Toronto Railway Museum (TRM) to host virtual lecture event, "The Missing Millionaire: The Ambrose Small Saga"

The Toronto Railway Museum (TRM), a non-profit organization located in the iconic Roundhouse Park across from the CN Tower, is happy to welcome Katie Daubs, a journalist and a feature writer at the Toronto Star and the author of the Missing Millionaire, for an online lecture about the Small Mystery on April 21st at 8 pm. In this talk you will learn about the stranger-than-fiction characters in the Ambrose Small saga, and the development of Toronto as the drama around his disappearance unfolded. 

The railway was central to Small's business, as traveling shows of the era sent all their actors, props, and scenery by rail. It was expensive for theatre companies, and Daubs will explain how Small used that to his advantage as he built a cross-Ontario network of theatres, connected by rail. 

Tickets for this event are free, although registration is required on TRM's website here

Attendees will get access to our exclusive Zoom meeting room, where they can engage directly with the presenter and museum historians in a post-lecture Q&A. The event will begin at 8:00pm Eastern Standard Time, and will end at 9:30pm EST.


Katie Daubs is a journalist and a feature writer at the Toronto Star, where she writes about many topics, including local history. Before joining the Star, she worked at the Ottawa Citizen and she was a graduate of Carleton University. The Missing Millionaire is her first book, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Excellence in Crime Writing (Best Non-Fiction Book) and the 2020 Toronto Book Awards. Honours and Awards: Nomination — National Newspaper Award, Long Feature (2017) Winner — William Southam Journalism Fellowship (2016) Nomination — National Newspaper Award, Long Feature (2015) Nomination — National Newspaper Award, Multimedia Feature (2014) Winner — National Newspaper Award, Presentation (2012) Winner — Diane King-Stuemer Fellowship (2008) 


The Toronto Railway Museum (TRM) brings people together by telling stories of Toronto's railway heritage. The Museum is located in the heart of downtown Toronto and is typically open year-round. TRM presents exhibits, tours, educational programs and publications that broaden the understanding and appreciation of Toronto's rich railway history. TRM is committed to telling the stories of the railways, and welcoming conversations of its varied experiences through its lecture series, exhibits and integrated programming with a mission to learn from the past to make the future better. The Toronto Railway Museum would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation's Community Building Fund. More information is available here. 


Established in 2001 to work with the City of Toronto to establish a railway museum at the John Street Roundhouse. The TRHA is incorporated and is a federally registered charity. Its primary purpose is to promote the development of the TRM. 

Source : Toronto Railway Museum

Continue reading

SkyTrain Burrard Station upgrades rescoped

TransLink is announcing that upgrades to Burrard SkyTrain Station are no longer proceeding as planned due to higher than anticipated construction bid prices during the procurement process. This is due to ongoing pressures in the construction industry caused by global supply chain issues and higher construction costs. The previously announced upgrades that would have closed the station for two years will be rescoped, and the station will remain open to customers while we determine the new scope. The details have not yet been finalized but TransLink will prioritize upgrades to ensure the station remains in a state of good repair

TransLink will continue working with Indigenous Nations, stakeholders, and government partners to ensure the station receives necessary upgrades and operates efficiently for years to come.

The next step is to develop a new scope, budget, and construction timeline. TransLink will communicate details when they are known.

More information:
TransLink Maintenance and Upgrade Program
Previously announced upgrades

Source : TransLink

Continue reading

Rail Fans Map - A discussion with map creator Derek Ellis

Rail Fans Map - A discussion with map creator Derek Ellis -

The Rail Fans Map features Ottawa's O-Train, Toronto's Subway and Kitchener-Waterloo's ION systems in high detail. Illustrating all track positions, switches, crossovers and yards. We speak to Derek Ellis, creator of the map, on this impressive project.

You can check out the map here :

Continue reading

Government of Canada launches the next phase in the procurement process for High Frequency Rail

High Frequency Rail will transform passenger rail service in Canada through the creation of a faster, more frequent, more accessible and more sustainable rail service among the major centres of Québec City, Trois-Rivières, Montréal, Ottawa, Peterborough and Toronto.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, along with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Annie Koutrakis, announced that the Government of Canada is launching a Request for Expressions of Interest seeking the advice and views from industry on the High Frequency Rail project through

High Frequency Rail is the largest transportation infrastructure project that Canada has seen in decades. Recognizing the project's size and scale, the Government of Canada is seeking world-class knowledge and private sector expertise for all aspects of the project.

The Request for Expressions of Interest marks a major step in supporting the procurement phase for the High Frequency Rail project. It is an opportunity to:

  1. communicate the Government of Canada's plan for advancing the project;
  2. seek feedback from experienced private sector companies to help shape the High Frequency Rail project; and
  3. provide information to industry so interested parties can prepare for subsequent phases of the procurement process, including the Request for Qualifications and the Request for Proposal.

As the participation of Indigenous Peoples is essential to the success of High Frequency Rail, the Government of Canada will seek a private sector partner that prioritizes and values meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples. The Government of Canada will carefully consider the views of Indigenous Peoples throughout the project and encourage collaboration with Indigenous businesses.

VIA Rail and its employees are central to the success of High Frequency Rail and will continue to play a key role across Canada as our national passenger rail provider.

The High Frequency Rail service could be fully operational in the early 2030s. The Government is providing a High Frequency Rail Project website where Canadians can get information, track progress on the project and submit their views and questions.


"High Frequency Rail is a transformational project that promises to fundamentally change the way Canadians travel in southern Ontario and Quebec, improving accessibility, and providing more travel flexibility. The Request for Expressions of Interest marks the first major step in the development and advancement of this project."

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"Many key benefits would be provided to travellers through an electrified High Frequency Rail system, including shorter travel times and faster trains, improved on-time performance, higher frequencies, and more direct routes with improved connectivity between cities and to other modes of transportation."

Annie Koutrakis
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

"High Frequency Rail is the largest transportation infrastructure project that Canada has undertaken in decades. This project will make an incredible difference in the lives of so many people, especially those in Mauricie. Today's announcement is another big step that will connect our communities and one that will bring more economic opportunity to the region."

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

"High Frequency Rail is an infrastructure project with a size and scope that is unprecedented in modern Canadian history, which is why we are seeking to leverage the advice and views of private sector companies with concrete experience in designing and implementing complex infrastructure projects across the world. This is a very exciting opportunity for private sector companies to make their mark on the procurement and development of this project."

The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Quick Facts

  • The next steps would include:
    • Virtual information session on Request for Expressions of Interest: April 2022
    • Deadline for response to Request for Expressions of Interest: May 2022
    • Government of Canada issues Request for Qualifications: Fall 2022
    • Deadline for response to Request for Qualifications: Winter 2022-23
    • Government of Canada evaluation of Request for Qualifications and identification of Qualified Respondents: Winter 2022-23
    • Government of Canada issues Request for Proposals: Spring 2023
    • Deadline for response to Request for Proposals: Fall 2024
  • The size and scope of High Frequency Rail would drive transformational changes in how VIA Rail provides services in the Toronto to Québec City corridor to Canadians. In the meantime, VIA Rail continues the important work of rebuilding the passenger rail business in Canada following the pandemic.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to engaging the public, including communities currently served by VIA Rail between Toronto and Québec City, and consulting Indigenous Peoples to inform the project design and development.
  • Indigenous Peoples and Canadians interested in the project are encouraged to visit the High Frequency Rail Project website for additional information or to submit their views and questions.
  • The Government of Canada plans to incorporate strategies to enable socio-economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in the subsequent phases of the High Frequency Rail project.
  • In follow-on stages of the procurement process, the Government of Canada plans to evaluate the Indigenous participation plans of proponents to encourage collaboration opportunities with Indigenous Peoples, businesses, communities, and organizations.
  • As with any large-scale infrastructure project, the Government of Canada is using a phased approach to leverage input collected throughout the procurement process and inform the next steps and decisions regarding the implementation of the High Frequency Rail Project.

Associated Links

Transport Canada is online at Subscribe to e-news or stay connected through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.

This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

Source : Transport Canada

Photo Credit : David Bellerive

Continue reading

Memo: O-Train Light Rail Transit Stage 1 and Stage 2 Quarterly Update (Q3 and Q4 2021)

Please find attached a memo regarding the O-Train Light Rail Transit Stage 1 and Stage 2 Quarterly Update (Q3 and Q4 2021).

Source : City of Ottawa

Continue reading

Quebec City Tramway - A Discussion on the Currently Proposed Project - January 2022

Quebec City is actively working towards building a state-of-the-art Tramway system through the city. It will operate from Le Gendre to D'Estimauville (West to East). The proposed line will have 28 stations, be 19.3km in length and feature a downtown underground tunnel of 2.1km, that will be home to two stations.

In this conversation with David Bellerive, we discuss this exciting and important infrastructure and transit project, poised to transform commuting in Quebec City. Touching on the history of the first Tramway in the city that ran till the mid-1900s, the new system being designed, the choice of technology, the routing and location of stations and finally the stunning rolling stock that may ride the rails. This is your introduction and overview of the Quebec City Tramway. 

Continue reading

Share your train stories in a digital exhibition

The Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto & the Toronto Railway Museum present: 

"Getting Back on Track: The Changing Role of Passenger Rail in Southern Ontario" is a digital exhibition being made by some master's students (that's us!) that will use real stories from railway passengers (that's you!) to explore Ontario's railroads and how they're likely to evolve in the future. We'd love to hear from a diverse community, so please take a few moments to fill out the survey linked here.

Continue reading

Stage 2 LRT Construction Update - FEDCO - December 17, 2021

Committee receives construction update on Stage 2 LRT

The City's Finance and Economic Development Committee received an update today on the three extensions of the Stage 2 LRT project, to the east, west and south.

In the south, work is progressing at the Walkley Maintenance and Storage Facility and on multiple bridges, with girder installation underway at the Ellwood Diamond and Hunt Club rail bridges. Station construction has begun at all sites to the south. The first Stadler vehicle has been delivered and assembly is underway. The remaining vehicles will arrive in 2022.

In the east, Highway 174 roadwork is underway, and utilities are being relocated to make way within the centre median for LRT infrastructure. Construction has started on four of the five planned LRT stations. Construction of the East Rail Flyover bridge and Montréal Station bridge has been completed.

In the west, work continues at the Moodie Light Maintenance and Storage Facility, as well as at Queensview, Iris and Lincoln Fields stations, and along Byron Linear Park. Work is progressing at the slurry plant at Rochester Field and the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. Cut-and-cover tunnel construction is underway on the Byron Linear Park Tunnel and the Parkway Tunnel, which will run between Kìchì Sìbì and Lincoln Fields stations travelling under the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway.

The Committee received an updated schedule outlining the anticipated substantial completion dates for the three extensions. The COVID-19 pandemic has had impacts on major construction projects across Ontario, and City staff are closely monitoring construction schedules and any anticipated delays as a result. The Committee was informed that the O-Train South extension is now anticipated to open in spring 2023, as a result of contractor delays, which pushes out the original schedule of summer 2022. The O-Train East Extension is tracking toward its anticipated completion date in 2024. The O-Train West Extension has some pressure on its scheduled completion date of 2025, but the City and contractor are working together to resolve the critical timelines.

The Committee also approved the acquisition of 3101 Albion Road from the Canadian Pacific Railway, for possible future expansion of the Walkley Maintenance and Storage Facility. The Committee also delegated authority to the director of the rail construction program to negotiate and carry out both station construction and operating agreements for the Airport Link with the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority.

Source : City of Ottawa

FEDCO Stage 2 LRT Update - December 17, 2021.mp3

Stage 2 LRT - Construction Photos 

East Extension

West Extension

South Extension

Continue reading

Memo: O-Train Light Rail Transit Line 1 and Line 2 Comparison

Please find attached a memo regarding a detailed, side-by-side comparison of the technical design and construction of the Stage 1 Confederation Line and Stage 2 Trillium Line projects.

Source : City of Ottawa

Continue reading

Memo: Update on O-Train Line 1 Service

Please find attached a memo regarding an Update on O-Train Line 1 service.  

Continue reading

VIA Rail Delivers New Levels of Comfort, Accessibility, and Sustainability With Its New Corridor Fleet

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) marked a historic milestone today with the unveiling of the first trainset of its state-of-the-art new fleet that will serve the Québec City – Windsor corridor.

With the new test train parked on the platform of the LEED certified Ottawa station behind them, VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer, Cynthia Garneau and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Françoise Bertrand, introduced Canadians to the first of 32 new trains in VIA Rail's new Corridor fleet - a building block of VIA Rail's modernization program which will help to create the VIA Rail of tomorrow.

"This new fleet marks a new era for passenger rail service in the Corridor, where we served over 4.7 million passengers in 2019 and which represented 96% of our ridership pre-pandemic. In addition to being one of the most environmentally friendly fleets in North America, this modern new fleet will offer our passengers an unparalleled, barrier-free, and fully accessible travel experience," said Cynthia Garneau, VIA Rail President and Chief Executive Officer.

It's time to reimagine the way Canadians travel

Funding for these new trainsets was announced in the 2018 Federal budget and represents an investment of close to a billion dollars.

"Canadians have relied on VIA Rail to connect them for years. The new fleet will offer a new era of comfort and efficiency for the workers, families, and tourists who travel on these tracks. By supporting VIA Rail's large-scale modernization project, we are investing in accessible, reliable, environmentally friendly ways for Canadians to see each other and see their country," said the Honorable Omar Alghabra, Canada's Transport Minister.

The first train has been delivered right on time and showcases impressive features that promise an unparalleled travel experience.

It's time to deliver new levels of comfort, accessibility, and sustainability

Key features of VIA Rail's new corridor fleet include amongst others:

  • Wider aisles, automatic touchless interior doors, adjustable tray tables, comfortable and ergonomic seats, and high-speed reliable data connection.
  • A barrier-free and fully accessible travel experience with onboard wheelchair lifts, five Mobility Aid Spaces (MAS) per trainset, large accessible washrooms, braille, and embossed signage.
  • Advanced diesel engines and a bidirectional train configuration that allows for less operating time with the engines running making it one of the most environmentally friendly intercity fleets in North America.

It's time to act today for a better tomorrow

The railway helped shape Canada, brought communities together and boosted the economy from coast to coast. As Canada works to recover from the pandemic, VIA Rail is ready to continue building on its 44-year history and play a key role in the future of sustainable mobility in Canada.

"In the face of the climate crisis and an unprecedented demand for more sustainable mobility, the relevance of passenger rail is stronger than ever," said Francoise Bertrand, the Chairperson of the Board at VIA Rail. "This new fleet and the High Frequency Rail (HFR) project will further that interconnectivity as our passengers will be able to travel more often and more quickly to more destinations."

Winter trials of the test train will begin in December 2021, with the first train expected to go into service in Q4 2022.

About VIA Rail
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail ( and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional, and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded nine Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2005. Visit the "About VIA Rail" section at

Source : VIA Rail

Continue reading

Guided Visit of Édouard-Montpetit Station on Montreal's Réseau Express Métropolitain - November 2021

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. 
Continue reading

Une visite guidée de la station Edouard-Montpetit du Réseau Express Métropolitain de Montreal - novembre 2021

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.



Continue reading

Statement from Minister Mulroney Ottawa O-Train public inquiry

Statement by Minister Mulroney

"The issues plaguing Stage 1 of the Ottawa LRT have been unacceptable and disappointing. As a funding partner for the project, we need certainty that the City of Ottawa will be able to successfully deliver the remaining phases of work for this project. Ottawa transit riders deserve and expect this certainty as well.

To get to the bottom of these issues facing the Ottawa LRT, our government will be launching a public inquiry. Our goal is to get this up and running as soon as possible. In the coming weeks, we will establish the scope of the inquiry and its terms of reference, with the intention of receiving a report on what has transpired and recommendations to prevent this from happening again."

Audio Recording from Media Availability on November 18, 2021

Minister Caroline Mulroney - Media Availability - November 18, 2021
Continue reading

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - November 17, 2021

The Transit Commission today adopted OC Transpo's 2022 Draft Budget.

To keep transit affordable for low-income residents and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) recipients, OC Transpo's 2022 Draft Budget includes a continued freeze on EquiPass fares and the Community Pass at 2018 levels.

The 2022 Draft Budget includes:

  • A 2.5 per cent general fare increase, to come into effect the month after RTG makes 15 trains available for full revenue service on O-Train Line 1.
  • A fare freeze for customers who use the EquiPass (monthly or single-ride) or the Community Pass.
  • New no-charge passes for emergency shelter clients.
  • No service expansion.
  • Savings of $11 million resulting from the continuation of the temporary service reductions which began in mid-2021.
  • Inflation and a cost-of-living adjustment.
  • $5.2 million in annualized costs to cover Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) costs, provide legislated breaks for federally regulated staff and to cover the cost of the September 30 federal holiday.
  • An increase of $3.9 million for maintenance of fare control and other software supports.

The Transit Commission carried a motion that Council direct the Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer, General Manager of Transit Services and General Manager of Community and Social Services to review the Transit Fare Working Group's recommendation that the next Council consider a fare freeze for the Community Pass, the Access Pass, and the EquiPass for the entire Term of Council, and that staff report back as part of the 2018-2022 Term of Council Governance Review.

Additionally, the Commission carried a motion that Council direct the Mayor and Transit Commission Chair to write to the Federal government requesting operational funding through the federal gas tax or other channels to reduce the user share of the cost of public transit, in order to reduce or eliminate user fees and encourage transit use.

The 2022 Draft Budget will be tabled for consideration and approval by City Council on December 8.

The Transit Commission also received an update on O-Train Line 1, which returned to partial service on November 12.

Staff confirmed that Line 1 service will gradually increase as RTG continues to increase the number of trains available for service, with full service expected to be in place by the end of November. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 11 trains are required for full service to meet current demand.

Staff also confirmed that in October, bus ridership was at 41% and Para Transpo ridership was at 59% of pre-pandemic levels. Para Transpo service levels continue to be sufficient to meet current ridership demand. In October, all trips were fulfilled, and 9.1% of trips in minibuses were shared.

Source : City of Ottawa

Audio Recording from the O-Train and Bus Service Update portion of the meeting (with English interpretation).

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - November 17, 2021

Audio Recording from Media Availability

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - November 17, 2021 - Media Availability

O-Train Confederation Line 1 Update

Continue reading

Memo: Update on Rideau Transit Group Return-to-Service Plan: Resumption of Line 1 Passenger Revenue Service

The purpose of this memo is to inform Members of Council and Transit Commission that system testing is progressing well and, pending its successful completion tomorrow, O-Train Line 1 revenue service will resume on Friday, November 12. Service will resume with seven trains and one spare and will expand incrementally, with full revenue service expected to be in place by the end of the month.

The past two days of end-to-end service testing have been positive. Testing continues tomorrow, and if the results remain consistent, the City will resume revenue service on Line 1. Final confirmation of this date is contingent on the successful completion of testing and pending final validation by TRA. I will provide the final confirmation to Members of Council and the Transit Commission once the City receives the written determination from TRA that Line 1 can safely return to service.

As discussed at Friday's technical briefing and in previous communications, Line 1 end-to-end service testing began on November 4. Testing is an integral component of the safe return-to-service plan. It has allowed Rideau Transit Group (RTG), Transportation Resource Associates (TRA) and the City to confirm that all repairs on the train, track and infrastructure meet the quality standards required for the safe and consistent operations of O-Train Line 1. This process has worked as it should, and RTG and OC Transpo are prepared and able to safely return to revenue service operation.

Once the system resumes revenue service, the City and TRA will continue to monitor RTG's activities. As with any Light Rail Transit system, we expect that issues will arise. The City and our transit customers expect these issues will be addressed quickly and efficiently by RTG.

RTG continues to inspect the remainder of the rail fleet and as discussed at Friday's technical briefing, the results are being validated by TRA and the City.

When partial service resumes, R1 replacement bus service will be maintained. Staff will be assessing, based on actual ridership levels, whether R1 replacement bus service can be reduced. OC Transpo will provide further updates on R1 bus service next week.

I expect to provide you with final confirmation on the resumption of O-Train Line 1 service tomorrow.

Steve Kanellakos

Source : City of Ottawa

Continue reading

Technical briefing on the safe return-to-service of O-Train Line 1

Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Allan Hubley, Chair of the City's Transit Commission, Steve Kanellakos, City Manager, and Renée Amilcar, General Manager of Transit Services, will host a technical briefing with the Transportation Resource Associates (TRA) regarding the safe return-to-service of O-Train Line 1.

City staff and subject-matter experts from TRA took questions from members of council, transit commissioners and media following the presentation.

This video has been added to the Rail Fans Canada archive for current and future reference.

Continue reading

Memo: Rail Safety Advisory Letter 03/21 – Work Procedures for Ottawa Light Rail Transit Vehicle Maintenance

The purpose of this memo is to advise Members of Council and the Transit Commission that on Tuesday, November 2, the City received a Rail Safety Advisory (RSA) letter from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) in reference to work procedures that contributed to the September 19 derailment on O-Train Line 1 (attached).

The RSA letter details TSB's view that the root cause of the derailment was due to inconsistent and incomplete maintenance of the light rail vehicle components by Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) at the maintenance facility. Specifically, that some of the 12 bolts that connect each gearbox to light rail vehicle bogie assemblies were not adequately torqued when they were installed during refurbishment work that took place on nine light rail vehicles in response to the earlier August 8, 2021 derailment near Tunney's Pasture Station.

The City agrees with TSB's findings and recommendations with regards to maintenance processes and the root cause of the September 19 derailment. The findings outlined in the RSA letter are aligned with the analysis from the independent third-party review conducted by Transportation Resource Associates (TRA).

TSB's advisory letter also includes recommendations to conduct an in-depth review of all work performed on safety-critical components in order to prevent a similar re-occurrence. This aligns with the work currently underway by TRA in reviewing RTG's return to service plan, work procedures and maintenance processes in order to ensure the safety and reliability of the light rail system and to prevent events like the August 8 and September 19 derailments from happening again.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Brandon Richards, Chief Safety Officer at ext. 52550.

Steve Kanellakos

Source : City of Ottawa
Continue reading

Memo: Update on Safe Return-to-Service Plan: Independent Rail Safety Expert Technical Briefing on November 5

The purpose of this memo is to advise you that staff and the Transportation Resource Associates (TRA) are planning to hold a technical briefing on Friday, November 5, 2021 at 11:30 am. The purpose of this briefing is to confirm the work that Rideau Transit Group (RTG) and the City are undertaking to allow partial service on the O-Train Line 1 to resume within the first two weeks of November, as anticipated. This was a commitment we made to Council and the Commission, and a formal invitation will be sent to you shortly.

This technical briefing is being provided now, as the
full system-wide testing of O-Train Line 1 for the partial return-to-service plan is currently underway, under the oversight and ongoing monitoring of TRA. The testing is allowing TRA, RTG and the City to confirm that all the repairs on the trains, track and the infrastructure meet the quality standards required for the safe and continued operations of O-Train Line 1.

With the testing program well underway, TRA is nearing the completion of their independent evaluation of the partial return-to-service plan for Line 1. They will provide Members of Council and Transit Commissioners with an overview of their work, findings, and recommendations at the technical briefing.

Progress updates will continue to be provided to Members of Council and Transit Commissioners and a final date for full return-to-service will be determined by the City in consultation with the Regulatory Monitor and Compliance Officer (RMCO), TRA and all parties involved.


Steve Kanellakos

Source : City of Ottawa

Continue reading

CN Advances Sustainability Efforts With Wabtec’s Battery-Electric Locomotive

CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) is proud to announce its purchase of Wabtec's FLXdrive battery-electric freight locomotive, the first 100-percent battery heavy-haul locomotive for the region in support of CN's sustainability goals. This new technology is a key component in achieving an effective transition to a lower carbon future. Recognizing the potential of the initiative, Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection awarded financial support for the initiative under the Marine and Rail Freight Movers Grant Program.

For its first battery-electric freight locomotive, CN plans to partner with Wabtec to put in service its next-generation FLXdrive technology, which can reduce fuel consumption and emissions by up to 30 percent. The anticipated efficiencies and emission reductions from the technology will be significant and help open the door to new alternatives beyond the diesel-powered locomotives used today.

"As part of our sustainability strategy to reduce freight transportation emissions through innovation, we plan to continue to lead the sector by deploying low and no carbon technologies. At CN, we believe rail has a tremendous potential to reduce the environmental impact of transportation. As a mover of the economy, CN is committed to playing a key role in the transition to low-carbon economy."

  • Jean-Jacques Ruest, President and Chief Executive Officer, CN

"The FLXdrive is a defining moment for the freight rail industry, and Wabtec is proud to partner with CN to accelerate the industry toward low- to zero-emission locomotives,"

  • Rafael Santana, Wabtec President and Chief Executive Officer

"I am excited to see that the Canadian National's (CN) Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad (B&LE) Company has received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to help with the purchase of a new innovative Wabtec battery-electric locomotive. As a member of a family that has proudly worked for Bessemer for four generations, I am thrilled by this opportunity to accelerate the future of rail by promoting cleaner and more efficient transportation. I would like to offer my congratulations to CN's B&LE and Wabtec as they work together to create sustainable and efficient railroads for future generations."

  • Pennsylvania State Rep. Parke Wentling (R-17th District)

CN is the most fuel-efficient railway in North America, using approximately 15% less locomotive fuel per gross ton mile than the industry average. In 2020, CN's actions to reduce emissions, mitigate climate risks and to develop the low-carbon economy resulted in CN being one of only three Canadian companies listed on CDP's prestigious Climate A List. The continuing successful development and availability of innovative propulsion technology is part of a portfolio of carbon reduction initiatives.

In April 2021, the Science-Based Target Initiative ("SBTi") approved CN's commitment to reduce scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gases ("GHG") emissions by 43% per million gross ton miles by 2030 from a 2019 base year. CN furthermore commits to reduce scope 3 GHG emissions from fuel and energy related activities by 40% per million gross ton miles by 2030 from a 2019 base year. CN's Climate Action Plan and its new level of ambition target support the Paris Agreement.

About CN
CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade-enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. As the only railroad connecting Canada's Eastern and Western coasts with the U.S. South through a 19,500-mile rail network, CN, and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

Wabtec Corporation (NYSE: WAB) is focused on creating transportation solutions that move and improve the world. The company is a leading global provider of equipment, systems, digital solutions and value-added services for the freight and transit rail industries, as well as the mining, marine and industrial markets. Wabtec has been a leader in the rail industry for over 150 years and has a vision to achieve a zero-emission rail system in the U.S. and worldwide. Visit Wabtec's website at:

About the SBTi
SBTi is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature that defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies' targets. For more information, please consult their website:

Source : CN Rail

Continue reading

Memo: Letter to the City of Ottawa on OLRT1 and TSB

On Tuesday November 2, at 8:25 pm the City received a letter from Vrinda Vaidyanathan, Director, Capital Project Oversight Branch, Agencies Oversight and Partnerships Division, Ministry of Transportation. The letter, which appears to be in keeping with standard due diligence by the Province, is asking for information related to actions that the City is already undertaking to hold its contractor to account and to ensure the provision of safe, reliable transit in Ottawa. Staff will be providing a fulsome response to the Province and will also update Council and the public this week on that response and on the return to service activities.

Steve Kanellakos, City Manager

Source : City of Ottawa

Please find attached a letter from the province regarding OLRT1 and the TSB. 

Continue reading

Memo: Update on Rideau Transit Group Return-to-Service Plan: Testing Progress

The purpose of this memo is to provide Members of Council and Transit Commission with an update on the Rideau Transit Group's (RTG's) testing and return-to-service plan.

As of this morning, 11 trains (22 single cars) have been inspected, with nine trains (18 single cars) tested to date under the oversight of Transportation Research Associates (TRA). The entire rail fleet continues to progress through the detailed safety certification process and the track and related infrastructure repairs are undergoing the final validation and assessments required to enable a return to revenue service. 

As trains pass the inspection process, they are being operated on the tracks to verify all train system functionality prior to a final system-wide test. Over the next few days, the public will continue to see technicians on the track as well as trains travelling at various speeds, and sometimes stopped for various lengths of time while testing continues to progress. 

It is anticipated that before the end of the week, a full system-wide test of Confederation Line 1 will take place over two days prior to returning to revenue service. During this time, the public will see multiple trains operating across the entire system, stopping at stations, making announcements and simulating regular revenue service operations. 

Ultimately, the return-to-service day is contingent upon RTG providing, to the satisfaction of TRA and the City: 
  • a robust and fulsome quality assurance program 
  • updates to their maintenance programs and processes, to ensure that the root causes of the recent derailments are fully addressed. 

With this continued progress and contingent upon the completion of RTG's return-to-service plan and TRA's and the City's concurrence, it is anticipated that we will be able to provide a technical briefing with TRA before the end of the week, which is a Council requirement prior to the resumption of revenue service. 

The plan remains to resume a partial return to service with seven (7) trains and two (2) spares in the first two weeks of November, and to incrementally expand service throughout the month of November.

Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Source : City of Ottawa

Continue reading

Canadian Pacific expands Hydrogen Locomotive Program to include additional locomotives, fueling stations with Emissions Reduction Alberta grant

Canadian Pacific (TSX: CP) (NYSE: CP) will dramatically expand the scope of its pioneering Hydrogen Locomotive Program with a $15 million grant announced by Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) today. The grant enables CP to increase the number of hydrogen locomotive conversions in the project from one to three and add hydrogen production and fueling facilities. The program will create a global centre of excellence in hydrogen and freight rail systems in Alberta.

"In expanding this groundbreaking project, CP is demonstrating its commitment to combatting climate change through transformative technology," said Keith Creel, CP's President and Chief Executive Officer. "I am very pleased that ERA selected this program for a grant and I eagerly anticipate seeing a hydrogen-powered locomotive move CP customer freight in the near future."

CP is receiving the 50/50 matching grant from ERA's Shovel Ready Challenge program. It builds on the $15 million CP already planned to invest in the development project in 2021.

In December 2020, CP announced it would design and build North America's first line-haul hydrogen-powered locomotive using fuel cells and batteries to power the locomotive's electric traction motors. With the grant announced today, CP will build upon its early program research to convert an additional line-haul locomotive and a yard switcher locomotive. This work will refine the process of converting diesel-electric powertrains to hydrogen-electric powertrains over a series of three categories of locomotive, which collectively represent most locomotives in use throughout North America.

To support hydrogen locomotive operations, the project will include installation of hydrogen production and fueling facilities at CP railyards in Calgary and Edmonton. The Calgary fueling facility will include an electrolysis plant to produce hydrogen from water. This facility will operate on renewable power from solar panels at CP's headquarters campus and produce zero greenhouse gas emissions. The Edmonton facility includes a small-scale steam methane reformation system that will generate hydrogen from Alberta's natural gas resources. The system will be constructed to accommodate the possible future addition of greenhouse gas capture equipment.

"Alberta is investing to lead the transition to affordable, reliable and clean energy. CP's initiative represents a highly compelling opportunity to catalyze the hydrogen economy in Alberta and around the world," said Steve MacDonald, CEO of Emissions Reduction Alberta. "The project will help scale up technology and bring down the costs of deploying hydrogen to address the critical challenge of decarbonizing the long haul, heavy-freight sector."

CP's Hydrogen Locomotive Program will demonstrate and evaluate the technical performance of hydrogen-powered locomotives and supporting fueling infrastructure in real-world operations. The program will generate critical industry knowledge and experience that will inform commercialization and future development.

For more information about CP's sustainability initiatives, visit

Note on forward-looking information
This news release includes certain forward-looking statements and forward looking information (collectively, FLI). FLI is typically identified by words such as "anticipate", "expect", "project", "estimate", "forecast", "plan", "intend", "target", "believe", "likely" and similar words suggesting future outcomes or statements regarding an outlook. All statements other than statements of historical fact may be FLI.

This news release contains FLI relating, but not limited, to: the scope of the Hydrogen Locomotive Program; the creation of a global centre of excellence in hydrogen and freight rail systems; the anticipated impacts of such developments on CP's operations, priorities and plans, and certain anticipated future strategies, plans and goals relating to sustainability.

Although we believe that the FLI is reasonable based on the information available today and processes used to prepare it, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and you are cautioned against placing undue reliance on FLI. By its nature, FLI involves a variety of assumptions, which are based upon factors that may be difficult to predict and that may involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors which may cause actual results, levels of activity and achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these FLI, including, but not limited to, the following: the fuel efficiency of railways and CP's operations; CP's ability to implement certain initiatives, including emissions targets, scenario analyses, risk mitigation strategies, changes to enterprise risk management and internal carbon pricing mechanisms; CP's ability to develop North America's first hydrogen-powered line-haul freight locomotive; the possibility of eliminating emissions from freight train operations; ATCO's ability to construct and operate the fueling facilities; future investments in and the availability of carbon emissions-reduction tools and technologies including through CP's fleet modernization program and technology upgrades; the impacts of existing and planned capital investments; CP's ability to work with governments and third parties to mitigate the impacts of climate change; the possibility of eliminating emissions from freight train operations; North American and global economic growth; commodity demand growth; agricultural production; commodity prices and interest rates; the performance of CP's assets and equipment; applicable laws, regulations and government policies; the availability and cost of labour on the timelines anticipated and with the capabilities required, as well as the availability and cost of services and infrastructure; sufficiency of CP's budgeted capital expenditures in carrying out CP's business plan; the satisfaction by third parties of their obligations to CP; the impacts of the novel strain of coronavirus (and the disease known as COVID-19); and capital investments by third parties.

We caution that the foregoing list of factors is not exhaustive and is made as of the date hereof. Additional information about these and other assumptions, risks and uncertainties can be found in reports and filings by CP with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators. Reference should be made to "Risk Factors" and "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CP's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Due to the interdependencies and correlation of these factors, as well as other factors, the impact of any one assumption, risk or uncertainty on FLI cannot be determined with certainty.

Except to the extent required by law, we assume no obligation to publicly update or revise any FLI, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All FLI in this news release is expressly qualified in its entirety by these cautionary statements.

About Canadian Pacific
Canadian Pacific is a transcontinental railway in Canada and the United States with direct links to major ports on the west and east coasts. CP provides North American customers a competitive rail service with access to key markets in every corner of the globe. CP is growing with its customers, offering a suite of freight transportation services, logistics solutions and supply chain expertise. Visit to see the rail advantages of CP. CP-IR

Source : CP

Continue reading

TSW2 - Episode 3.1 - Bombardier Talent 2 (BR442 Tutorial)

In this video, I play Train Sim World 2.

This is a training scenario to learn the basic operations of the Bombardier Talent 2 (BR442) EMU (electric multiple unit) passenger commuter train.

Facts on this trip:
  • Vehicle: Bombardier Talent 2 (BR442)
You can purchase and download Train Sim World 2 on Steam:
Continue reading

TSW2 - Episode 2.2 - CN Oakville Subdivision (A Short Freight Haul in the Winter)

In this video, I play Train Sim World 2.

In this scenario, I will take a cut of empty tanks from Hamilton Yard to the central distribution point in the Industrial Zone. As an added bonus, this will take place during a late February afternoon in the snowy winter. 

Facts on this trip: 
  • Locomotive : GP38-2 CN Rail
You can purchase and download Train Sim World 2 on Steam:
Continue reading