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Ottawa light rail Confederation Line conditional restart set for November 1

Once the city has taken the steps necessary to verify Rideau Transit Group's ability to relaunch LRT, City Manager Steve Kanellakos says there will be one or two days of testing before its open for public use. 
2019-10-29 LRT light rail o-train passengers
Passengers getting onto the O-Train. Chris Kurys/ CityNews

Ottawa public transit users might finally be able to get back on the rails in two weeks.

Rideau Transit Group (RTG) is proposing a return to partial service (up to seven trains plus one spare) of the O-Train Confederation Line on Monday, November 1, 2021. 

City Manager Steve Kanellakos outlines in a memo to the mayor and members of city council, on Monday, October 18, that RTG’s proposed relaunch is conditional on the completion of its own intensive inspection program on the vehicle fleet. 

RTG has also committed to providing the City ofOttawa with a date to return to full-service by the end of the week, but the city manager reiterates that O-Train services will only resume once the city deems RTG can relaunch light rail safely and reliably.

"Based on the steps necessary to verify the safety of the system, the City anticipates that partial service will resume within the first two weeks of November," writes Kanellakos.

The third-party safety inspection firm hired by the city, Transportation Research Associates (TRA), has been "engaged and on the ground here in Ottawa since Friday, October 1st, and has undertaken their preliminary assessment of the situation," according to Kanellakos. 

Now that RTG has provided a proposed return-to-service date and associated workplan, TRA is developing its own detailed work plan. TRA is expected to provide an overview of the work plan and will be available to address questions at the city's Transit Commission meeting on Wednesday, October 20. TRA will review RTG’s relaunch plan and make recommendations to the city on the proposed LRT relaunch, but RTG is responsible for implementing the return-to-service plan. TRA will also monitor the execution of the plan.

Once TRA recommends to the city that RTG is ready to resume service, the city will take the steps necessary to verify RTG’s ability to safely and reliably relaunch LRT. This will include one to two days of testing. 

Kanellakos says the final date for return-to-service will only be determined once the city is satisfied that it is safe to do so.

"I have also been consulting with Sam Berrada, the City’s Rail Monitor and Compliance Officer (RMCO), on the safety of the system and on the soundness of the City’s overall approach to ensuring a safe return to service," explained trhe city manager.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has been actively engaged since the derailment on September 19. Their investigation is ongoing and is independent of the city’s review and investigation into this matter.


Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Digital Editor, CityNews Ottawa & the Valley
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