O-Train Confederation Line testing under way

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
O Train LRV departing Cyrville Station 5x7 400DPI Railway Age version DSC 5738

Ottawa’s O-Train Confederation Line LRT project attained a major milestone on Dec. 2 as the first of 34 Alstom Citadis Spirit LRVs began testing on the line segment between Blair and Cyrville stations, during a ceremonial launch.

Vehicle testing along the alignment from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture will continue until the launch of the O-Train Confederation Line’s first phase in 2018. All 34 vehicles are assembled locally in Ottawa.

O Train LRV departing Cyrville Station 5x7 400DPI Railway Age version DSC 5738The O-Train Confederation Line is a C$2.1 billion project t jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing C$600 million and the Province of Ontario is contributing up to C$600 million. The City of Ottawa will allocate up to C$161.5 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project and C$287 million of provincial gas tax transfers. The remaining project funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.

Private-sector partner Rideau Transit Group is responsible for this first stage in Ottawa’s future rail network. The 7.75-mile electrified line will link Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west and will connect to the O-Train’s Trillium Line at Bayview Station. The route includes 13 stations and a 1.5-mile tunnel that will reduce congestion through the downtown core.

David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South (on behalf of Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities), Steven Del Duca, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, along with other officials from all levels of government, participated in the ceremonial launch.

The Alstom Citadis Spirit LRV at the ceremonial launch, No.1101, was assembled in the shop at Belfast Yard. It is the first LRV/streetcar to be assembled in Ottawa since 1947, when Ottawa Car and Aircraft Ltd. delivered its final streetcar to the Ottawa Electric Railway Co. The launch also marked the first electrified rail operation in Ottawa since 1959, the year that the city’s streetcar system was removed from service and replaced by buses.

As of December, construction is well advanced on the Confederation Line. While most of the first phase is a conversion of the 35-year-old BRT (bus rapid transit) Transitway, through downtown Ottawa it will run in the new tunnel, with three underground stations. When it opens, the Confederation Line is expected to be the busiest light rail line in North America, carrying more than 10,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

More information on the project is available at http://www.ligneconfederationline.ca/.







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