A major milestone in the O-Train Confederation Line Light Rail Transit (LRT) project was celebrated as the first light rail vehicle (LRV) assembled in Ottawa began testing on the track between Blair and Cyrville stations. Vehicle testing along the alignment from Blair Station to Tunney’s Pasture will continue until the launch of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018.
“Today’s milestone is significant as the first light rail vehicle assembled in Ottawa undergoes testing, demonstrating that we are on track to delivering a first-class transit system to our residents in 2018,” Mayor of Ottawa Jim Watson. “This is a celebration of all the work that has taken place to date and is a glimpse of the future of transit for our city.”
The O-Train Confederation Line (#20 on the 2016 Top100 Projects list) is a $2.1-billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The Government of Canada is contributing $600 million and the Province of Ontario is contributing up to $600 million. The City of Ottawa will also allocate up to $161.5 million of its federal Gas Tax Fund transfers to this project and $287 million of provincial gas tax transfers. The remaining project funds will come from development charge revenues and transit reserves.
The Rideau Transit Group is the private sector partner responsible for this first stage in Ottawa’s future rail network. The 12.5-kilometre electric light rail line will provide rapid transit between 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 2.5-kilometre tunnel that will reduce congestion through the downtown core.
Thirty-three of 34 Alstom CITADIS light rail vehicles (LRVs) are being assembled at the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF), located on Belfast Road. One of the initial tests is related to dynamic envelope testing where foam pads are affixed to the vehicle as it runs along the alignment – powered by the Overhead Catenary System (OCS) – to ensure that adequate clearances are maintained from overhead wires, OCS poles, tree branches etc.