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Ottawa's Trillium Line opening delayed until at least early summer


The opening of the north-south Trillium Line is delayed until at least early summer, with OC Transpo officials saying training and trial running will need to go smoothly over the next four months before launch.

The light-rail transit sub-committee received an update on construction of the Trillium Line on Thursday morning, which will see rail vehicles run between Bayview Station and Riverside South. The Trillium Line includes a spur from South Keys Station to the Ottawa International Airport.

"We are down to the last few steps on the Trillium Line," Michael Morgan, Ottawa's director of rail operations, told councillors. "The progress has been very good."

OC Transpo officials had previously said the O-Train Line 2 would open in the spring of 2024, but Morgan says training and trial running will delay the launch until late June or early July at the earliest.

"If we say three months for the operations and maintenance training to wrap up, three months from today. So based on that, if that goes well – it has to go well, things have to go right - we go into trial running," Morgan said.

"Trial running is minimum three weeks, but it could be double that – it could be longer. If the training goes well, trial running goes well, it gives you a sense of when we could potentially open."

OC Transpo and its partners have been conducting testing on the Trillium Line as construction continues on the stations and the rail line, with test trains operating on the mainline and airport extension between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. OC Transpo plans to increase the number of operating hours of the trains to match planned service levels.

A defect in the signal system has been detected and will be fixed in April.

Morgan says OC Transpo and its partners have not been able to demonstrate the 12-minute headway every day that will be part of the normal operations when the Trillium Line launches.

"That's tied, in large part, to the training program," Morgan said. "We need to train the operators, we need to give them time and space to be able to learn the system, to use the system, to be confident in operating the system."

Morgan says there is a "solid" three months of training required for operators to consistently run the LRT system, while the controllers are "slightly behind" that timetable.

OC Transpo has updated its timeline for the Trillium Line's opening. (OC Transpo)

A report for the LRT sub-committee says 9 of the 54 diesel rail operators have completed their certifications, while 24 are progressing through their classroom training program. Twenty-three have completed their classroom training.

"Three months, roughly, for the training period, then probably a month for the trial running and then we would look at an opening date," Morgan said, adding trial running will be a "minimum of three weeks" but could be longer.

"It doesn't mean September, but equally we've lost April."

A report for the LRT sub-committee shows OC Transpo has given themselves a wider timeline to launch customer service, with the window extending from May to September.

Construction on the Trillium Line was originally scheduled to be completed in August 2022, but was delayed until September 2023. Last September, OC Transpo general manager Renee Amilcar said that based on the progress to date, a fall launch was no longer possible and would be delayed until the "spring of 2024." Top Stories

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