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Ottawa LRT service resumes following freezing rain shutdown


Full service resumed on Ottawa's light-rail transit system Thursday evening, 33 hours after a power issue during a freezing rainstorm shutdown the transit line.

OC Transpo announced just before 7 p.m. that full O-Train service was running between Blair Road and Tunney's Pasture.

"Trains are available at all platforms and all stations are open," the transit service said on Twitter.

LRT service partially resumed Thursday morning between Tunney's Pasture and Rideau stations, with service extended to uOttawa station as of 7 a.m. At 3 p.m., OC Transpo announced the O-Train is running in the east end between Tremblay and Blair stations.

In two memos to council, Transit Services general manager Renee Amilcar said Rideau Transit Maintenance staff completed several steps to restore service, including:

  • Manual removal of built-up ice on the overhead wires 
  • Re-energizing of the system  
  • Inspection of stopped trains and removal from the line 

The section between uOttawa and Tremblay stations was the last section to see LRT service resume. Two stopped trains stopped just east of Lees Station on the Rideau River bridge during the storm, and had remained there on Thursday.

Five LRT vehicles were immobilized Wednesday morning due to power issues, trapping passengers for lengthy periods of time until they could safely disembark the trains, with the help of firefighters and Rideau Transit Maintenance staff. OC Transpo shut down the full LRT line between Tunney's Pasture and Blair stations just before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Rideau Transit Maintenance says the five vehicles stopped when the onboard systems detected power fluctuations from the overhead catenary system.

"When the overhead wire that supplies the power has ice on it, the pantograph on the vehicle is not making good contact, and we see big fluctuations in voltage. When the vehicle sees that, it shuts down to protect itself," Rideau Transit Maintenance CEO Mario Guerra said Wednesday.

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Ted Raymond Top Stories

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