Author: John Thompson

A westbound OC Transpo train approaches Bayview Station on Line 1 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo: Courtesy, City of Ottawa)

Ottawa LRT Projects Advancing

Work is progressing on the two extensions to Ottawa, Ontario’s crosstown Confederation LRT Line, opened in 2019. A third major rail transit project currently under way in the Ottawa area is extending and upgrading the DMU Trillium Line. Scheduled for completion in 2023, this improvement should significantly boost ridership.

An electric powered GO train moves across a bridge, in this artist rendering. (Metrolinx image)

GO Expansion Program Procurement Advances

ONxpress Transportation Partners (ONTP) has been identified by Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx as the First Negotiations Proponent to design, build, operate and maintain GO Transit’s 25-year Rail Expansion Program in the Greater Toronto Area. The project would involve transforming much of GO’s network into a system that will ultimately offer bidirectional all-day service.

Canadian Transit Update: Edmonton and Ontario

Work is progressing fairly satisfactorily on Edmonton, Alberta’s eight-mile Valley Line LRT, the city’s first low-floor operation. Meanwhile, LRV deliveries to major LRT projects in Ontario are proceeding more or less on schedule.

TTC Flexity Order Completed–Finally

During the week of Jan. 20, 2020, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) received the last unit, car 4603, of its 204-vehicle Flexity Outlook streetcar order. The LRV was unloaded at the Commission’s central Toronto Hillcrest Shops complex after a journey of nearly 900 miles on Canadian Pacific from Bombardier’s Thunder Bay, Ontario factory. The bulk of the order was built there, with eight coming from the company’s Kingston, Ontario plant (originally, 30 were planned). The contract was scheduled for completion by Dec. 31, 2019.

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Eglinton Crosstown Behind Schedule

Toronto’s 12-mile Eglinton Avenue Crosstown LRT project is in danger of not opening until seven months past the announced date (Sept. 30, 2021), and is exceeding its budget by more than C$330 million.

TTC Bids Farewell to the CLRV

Year-end 2019 saw the retirement of a unique, Canadian-designed and built streetcar: the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Canadian Light Rail Vehicle (CLRV) after 40 years of service, a near-record in today’s transit industry.

Metrolinx Mulls UP Express Changes

Metrolinx, the Toronto-area regional transit agency, is considering major changes to Union Pearson Express, the GO Transit rail service between Pearson Airport and Toronto Union Station. These involve possibly relocating the existing terminal at Union Station, and replacing the present 18 DMU cars that operate in two and three car trains, according to an agency planning document.

Confederation Line Opens in Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada’s National Capitol, regained an electric rail transit system when its eight-mile crosstown Confederation Line opened to revenue passengers on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. The line’s name reflected the original hope of opening the service in 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canada becoming a nation. Somewhat ironically, it was 60 years ago, 1959, that the city’s streetcars were abandoned.

Ontario LRT Update

Light rail projects continue to advance in Canada’s Ontario Province, as years of planning, investment and construction gradually come to fruition. And Toronto’s vintage ALRVs have finally been retired.

UPDATED: Kitchener-Waterloo LRT, An in-depth look

Ontario’s first new LRT line began public operation on Friday, June 21, 2019, in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. K-W, as it is known locally, is about 60 miles northwest of Toronto, on CN’s Toronto-London secondary line. The LRT operates under the brand name of ION.