News

Réseau Express Métropolitain with David Bellerive - September 2021

The Réseau Express Métropolitain in Montreal will transform commuting and transit in the city over the next 10 years. With 26 stations and 67 km of track, and even more announced in the near future, this project has really gathered much excitement and generated lots of anticipation. 

In this video discussion with transit and rail enthusiast David Bellerive, we talk about the REM and several of the more interesting and exciting points about the project. 

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  • 00:00 - Introduction 
  • 00:28 - Overview of the REM 
  • 02:56 - Alstom Metropolis Trains 
  • 09:52 - The most interesting stations on the network 
  • 09:53 - Gare Centrale Station 
  • 15:02 - McGill Station 
  • 20:13 - Édouard-Montpetit Station 
  • 27:51 - Airport Station 
  • 36:09 - Expansion to the East 
  • 43:17 - The Anticipation and Excitement Building towards the Opening 
  • 46:59 - Closing 

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  • Imagery and render credits: Reseau Express Metropolitain / CDPQ Infra 
  • Learn more about the REM at: https://www.rem.info

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Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - September 20, 2021

Transit Commission receives operational update on O-Train Line 1 and bus service and approves status report on Q2 transit operating and capital budget

The Transit Commission today received an update on O-Train Line 1 and bus service operations. Staff provided details of the August 8 Line 1 incident involving an axle bearing issue on an out-of-service train leaving Tunney's Pasture Station. The update outlined OC Transpo's incident response framework, steps taken to identify and remediate root causes of the incident, as well as steps taken to safely resume service on Line 1 on August 14. Staff also briefed the Transit Commission on an incident involving the derailment of a westbound Line 1 train between Tremblay and Hurdman Stations on the afternoon of Sunday, September 19, which has resulted in the temporary replacement of Line 1 service with R1 bus service to allow for investigation and repairs. In addition, staff provided regular updates on train service reliability, along with updates on wheel inspections and Rideau Transit Group's (RTG) rectification plan.

The update also confirmed that ridership has been climbing steadily since Step 1 of the Province's COVID-19 reopening on June 11, climbing to 29 percent as of Step 3 on July 16, and reaching 34 percent of normal levels in August.

The Transit Commission approved a motion calling for the City Manager to consult with the Regulatory Monitor and Compliance Officer to identify and retain an independent expert or experts to confirm the safety of the plan for return to service and report back to City Council and Transit Commission with a work plan and timelines for this independent safety review.

The Transit Commission also received a report, 2021 Transit Operating and Capital Budget Q2 Status, indicating a $3.8 million surplus for the second quarter of 2021, mainly due to lower compensation costs resulting from vacant positions, as revenue shortfalls and additional expenditures due to COVID-19 were offset by federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) funding for transit. The end-of-year forecast is a deficit of $17 million, made up of $26.3 million in projected revenue loss and added costs from COVID-19, offset by $9.3 million in savings due to vacant positions and the temporary service reductions.

Finally, the Transit Commission received for information a report on OC Transpo's delegated authority for contracts awarded for the period of July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 and approved a recommendation to waive Section 39 of the Procurement By-law, permitting 2021 semi-annual reports of the details relevant to the exercise of delegated authority for all OC Transpo contracts equal to or exceeding $25,000 to be delivered as one consolidated report in Q2 2022.

Source : City of Ottawa


Audio Recording from the Meeting

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - September 20, 2021

Audio Recording from the Media Availability

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - Media Availability - September 20, 2021

 O-Train Line 1 and Bus Service Update Presentation


Motions

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Search begins for teams interested in building Scarborough Subway Extension stations

The Scarborough Subways Extension project has now reached an important stage – the search for experts who want to build the stations, lay down the tracks, and install all the technology that connects them. In this feature, we look at what the 'Request for Qualifications' announcement means, as well as how an extended Line 2 subway will create a more connected and reliable transit experience.

Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario today (Sept. 17) released a Request for Qualifications in a search for teams interested in building the stations and the remaining work along the Scarborough Subway Extension.

Each station on the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension will be more than just a place to get on or off the Line 2 subway – they will be important hubs that connect to surface routes, helping passengers to move seamlessly through a broader transit network.

The Request for Qualifications asks industry experts to share their qualifications to bid on designing and building the stations, laying down the track and installing and launching the systems that will be used to operate the line. It's part of the project's Stations, Rail and Systems package.

New to the Scarborough Subway Extension conversation and want to know more? Just go here.

The contract for tunnel construction was awarded on May 25, 2021 to Strabag and work is already well underway at the launch shaft site.

Metrolinx projects that by 2041, 83 per cent of passengers going through the three new stations at the busiest hour of the day will be transferring from a bus to the subway, or from one bus route to another.

"We are building stations that will be important connection points, with buses coming in from all parts of Scarborough."
Program Sponsor, Michael Hodge

"Scarborough has a wide geographic area and large parts of Scarborough rely on buses to get to the subway," said Michael Hodge, program sponsor.

"We are building stations that will be important connection points, with buses coming in from all parts of Scarborough."

Bus connections from the Scarborough Subway Extension will bring students to class at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus – pictured – and Centennial College. (Mike Winterburn photo)

The new terminus station at Shepperd and McCowan will offer links to bus routes north of Highway 401.

This station will shorten the time people spend riding buses on congested roadways, allowing them to enter the subway system sooner.

Over the long term, the Shepperd Subway (Line 4) could also be extended to this station, closing a loop and giving riders a new way to navigate the subway system.

Scarborough Centre subway station

Moving south down the extension, the Scarborough Centre subway station will be a particularly important spot for connections.

The current Line 3 Scarborough Rapid Transit station at Scarborough Centre already offers connections to TTC buses, and that role will continue to grow as the regional transit network expands.

Hodge was quick to point out that Metrolinx is designing the new station to be more than a subway stop.

"We are putting a lot of focus on to the Scarborough Centre Bus Terminal to allow for efficient connections to bus routes."

The terminal will also offer connections to GO buses and the proposed Durham Region Transit bus rapid transit line.

The station will be a transit hub with bus connections to both the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and Centennial College's Progress Campus, which provide education and employment opportunities to almost 30,000 students and staff.

Of course, there is a lot of activity right around the station – and not just in the Scarborough Town Centre mall. The Scarborough City Centre has office towers, high-rise condominiums, a library, and an outdoor skating rink. The new Street Eats Market food truck festival in the mall parking lot is also emerging as a popular attraction.

The Scarborough Subway Extension will attract travellers from across Scarborough and beyond. Here, the Street Eats food truck festival draws a recent crowd. (Mike Winterburn photo)

The new station at Lawrence and McCowan Road will be used by Scarborough residents accessing health care or visiting loved ones in the hospital.

It will be next to the Scarborough Health Network's General Hospital, offering new convenience to frontline health care workers, patients and their visitors. The hospital is a major employer in Scarborough, with more than 2,000 employees and 500 volunteers.

With the subway extension meeting up with the Crosstown LRT at Kennedy Station, Scarborough residents will have a new transit option, going through midtown Toronto, along Eglinton Avenue, all the way to Mississauga.

This will also continue to be the site of an important connection to the Stouffville line GO train line, which will see expanded service in the years to come.

The Ontario Line

The subway extension is just one way Scarborough residents will benefit from upcoming transit expansion improvements. When the Ontario Line is in place, riders coming from Scarborough will be able to transfer at Pape to reach Queen station and the Financial District, eliminating the need to take Line 2 all the way into the crowded Bloor-Yonge station and on to packed Line 1 trains.

Hodge also pointed out the extension is more than a link to downtown Toronto as it will make it easier to move around Scarborough.

"Maybe people want to go to visit a friend at Scarborough General," he said. Or, they could be headed towards Scarborough Centre to go shop at the mall, get a taco from a food truck, or drop a form off at the nearby federal government office, and the subway extension will help them to get there faster."

And again, you can visit the Scarborough Subway Extension webpage to learn more about the project and keep up with all the progress being made on the project.

Story by Mike Winterburn, Metrolinx News senior writer

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REM de l’Est: project update

Today, CDPQ Infra issued an update on the REM de l'Est project, providing a progress report and publishing two separate technical reports with analyses of underground route scenarios. CDPQ Infra also unveiled an optimization of the reference project, with the addition of a tunnel section under René-Lévesque Boulevard.

CDPQ Infra conducted its first phase of public consultations over the past six months, reaching more than 32,000 people and collecting more than 1,600 comments and opinions.

In addition to helping establish the committee of independent experts appointed by the Québec government to ensure the project's architectural and urban integration, CDPQ Infra has published a number of documents and reports, conducted technical studies and held numerous workshops and meetings with all the project's partners.

The REM de l'Est will transform mobility services for hundreds of thousands of residents in Montréal's eastern communities by providing a fast, frequent and reliable link between downtown Montréal, CÉGEP Marie-Victorin and Pointe-aux-Trembles. CDPQ Infra remains firmly committed to building an outstanding project that everyone can be proud of. With that in mind, today we are presenting a major enhancement, further demonstrating our commitment to the continuous improvement of this large-scale public transit project while ensuring its feasibility with a responsible approach
Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and CEO of CDPQ Infra

Two detailed reports by external firms

Today, CDPQ Infra published two separate reports assessing various scenarios for an underground route in downtown Montréal as part of the REM de l'Est project. These reports were produced by external firms whose expertise is widely recognized internationally.

A first report was issued by AECOM-Systra and a second report was commissioned from Geocontrol to provide further analysis and assessment of additional factors.

A summary of these studies' main findings is available here.

Both firms presented a detailed analysis of multiple factors to determine the technical feasibility of the proposed scenarios, while also addressing the cumulative effects of technical risks in order to validate the viability these scenarios.

These factors include the impacts of buried public infrastructure, the impacts of the yellow and orange metro line tunnels, the area's geology, construction hazards and the presence of the water table. A 3D digital model was also used to map these risks and assess them in light of Montréal's specific and unique context.

Viability of the analyzed scenarios and enhancement of the reference project

Based on technical reports, including the second technical report issued in August, and the analysis of the various options' viability, only one underground alternative is viable in downtown Montreal. CDPQ Infra will integrate a tunnel section into the REM de l'Est reference project, beginning at Jeanne-Mance and continuing to Robert-Bourassa Boulevard.

Extensive analyses pointed to this solution for a portion of downtown due to favourable geological conditions and the natural slope of René-Lévesque Boulevard, which allows for the integration of this route (transition zone reduced to approximately 150 metres) while limiting impacts.

This major improvement, which will bury a portion of the route and the terminal station, comes on the heels of the enhancement already implemented in the Montréal-Nord sector, bringing the length of the REM de l'Est tunnel to 9 km, or approximately one third of the entire route.

The project budget and schedule will be updated once the current consultation and optimization period concludes, prior to the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE).

Next steps in the project

The multidisciplinary expert committee on the REM de l'Est's architectural and urban integration will continue its work along the entire route, including the sectors further east. The goal is to present a proposal for urban and architectural integration along the REM de l'Est's complete route to citizens and partners by the end of 2021.

Source : CDPQ Infra

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TTC celebrates 100 years of moving Toronto

Today, Sept. 1, 2021, marks 100 years of service for the TTC. To kick off its anniversary celebrations, the TTC hosted a special celebration at its Roncesvalles Carhouse where Mayor John Tory officially proclaimed Sept. 1 as "TTC Centenary Day" in the city of Toronto.

"For 100 years, the TTC has provided a vital link, connecting people with places and opportunities in Toronto. The TTC has grown over the past century to deliver exceptional transit that provides service to all corners of the city through a network of buses, subways, streetcars and Wheel-Trans vehicles," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "During the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC has continued non-stop to help frontline workers get to work to help save lives. And I know the TTC is ready to help people move around the city even more as we continue to reopen and restart our economy. The TTC will be vital to Toronto's economy and jobs coming back stronger than ever. As we celebrate the TTC's past, I am confident in its future because we are committed as a City to continuing to upgrade and expand the TTC with the help of our partners in the provincial and federal governments."

"This significant milestone invites us to reflect on the important role that the TTC has played in Toronto's history over the last 100 years. Through a century of immense change, the TTC has evolved and adapted along with the city we serve," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "We've come a long way since 1921 and I'm very excited about our plans for the future."

"I'm proud that while so much has changed in the last century, one thing that hasn't is how vital public transit is to this city and the 32 billion people who have used the TTC over the past 100 years," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "Although the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted in-person events and forced us to modify how we're marking this milestone, we hope the whole GTA will still join us in celebrating our centenary over the next several months. I want to extend a special thank you to the nearly 16,000 employees at the TTC, and all of the TTC's past employees whose hard work and dedication have made this century of service possible."

Today's event included a display of historic TTC vehicles, including some of the oldest streetcars - Peter Witt (1921), PCC (1938), CLRV, ALRV - the oldest GM Bus (1980), as well as newer streetcars, electric buses and Wheel-Trans vehicles. Also in attendance were two of the longest-serving TTC employees as well as former Chief Executives and General Managers and past Board Chairs.

A number of activities will be taking place over the coming months, as the TTC commemorates a century of public service. The Toronto sign at Nathan Phillips Square and the CN Tower will both be lit red tonight. Customers travelling on TTC buses today can also collect a commemorative TTC100 transfer when paying their fare. In addition, there will be celebratory banners on display outside Union Station on Front St. for the entire month of September.

The TTC is also marking the occasion through an awareness campaign on its vehicles, social media channels and in stations. A special TTC 100th Anniversary microsite has been launched at https://www.ttc100years.ca/ , which includes historical photos and descriptions about the TTC's story. Customers are encouraged to visit the site to learn more about how they can participate in the celebrations.

Since June, the TTC has also been running a photo exhibit at some of its stations, in partnership with the City of Toronto Archives. Titled The TTC - 100 Years of Moving Toronto, the displays are a comprehensive collection of newly digitized photography showcasing the TTC's journey over the past 100 years. The in-station displays will remain in place until July 2022, and the exhibit can also be viewed virtually on toronto.ca/archiveshttps://www.toronto.ca/city-government/accountability-operations-customer-service/access-city-information-or-records/city-of-toronto-archives/

In the coming weeks, a commemorative 100th Anniversary TTC coffee table book and artwork will be available for purchase in the TTC online store at ttcshop.ca. As of Sept. 13, members of the public can also look out for a special TTC augmented reality filter on Instagram, which will allow them to see what they'd look like as a historic TTC Employee. A public art project is also planned for Spadina Station in 2022, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary.

Additional events will be announced throughout the year, in accordance with public health guidelines, as the TTC continues to celebrate 100 years of serving the great city of Toronto. More information about the events and activities related to this celebration will be available on ttc.ca/ttc100.

Source : TTC

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O-Train Train Tracker to be Discontinued as of August 31st, 2021

Hello all. A decision regarding the O-Train Train Tracker's future has been reached, and that is for it to be discontinued. This feature was launched 1.5 years ago and helped track the deployment of trains and fleet rotations in the early days of service. Times have changed and the interest in this type of information and data has mostly moved on.

Thank you to all who submitted their train and LRV spottings over nearly 2 years time, and logging over 5000 submissions.

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To help preserve this data, the final database and Train Last Seen data can be found attached below as an archive, from February 5, 2020 to August 30, 2021. The first file is the data collected for the "Current Date", while the second file is for "Past Observations submitted later on". You would have to do a bit of manipulation of the data and columns in Excel to get a combined list.

File Name: O-Train-Tracker---August-30-2021-TODAYS-OBSERVATIONS
File Size: 103 kb
Download File
File Name: O-Train-Tracker---August-30-2021-PAST-OBSERVATIONS
File Size: 22 kb
Download File

Data current as of August 30, 2021

1101 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 10:54:03
1102 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1103 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1104 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 18:26:56
1105 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1106 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1107 Last seen on : 2021-08-26 07:38:31
1108 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:12:49
1109 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1110 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1111 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1112 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:33:32
1113 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 13:46:07
1114 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1115 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 10:54:03
1116 Last seen on : 2021-03-13 07:08:00 (P)
1117 Last seen on : 2021-08-08 08:33:00
1118 Last seen on : 2021-07-26 08:20:06
1119 Last seen on : 2021-08-11 11:50:23
1120 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1121 Last seen on : 2021-08-21 08:19:03
1122 Last seen on : 2021-08-04 08:38:05
1123 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1124 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1125 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 10:54:03
1126 Last seen on : 2021-08-29 18:57:40
1127 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 16:41:34
1128 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1129 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 16:41:34
1130 Last seen on : 2021-08-28 07:52:43
1131 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1132 Last seen on : 2021-08-22 14:51:51
1133 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:33:32
1134 Last seen on : 2021-08-28 07:52:43
1135 There are currently no reports on this train.
1136 Last seen on : 2020-05-28 03:30:00 (P)
1137 Last seen on : 2021-08-17 07:12:06
1138 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 13:46:07
1139 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1140 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:00:05
1141 Last seen on : 2021-08-30 08:12:49

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VIA Rail reports improved performance in Q2 2021

While it continues to adapt its operations according to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) reports an improved performance for the second quarter of 2021 with an increase in ridership and passenger revenues of 188% and 417% respectively compared to the same period last year.

"This second quarter, VIA Rail continued to fulfill its mandate while never losing sight of its mission to put passengers first," said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As promised, when conditions allowed, we increased our operations with, for example, the return of one full weekly round-trip on the Canadian. As always, we are closely monitoring the evolution of the pandemic and we look forward to keep making progress on our service resumption plan while continuing to follow recommendations from public health authorities and decrees from the federal and provincial governments."

Modernization at the heart of VIA Rail's future

During the second quarter, VIA Rail reached important milestones in its modernization program which includes, amongst others, its High Frequency Rail (HFR) project and its new Corridor fleet.

The April Federal Budget reflected the Government of Canada's firm support for VIA Rail's High Frequency Rail project which will transform the way present and future generations live and travel, by upgrading and building tracks dedicated to the transport of passengers between Québec City and Toronto. VIA Rail also revealed the design of its new fleet which, in addition to being one of the most environmentally friendly fleets in North America, will offer an unparalleled, barrier-free and fully accessible travel experience to passengers in the Québec City – Windsor corridor. The first train set is expected to be commissioned into revenue service in 2022.

"It's time to reimagine the way we move Canada, from reservation to destination, to deliver new levels of comfort, accessibility and sustainability. That is why the VIA Rail team continues to work tirelessly on its modernization projects. In fact, the milestones reached in the second quarter and the announcements made in July by the federal government regarding our HFR project demonstrate that we are making steady progress. We are determined to offer a more sustainable and modern passenger rail service to Canadians, and we cannot wait to deliver initiatives like our HFR project and our new Corridor fleet," declared Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer.

VIA Rail, the most trusted transportation company

VIA Rail was recognized as one of the most trusted companies in Canada in 2021 by the Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI) and ranked first in the "Transportation" category for the third consecutive year. The GBTI is provided by the University of Victoria's Gustavson School of Business and the 2021 ranking was completed after nearly 9,000 Canadians were consulted on the way they view certain brands, including their consumer advocacy and social equity.

Ratification of collective agreement 3

Collective agreement 3 was ratified on May 15 by the members of Unifor, Local 100, the union representing approximately 700 VIA Rail employees working in maintenance centres. This agreement includes, just like collective agreements 1 and 2, a 2% wage increase for 2021, benefits improvements as well as the review of several work rules.

VIA Rail's 2021 second quarter report is available

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TTC increasing service for the back-to-school season

With the back-to-school season around the corner, students and parents can count on the TTC for improved safety and service.

"We are doing everything we can as a City government to help kids go back to school safely this September and that includes increasing TTC service across Toronto ahead of expected demand," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "I want to thank our frontline TTC workers for all they do to help students get to and from school safely."

"As students and parents prepare for the back-to-school season, they can rely on the TTC to provide a safe and reliable experience," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "We ask that students continue to follow COVID safety guidelines, including wearing a mask while on transit."

To accommodate anticipated increased service demand in September, the TTC is:
- Increasing service system-wide to support the expected increase in ridership, including 25 per cent more subway trains on Line 1 and Line 2 at peak times on weekdays.
- Deploying an additional 180 special school trips to manage anticipated high school student ridership and communicating with school boards to determine hot spots, student volumes and start and dismissal times.
- Increasing or restoring service on nearly 30 bus routes that serve post-secondary institutions and other major transit corridors, and implementing new periods of express service on four routes.
- Restoring service on nearly all 900 series express routes and introducing new service on the 938 Highland Creek Express, adding new weekday midday and early evening service on 960 Steeles West Express, and new weekday midday express service on 941 Keele Express. Additional express routes are planned for October.
- Maintaining service flexibility, adjusting service to meet demand and continuing to operate demand-responsive bus service to supplement scheduled service.

Because of the potential for increased demand, some service will need to be deployed in real-time and will not appear on schedules or on transit apps.

"With schools in Toronto opening for in-person learning, we know that students and parents who have been away from transit for some time may not be aware of the changes we've made to enhance comfort and safety," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "We're making sure our service is ready to meet the changing demand, while ensuring that customers remain safe while travelling on our vehicles."

In addition, the following COVID-related safety measures remain in place across the system:
- Face coverings remain mandatory on the TTC. Persons who require a mask in a subway station can get a disposable mask from a Customer Service Agent, Collector or Fare Inspector.
- The TTC is continuing enhanced cleaning and disinfection of all public places and vehicles with a focus on touch and grab points, such as buttons, railings, handles and straps. Hand sanitizer is also available at the main entrance of all subway stations.
- Seats on buses, streetcars and subways have been blocked off, reminding customers to continue practice physical distancing, when possible.
- To help with avoiding busy buses, customers can use the RocketMan or Transit apps to view bus occupancy levels in real-time.
- The TTC has made it mandatory for all its employees, contractors and students to be fully vaccinated by October 30.

The TTC reminds students and parents of the following:
Children 12 and under ride the TTC for free. All other students can pay their TTC fare using several methods of payment, including:
PRESTO single fares
- $2.25 for youth 13-19
PRESTO Monthly Pass
- $128.15 for youth 13-19
CASH
- $2.30 for youth 13-19
- $3.25 for post-secondary students

Students and parents are reminded that PRESTO cards are set to deduct an adult fare. If a youth fare is required, the PRESTO card, along with government-issued identification, should be taken to a Shoppers Drug Mart store or to the TTC Customer Service Centre, above Davisville Station, to change the setting.

Post-secondary students enrolled full-time at a recognized institution in Toronto are eligible for a discounted monthly pass on PRESTO. They will be required to have a TTC post-secondary student photo ID in order to set their PRESTO fare type, purchase, and use their post-secondary monthly pass on PRESTO. The TTC Post-Secondary Photo ID can only be obtained at the TTC Photo ID Office at Bathurst Station. The post-secondary fare type can be set at any Shoppers Drug Mart location or at the TTC Customer Service Centre above Davisville Station.

While the TTC continues to see record-low ridership due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ridership analysis indicates an increase in customers over the last several weeks. Currently, customer boardings across the system are at roughly 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels with bus boardings at 48 per cent, streetcar boardings at 38 per cent and subway boardings at 32 per cent, respectively.

Finally, the TTC would like to remind everyone about some important safety tips as the school year begins:
- Drivers: As the streets, sidewalks and crosswalks get busier for back-to-school, please be extra vigilant while commuting. Please yield the right-of-way to TTC vehicles and make sure to slow down to allow buses to re-enter traffic after servicing stops.
- Pedestrians: Please don't run alongside or in front of a bus or streetcar. It's always safer to wait for the next vehicle, which will be along soon.
- Cyclists: Sometimes streetcar tracks can be slippery. When cycling near streetcar rails, be aware of the track conditions and always cross streetcar tracks at an angle to avoid tires getting caught.
- Subway riders: Always stand behind the yellow line on the platform when waiting for a subway train. Never descend to track level for any reason. If you drop something, such as your cell phone, leave it and tell a TTC uniformed employee who will make arrangements to retrieve it.
- Streetcar riders: Be sure to check to make certain that traffic has stopped before exiting a streetcar.
- Bus/streetcar riders: When on board, always be sure to stand behind the white line at the front of the vehicle and stand clear of the doors.
- Backpacks: Customers are asked to be mindful of those around them when wearing large backpacks as they can pose a safety risk.

Customers looking for more information about the TTC's back-to-school plans are encouraged to visit www.ttc.ca/Riding_the_TTC/Points_of_interest/back_to_school.jsp.

Source : TTC

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What you need to know about PRESTO before jumping on transit again

Whether it's heading to school or the office, customers returning to transit this fall can take advantage of enhancements PRESTO has made over the last few months to make their transit experience easier. With app enhancements, PRESTO customers will be able to load funds and passes instantly, check their balances in real-time, and more. Here's a handy rundown of some changes and helpful reminders.

For those ready to ride transit again, one of the first questions may be 'Now where did I leave my PRESTO card?'

It's difficult to help with that – though check your old wallet in your dresser drawer, beside that sweater your aunt bought you.

A bit easier is a walkthrough of PRESTO features introduced during COVID, as well as some reminders of functions and tools and shortcuts some customers may have forgotten.

Loading funds and passes

With the enhanced PRESTO app, customers can now load their PRESTO card(s) with funds or transit passes, by simply holding their PRESTO card to the back of their smartphone. That means you can top up your card from wherever you are, and the funds will instantly be available.

Here's a video on how to use the app to load your card.

Check Balance

PRESTO app users can also now instantly and easily check their card balance, transaction history, and last time they tapped on by using the 'check balance' button located in the bottom right corner of your card home page. When it comes to checking your balance in real time, the check balance button is your best bet. The balance displayed on the homepage of the app takes a little longer to update so won't reflect that load you just made.

Autoload

If you want to always stay topped up with funds, consider setting up Autoload. Autoload automatically and instantly loads funds to your PRESTO card whenever your balance falls below a minimum balance you set, so that you'll always have the funds you need to travel.

For customers setting up autoload for the first time, just be mindful that you need a PRESTO account to set it up and it could take up to 24 hours for the settings to kick-in. And don't forget to tap your card on a PRESTO device after this time to complete the process.

For more information on how to load your PRESTO card, click here.

Purchasing a PRESTO card

Customers that have either lost or need to purchase a new PRESTO card, have several options.

Customers can purchase a PRESTO card by visiting a local Shoppers Drug Mart, a Fare Vending Machine (located in all TTC subway stations), a Ticket Vending Machine (located in all GO Transit and UP Express stations) or a PRESTO customer service outlet. Click here for a full list of locations.

If you don't already have one, set up a PRESTO account to take advantage of benefits like balance protection. And, if you already have an account, this is a good time to make sure your account information is up to date, including profile information, email verification and security questions and answers.

Setting up a fare type is one way to make sure you're getting the best deal. But also make sure the information is up to date. (Metrolinx photo)

Setting up a Fare Type

To set a fare type – like youth, student, senior or child — customers can visit their nearest Shoppers Drug Mart or the closest transit agency's customer service outlet.

If you're a student looking to purchase a student-specific transit pass for example, you'll need to make sure you have your PRESTO card set to the 'youth' or 'post-secondary' fare type – whichever applies – before you can purchase the correct pass product.

When setting up a fare type, it's important to bring proof of eligibility (such as a photo ID with date of birth or proof of enrollment for students, like a student card). Students/youth should always carry a student ID to show for fare inspection.

Some fare types do expire (including those based on age), so if you've set one up previously, make sure to check it. You can do that by using the 'check balance' feature on the PRESTO app or going to your local Shoppers Drug Mart or Customer Service Outlet.

Lost your PRESTO card?

PRESTO account customers who have lost their PRESTO card or had it damaged can purchase a replacement card and have their balance, passes, fare type and settings transferred over to the new card.

If you buy a new card in person – from a Customer Service Outlet, Shoppers Drug Mart Outlet or a PRESTO self-serve machine – do not add it to a PRESTO Account or load a transit pass. This is done automatically as part of the card transfer process. If you add it to an account or load a transit pass, you'll have to buy another card to complete the transfer.

For more information on how to cancel your lost, stolen or damaged PRESTO card and transfer your balance, go here.

New ways to pay

The PRESTO app isn't the only thing that's new. PRESTO's also piloting credit card payment on UP Express. It's part of a phased approach to rollout more contactless payment options across the region to make your transit experience that much easier.

For more information before you head out, check out PRESTO's website and take advantage of the Live Chat feature for any questions.

Story by Brandon Bernard, Metrolinx Senior Advisor, Communications Planning

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Rail Fans Canada Forums to be Discontinued as of August 26th, 2021

Hello all. A decision regarding the forum site's future has been reached, and that is for it to be discontinued. Participation and activity have significantly dropped off since launching the Discord server about 14-15 months ago. The past few months on average have yielded less than a handful of posts in total. It does not make sense to maintain it further being essentially dormant, in addition to the additional server resources needed and the hosting costs and forum software licensing fees. The forum site will be backed up and archived offline. 

The Discord server will remain and you can join it here: www.railfans.ca/discord

The forum will be discontinued on August 26th, 2021 (Friday) at 1:00pm.

Thank you to our forum members for their participation on the forum these past several years.

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Toronto’s Finch West LRT with Wade O’Leary, project Vice President - August 2021

Toronto is building a new Light Rail Transit line in the northwestern region of the city. This new line will feature 18 new stops (including one underground station and one below-grade), along an 11km rail alignment, stretching from the TTC's Finch West (University Line) subway station to Humber College. The line will make use of the Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicles, each carrying up to 300 passengers. 

In this video conversation with Wade O'Leary, Vice President of the Finch West LRT project, we discuss this important transit infrastructure project, that will connect people quicker than ever before in this heavy transit corridor, the line, the trains, and some of the unique design features of the line. 

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O-Train Service Update with Troy Charter - August 18, 2021

On Sunday, August 8th in the afternoon, one LRV that was not in service, experienced a minor derailment shortly after departing Tunney's Pasture terminus station. 

In this short video discussion with Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations at OC Transpo, we touch on this service incident, and the facts and investigations that continue to take place into the root cause. 

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The Réseau express métropolitain invites the public aboard for the first time

All aboard the REM!

One year prior to the commissioning of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM), scheduled for the summer of 2022 on the South Shore, the public is invited to board a REM car for the very first time. An REM car will be set up at Place Extasia in Quartier DIX30 from August 26 to 29, near the future light metro system's Du Quartier station.

Throughout the weekend, activities will be held on site, and representatives and experts will be on hand to answer questions. Five years after the project's announcement and three years after the start of construction work, this will be a historic opportunity for future users to get their first look at an REM car.

See the full schedule for All aboad the REM:

Learn more

A contest to find the first 30 users to get on board

Starting tomorrow, the public is encouraged to enter a contest on the REM's Facebook page to be among the first users to board the car. The 15 winners and their guests will enjoy an exclusive tour of the car with team members, to be held in the early evening of Thursday, August 26. They will learn the details about the design process for the car, which will criss­cross Greater Montréal in the coming years. The contest ends on August 22 at 11:59 pm. Winners will be chosen at random from among all registered entrants. To enter, consult the REM's Facebook page.

A family-friendly, music-filled lineup

The car will be accessible at any time on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A range of activities have been planned over the weekend, including music-filled lineup (on Friday night, Saturday nights and Sunday morning) and thematic activities, Saturday will be under the theme of the family while Sunday will be under the theme of the Sunday brunch. On Saturday, the artist Vincent Toutou who signs the visual theme of the event will be present to realize a live mural at Quartier DIX30. The full schedule is available here.

To get on board the REM, participants will follow a route filled with information about the commissioning of this new network, Québec's largest public transit project in 50 years. Measures will also be taken to adhere to the public health guidelines in effect.

Activities for a behind-the-scenes look at the project

Two highly informative activities will also be available:

  • L'histoire et les coulisses de la réalisation du Réseau express métropolitain (History and behind-the-scenes look at the development of the Réseau express métropolitain), to be held on Saturday, August 28 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., will present the origins and major steps that led to the REM project. This will be an opportunity to discuss the challenges of building such a system, as well as the impressive strides made in the last few years. Participation in this activity will be on a first-come, first­ served basis.
  • Le design du REM raconté (Breakdown of the REM's design), to be held on Sunday, August 29 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., will present how the REM's identity was created at the very start of the project. During this look back in time, participants will get a better understanding of how the REM's image came about. The graphic elements will be explained, as well as the choices behind the car's aesthetics. Participation in this activity will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Vote for the REM's voice

In closing, we would like to remind you that you have until August 30 to vote on the REM's official voice. You can also vote over the weekend. The winning voice will be announced in September.

Vote now

Exposition at Exporail

After its visit to Quartier DIX30, the REM car will then be exhibited at the Exporail in Saint-Constant until spring 2022.

Source : REM

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O-Train Line 1 Service to Resume & Root Cause Investigation

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the resumption of service on O-Train Line 1 and the root cause investigation of the incident on Sunday, August 8.
Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) is conducting final preparations and checks of the track in order to resume operation. Trains will complete multiple passes along the alignment this afternoon to confirm everything is in working order and safe. RTM have also confirmed that trains that have undergone the safety certification and inspection process are cleared to go into service.

O-Train Line 1 service will resume on Saturday, August 14, 2021, beginning at 6am, as per the regular start schedule. Service will be operating with a reduced number of trains, running every 10 minutes. As more trains are cleared to return to service, the frequency and capacity of the line will be increased. This reduced frequency will provide enough capacity to carry all customers without overcrowding.

OC Transpo will have buses on standby at strategic locations across the alignment to assist should customer loads be higher than anticipated.

The root cause investigation has identified the fault in the axle bearing assembly. The below picture shows a portion of the interior of the sealed axle bearing unit that attaches the axle/drive shaft to the train wheel. As part of the investigation, the sealed unit was taken apart and it was found that the green section of the bolt, which should be completely tightened, had a very small amount of movement, by fractions of a millimetre. This movement caused damage to the bearings inside the unit and wheel, which in turn lead to the axle coming off the track on Sunday evening.

As the investigation continues, RTM have implemented an inspection procedure that ensures the safe ongoing operation of trains. They will continue to conduct these vehicle inspections until the matter is satisfactorily resolved and safety certified. We have also confirmed with RTM and Alstom that these axle components are in use in other light rail transit vehicles around the world.

The investigation into the cause continues, and further details are expected to be provided at the next Transit Commission meeting. Further service updates will continue to be provided as they become available.

Updates on service continue to be communicated to customers through all channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number.

Source : City of Ottawa

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NCC Recommending Wellington Street STO Tramway Alignment

Following consultations with federal, provincial and municipal partners, as well as other key stakeholders, the National Capital Commission (NCC) has recently completed its analysis and provided a recommendation to the Government of Canada for the development and facilitation of the Société de Transport de l'Outaouais (STO) tramway that would connect Gatineau and downtown Ottawa (via the Portage Bridge).

The NCC's recommendation is that the STO tramway alignment into Ottawa take place along the surface of Wellington Street. Next steps to advance this potential project include further engagement with partners and implicated stakeholders and the coordination of studies to assess traffic, transit and other key considerations.

Quick Facts

  • As the long-term planner and principal steward of Canada's Capital Region, the NCC's key policy directions for the next 50 years include developing and improving multi-modal and interprovincial transportation connections and transit integration across the Ottawa River and throughout the region.
  • In January 2021, the NCC board of directors endorsed the new transit connection, with conditions, along Wellington Street, as it aligns with the long-term plans for Canada's Capital, acts as an integral part of Confederation Boulevard, and represents a more affordable and technically sound solution than a tunnel.
  • In the 2021 federal budget, the Government of Canada directed the NCC to create an interprovincial transit project office to study and plan for potential interprovincial tramway connections between Ottawa and Gatineau, in addition to consulting and collaborating with municipal, provincial, and transportation partners.
  • The 2019 federal budget directed that the NCC develop the Long-Term Integrated Interprovincial Crossings Plan in collaboration with both provincial and municipal governments. Following two rounds of public consultation, the plan is expected to be completed in late 2021.

Quotes

"Investments in safe, modern, and efficient public transit systems are at the heart of a clean, inclusive recovery that restarts our economy and creates good jobs. We have an incredible opportunity to transform our community and make it the greenest capital in the world. The Government of Canada is in full support of the Gatineau Tramway and is pleased with the National Capital Commission's recommendation for a surface tramway design to link the west end of Gatineau to downtown Ottawa, allowing us to continue working with the Government of Quebec and City of Gatineau to advance this important project. The Gatineau Tramway will connect regional public transit networks, reduce travel times, and help people get around in a cleaner, more affordable way."

– The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"The Gatineau tramway project will transform Canada's capital region. Workers, tourists, students, retirees, and residents will have quick and easy access to both sides of the Ottawa River. In so many ways, the Gatineau tramway project is the way of the future. This is a huge step forward."

– Greg Fergus, Member of Parliament for Hull-Aylmer and Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

"Given the many projects currently under way in Canada's Capital Region, the proposed interprovincial tram system via Wellington Street offers a unique opportunity to enhance the natural and cultural character of Canada's Capital for generations to come while contributing greatly to the municipal transit networks of both Ottawa and Gatineau."

– Tobi Nussbaum, Chief Executive Officer, National Capital Commission

LINKS

Source : NCC
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Transit app with Stephen Miller, Communications Lead - July 2021

Transit is a rapidly growing and evolving app designed to make using transit easier for commuters. From learning about the next departure times, to trip planning, and even knowing crowding levels and purchasing fares, this made in Montreal app has revolutionized the transit experience. 

In this video conversation with Stephen Miller, Communications Lead at Transit, we discuss this incredible app, how it works, the newest features recently added, and where things are headed for the future. 

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Memo: O-Train Line 1 - Service Update - August 2021

Please find below memos providing updates on the O-Train Line 1 service status since August 8, 2021.

Source : City of Ottawa

AUGUST 9, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the temporary closure of O-Train Line 1.

As you are aware, this temporary service suspension was implemented out of an abundance of caution to ensure all trains in the fleet continue to operate safely after an out-of-service train returning to the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) last night had one of its 10 axles come off the rail.

There are three areas of work related to this occurrence that Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) is focusing on in order to restore safe rail service:
• A root cause investigation began immediately following the occurrence. Information reviewed so far indicates that a fault within the axle bearing assembly is the primary cause of the axle leaving the rails.
• RTM has developed and initiated a robust inspection process focused on the axle bearing assembly. All light rail vehicles must undergo this inspection process prior to returning to service. One vehicle has already been successfully inspected and cleared to return to service. The inspections will take several hours to complete on each vehicle. As a result, and subject to continued validation of inspection procedures, we are targeting a return of rail service on Line 1 adequate to meet current ridership levels on Friday or Saturday of this week.
• Work to return the stopped train to the MSF will begin on Tuesday, August 10 and may take up to two days to complete. This work includes mobilization of specialized equipment to move the train and inspections of the entire vehicle, track and related infrastructure, as well as any necessary repairs that may be required.

The Transport Safety Board (TSB) has also deployed to the site. The City, RTM and their contractors are all cooperating in their review. The scope of the TSB's role is still being determined.
The situation continues to evolve as the root cause investigation and vehicle inspections are ongoing. Further updates, including status of the inspections and specifics on when rail service can resume, will be provided as they become available.

R1 bus service will continue to operate along the entire alignment with frequent trips to allow customers to follow physical distancing measures. OC Transpo staff are monitoring ridership and will make adjustments to service as needed to meet ridership levels.

Details continue to be communicated to customers through various channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number. During peak periods, OC Transpo staff are located at Line 1 stations and throughout the system to assist customers.


AUGUST 10, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the ongoing investigation regarding Sunday's occurrence that has required the temporary closure of O-Train Line 1.

As outlined in yesterday evening's memo, Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) continues to focus on three areas of work in order to restore safe rail service: removing the stopped train near Tunney's Pasture Station, the root cause investigation and the inspection of the axle bearing assembly on each train in the fleet.

Specialized equipment that will be used to move the train back to the Maintenance and Storage (MSF) is currently undergoing final preparations and testing in the rail yard. The movement of the train needs to be planned and managed carefully in order to ensure the weight of the train is distributed evenly and the vehicle can be moved without damage to it or other rail infrastructure. Once these preparations are complete, the train is expected to be moved back to the MSF tomorrow.

The root cause investigation of the initial occurrence, when the single axle left the rail on Sunday evening as the train was returning to the MSF, is ongoing. Once the train involved in the incident is returned to the MSF, the affected axle bearing assembly will be disassembled in order to do a detailed review.

RTM continues its inspection process of the axle bearing assembly on the rest of the train fleet. As previously communicated this process takes several hours to complete on each vehicle, and it is expected to take several days to complete the inspection of the entire fleet. All light rail vehicles must and will undergo this inspection process prior to returning to service.

The situation continues to evolve as the root cause investigation and vehicle inspections are ongoing. Further updates, including status of the inspections and specifics on when rail service can resume, will be provided as they become available.

R1 replacement bus service will continue to operate along the entire alignment with frequent trips to provide sufficient capacity for all customers. OC Transpo staff are monitoring ridership and will make adjustments to service as needed to meet ridership levels.

Details continue to be communicated to customers through various channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number. During peak periods, OC Transpo staff are located at Line 1 stations and throughout the system to assist customers.

Source : City of Ottawa


AUGUST 11, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the ongoing investigation regarding Sunday's occurrence that has required the temporary closure of O-Train Line 1, as well as the August 9 incident when a double decker bus travelled off the road.

The train involved in Sunday evening's occurrence has now been moved back to the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF). The train will undergo a thorough inspection as part of the root cause investigation, which is ongoing.

Inspection of the axle bearing assembly on each train in the rest of the fleet also continues.

R1 replacement bus service will continue to operate along the entire alignment with frequent trips which is providing sufficient capacity for all customers. OC Transpo staff are monitoring ridership and will make adjustments to service as needed to meet ridership levels.

Details continue to be communicated to customers through various channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number. During peak periods, OC Transpo staff are located at Line 1 stations and throughout the system to assist customers.

Updates will continue to be provided as they become available.

August 9 Double decker incident 

OC Transpo proactively removed from service 19 double deckers of the same model involved in an incident on August 9 when a bus travelled off the road on Carling Avenue near Herzberg Road. An investigation found that a component of the steering system required adjustment.

Working with the manufacturer, inspections have progressed well, and we have been able to confirm that 12 buses passed the inspection and were returned to service today. The remaining seven buses require an adjustment and will be returned to service once the scheduled repairs have been completed within the next couple of days. All protocols to ensure vehicles are safe to return to service have been followed.

This has had no impact to regular bus service or to the R1 replacement bus service.


AUGUST 12, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the ongoing investigation regarding Sunday's occurrence that has required the temporary closure of O-Train Line 1.

The root cause investigation is continuing, as well as the inspection of the axle bearing assembly on each train in the fleet.

At this time, we continue to work with Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) to determine the availability of trains to resume O-Train Line 1 service. An update on the anticipated return to service will be provided on Friday, August 13.

R1 replacement bus service will continue to operate along the entire alignment with frequent trips which is providing sufficient capacity for all customers. OC Transpo staff are monitoring ridership and will make adjustments to service as needed to meet ridership levels.

Details continue to be communicated to customers through various channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number. During peak periods, OC Transpo staff are located at Line 1 stations and throughout the system to assist customers.

Updates will continue to be provided as they become available.


AUGUST 13, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the resumption of service on O-Train Line 1 and the root cause investigation of the incident on Sunday, August 8.
Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) is conducting final preparations and checks of the track in order to resume operation. Trains will complete multiple passes along the alignment this afternoon to confirm everything is in working order and safe. RTM have also confirmed that trains that have undergone the safety certification and inspection process are cleared to go into service.

O-Train Line 1 service will resume on Saturday, August 14, 2021, beginning at 6am, as per the regular start schedule. Service will be operating with a reduced number of trains, running every 10 minutes. As more trains are cleared to return to service, the frequency and capacity of the line will be increased. This reduced frequency will provide enough capacity to carry all customers without overcrowding.

OC Transpo will have buses on standby at strategic locations across the alignment to assist should customer loads be higher than anticipated.

The root cause investigation has identified the fault in the axle bearing assembly. The below picture shows a portion of the interior of the sealed axle bearing unit that attaches the axle/drive shaft to the train wheel. As part of the investigation, the sealed unit was taken apart and it was found that the green section of the bolt, which should be completely tightened, had a very small amount of movement, by fractions of a millimetre. This movement caused damage to the bearings inside the unit and wheel, which in turn lead to the axle coming off the track on Sunday evening.

As the investigation continues, RTM have implemented an inspection procedure that ensures the safe ongoing operation of trains. They will continue to conduct these vehicle inspections until the matter is satisfactorily resolved and safety certified. We have also confirmed with RTM and Alstom that these axle components are in use in other light rail transit vehicles around the world.

The investigation into the cause continues, and further details are expected to be provided at the next Transit Commission meeting. Further service updates will continue to be provided as they become available.

Updates on service continue to be communicated to customers through all channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number.


AUGUST 14, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the resumption of service on O-Train Line 1.

O-Train Line 1 service began at 6am this morning, as planned. Service is operating with a reduced number of trains, running every 10 minutes.

As more trains are cleared to return to service, the frequency and capacity of the line will be increased.

OC Transpo has buses on standby at strategic locations across the alignment to assist should customer loads be higher than anticipated.

Further service updates will continue to be provided as they become available.

Updates on service continue to be communicated to customers through all channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number.

Further service updates will continue to be provided as they become available.


AUGUST 15, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the ongoing service resumption on O-Train Line 1. 

O-Train Line 1 service began operating Saturday morning with additional trains gradually returning to service over the course of the weekend. Service is now running every 5 minutes, the regular Sunday service.

We are currently with working Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) and anticipate that rail service will be operating every 5 minutes on Monday. This a similar service level provided over the past several months, and based on recent ridership counts, will provide enough capacity to accommodate weekday customers. We will continue to work with RTM to increase service further, in preparation for the likelihood of increased ridership in September.

OC Transpo continues to have buses on standby at strategic locations across the alignment to assist should customer loads be higher than anticipated.

Further service updates will continue to be provided as they become available.

Updates on service continue to be communicated to customers through all channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number.


AUGUST 16, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the ongoing service resumption on O-Train Line 1 and inspection of the train fleet.

As noted in the updates to Council this weekend, we were able to safely restore service to our customers and, as inspections continued throughout the weekend, vehicles meeting the strict safety inspections were released into service. I can confirm that the inspections have been moving forward efficiently and effectively and that safety certified processes are in place to inspect vehicles at regular frequency until the work on the root cause is completed and permanent modifications or adjustments are implemented.

A large portion of the fleet have passed the strict inspection protocols, resulting in the O-Train Line 1 today operating with 12 trains, providing service every 5 minutes or more frequently. We anticipate that the rail line will operate with 11 to 13 trains throughout this week, including a spare vehicle on standby, meaning customers can expect service every 5 minutes or more often. This is in line with the service provided over the past several months, and based on recent ridership counts, will provide enough capacity to accommodate weekday customers. Again, all vehicles that are in service have passed the safety inspection process and are re-inspected at regular intervals until the root cause adjustment is made.

The entire fleet is made up of 39 individual train cars, and each operational train is made up of two cars. Of these 39 cars, two still require inspection and eight cars did not meet established thresholds when tested and will require repairs. These four trains will have components of the axle assembly replaced before they are put into service and they will be subject to the same ongoing inspection requirements as the rest of the fleet. Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) has confirmed they have the required components and the required work will commence shortly.

On Saturday, RTM issued a statement regarding the service disruption to acknowledge the impact on customers. As previously stated in memos to Council last week, the ongoing investigation into the root cause and vehicle inspection means new information continues to come up and updates are being provided as we learn more. We understand that the statement may have led some to believe that new issues were being discovered that were not reported to Council. We can confirm this is not the case. The issue affecting last week's service is as noted in the updates to Council. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Together with RTM, the focus remains on regular, ongoing inspections of the entire fleet to ensure safe operation, component repairs to the four trains identified through the initial inspection, and ultimately, implementation of a resolution to the wheel bearing assembly issue.

We continue to work with RTM to increase service further, in preparation for the likelihood of increased ridership in September.

Further to some reports last week, the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has informed staff that they are not currently conducting a formal investigation but are assessing the situation. OC Transpo staff continue to communicate and engage all partners including Transport Canada, TSB and the Regulatory Monitoring Compliance Officer (RMCO) throughout the vehicle inspection and root cause investigation.

Updates on service continue to be communicated to customers through all channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number. 

Staff will continue to provide updates and are available to answer any questions from members of Council.


AUGUST 18, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the service resumption on O-Train Line 1 and ongoing inspections of the rail fleet.

This morning's service began with 9 double-car trains. One train was held in the yard due to an error code indicator, unrelated to the ongoing wheel-axle inspections. This is a standard process and is part of our day-to-day operations. Two additional trains were launched throughout the day, bringing the total number of trains currently operating on Line 1 to 11. Customers can expect a train every 5 minutes.

As mentioned in previous memos, Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) continues its regular inspections of all train cars to ensure safe operation until the root cause investigation is complete and a resolution is in place for the axle bearing issue. Out of the 39 individual cars in the fleet, 37 have been inspected. Of the two cars not inspected, one is the vehicle involved in the incident on August 8. As part of the ongoing root cause investigation, this car will undergo additional analysis and inspections. The second vehicle is one that has been undergoing other, unrelated maintenance. Once this work is complete, it will be thoroughly inspected, like all other trains, before being put into service.

Because of these ongoing inspections and the root cause investigation, new information can affect the number of cars available for service. This morning, the City was advised by RTM that a ninth single-car vehicle will require additional analysis of the axle assembly, prior to re-entering service. RTM has begun implementing the necessary repairs to the nine cars. We anticipate that this work may continue throughout the coming week. As work on each train car is finished and as on-going inspections are done, they will be returned to service.

The number of trains cleared for service may continue to fluctuate as the inspections and root cause investigation process continue. Again, all vehicles that are in service have passed the safety inspection process and will continue to be re-inspected at regular intervals.

The root cause investigation is ongoing at this time and will continue for some time. A fulsome update on this investigation will be presented at the Transit Commission meeting on September 20, 2021.

Updates on service continue to be communicated to customers through all channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number.

OC Transpo issues alerts to customers via a number of channels as well as in-station and on-board announcements to provide our customers with information to plan their trips if service is not running as scheduled. Our standard is to issue alerts when customers may experience a significant impact to their travel times. While this morning's service began with fewer than expected trains in service, the effect was only to add approximately an extra minute of waiting time, so an alert was not issued.

Our goal is to provide valuable information to customers to inform their trip planning.

Staff will continue to provide updates and are available to answer any questions from members of Council.


AUGUST 20, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the ongoing service resumption on O-Train Line 1.

Over the course of this week, Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) has completed the initial inspection of all but two of the rail vehicles, as previously stated. They have now begun the process of regular, planned inspections of each rail car to ensure safe operation until the root cause analysis is complete and a final adjustment to address the axle bearing assembly issue is in place. Again, all vehicles that are in service have passed the safety inspection process and will continue to be inspected and monitored to ensure their ongoing safe operation.

While in-service train numbers have fluctuated throughout the week, train service for most of the week was operating approximately every 5 minutes during peak periods, which meets current ridership needs. Today, 14 double-car trains were running on the line during the morning rush hour, with service running approximately every three to four minutes. We continue to work with RTM to increase service further, in preparation for the likelihood of increased ridership in September.

RTM has also advised they have begun implementing the necessary repairs to the nine single cars identified in the inspection process. As work on each train car is finished and, as on-going inspections are done, they will be returned to service. The car involved in the initial incident on August 8 is part of the root cause investigation and requires more thorough inspections before repairs can be made to return it safely to service.

The root cause investigation is ongoing at this time. A fulsome update on this investigation will be presented at the Transit Commission meeting on September 20, 2021.

Updates on service continue to be communicated to customers through all channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number.

Staff will continue to provide updates and are available to answer any questions from members of Council.


AUGUST 23, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to provide an update to Members of Council and the Transit Commission on the service resumption following the August 8 incident on O-Train Line 1. As well, this memo will address a number of additional questions Staff have received regarding ongoing rail and bus operations.

Eleven trains were in operation over the weekend, providing customers with service every five minutes. This is the normal service level for weekends.

This morning, service operated with 12 trains, running every four to five minutes. This service level continues to meet current ridership needs. We are working with Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) to increase service further, in preparation for the likelihood of increased ridership in September.

Updates on service continue to be communicated to customers through all channels, including customer alerts, social media updates, signage at Line 1 stations, and octranspo.com. Customers can visit octranspo.com for travel planning assistance or call 613-741-4390. Schedules are available by calling 613-560-1000 or texting 560560 plus the bus stop number.

In addition, we have received a number of specific inquiries regarding the August 8 incident and ongoing axle assembly investigation, as well as other questions related to rail and bus operations. These questions and responses are provided below.

  • Of the 10 individual cars being inspected (including the one involved in the initial incident), were they original deliveries, or later train car deliveries or a mix?
    Of the 10 cars currently identified as needing repairs to the axle assembly, all except for one were delivered as part of the original group of vehicles for Line 1 operations in September 2019. The single car that was not part of the original group was put into service in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Who pays for the cost of major capital repairs required on the trains?
    All repairs, whether they are day-to-day operational costs or major capital repair costs, are performed at no cost to the City. As laid out in the fixed price contract with RTG/RTM, any increased or unforeseen costs during the life of the contract are at the expense of the maintainer or their subcontractors.
  • What amount will be held back from RTG/RTM as a result of the derailment and lack of service? RTG's monthly payment will be subject to deductions as outlined in the Project Agreement (PA) and varies depending on factors such as station availability and percentage of service delivered. As the month is not complete, the total deductions to be applied is not available. However, the amount of deductions will be significant.
  • Is there an option to exercise a warranty clause with these trains?
    The City, through its contractual arrangement with RTG, has the equivalent of a full warranty for performance of the vehicles for the duration of the life of the contract. All routine, corrective, and lifecycle maintenance is covered under the contract with RTG/RTM.
  • Were any axle/bearing issues identified during the testing phase before the launch of Line 1? There were no axle bearing issues identified during testing and commissioning prior to the launch of Line 1.
  • What correspondence has been received from the Transportation Safety Board (TSB)? Can you please share it?
    OC Transpo continues to work collaboratively with the TSB in responding to their requests for information. To date, the majority of the correspondence with TSB on this incident has been verbal. OC Transpo has received one request in writing regarding the RTM/Alstom inspection rules and instruction. This information has since been provided to TSB.
  • Has the hot weather played any role whatsoever in service disruptions this summer?
    In addition to regular track maintenance and daily inspections that occur on all railroads during hot weather, OC Transpo takes extra precautions during extreme temperatures to ensure the safety of our customers. RTM performs additional proactive track inspections when the temperature approaches 30 degrees and associated maintenance work is performed, as needed. During some periods of very hot weather, our control centre will proactively issue a speed restriction on sections of the track to ensure that all trains traveling through the area do so safely. These slower speeds have very little impact on customers' travel times. While these steps have been proactively taken on several occasions this summer, they have not resulted in major service disruptions. In late May, there were some delays to customers as RTM performed track related work due to hot weather. The planned maintenance undertaken in June improved track conditions and has meant service has continued to operate normally during the rest of the summer. Regarding the August 8 incident, the investigation is ongoing. The root cause analysis will determine the cause of the axle bearing issue, however at this time, it does not appear to be weather related.
  • Was there a fire on the overhead catenary recently as a result of clothing? Can you provide details on this?
    On August 7 Ottawa Fire Services and RTM were called as result of a report of smoke coming from one of the trains. Upon arrival, Ottawa Fire Services was able to remove a piece of cloth from the train (not a part of the train nor catenary) that was the cause of the smoke. There was no fire or damage as result. In accordance with our safety procedures, the train was removed from service, inspected and verified prior to returning to service.
  • What was the cause of the error code on a train that resulted in it not being launched a couple of days ago? How often does this occur with these trains?
    On August 18, during the early morning launch process, one of the trains was proactively held back from service due to an error code identifying the possibility of a coupler issue. There are sensors that need to be correctly aligned in order for the two cars in a double train to communicate with each other. The sensors required an adjustment to remove the error code. Customers may have experienced up to an additional minute of wait time due to this train being held back. Holding back the train in order to inspect and verify all systems are functioning properly is a standard operating practice, performed to ensure that all trains entering service are safe and ready to respond normally. Coupler issues were previously reported to the Transit Commission, and, since the rectification work was completed this spring, this is no longer a frequent issue affecting service. These issues do sometimes happen on rail systems, and this is why we have processes in place to provide advance notice in order to assess potential issues prior to entering service.
  • Are you considering free transit service this Fall?
    Free transit is a policy decision of Council. The City Clerk can provide direction how to move forward with a proposal, if that is something Council wishes to pursue.
  • Can you tell us what the cause of the multiple delays and stopped trains were on August 20? On Friday August 20, O-Train Line 1 experienced two separate and unrelated stopped trains that affected service. These sorts of service interruptions are things that occur in rail systems around the world, and OC Transpo has operating procedures and highly trained staff ready to respond should an incident occur to ensure safety and restore service as quickly as possible. Further to details provided on Friday afternoon regarding a train that stopped near Hurdman Station causing a service delay for customers, RTM has confirmed that the stopped vehicle was caused by the loosening of a connector within the braking system. The train's safety systems functioned as designed, and the train came to an immediate stop when the connector started to loosen. Some customers needed to be transferred from the affected train to another, and customers on the system may have experienced longer wait or travel times. In accordance with all applicable safety procedures, the technician on site was required to access the train from the outside of the cab to manually release the brakes and return it to the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) for repairs. This sort of issue can occur on trains, and all applicable safety processes and procedures were followed throughout the event. In a separate incident, at approximately 8:15pm a train travelling eastbound at Tremblay Station experienced a brief traction power issue and our control centre proactively decided to remove it from the line to ensure ongoing service. This was unrelated to the issue in the afternoon, or with the ongoing axle assembly issue affecting other trains. The train was delayed several minutes from exiting the track to return to the MSF. Unfortunately, this short delay was further compounded by an operational drill that was taking place at that time and contributed to the delays customers experienced. Service continued to operate across the entire line during this incident, however, during this time, customers may have experienced longer travel times of approximately 10 to 15 minutes. We will be conducting a review of this event as well as our communications, which may not have accurately conveyed the service delay to customers.
  • Has the issue of the odour in downtown LRT stations been resolved?
    As Transit Commission has previously been informed, RTM and OC Transpo continue to monitor and respond to concerns about odour at the downtown tunnel stations. To date, RTM has not yet been able to identify a specific pattern in terms of time of day, outside temperatures, or other factors that may relate to the presence of smells. While investigating the odour at Rideau Station it was determined that groundwater was the cause. Minor water infiltration is common in tunnels and, when identified, injection grouting is used to seal the area. RTM continues to monitor this situation and perform injection grouting as needed. RTM is also monitoring air quality within the station. The results of this monitoring indicate that the air in the station is safe and well below any thresholds for concern. As grouting continues the odour experienced in the area is anticipated to subside. The investigation into the cause of the odour at Parliament Station is ongoing and the source has yet to be identified. However, as the grouting continues, it is anticipated that the odour experienced in the area should subside. Investigation by an environmental engineering firm confirmed that the odours do not pose any hazard. City staff present in stations will continue to report occurrences of odours to aid in the ongoing remediation efforts. Additionally, staff are working with RTM to explore other options to increase ventilation within the downtown tunnel stations. On Friday, there were reports of a strong odour in Parliament Station and surrounding areas. Staff attended but could find no smell or cause.
  • In the past year have there been any fires on double deckers? If so, do we know the root cause? Fires can occur on buses, and this has happened infrequently in the past few years at OC Transpo. In the last 12 months, one double decker bus experienced an engine fire while it was out of service and parked at the Industrial Bus Garage in May 2021. The cause of the event was attributed to an electrical short. Following the fire, all double decker buses were inspected to ensure the fleet was safe for operation. With a fleet of over 900 buses, travelling over 66 million kilometres per year, these types of incidents can occur. It is also important to note this type of event can occur in any vehicle. In 2015, OC Transpo added fire suppression systems to the engine area of all new double decker buses. When activated, the suppression system sprays a special foam in the engine compartment to prevent a fire from spreading to other areas. This built in system further reduces the risk of serious fire in double decker buses, and fire suppression systems are now a part of purchasing requirements on future bus models. We continue to monitor new technology and industry trends for emerging safety technology that can further benefit our fleet and customers.

AUGUST 26, 2021

Mayor, Members of Council, Transit Commission, this email is to provide an overview of two incidents that occurred this morning on O-Train Line 1.

At approximately 6am an eastbound train arriving at Lyon Station experienced a coupler issue and the safety systems brought the train to a safe stop, as designed. A coupler issue can occur when, sensors that allow the two cars in a double train to communicate with each other are not correctly aligned. These issues do sometimes happen on rail systems, and we have processes in place to provide notice and ensure the safety of customers.

The operator attempted to rectify the issue, but troubleshooting could not resolve it. The operator was able to open the doors and all customers disembarked the train at Lyon Station safely. A Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) technician was required to attend the train to remove it from service. The affected train has now returned to the Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) for diagnosis and repairs, unrelated to the axle-bearing issue impacting other trains.

During this incident, service continued to operate along the entire line. Some customers may have experienced longer travel times as they were required to transfer at Lyon Station to continue their journey. Customers were notified via announcements in the trains, in stations, on our social media accounts, as well as our other regular channels. Normal service resumed shortly after 7am.

Separate from this incident, at approximately 7am, another train at Blair Station experienced an issue with its heating and cooling system. There were no customers on the train at the time. The train was parked at Blair Station in order to allow service to continue without interruption. All trains continued to service one platform without delays to customers. Due to the current and anticipated temperatures today, the train was removed from the line and returned to the MSF around 7:30am, without affecting ongoing rail service.

Line 1 is currently operating with 10 trains, providing service every 5 to 6 minutes.

Thank you,
John Manconi, General Manager, Transportation Services Department

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Memo: O-Train Line 1 service Temporary closure - August 9, 2021

Please find attached a memo regarding O-Train Line 1 Closure – August 9, 2021.

Source : City of Ottawa

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Memo: O-Train Light Rail Transit Stage 1 and Stage 2 Quarterly Update (Q2 2021)

Please find attached a memo regarding the O-Train Light Rail Transit Stage 1 and Stage 2 Quarterly Update (Q2 2021). 

Source : City of Ottawa

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Toronto's Line 3 Scarborough RT - The History and Technology, Expansion Options and Closure with Seth McDermott - July 2021

Line 3 Scarborough (originally known as the Scarborough RT or SRT) is a light rapid transit line and part of the Toronto TTC's Subway system. Featuring 6 stations, along a length of 6.4km of mostly elevated track, it connects with Line 2 Bloor-Danforth at Kennedy Station. The northeast terminus is McCowan. 

The line operates the Intermediate Capacity Transit System (ICTS) Mark I trains, built by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC), which are also known in Toronto as the S Series. These trains are some of the earliest examples of Linear Induction Motor technology in a transit system and have since been built and used in other cities around the world, notably Vancouver's SkyTrain. 

In this video discussion with Seth McDermott, a transit enthusiast and historian, we discuss the history and development of this very interesting and unique transit line, as well as the linear induction motor (LIM) technology that it helped pioneer. Be sure to also watch Part 2 of this video series (found below), in which the conversation continues, and touches on the many expansion and upgrade options that have been debated over the years, and its eventual and soon approaching permanent closure in 2023.

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Réseau express métropolitain: Starting installation of rails in the West Island and crossing of Highway 40 by launching gantry "Marie"

While the installation of the first REM rails has begun in Montréal's West Island, launching gantry "Marie" will cross Highway 40 again in August which will result in significant impact on this section of the road network. Indeed, Marie had made a first crossing in October 2019. This year, the crossing will take place in the Pointe-Claire sector at St-Jean Boulevard.

As part of this phased work, there are two major obstructions to watch for:

  • Weekend from Friday, August 6, 11 PM to Monday, August 9, 5 AM: complete closure of Highway 40 East at St-Jean Boulevard
  • Weekend from Friday, August 13, 11 PM to Monday, August 16, 5 AM: complete closure of Highway 40 West at St-Jean Boulevard

During these obstructions, motorists are invited to avoid the area by taking Highway 20.

Also note that night closures (11:00 PM to 5:00 AM) will be required from August 2 to August 16 on the Highway 40 East service road, Highway 40 East and Highway 40 West. Night closures will also be necessary on Highway 40 West service road from September 3rd to 10th. Full details of the obstructions and detours to use are available here: Launching gantry "Marie" - elevated structure construction on the Anse-à-l'Orme branch | REM.

Moreover, although impressive, it is important to remember that this method of working is safe and proven. Traffic can be safely re-established during the day once the segments have been secured to the launching gantry; there is no risk for motorists travelling under the structure. Users must remain attentive and must not let themselves be distracted by the launching gantry.

This closure is subject to change depending on the progress of the night work and weather conditions.

Installation of the first REM rails in the West: work is progressing

The project continues to make great strides in the sector as the installation of the first REM rails has begun. This year's objective is to complete the installation of rails on 9.3 km of the elevated structure. We expect to complete the installation of the rail and catenary systems on the entire segment by the end of 2022.

The launch gantries, "Anne" and "Marie", began their crossing in the West two years ago and will finish their route in the sector this year. Indeed, Marie began its route in the Saint-Laurent borough in June 2019 and made a first crossing of Highway 40 in the fall of 2019. It will conclude its route this year with its final destination being Fairview-Pointe-Claire station, where Anne began its adventure two years earlier. Anne will finish its crossing at the Anse-à-L'Orme station. Together, they will have completed the 13.5 km of the elevated structure. Then, one of the gantries will complete the 840-metre elevated portion of the airport branch, while a second will be sent to the Pierrefonds-Roxboro sector.

Several teams, totalling more than 250 workers, built the elevated structure. In addition, 200 Béton préfabriquée du Lac (BPDL) employees worked on manufacturing the concrete segments at the plant located in St-Eugène-de-Grantham. Prefabrication has enabled rapid progress and guaranteed construction quality since the segments are manufactured in a controlled environment.

The use of launching gantries is a very efficient and fast construction method. On average, it takes two days to erect one span, that is, to cover the distance between two columns (30 to 40 metres). This way of working also greatly limits impacts, since the construction of a similar span without prefabricated parts would normally take three weeks. These elements made it possible to carry out several highway and important street crossings while limiting the duration of the obstructions.

Here is some data on the construction of the elevated structure in the West Island (number completed/number to be installed):

  • Columns: 367/367
  • Concrete segments: 2,999/4,102
  • Spans: 270/366

In conclusion, the construction of the Anse-à-l'Orme and Fairview-Pointe-Claire stations is progressing rapidly. The building exteriors of both stations will be completed this year, and the interior work (plumbing, electricity, ceramics, etc.) can begin next year. Work on the Des Sources and Kirkland stations will begin this year, with construction of the foundations for the Des Sources station this summer and the Kirkland station this fall.

About the REM

The Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is a new, 67-km integrated public transit network that will feature 26 stations and link downtown Montréal, the South Shore, the West Island, the North Shore and Montréal-Trudeau airport through a fully automated electric light rail system. Offering high-frequency service, the REM will operate 7 days per week, 20 hours per day, and will be connected to the three main lines of the Montréal metro.

Source : REM

Here is a map showing the planned obstruction on Highway 40 East
Here is a map showing the planned obstruction on Highway 40 West
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TTC subway air quality has 'improved substantially' in past 10 years, new study finds

The TTC has made significant improvements to air quality in its subway system, a new report from Health Canada, the National Research Council of Canada and the University of Toronto has found.

The Subway Air Quality Initiative was carried out between 2018 and 2020 and concluded that new trains and updated braking technologies and protocols that reduce friction contributed to reduced levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) inside vehicles and on platforms when compared to previous measurements taken in 2011.

A summary of the research was published today and is available at https://news.engineering.utoronto.ca/new-trains-and-reduced-friction-braking-improve-air-quality-in-torontos-subways/

"This is excellent news for our employees and customers and it confirms that the steps we have taken to date are having a positive impact on air quality," said Betty Hasserjian, the TTC's Chief Safety Officer (Acting). "We will keep modernizing our infrastructure and our operating procedures to ensure we are continuing to make gains in this area."

PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 microns or smaller in size. PM2.5 particles are found indoors and outdoors, although their composition varies depending on the setting.

The TTC adopted several long-term measures and strategies that will further improve air quality, including ongoing monitoring and mitigation strategies. One such measure, the implementation of Automatic Train Control (ATC) has optimized the acceleration, deceleration and braking of the subway trains on Line 1. This has reduced the amount of friction during the braking process, leading to a reduction in PM2.5.

"I'm pleased to see the work the TTC is doing has resulted in a lowering of PM2.5 levels in the subway system," said Toronto's Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa. "There are numerous benefits that public transit offers with respect to the city's overall air quality by reducing traffic congestion and associated air pollution."

As with previous studies, Health Canada did not look at health impacts of the air quality, only the levels of PM2.5. Observed levels fall well below the occupational exposure limits and are now as much as 10,000 times lower than they were in the first such study, conducted in 1995.

The research also found that air quality in Toronto's subway system is comparable to those found in other large underground rail systems, and in some cases is better than other major subway systems such as New York City and Boston.

Source : TTC

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Réseau express métropolitain, Montréal's new transit system, with spokesperson Jean-Vincent Lacroix

The currently under construction Réseau express métropolitain, will be Montreal's newest transit system. Featuring 26 stations and a length of 67 kilometres, and stretching from the south shore to Deux-Montagnes in the north and Anse-à-l'Orme in the west, it is poised to transform rapid-transit in the Greater Montreal Region in the coming years. 

Featuring exciting new underground stations in downtown Montreal, and passing underneath the imposing Mount Royal, it is sure an exciting time for the city. 

In this video discussion with Jean-Vincent Lacroix, spokesperson for the REM, we discuss the system currently being built, the next steps and the organization behind this massive infrastructure project (CPDQ Infra). 

Learn more about the REM on their official website here : www.rem.info

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  • 00:00 - Opening
  • 00:20 - Introduction
  • 00:28 - The REM or Réseau express métropolitain
  • 02:23 - The route of the lines of the REM and where it will go
  • 04:21 - The 3 downtown stations
  • 10:01 - Gare centrale station
  • 11:53 - REM expansion to the east
  • 14:48 - What comes next
  • 17:20 - The trains of the REM - Alstom Metropolis
  • 22:35 - Fully automated system
  • 27:43 - What is CDPQ Infra, and how are they financing and managing the project

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Government of Canada to explore opportunities to enhance passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario

The Government of Canada is committed to working towards enhancing and modernizing intercity passenger rail services in a way that will best meet the transportation needs of travellers, as outlined in the vision for Transportation 2030.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh, Irek Kusmierczyk and Chief Executive Officer of Via Rail, Cynthia Garneau, announced that the Government of Canada is exploring opportunities to enhance passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario.

As the Government of Canada takes first steps in preparing for the procurement process to build new, High-Frequency Rail services in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor, efforts will also be undertaken to determine how passenger rail services might be improved to better service markets west of Toronto, including London and Windsor.

The Government of Canada will work with key partners including VIA Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank through the High Frequency Rail Joint Project Office to ensure that any enhancements to passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario can be effectively integrated with the core route for High Frequency Rail in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor.

The Government of Canada will be reaching out to the Province of Ontario to identify areas of collaboration and avoid any duplication with provincial transportation plans, including new services to be offered by GO Transit and Metrolinx, to ensure that enhancements to passenger rail services benefit travellers most.

Quotes
"There is a strong appetite for enhanced passenger rail services in Southwestern Ontario. Improvements to passenger rail service in this region would provide better options for travellers while also enabling the economic growth of communities along the rail network."
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"Enhanced rail service goes hand-in-hand with accelerated and sustainable economic growth, and it is a key step towards the ultimate goal of high frequency passenger rail between Windsor and Toronto."
Irek Kusmierczyk
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion and Member of Parliament for Windsor—Tecumseh

"Driven by our mission to put our passengers first, VIA Rail has been working for several years on its modernization program which will transform the Canadian journey. The announcement made today represents an opportunity to continue building on this momentum as it will allow to offer an enhanced and truly intermodal experience, while contributing to better serving communities in Southwestern Ontario."
Cynthia Garneau
VIA Rail Canada President and Chief Executive Officer


Source : Transport Canada
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Exporail celebrates its 60th anniversary on July 21st, 2021

Staff and volunteers of Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, were joined by several political representatives, railway company executives and people from the cultural and tourism sectors to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the founding of the museum.

The sounds of diesel horns, steam whistles and locomotive bells kicked off the occasion, which was held around the museum's turntable surrounded by historic railway vehicles. Short speeches highlighted the dynamic achievements of the past 60 years at Canada's largest railway museum.

Robert Robinson, President of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA), the not-for-profit association that owns and operates Exporail, spoke of the history of the CRHA which goes back to 1932, and of its 900 members from all across Canada that support the museum. " Today Exporail is the largest and best railway museum in Canada, voted by the House of Commons in Ottawa as Canada's national railway museum. It is certainly among the top railway museums in the world—ranking with the best in the USA, UK, Japan, and Europe. Our archives hold the Canadian Pacific Railway collection of photos and documents, so special that it has been designated by UNESCO as part of the memory of the world register", he said.

Exporail's Executive Director, Nadine Cloutier, thanked the dignitaries, volunteers and museum partners in attendance and shared her vision for the future: "As a museum, we continue to grow, improve and one of our priorities is to properly preserve and showcase our collection. We are currently planning an expansion project: EXPORAIL 2.0. A feasibility study is underway for this multi-million dollar project which will certainly be a flagship project in the region. Our goal is to double the space for our collections, archives and exhibitions. We also want to provide space for catering, events, and the like to enhance the visitor experience. The Railway of the Future will also be a way to remain a relevant museum and to achieve structuring partnerships with the rail industry, urban transportation companies and communities."

C. Stephen Cheasley, President of the CRHA Foundation, was one of the founders of the Museum in 1961, and has continued his involvement for the entire period. He paid tribute the volunteers of yesterday and today, saying "Exporail has more than 140 volunteers who perform all kinds of tasks and offer more than 26,000 hours of work each year. A number of them have been with us since the 1960s. In 2020, the volunteers won the Canadian Museums Association's Museum Volunteer Award. This award recognizes individuals or groups who give generously of their time and commitment to a museum and who have made a significant impact within the museum community."

Following the brief presentations, attendees were able to watch a demonstration of the turntable operation, and then relax by viewing some of the historic vehicle collection and taking a ride on the passenger train. Exporail is a museum that responds to the public`s need to engage with history through a fun and unique railway experience—one that will continue to improve for decades to come. The Canadian Railway Museum was created on July 21,1961, a symbolic date since it also commemorates the inaugural trip on the first railway in Canada between La Prairie and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (July 21, 1836). Renamed Exporail in 2004, the Museum is located in the two cities of Delson and Saint-Constant and is thus in the heart of the region considered as the birthplace of railways in Quebec and Canada.

Accredited by the Quebec government, Exporail has an impressive collection, unequalled in the country, composed of 180 vehicles and 12,000 artefacts. In addition, the BAnQ-accredited private archive centre holds over 320 archival fonds and collections and has a documentation centre with over 12,000 books and magazines on the history of rail transportation in Canada from 1773 to the present.

In 2020, our 140 volunteers won the prestigious National Volunteer Award from the Canadian Museums Association and the Canadian Federation of Friends of Museums. We couldn't be prouder to celebrate 60 years of dynamic achievement here in Quebec.

About Exporail

Exporail's regular activities are funded in part by the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications of Québec and receives support from the cities of Saint-Constant and Delson. Special projects of Exporail are supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage and Employment and Social Development Canada. Exporail also receives support from Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, theCanadian Railroad Historical Association Foundation, CN, CP, VIA Rail Canada, Molson Coors Beverage Company, Emploi-Québec Montérégie, Municipalité régionale de comté (MRC) de Roussillon, exo, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the YMCA of Greater Toronto, the Société des musées du Québec and the Canadian Museums Association.

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