has been signed off by an independent safety observer and that gives me confidence that we’re not going to go and have a system that is not safe and not reliable – and that’s why we’ve taken the extra time to do the testing,” he said.
Watson says he has asked staff for a full appraisal on the situation.
An update is expected today.