Why This Transit Press Release On Friday Night?

Hard to know why OC Transpo would release this missive at 5:45 p.m. on a holiday season Friday but they did.

In addition, it’s puzzling why they need to improve their weather monitoring because one would think that would be already a major consideration.

What is remote monitoring? These electric lines don’t exactly stretch from James Bay to Montreal.

But anyway you can read this for yourself and decide why the black-hole release:


The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with information on  the proactive winter readiness activities on O-Train Line 1 and new procedures to respond to  severe winter weather events.  

As detailed at the Transit Commission meeting on December 14, OC Transpo started working  with its maintainer, Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM), to implement its light rail winter readiness  plan early in the fall. The focus is on making proactive enhancements to maintain rail service, implement lessons learned and build upon the successes from previous winters. Enhancements include:  

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• Improved process for communications, planning and coordination with RTM • Enhanced weather monitoring and forecasting to provide additional lead time for  operational teams 

• Additional staff deployed to monitor in-service conditions and remote monitoring for  electrical anomalies  

• Application of anti-icing solution to the overhead catenary wires 

• Procurement of a diesel-powered tow vehicle by RTM  

• Increasing the number of winter carbon strips installed on trains 

Based on lessons learned, the severe winter weather procedure for Line 1 has been updated.  Under this procedure, staff will monitor key areas of the line for ice buildup during a freezing rain  event both in the field and by camera from the Transit Operations Control Centre. Additionally,  RTM will be monitoring train diagnostics and system power for indications that service  adjustments may be required to avoid a full disruption to Line 1 or damage to tracks or vehicles.  

When the forecast calls for extreme winter weather, service adjustments to Line 1 will be  considered. This may include running trains overnight to keep tracks clear, temporary speed  restrictions, reducing train frequency or the suspension of service in specific segments or all of  Line 1. These actions are to ensure the safety of staff and customers, the protection of track  infrastructure and vehicles, and will allow service to resume more quickly.  

This procedure will follow a similar process as the bus Severe Storm Schedule and will only be  implemented during the most severe weather conditions. It is not anticipated that it will be  implemented frequently. OC Transpo is responding to lessons learned from previous winter  events to ensure plans are in place to provide safe and reliable light rail service to its customers.  

Information for customers during weather events will be shared on all communications channels.  This will include frequent service alerts, updates to OC Transpo’s website, signage at bus stops,  and public service announcements. 

OC Transpo is committed to continuous improvement and will continue to review and implement  changes to operational procedures based on lessons learned and best practices.  

Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Troy Charter, Director of Service Delivery and Rail Operations at extension 52160. 

Original signed by 

Renée Amilcar 

cc: Senior Leadership Team 

Transit Services Departmental Leadership Team 

Director, Public Information and Media Relations


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2 Responses

  1. Cliff from Kanata says:

    Just lovely. Essentially warning that there may not be LRT service in bad weather, that they can’t guarantee service at all. “This may include running trains overnight to keep tracks clear, temporary speed restrictions, reducing train frequency or the suspension of service in specific segments or all of Line 1”

  2. Ken Gray says:

    Thx Cliff.

    Good point.


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