Transit Commission receives updates on OC Transpo’s Canada Day preparations and O-Train Line 1 annual maintenance

The Transit Commission today received an update on OC Transpo's preparations for Canada Day, upcoming O-Train Line 1 maintenance activities and details on the successful conclusion of the On-Demand Transit demonstration pilot project.

OC Transpo is the best way to travel to Canada Day events across the city, with free service all day on O-Train Line 1, buses, and Para Transpo. OC Transpo will have extra service running throughout the day and into the evening. Para Transpo service will run until 3 am, with last trips booked for 2 am.

The Transit Commission also received updates on the progress of the bus maintenance plan and annual O-Train Line 1 maintenance. OC Transpo maintenance teams have resolved the backlog of preventative bus maintenance inspections and the apprenticeship program and mechanics training program have been improved. Work continues on a technology upgrade project while also leveraging expert analysis to enhance the preventative maintenance plan. This work increases the available resources and vehicles to support more reliable bus service.

O-Train maintenance work will occur from July 15 to 28 and will result in a temporary closure of O-Train Line 1 between Tunney's Pasture and Rideau stations. Replacement bus service will run between Tunney's Pasture Station and Hurdman Station during normal service hours throughout the planned maintenance period. Regular updates, including signage at stations, will be provided to help customers stay informed and plan their travel.

Updates on performance and service delivery for bus and rail were also shared. In May, O-Train service delivery was 99.8 per cent and conventional bus service delivery was 98.6 per cent. Para Transpo ridership in May reached 74,700 total customer-trips.

Members of the Transit Commission authorized the closing of completed capital projects and adjustments to the budgets of ongoing capital projects resulting in the return of $7.7 million to the Transit capital reserve, $365,000 to the federal gas tax reserve, and the elimination of $1.7 million in debt authority.

The Commission also learned about contracts awarded under delegated authority during the second half of 2023. During that time, 96 service area contracts were awarded for a total of $168.5 million. Commission members also received an update on OC Transpo's budget for the first quarter of this year which shows a revenue shortfall of approximately $10.7 million, and a reduction of expenditures by approximately $4.4 million, resulting in a net deficit of approximately $6.3 million.

The Commission also received an update on the conclusion of OC Transpo's On-Demand bus pilot project. After a successful trial period, this pilot project in Blackburn Hamlet will end on Sunday, June 23. Results from the pilot will inform future on-demand services, including selecting service areas and enhancing software to meet customers' travel needs. The purchase of 10 new minibuses for on-demand service is underway.

Recommendations considered at this meeting will rise to Council on Tuesday, June 25. 

Source : City of Ottawa

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Transit Commission and Light Rail Sub-Committee receives updates on O-Train extensions and Line 1 service improvement plans External

At a joint meeting today, the Transit Commission and Light Rail Sub-Committee received an update on the O-Train extensions and details on plans to improve service reliability of the O-Train Line 1 vehicles.

The Committees heard that the Stage 2 LRT project has achieved several milestones this year including the start of testing on the O-Train East extension, advancement of track installation on the West extension, and ongoing training of new diesel rail operators and controllers for the O-Train South lines 2 and 4.

In the east, construction continues to progress at all five stations. As part of the O-Train East extension, roadwork on Highway 174 will continue through the summer requiring intermittent closures. Testing will expand over the course of the year, and residents will see more trains running. Testing has also begun of the Overhead Catenary System that supplies power to the trains, and of the power and train control equipment near Montreal Station.

Track installation and station construction continues to progress on the O-Train West extension. The cut and cover tunnels are advancing with most structure work complete, and preparations for installing track in the tunnels at Connaught Park and Byron Linear Park are underway.

On the O-Train South extension, the focus remains on testing the system and training OC Transpo operations staff. Over the next several months, testing hours will expand to practice operating O-Train lines 2 and 4 at the final service levels for a period of eight to 10 weeks to ensure reliability of the overall system. Trial running of the system will occur in this period as well.

Trial running is intended to demonstrate that the complete integrated system infrastructure, including all subsystems, operating personnel and procedures, is ready to provide the service the public expects. Transit Services will provide Council with daily updates on the progress of trial running, including information on the results.

Staff reported that OC Transpo system ridership reached 5.9 million customer-trips in April 2024. In April, O-Train Line 1 service delivery was 98.9 per cent. Conventional bus service delivery in April was 98.8 per cent, which matches the highest number reported over the past year. Para Transpo ridership in April reached 71,700 total customer-trips.

The Committees also received an update on the vehicle and track infrastructure work underway since last October to improve Line 1 service reliability and sustainability. This work includes restraining rail gap management, rail flange lubrication, top of rail friction modifiers, and implementation of nut-pinning enhancements to the wheel hub assembly.

Staff and representatives from Rideau Transit Group provided an overview of expert reports on additional corrective actions to Line 1 trains and infrastructure. Short-term closures of Line 1 will be required in October to make some of these corrective actions such as rail grinding and ballast stabilization. Customers will receive more details on transit services before the work occurs. These measures contribute to the long-term sustainability and improved service reliability on O-Train Line 1.

Source : City of Ottawa





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Alstom will supply 6 additional Vancouver SkyTrain Mark V trains

 Alstom, global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, will supply 6 additional SkyTrain Mark V trains (30 railcars) to TransLink in Vancouver, British Columbia, under a contract valued around €86 million (CA$123 million) *.

"This additional order of our made-in-Canada vehicles, specifically designed for Vancouver SkyTrain, will help improve daily commutes in the Vancouver Greater Area."
Michael Keroullé / President & CEO Alstom Americas

"We're proud and honoured of the continued confidence of TransLink," says Michael Keroullé, President & CEO Alstom Americas. "This additional order of our made-in-Canada vehicles, specifically designed for Vancouver SkyTrain, will help improve daily commutes in the Vancouver Greater Area."

The Mark V design features consist of five-car sets, all internally open-ended with walk-through carriages. They have mostly forward-facing seating and include more space for bikes, luggage, and leaning pads. The new digital interior information displays will provide riders with improved onboard transit alerts. Strip indicator lights at the doors will assist people who have hearing loss by flashing when doors close, fault warnings are issued, or when emergency brakes are deployed. The Mark V trains will operate with door chimes and on-train announcements to assist customers who are visually impaired.

Alstom is currently supplying 41 Mark V trains (205 railcars) to TransLink. The first trains have been delivered to Vancouver in December 2023. These are designed, manufactured, and tested in Canada at Alstom's facilities in Kingston, ON, La Pocatière and Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, QC.

With 4,600 highly-skilled Canadian employees, Alstom is the only global rail mobility manufacturer to have production facilities in the country.

*This contract was booked in 2023/24 fiscal year.

Source : Alstom

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Behind the Scenes : Alstom Citadis Spirit simulator for O-Train Line 1

O-Train Fans goes Behind the Scenes at OC Transpo's operator training centre to explore the Alstom Citadis Spirit simulator. Learn about how the LRV is operated and controlled, the automatic train control, as well as some unique and innovative features. 

The simulator is primarily used for training Electric Rail Operators with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to operate the Light Rail Vehicles on the Confederation Line.

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Behind the Scenes : Alstom Coradia LINT simulator for O-Train Line 2

O-Train Fans goes Behind the Scenes at OC Transpo's operator training centre to explore the Alstom Coradia LINT simulator. Learn about how the O-Train is operated and controlled, the manual train control, as well as some unique and innovative safety and signaling features. 

The simulator is primarily used for training Rail Operators with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to operate these Diesel Multi-Unit (DMU) trains on the Trillium Line. 

Special thank you for making this video possible to: 

  • Troy Charter --Director - Transit Operations 
  • Tristan Green --Instructor - Multimodal Operations 
  • André Brisebois --Communications
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O-Train Line 1 (Confederation Line) : The First Ride from Blair to Tunney's Pasture

On August 23rd, 2019, members of the council, city staff, government partners and members of the media were invited to experience the full Confederation Line through a continuous ride from Blair to Tunney's Pasture Stations and then to Lyon Station. This ride was in anticipation of the official opening day announcement, to occur hours later. 

O-Train Fans were honoured and privileged to be part of this historic first ride on the now completed O-Train Line 1. This video takes you on that ride and gives you an idea of the experience waiting for you in just a few weeks while featuring a quick lookout as the train passes through each station along the way. 

The video starts off after arriving by bus at Blair Station and ends exiting Lyon Station. The Confederation Line opens on September 14th, 2019!

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Dans les coulisses de VIA Rail Canada au Centre de Maintenance de Montréal

Le Centre de maintenance de Montréal de VIA Rail Canada est l'une des nombreuses installations de ce type situées partout au Canada (qui comprennent Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver et Winnipeg). Ces centres entretiennent, remettent à neuf et réparent la flotte de locomotives et de wagons longue distance de VIA Rail, qui circulent partout au Canada, de Halifax à Vancouver. 

Le centre est vaste, à l'intérieur comme à l'extérieur, avec une douzaine de véhicules ferroviaires en travaux simultanément. 

Rail Fans Canada et les médias ont été invités à visiter le Centre de maintenance de Montréal, pour en savoir plus sur les travaux importants en cours pour maintenir le service ferroviaire voyageurs longue distance opérationnel, à la fois de manière sûre et efficace.

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A First Look at South Keys Station: The Interchange of O-Train Line 2 and Line 4

On May 16, 2024, Rail Fans Canada got the opportunity to check out the progress of Stage 2 South at one of its most important stations: South Keys. 

This new station will act as the interchange between Line 2 and Line 4, allowing passengers to connect between the Ottawa International Airport and a wide variety of destinations throughout the city. The station is built along in parallel to the existing Transitway station of the same name which will remain in service after the opening of Stage 2 South. 

South Keys Station features an island platform with two tracks and one main entrance that connects to the South Keys Shopping Centre and Sawmill Creek Pond on the other side. Once opened, Line 4 trains will terminate at this station, while Line 2 trains will continue onward towards their respective terminuses at Limebank and Bayview. Passengers will be able to transfer between the two lines on the same platform which features enclosed waiting areas, departure boards and redundant elevators to ensure accessibility. 

In this exclusive visit, join us as we explore the new station, learn more about the line and its operations, as well as observe the ongoing testing activities from the platform level. 

Many thanks to TransitNEXT, the City of Ottawa and OC Transpo for coordinating this visit.

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EXCLUSIVE Sneak Peek of Jeanne d'Arc Station: The Eastern Extension of O-Train Lines 1/3

Get ready for an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into the construction of the extension of O-Train Lines 1/3 in Ottawa! Scheduled to open in 2025, the eastern extension, stretching to Trim road, will introduce a new chapter in Ottawa's public transit system in Orleans. 

In this video, Rail Fans Canada got an exclusive opportunity to explore the future of transit at Jeanne d'Arc Station. The extension of O-Train Lines 1/3 promises to redefine the city's transportation landscape, with the eastern extension adding 14 kilometres of rail and 5 new stations. Additionally, we are honoured to have Bradley Cooper, Senior Engineer of Stage 2 Construction at the City of Ottawa, sharing his expertise and insights. Together, we'll better understand the construction process and the exciting amenities awaiting passengers on the expanded O-Train Lines 1/3. 

Two of the extension's standout features includes an elevated flyover east of Blair Station, and centre median stations located in the middle of Highway 174. This major project will bring the O-Train network closer to more people than ever.

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EXCLUSIVE Sneak Peek of Lincoln Fields Station: The Western Transfer Point of O-Train Lines 1/3

Get ready for an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into the construction of the extension of O-Train Lines 1/3 in Ottawa! Scheduled to open in 2026, the western extension, stretching to Algonquin and Moodie, will introduce a new chapter in Ottawa's public transit system, all centred around one of its more critical transfer hubs: Lincoln Fields. 

In this video, Rail Fans Canada got an exclusive opportunity to explore the future of transit at Lincoln Fields. The extension of O-Train Lines 1/3 promises to redefine the city's transportation landscape, with the western extension adding 15 kilometres of rail and 11 new stations. Additionally, we are honoured to have Mary-Ellen Gleeson, the Program Manager of the Rail Construction Program at the City of Ottawa, sharing her expertise and insights. Together, we'll better understand the construction process and the exciting amenities awaiting passengers on the expanded O-Train Lines 1/3. 

One of the extension's standout features includes two new cut-and-cover tunnels and an elevated flyover located south of Lincoln Fields where trains headed to Algonquin will split from those headed to Moodie. Those major projects will allow for frequent service between branches, bringing the O-Train network closer to more people than ever.

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EXCLUSIVE Sneak Peek of Limebank Station: The Southern Terminus of O-Train Line 2

Get ready for an exclusive insider's look at the exciting developments on O-Train Line 2 in Ottawa! Scheduled to reopen later in 2023, this major project is entering its final stages, with construction nearing completion and testing and commissioning in full swing. 

Rail Fans Canada had the privilege of an invitation to explore the future terminus station at Limebank, and we can't wait to share this extraordinary experience with you. The O-Train Line 2 expansion will significantly extend the line from its original 8km to an impressive 20km, with a total of 11 new and revamped stations. 

A standout feature of this expansion is the incorporation of elevated segments, adding a unique architectural flair to the overall design. But that's not all—there's an exciting bonus for travelers: the introduction of a separate spur line, Line 4, known as the Airport Link. This convenient link will connect South Keys Station to the airport, ensuring seamless access to the O-Train network for airport passengers. Line 4 stretches across 4km and boasts three stations, including South Keys. 

In this video, we take you on a captivating walkthrough tour of Limebank station, providing you with an up-close look at the future terminus. Additionally, we had the privilege of interviewing Theophilus Tettey, the Program Manager of the Rail Construction Program at the City of Ottawa. With his expertise and insights, we gain a deeper understanding of the construction process and the exciting features awaiting passengers on the expanded O-Train Line 2. 

Don't miss this exciting journey as we delve into the progress and innovation surrounding the O-Train Line 2 expansion. Witness the remarkable transformation of Ottawa's transportation infrastructure and catch a glimpse of what's on the horizon for commuters and rail enthusiasts alike.

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Operating an Automated Metro : An Overview at the Control Centre of the REM

Located on Montreal's south shore in Brossard, the Control Centre will manage and oversee all operations and activity on Montreal's Réseau Express Métropolitain. 

The control centre in Brossard, which is connected to the maintenance and storage facility, will coordinate all train movements on the line remotely, which includes surveying and monitoring the system for safe and efficient operation, dealing with any incidents or emergencies, deploying additional trains for higher demand, among other important and essential tasks and requirements. 

In this video, we take you through a guided tour offered to content creators in August 2022 of the control centre, located on the south shore in the city of Brossard.

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Gare Centrale : A Guided Visit of the Future REM Station

Located in the heart of Montreal's downtown core, the REM's Gare Centrale station is connected to the metro's orange line and will be one of three stations in the Mount Royal tunnel. Built underneath the Gare Centrale itself, it was created by repurposing and converting some of the train tracks and platforms. 

When commissioned, the station located 3.1 meters below the Gare Centrale's Salle des pas perdus, will be accessible via the existing station, as well as the RESO underground city network, between the Queen Elizabeth hotel and the Place Bonaventure, as well through a separate access from the parking of the Gare Centrale. The REM station will connect the borough of Ville-Marie and downtown to destinations north such as Outremont via Edouard-Montpetit station, Deux-Montagnes and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue to the west, and south to Brossard and the south shore. Finally, the station will offer fast connections in minutes between the Metro's orange, green and blue lines through the Mount Royal tunnel. 

The architects of this station wished to preserve several of the original Gare Centrale platform-level elements. The iconic cross and curved arch supports, as well as a unique floor tile colour scheme to where the previous rail tracks and platforms were located before the arrival of the REM. Final destination: opening end of 2022! 

In this video, we take you through a guided tour offered to content creators in August 2022 of the station under its final stages of construction. Journey deep underground, down to the Mont-Royal rail tunnel, now more than 100 years old, and the future route of the REM.

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McGill Station : An Overview of the Future REM Station and Mount Royal Tunnel

Located in the heart of Montreal's downtown core, the REM's McGill station is connected to the metro's green line, will be one of three stations located in the Mount Royal tunnel, and one of two stations that did not previously exist on the exo Deux-Montagnes line. Built underneath Avenue McGill College, special engineering and construction techniques were required to not cause damage or disturb the surrounding buildings, such as Place Montréal Trust, Centre Eaton Montréal and the Banana Republic, to name a few. 

When commissioned, the station located 10 meters underground will be accessible via the existing underground corridor connecting Place Montréal Trust to the Centre Eaton Montréal, as well through a separate access from McGill metro station. The REM station will connect the borough of Ville-Marie and downtown to destinations north such as Outremont via Edouard-Montpetit station, Deux-Montagnes and Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue to the west, and south to Brossard and the south shore. Finally, the station will offer fast connections in minutes between the Metro's green, orange and blue lines through the Mount Royal tunnel. 

The construction of this station posed many technical challenges, especially since it is located underneath existing buildings and skyscrapers. To dig this station, the existing tunnel needed to be enlarged, and new accesses from the station cavern created, elements that did not previously exist. Steel and concrete supports were created to reinforce and further support the surrounding buildings. Final destination: commissioning in 2024! 

In this video, we take you through a guided tour offered to content creators in August 2022 of the station under construction. Journey deep underground, down to the Mont-Royal rail tunnel, now more than 100 years old, and the future route of the REM.

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Introducing the Stadler FLIRT, OC Transpo's Newest O-Train from Switzerland

Introducing the Stadler FLIRT, OC Transpo's Newest O-Train Rolling Stock - Join us as we take a look at the exterior, interior, while getting an overview of this exciting new train from the experts. Built in Switzerland, the FLIRT has a proven track record and operated in over 20 countries. 

Stage 2 LRT expansion in Ottawa is in full swing, expanding further East, West and South. One of the most exciting elements of Stage 2 is the new rolling stock for O-Train Line 2, the Stadler FLIRT (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train). 

The official unveiling and first close-up look took place on July 15th, 2022, at the new Walkley Yard MSF (Maintenance and Storage Facility). Join us as we take a look at the exterior, interior, while getting an overview of this exciting new train from the experts. 

Built in Switzerland, the Stadler FLIRT is an established and well traveled model of train, with a proven track record and operated in over 20 countries. O-Train Line 2 has received 7 of these new trains for the expanded line. Featuring a length of 80m (double that of the previous Alstom Coradia LINT), and powered by a unique diesel electric powerpack, these trains are sure to turn heads with their comfort, quiet and smooth operation and high quality.

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Édouard-Montpetit : A Guided Visit of the Future REM Station

Located in the heart of Mont-Royal, the REM's Édouard-Montpetit station is connected to the blue metro line and serves the Université de Montréal campus. It will be the deepest subway station in Canada and one of the deepest in the world (72 metres). Its architectural treatment will highlight the rock through which the station was excavated. 

When commissioned, the station located 70 meters underground will be accessible via five high-speed elevators that will travel the equivalent of a 20-story building in less than 30 seconds! The REM station will connect the borough of Outremont and downtown in only 3 minutes while offering a fast connection to the green line (via McGill station) and the orange line (via Bonaventure station). 

The construction of this station posed many technical challenges, especially since it is located near residential areas and schools. In order to dig so deep into the ground and in such hard rock, controlled blasting was used to build the station's main shaft and mezzanines. This represents 30,000 cubic meters of high-quality excavated rock that was reused as ballast on the Deux-Montagnes branch. The excavation work was completed in 2019 and the teams then work on the construction of the station. This means that after digging a 20-story building, it had to be built. Today, the steel structure of the station is clearly visible and the wooden ceiling can also be seen. In the coming months, the teams will be busy completing the station's exterior shell and will begin work on the interior. Final destination: commissioning in fall 2023! 

In this video, we take you through a guided tour offered to the media in November 2021 of the station under construction. Journey deep underground, down to the Mont-Royal rail tunnel, now more than 100 years old, and the future route of the REM.

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Édouard-Montpetit : Une visite guidée de la future station du REM

Située au cœur du Mont-Royal, la station Édouard-Montpetit du REM est connectée à la ligne bleue du métro et dessert le campus universitaire de l'Université de Montréal. Ce sera la station de métro la plus profonde au Canada et l'une des plus profondes dans le monde (72 mètres). Son traitement architectural mettra en valeur le roc à travers lequel la station a été creusée. 

Lors de sa mise en service, la station située à 70 mètres sous terre sera accessible par cinq ascenseurs à grande vitesse qui permettront de parcourir l'équivalent d'un immeuble de 20 étages en moins de 30 secondes ! La station REM reliera l'arrondissement d'Outremont et le centre-ville en seulement 3 minutes, tout en offrant une connexion rapide à la ligne verte (via la station McGill) et à la ligne orange (via la station Bonaventure). 

La construction de cette station a posé de nombreux défis techniques, d'autant plus qu'elle est située à proximité de zones résidentielles et d'écoles. Afin de creuser aussi profondément dans le sol et dans une roche aussi dure, un dynamitage contrôlé a été utilisé pour construire le puits principal et les mezzanines de la station. Cela représente 30 000 mètres cubes de roches excavées de haute qualité qui ont été réutilisées comme ballast sur la branche Deux-Montagnes. Les travaux d'excavation ont été achevés en 2019 et les équipes s'attellent ensuite à la construction de la station. Cela signifie qu'après avoir creusé un bâtiment de 20 étages, il fallait le construire. Aujourd'hui, la structure en acier de la station est bien visible et on peut également apercevoir le plafond en bois. Dans les mois à venir, les équipes s'occuperont de terminer la coque extérieure de la station et commenceront à travailler sur l'intérieur. Destination finale : la mise en service à l'automne 2023 ! 

Dans cette vidéo, on découvre la nouvelle station en construction à Edouard-Montpetit. Voyagez profondément sous terre jusqu'au tunnel ferroviaire du Mont-Royal, vieux de plus de 100 ans, et futur emplacement du REM.

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Transit Operations Control Centre : Behind the Scenes at OC Transpo's HQ

Rail Fans goes Behind the Scenes at OC Transpo's Transit Operations Control Centre (TOCC). The TOCC is the multi-modal nerve centre of OC Transpo's entire operations, which include rail (O-Train), bus, para and security (Special Constables). 

Special thank you for making this video possible to: Troy Charter -- Director of Transit Operations

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Walkley Yard : The Original O-Train Trillium Line Maintenance Yard

Walkley Yard is the maintenance and storage facility that services the trains of OC Transpo's O-Train Trillium Line (Line 2). It is located just northeast of Greenboro Station. 

Walkley Yard was originally a CN Rail facility built in 1955 that the City of Ottawa has been leasing since the O-Train first opened in 2001. 

Rail Fans takes you on a Behind the Scenes visit to this facility, showing you the insides, what goes on and how the trains are maintained each day. 

Special thank you for making this video possible to: 

  • Troy Charter --Director - Transit Operations 
  • Greg Elliott --Superintendent - Rail Operations 
  • André Brisebois --Communications
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VIA Rail unveils its plan to transform passenger rail in Canada

Mario Péloquin, President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail), unveiled today the Corporation's strategic plan: VIAction 2030. Through this ambitious plan based on concrete objectives, VIA Rail aims to become a best-in-class operator in North America and a leader in integrated mobility at the heart of the passenger journey in Canada.

Among its 2030 objectives, VIA Rail is committed to:

  • Generating savings equivalent to 15% of its operating deficit;
  • Reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2005;
  • Increasing its capacity by 18%.

"Canada was built by rail, and I fundamentally believe in the transformative potential of this industry," said Mario Péloquin. "I have the ambition to act now to create meaningful change for our passengers, and this plan gives us a clear roadmap which allows us to aim higher and transform the way we operate."

The train is the way to the future to, among other things, meet the economic and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Over the past five years, the Government of Canada has invested more than $3 billion in the modernization of VIA Rail, including the replacement of its Québec City – Windsor corridor fleet to offer a more modern, comfortable, and accessible travel experience. This strategic plan is the logical next step of this major modernization effort and will allow VIA Rail to open the next chapter of its history.

"The five pillars of this plan will enable us, among other things, to improve our operations through innovation and continuous improvement and to collaborate with the various players of the transportation industry to better serve Canadians from coast to coast. Thanks to this five-year strategy, we are convinced that even more people will choose the train as the comfortable, sustainable and accessible transportation solution," said Vanessa Cherenfant, Chief Strategy Officer.

PROJECTS ALREADY UNDERWAY

VIA Rail has already initiated efforts on several central aspects of this plan and is well positioned to meet its objectives.

  • New trains from coast to coast: the federal government's latest budget confirmed support for VIA Rail to replace its long-distance, regional, and remote trains across the country. Over the coming years, our passengers from coast to coast will be able to enjoy new modern and comfortable trains meeting the highest accessibility standards.
  • Integrated mobility at the heart of our vision: VIA Rail aims to position itself as a unifying force for integrated mobility in the country, particularly by contributing to the integration of its stations with the cities' various transportation networks and by helping densify surrounding neighbourhoods.
  • Always improving the customer journey: As part of this plan, VIA Rail wants to improve its service and offer the best passenger experience by, for example, meeting the diverse accessibility needs of its customers and offering one of the first zero-waste experiences on board a train in the world.

To learn more about our strategic plan, we invite you to visit our website:
https://corpo.viarail.ca/en/company/strategic-plan

Source : VIA Rail Canada 

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O-Train East Extension Train Testing Begins

The purpose of this memo is to provide the Mayor and Members of Council with notification of an important milestone achieved on the Stage 2 O-Train East Extension.

The O-Train East Extension will extend OC Transpo's rail network east from Blair Station to Trim Road. It will add 12.5 kilometres of rail to Line 1 along with five new stations at Montreal Road, Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard, Convent Glen, Place d'Orléans and Trim Road.

Last night, after regular O-Train Line 1 service ended, an Alstom Citadis Spirit train was operated on the O-Train East Extension for the first time from Blair Station to Montréal Station. This milestone was achieved following testing activities including track commissioning, traction power substation testing, and overhead catenary system (OCS) testing. This series of tests culminated in the successful energization of the OCS from Blair Station to Montréal Station.

Travelling at walking speed, the train was escorted by staff on foot to verify the interface between the train's pantograph and the OCS while the train was in motion. Additional testing between Blair Station and Montréal Station is anticipated later this week as crews continue to test and validate the OCS system. Testing of the signal and train control system is expected to start this spring, after which residents will see regular, slow speed testing of trains on the line.

Further information regarding the O-Train East Extension project will be shared at the February 29 Light Rail Sub-Committee meeting. To stay informed of O-Train Extension progress, sign up for the project newsletter, follow OC Transpo on Instagram, or visit the project website. 

Source : OC Transpo

Photos : David Bellerive

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Major milestone for blue line extension: Contract awarded for train control system

Today, the Blue line extension project office awarded the contract for the line's new train control system. The adoption of a communications-based train control (CBTC) system, which is already used by the vast majority of subway network operators around the world, is an opportunity to modernize the Montréal métro's train control system for the entire Blue line.

Train control systems are the brains of underground networks; the use of CBTC will thus be a high‑value upgrade for the Blue line system. The $217,173,941 contract was awarded to Ground Transportation Systems Canada Inc. and includes installation, maintenance and certain options for the CBTC system. The project is funded primarily by the Quebec government, with support from the Société de transport de Montréal (STM).

Replacing the system on the existing Blue line became necessary because the current system is outdated and couldn't be used to operate the extension. The new system consists of devices placed at different points along the tracks and on the train cars themselves that make it possible to detect the location of each train and communicate effectively with them.

The new system will improve train reliability, frequency and passenger comfort when trains stop and start. It will be installed first on the existing Blue line and later on the line extension. The system on the métro network's other three lines will also eventually need to be upgraded.

Progress on the Blue line extension

The Blue line extension is currently under construction. The project office recently issued the final call for tenders for the construction of the tunnel and the excavation of some of the future stations and auxiliary structures (CI12). The project office is currently analyzing the bids received; the bid analysis and assessment results will be available in summer 2024.

The Blue line extension project will add five new stations east of Saint-Michel station, all the way to Anjou, over a distance of some six kilometres.

Quotes

"Awarding this major contract is another step toward completing the Blue line extension. We've been waiting for this for decades, and now, it's finally happening! This is further proof of our commitment and the significant investments we're making to support and develop public transit in Montréal's east end."

Geneviève Guilbault, Deputy Minister and Minister of Transport and Sustainable Mobility

"We're proud to have found the way forward for a public transit project so vital to Montréal's east end. This new milestone shows real progress on the Blue line extension, which has been eagerly awaited for the past 30 years. These five new Blue line stations will see the addition of nearly 15,000 new housing units to the area, fostering growth in Montréal's east end."

Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal

"The adoption of a new train control system reflects our shared commitment to efficient public transit for people in the Greater Montréal area. That's why we're here: to meet the needs of our users by delivering fast, reliable, high‑quality public transit."

Benoit Gendron, Chief Executive Officer of the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM)

"By 2030, 93% of the STM's infrastructure will be more than 40 years into its useful life. We need to take every opportunity to modernize our network, which is what we're doing by replacing the train control system. The extension will allow all Blue line users to benefit from the new system and its advantages. Modernizing the existing network is the best way to boost the appeal of mass transit while improving service quality."

Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors

"Awarding this contract is a major step toward completing the Blue line extension. The train control system will help coordinate activities at existing and new stations across the Blue line. It's state‑of‑the‑art technology that will benefit both our customers and our operations teams and improve service delivery."

Maha Clour, Lead Project Manager for the Blue line Extension

Source : STM

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STM

Commission and Committee receives year-end update on the O-Train extension and transit projects


At a joint meeting today, the Transit Commission and Light Rail Sub-Committee received progress updates on transit projects completed this year and information on plans for 2024.

Staff updated the Commission and Committee on OC Transpo's winter readiness plans which include improving communications and planning processes with Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM), enhanced monitoring for O-Train Line 1 during storms, and implementation of a Severe Storm Schedule for buses in the event of significant snowfall of 31 cm or more.

OC Transpo is also making improvements to real-time customer information systems. Recent Transit app updates have introduced additional customer benefits including improvements to information on cancelled trips and crowdsourcing capabilities. Data shows there is an increase in the number of customers using the app to see accurate departure times, track buses and plan trips. Updates were also provided about the on-demand transit pilot project scheduled to launch in early 2024. OC Transpo will share more information about the launch through its regular communication channels, including social media, website and on-street signage.

Staff also presented an update on the wheel bearing issue related to O-Train Line 1 service. Testing will start in the coming weeks on the nut pining of the wheel hub assembly. Data will be gathered and analyzed for safety and improved performance. Staff will continue to provide further updates on the progress of this work as it becomes available.

Members heard that O-Train and conventional bus ridership was at 6.4million trips in October 2023, which was an increase of 800,000 compared to October2022. In November, 97.4 per cent of bus trips were fulfilled and Para Transpo ridership was at 70,600customer trips.

The expansion of the O-Train network is progressing well. This year, many milestones were achieved in the south, east and west. On the O-Train East extension of Line 1, track installation is complete and overhead catenary system work is underway and expected to be complete in early 2024. Construction on stations and pedestrian bridges is also advancing well.

Track installation and station construction is progressing on the O-Train West extension. The cut and cover tunnels have been fully excavated and pouring of concrete roof and walls of the tunnels is underway. Next year, the tunnel structural work will be completed, and track work will begin.The City continues to target an opening in Spring 2024 for O-Train Lines 2 and 4, serving communities to the south. Station construction is almost complete and in November, testing achieved a new milestone when nine trains, the number required for revenue service, began operating on the system. This process tests the integration of the control and signaling systems, vehicles, track infrastructure, operating procedures, and training programs.

A successful full-scale emergency response training exercise with 144 participants was also held at the Ottawa Airport to validate the effectiveness of new emergency responder procedures. 

Source : City of Ottawa


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Memo: First Anniversary of the OLRT Public Inquiry

Please find attached a memo regarding the first anniversary of the OLRT Public Inquiry.

Source : City of Ottawa

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Memo: Successful Operation of Nine Trains Begins on Stage 2 South

Stage 2 South – Successful Operation of Nine Trains Begins. 

This memo is to provide Mayor and Members of Council with an update regarding a recent milestone in the ongoing testing and preparations to operate the Stage 2 south O-Train extensions, lines 2 and 4.

TransitNext, the contractor responsible for building, testing, and maintaining the system, has begun demonstrating the ability to safely operate nine trains, the number required for revenue service, on Line 2, between Bayview and Limebank stations, and on Line 4, between South Keys and Airport stations. This is a key milestone in the program, as it tests the integration of the control and signaling systems, vehicles, track infrastructure, operating procedures, and training programs. This allows the project team to increase test running of trains as part of validating consistent and reliable performance ahead of trial running.

As outlined at the Light Rail Sub-Committee on September 29, 2023, this important milestone will also allow for an increase in the training of new diesel rail operators. New operators have been undertaking in-class training, including on simulators, and can now increase the time spent on the vehicles training for real-world, operational scenarios. There are currently ten rail operators who have completed their program that will help support the training of additional rail operators under simulated train operations.

Train testing on the south extension began in winter 2022 and has since extended across the line with a gradual ramp up of both vehicle quantity in use as well as the testing of the signaling and train control systems. OC Transpo continues to work with TransitNext on successfully achieving key milestones in the testing and commissioning program.

Further information on the ongoing testing and commissioning program for Lines 2 and 4 will be shared at the Light Rail Sub-Committee on December 11, 2023.

Source : City of Ottawa
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