Thursday, February 14, 2013

Alstom finalizes Ottawa 
LRT contract

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

Alstom Transport has finalized a contract to provide 34 light rail vehicles and 30 years of maintenance services to the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) consortium that was selected to design, build, finance, and maintain the first line of the C$2.1 billion Ottawa Light Rapid Transit (OLRT) system, the Confederation Line.

Alstom’s portion of the contract is worth approximately US$534 million.

“The new Citadis Spirit that Alstom is launching in the North American market will have many features that accommodate Ottawa’s particular needs,” Alstom said. “Designed in a high capacity version, it will be able to operate in extreme winter conditions. It will also benefit from a top speed of 65 mph, reducing travel time between suburban areas and the City Center. Like all Alstom trams, it will have full low-floor accessibility and onboard bicycle storage.” Alstom will build the vehicles in the U.S. at its Hornell, N.Y., plant and conduct final assembly in Ottawa.

Ottawa’s 7.75-mile OLRT system will provide service to the city’s downtown area via 13 stations and a 1.5-mile tunnel. Construction will start in the next few months and the system is expected to enter full service in the spring of 2018.

“This project marks the successful entry of Alstom into the North American LRV market,” said Alstom Transport North American President Guillaume Mehlman. “Alstom will bring its experience as the market leader in tramways. The Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicle is very flexible and can be adapted to the needs of other cities across North America.”

Alstom has produced 1,600 Citadis tramways for 40 cities all around the world. These systems thus far have transported 4.8 billion passengers (an average of two million per day) and have logged nearly 400 million miles. Alstom’s Citadis-Dualis tram-train (with a configuration similar to that of Ottawa) has been operating for nearly two years in the Nantes suburbs of Paris and more recently in the city of Lyon at a speed of up to 60 mph.

“In addition, the company has proven experience developing public private partnerships that enable local communities to finance such projects in a fiscally efficient and competitive manner,” Alstom said. “
Taken together, these proven capabilities—combined with the company’s extensive manufacturing and service footprint in North America—put Alstom in an ideal position to deliver efficient, modern, and proven solutions to communities pursuing light rail transit projects.”

Last month Alstom and Williams Hybrid Power announced an agreement to apply Williams Hybrid Power's energy storage technology to Alstom's Citadis LRT vehicles by 2014.