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‘Think of it as a pot hole’: Crews repair weld break on LRT line, cause under investigation
Published Thursday, November 14, 2019 3:11AM EST Last Updated Thursday, November 14, 2019 2:46PM EST
An east-bound OTrain pulls in to Rideau Station on the Confederation Line of the Light Rail Transit system in Ottawa, ON.
OTTAWA — Repairs were conducted overnight on a crack in the rail welding along the two-month old Confederation Line.
In a statement to CTV News, Rail Construction Program Director Michael Morgan said a break occurred on a weld” on Wednesday.
Morgan tells CTV News “the rail line was inspected by a rail specialist and trains can travel safely along the line at a reduced speed.” Morgan insists there was no crack in the rail, just a break on a weld.
Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll, Transit Commission Chair Coun. Allan Hubley said the issue is not uncommon on other rail lines.
“Think of it as a pot hole,” he said. “They’re on rail lines all over North America. It’s a break in a weld like where a repair was done. What they did as soon as they spotted it was put a brace beside it until they could get in overnight. They cut out a six- or eight-foot segment and put a whole brand new segment of rail in there.”
OC Transpo tweeted on Wednesday afternoon that “customers may experience delays due to speed reductions near Hurdman Station”, but no other details were provided.
Hubley said the cause of the weld break is under investigation, but he doesn’t believe it was related to the cold.
“I’m not an engineer, but we have engineers looking at this, but my personal thought was if it was related to cold there would have been a lot more than one,” he said. “It’s very common on railways everywhere, so I suspect it’s just a weld that let go.”
During the delays Wednesday, Citizen Transit Commission Sarah Gilbert reported that an LRT driver told passengers ‘we can’t go over 10 km per hour” near Hurdman.
According to OC Transpo, the train can travel as quickly as 100 km/h but its average operating speed is around 35 km/h.
OC Transpo reported minor delays were possible between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. for planned track maintenance.