O-Train Broke Down Twice Wednesday Morning


This is a release from the City of Ottawa:

The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with further  information regarding the O-Train Line 1 partial service impact on February 14 and OC  Transpo’s response to the incident.  

O-Train Line 1 experienced two, unrelated, stopped trains on Wednesday morning. This created  a complex, evolving situation that required a fluid operational response. Customers travelling on  Line 1 at the time of the incident experienced extended delays, and we apologize for this  inconvenience.  

First stopped train  

Shortly before 10am, a westbound train with approximately 50 customers onboard stopped  outside of Lees Station after the vehicle experienced a power loss. Preliminary indications are  that the power loss may have been due to a mechanical fault with the pantograph which  subsequently caused minor damage to the overhead catenary wire.  

Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) technicians needed to assess that it was safe to exit the  vehicle before customers could be safely escorted to Lees Station. We appreciate the patience  of customers who were on the vehicle while this work was undertaken to ensure their continued  safety. The vehicle is now being assessed by technicians to determine a more precise root  cause.  

When this train initially stopped, Line 1 operated between Blair and Tunney’s Pasture stations,  with trains using a single track to travel between uOttawa and Hurdman stations.  

Second stopped train  

At approximately 10:40am, a second train near uOttawa Station became immobilized due to an  unrelated mechanical issue. Due to the location of this stopped train, it was no longer possible to  continue travelling through the single track corridor, and R1 bus service was implemented to  keep customers moving.  

This train was eventually cleared from the line around 12:30pm while repairs near Lees Station  were underway. It will undergo further diagnostic testing.  

R1 bus service operated between Rideau and St-Laurent stations to allow RTM to safely make  temporary repairs to the OCS near Lees Station. Line 1 service ran between Tunney’s Pasture  and uOttawa stations in the west and Blair and Tremblay stations in the east. Repairs and  

inspections were completed shortly before 5pm and service in both directions at all stations was  restored.  

OC Transpo enhanced the number of S1 Shuttle Express buses operating between downtown  and Blair Station during the afternoon commute to assist customers.  

This situation and the operational response evolved rapidly. Throughout, OC Transpo kept  customers informed by providing updates on all communication channels, including  octranspo.com, text messages and social media platforms. Staff were also at key stations to  support customers and announcements were made at stations.  

RTM anticipates completing a more permanent repair to the impacted OCS this weekend during  the maintenance period when the O-Train is not normally in service. At this time, it is not  believed that this incident is related to current weather conditions or the issue that affected the  OCS over the weekend. An investigation into the cause is underway to ensure appropriate  mitigation measures are in place. Further information will be shared at an upcoming meeting of  the Transit Commission.  

Again, OC Transpo extends our thanks to our customers for their patience while we worked to  restore rail service.  

Original signed by,  

Renée Amilcar  

c.c.: Senior Leadership Team  

 Transit Services Departmental Leadership Team  

 Director, Public Information and Media Relations 


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3 Responses

  1. Anderson Davies says:

    All I personally can do is laugh at this point what a sad state of affairs… I am glad I don’t use public transportation.

  2. Bruce says:

    Still looking for “a precise root cause” ? Look no further than this is a pile of junk, put into service before proper testing was completed and built to a less than 70% bid compliance. So what do you expect? A service which works 100% of the time or one of about 70% ? You get what Watson et al voted to buy instead of an Andy Haydon PROVEN Bus Rapid Transit!

  3. sisco farraro says:

    The transitway was Ottawa’s unique approach to rapid transit. It worked, it was probably (although I don’t know for sure) paid for, and was efficient. City council decided we had to keep up with the Joneses, i.e Toronto, Montreal, etc, and put together a system that doesn’t function. What a waste of money; the albatross Ottawa will wear for decades upon decades.

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