News

​RFC Statement on the release of the Final Report of the OLRT Public Inquiry

Earlier today, the Honourable Justice William Hourigan released the Final Report by the OLRT Transit Commission. We are thankful for the thorough work done by the Commission.

From their final report, many issues in all aspects of the project have come to light. While it is disappointing and unacceptable given that many could have been avoided, we do hope that this report serves as a valuable and pertinent learning experience for all levels of government on how to run and execute an infrastructure project of this scale and importance.

While many deficiencies and work remain to be done on the system, the improvements in reliability and resiliency of the system have been noticeable since its opening in September 2019. Having said that, it took 3 years to get to this point and more time is still needed to rectify the remaining deficiencies. We hope that the recommendations are implemented, and the required work is prioritized to allow for the system to be a safe, reliable, and dependable method of transport for all of Ottawa.

We at Rail Fans Canada continue to have confidence in the system, however, we do hope to see permanent and proactive solutions to solve the outstanding issues in a timely manner.

Final report of OLRT Public Inquiry

The Ottawa LRT Public Inquiry has found there were persistent failures in leadership, partnership and communications in the construction and maintenance of the Ottawa LRT.

Commissioner the Honourable Justice William Hourigan released the Inquiry's final report today in Ottawa. "Our mandate," he said, "was to find out for the residents of Ottawa what happened and why, and how to avoid similar problems in the future."

In releasing the report, Commissioner Hourigan said both the City of Ottawa and the private consortium, Rideau Transit Group (RTG), lost sight of the public interest during the project. "It was unconscionable that RTG and its main sub-contractor knowingly gave the City inaccurate information about when they would finish building the LRT." He also found that City Council was not told that the testing criteria for the LRT was lowered to allow it to pass its final testing phase. "This conduct irreparably compromised the legal oversight ability of Council and raises serious concerns about whether the City of Ottawa can properly complete significant infrastructure projects."

The Commissioner found there were many reasons Ottawa residents did not get the reliable transit system they deserved, including that:

  • The City chose unproven technology for the trains that strained the limits of what an LRT system could do.
  • RTG did not coordinate the work of its sub-contractors and failed to ensure the integration of the various systems and components.
  • An adversarial relationship developed between the City and RTG.
  • The City rushed the LRT system into service before it was ready.
  • RTG and its subcontractors did not provide adequate maintenance.

The Public Inquiry made 103 recommendations to fix the problems with the Ottawa LRT and ensure they don't reoccur on other major infrastructure projects. Commissioner Hourigan recommended that an independent monitor keep Ottawa City Council or the Transit Commission informed about on-going corrective measures. And he said governments and public procurement agencies should examine whether to use a public-private partnership (P3) or another model when building complex infrastructure projects.

Other recommendations include:

  • Collaboration and the public interest should be at the heart of the relationship between the public entity and private-sector partners.
  • Systems integration must be prioritized from the design phase through to construction and manufacturing.
  • Safety requirements should be designed and built in from the outset, to avoid expensive, retroactive changes. An independent safety auditor should be engaged early in the construction of complex infrastructure projects.
  • Reliability and safety issues must be honestly identified and communicated to project partners and the public. The province should give legal protection to whistleblowers who bring forward concerns about major infrastructure projects.
  • Trial testing requirements should be detailed in the relevant contracts and used as the basis for any performance scoring.
  • There should be timely and proper responses to problems related to maintenance and operations by all parties once they arise. The safety and needs of the public should be prioritized.
  • Prior to public opening, there should be an extensive running of the entire system under conditions designed to mirror those of public service.

"More than three years after opening," said Commissioner Hourigan, "some of the LRT's problems still have not been fixed. While relations between the City and RTG have improved, both need to do more work to ensure the public interest is at the core of everything they do." 

Source :Ottawa Light Rail Transit Commission



Government of Canada launches a new initiative to address climate change impacts on rail lines

A resilient rail transportation system is critical to strong supply chains and keeping those who live along rail lines safe. Recent events like the 2021 wildfires and floods have shown the impacts climate change and extreme weather events can have on communities and our transportation networks. We must continue to adapt and prepare for these impacts. This is why the Government of Canada is taking important steps towards addressing climate change on railway infrastructure.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the launch of the first call for proposals for the Climate Change and Adaptation to Extreme Weather Infrastructure initiative under Transport Canada's Rail Safety Improvement Program.

The Climate Change and Adaptation to Extreme Weather Infrastructure initiative will provide up to $10.5 million in funding this year. This initiative specifically targets rail infrastructure projects meant to increase resilience to extreme weather events and advance measures to address climate change measures. It will also support rehabilitation projects that repair damage from significant weather events.

Transport Canada will be accepting applications for the Climate Change and Adaptation to Extreme Weather Infrastructure initiative through an open, competitive call for proposals from now until January 6, 2023.

Further, earlier today, Environment and Climate Change Canada launched Canada's National Adaptation Strategy: Building Resilient Communities and a Strong Economy for engagement. This strategy includes $1.6 billion in new federal funding commitments to help protect communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

Quotes

"We must take immediate action to protect our planet from climate change. Our Government will continue to invest in measures which address the impacts of climate change. This is why we are providing funding under the Climate Change and Adaptation to Extreme Weather Infrastructure initiative: to address severe weather impacts on railway operations."

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Quick Facts
  • Canada's railway system has approximately 23,000 railway crossings, and over 40,000 kilometres of track.
  • Transport Canada's Rail Safety Improvement Program plays an important role in addressing safety needs due to ongoing and emerging safety concerns across Canada. Funded projects have contributed to an overall reduction of risk and increased safety for Canadians.
  • The Rail Safety Improvement Program has an annual budget of $21.3 million in support of rail safety infrastructure, technology and research, and education and awareness projects across Canada.
  • Since the program's inception, 774 projects have been funded across Canada which contribute to increasing safety at grade crossings and along rail lines, and to increase public confidence in Canada's rail transportation system.
  • On July 5, 2022, the Minister of Transport also announced the Rail Climate Change Adaptation Program, which will provide up to $2.2 million in contribution funding to Canadian railways to cost-share research. Its objective is to support research, development, and implementation of innovative technologies, tools, and approaches to better understand and address the increasing risks and impacts of climate change on Canada's rail sector.
  • The Supply Chain Task Force recognized climate change as a driver of instability in transportation supply chains. For example:
    • Wildfires in July 2021 reduced railway operations by 30%, representing around $163 million per day in terms of blocked shipment value.
    • Flooding in November 2021 hindered the movement of goods estimated to be more than $170 million per day due to lost train capacity and increased congestion at the Port of Vancouver.
Associated Links
Source : Transport Canada

The Ottawa Light Rail Transit Public Inquiry will release its final report on November 30, 2022

The Ottawa Light Rail Transit Public Inquiry will release its final report on November 30, 2022. "We made a commitment to the people of Ottawa," says Inquiry Commissioner, the Honourable Justice William Hourigan. "We said we would find out why problems occurred in the construction and maintenance of the LRT, and how to avoid these in the future. I believe we have done that."

The Inquiry will release the report simultaneously on the Inquiry's website, ottawalrtpublicinquiry.ca, and at a news conference in Ottawa. The news conference will be livestreamed on the Inquiry's website.

VIA Rail awards contacts to modernize two of its maintenance centres to Buttcon Limited and Pomerleau Inc.

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is pleased to announce the awarding of two contracts to two Canadian companies for the modernization of its maintenance centres in Toronto and Montréal. An important pillar of the Corridor Fleet Replacement Program, these upgrades will allow these centres to become the home base for the maintenance of VIA Rail's 32 new trains, while continuing to maintain and service our existing fleet.

VIA Rail awarded the contract for construction at the Toronto Maintenance Centre to Buttcon Limited, based in Concord, Ontario. Pomerleau Inc., based in Montréal, Quebec, has been awarded the contract for work at the Montréal Maintenance Centre. Funding for these projects was provided in the 2018 federal budget, and construction will begin in the spring of 2023.

"We are proud to work with two exceptional Canadian partners on these two projects," says Martin R Landry, VIA Rail's President and CEO. "The modernization of our maintenance centres is an important step in the fleet replacement program and in VIA Rail's overall modernization process. These centres will allow us to maintain the new Corridor fleet that embodies the vision we have for the VIA Rail of tomorrow."

These two Canadian companies were selected through a fair, open, rigorous, and transparent bidding process under the supervision of an independent fairness monitor. The evaluation of the proponents was based on various criteria including previous experience delivering similar infrastructure, and the ability to safely complete the work on time.

"VIA Rail takes an active part in shaping the future of mobility. At Pomerleau, we share this vision of sparing no effort to create a better future for our communities. That's why we strive to shape our industry by constantly improving our processes and construction methods. For tomorrow. It is with this commitment in mind that we gladly put our expertise at VIA Rail's disposal on the Montreal Maintenance Centre project which will be, once completed, a state-of-the-art facility," said Martin Jacques, executive vice-president at Pomerleau.

"In partnership with VIA Rail, and its team, we are thrilled to have been awarded this incredible modernization project," said Peter Di Gaetano, President and CEO, Buttcon Limited. "We bring to the table a qualified team of design and construction professionals offering a wealth of knowledge and experience. The Toronto Maintenance Centre Modernization Project aligns with our vast construction experience and philosophy with a hands-on project delivery approach and dedicated collaborative partnerships. Our partnership with VIA Rail is an example of how every team member contributes to the success of the project through innovation, collaboration, communication, experience and the sharing of expert professional skill sets. We look forward to transcending construction delivery, beyond industry standards, for the successful execution of the Toronto Maintenance Modernization Project."

The first train in the new fleet welcomed its first passengers onboard in November 2022 with a full commercial launch planned for 2023. They offer an unparalleled travel experience, comfortable seating, more seats for the mobility impaired and state-of-the-art technology to passengers travelling along the Québec City-Windsor corridor, Canada's busiest corridor.

For more information we invite you to consult our website:

Toronto Maintenance Center

Montreal Maintenance Center

About VIA Rail
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and all its employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transported over 5 million passengers in 2019. The Corporation has been awarded five Safety Awards and three Environment Awards by the Railway Association of Canada since 2007. Visit the "About VIA Rail" section at https://www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.

About Pomerleau Inc.
Pomerleau is one of Canada's leading construction companies and a leader in sustainable buildings. The company specializes in the construction of buildings and infrastructure and in civil engineering and also excels in virtual design and construction (VDC). Founded 60 years ago, the company employs 4,000 people at its nine regional offices and on nearly 200 worksites across the country. Pomerleau is the parent company of Borea Construction, the Canadian leader in renewable energy construction and owns Pomerleau Capital its private infrastructure investment and financing subsidiary. Since 2020, Pomerleau is part of Canada's Top 100 Employers. For details about Pomerleau, visit www.pomerleau.ca.

About Buttcon Limited

Buttcon Limited has completed work across Canada. The company is a Canadian, employee-owned construction company that has 43 years of construction experience. It has a rooted presence in the expanding infrastructure construction markets and through its project delivery execution, offers clients best-in-class construction solutions through experienced design and trade partners. It is supported by a team of progressive, experienced individuals that are focused on providing the best building solutions for their clients. Buttcon is a simple solution for transforming clients' visions into award-winning projects across Canada. 

Source : VIA Rail Canada

O-Train Stage 2 LRT - Quarterly Update - November 1, 2022

Committee hears about milestones for Stage 2 LRT

The Finance and Economic Development Committee received a detailed update today on Stage 2 LRT construction.

The project has progressed significantly in 2022: rail installation is underway along the O-Train East extension, as well as covering works for the cut-and-cover tunnel on the O-Train West extension. Testing and commissioning of seven new Stadler FLIRT vehicles is underway; they will run on the O-Train South extension. By the end of the year, seven of the 11 new pedestrian bridges will be installed to help enhance resident's active transportation connectivity.

Today's update included forecasted schedules for each alignment. Anticipated completion dates are:

  • September 2023 for the O-Train South extension
  • End of 2024 for the O-Train East extension
  • Late 2026 for the O-Train West extension
Source : City of Ottawa

During the FEDCO meeting in Ottawa, further delays were announced regarding Stage2LRT throughout Ottawa. 

  • South: Fall 2023 (A year late) 
  • East: Early 2025 (36 days) 
  • West: Late 2026 (17 months) 

It goes without saying that we are saddened by this news. We do hope that some of the schedule pressures can be addressed and allow for the extensions to open when they are ready. We will continue to track progress throughout the city and share our excitement about passenger rail becoming an even bigger part of Ottawa.

Please visit https://otrain.railfans.ca/snapshot to see for yourself the progress throughout the city.


Government of Canada advances the procurement process for High Frequency Rail

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

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the next steps in the procurement process for High Frequency Rail (HFR) through an update to the Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEOI). This update reflects input and provides answers to key questions received through the RFEOI process. It provides industry and Canadians with new information about the HFR and its procurement.

Feedback from the RFEOI includes:

  • Responses from a total of 54 interested parties, confirming a high level of domestic and international interest in the project.
  • Responses confirming support for the overall approach; seeking clarifications on some elements of the project, including roles and responsibilities of the Government and private partner; and suggesting ways to enhance the design of the procurement process.
  • Recommendations for strategic changes to the procurement timelines, such as shortening the Request for Proposal period.

The next step in the procurement process, the Request for Qualifications (RFQ), is anticipated to begin in early 2023.

Launched in March 2022, the RFEOI marked the first step in the procurement phase and delivering benefits for Canadians. The RFEOI was undertaken to share the Government's vision for the project and to obtain the market's feedback on the HFR Project.

The Government of Canada is committed to an ongoing dialogue and building nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous Peoples. Input and feedback from Indigenous Peoples throughout the life of the project will be essential to developing an effective project.

VIA Rail and its employees are central to the success of High Frequency Rail and will continue to play a key role across Canada as our national passenger rail provider. A subsidiary of VIA Rail is being established to act as a dedicated Project Development Office. It will be responsible for leading several key project activities, and will work collaboratively with the private partner to co-develop and optimize the HFR project. Canada will work with VIA Rail and the private partner to ensure that workforce changes required for the advancement of the HFR project would be done in consultation with unions to protect the interests of VIA rail employees.

Please visit the HFR website for a full list of changes and clarifications to the procurement process, or to get involved in the project by providing feedback, asking questions, and signing up for project updates.

Quotes
"High Frequency Rail is a transformational project that promises to fundamentally change the way Canadians travel in southern Ontario and Quebec, improving accessibility, and providing more travel flexibility. We're pleased with the market's interest in this project and in the Government obtaining over 50 responses from interested parties. Feedback from these parties was critical in making this project even better and will be used to move the next phase of the project forward – the request for qualifications."
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
Quick facts
  • HFR is expected to transform intercity passenger rail in the Corridor through a variety of project outcomes, including, but not limited to:
    • Shortening travel times, with reductions of up to 90 minutes on some routes;
    • Increasing trip frequencies between major cities;
    • Offering more reliable and improved on-time performance;
    • Adding new services to Peterborough and Trois-Rivières; and,
    • Providing a greener rail system and cleaner travel option using electrified technology.
  • As with any large-scale infrastructure project, the Government of Canada is using a phased approach to leverage input collected throughout the procurement process and to inform the next steps and decisions regarding the implementation of the High Frequency Rail Project.
  • Budget 2022 provided Transport Canada and Infrastructure Canada with $396.8 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to continue advancing key project activities and undertake the procurement phase of the project.
  • The next steps in the High Frequency Rail project and expected dates include:
    • Government of Canada issues Request for Qualifications: early 2023
    • Request for Qualifications period ends: early spring 2023
    • Government of Canada evaluation of Request for Qualifications and identification of Qualified Respondents: Early spring 2023
    • Government of Canada issues Request for Proposals: Late spring 2023
    • Request for Proposals period ends: early spring 2024
  • High Frequency Rail will transform passenger rail services for Canadians in the Toronto to Québec City corridor. In parallel, VIA Rail continues the important work of rebuilding the passenger rail business in Canada following the pandemic.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to engaging the public, including communities currently served by VIA Rail between Toronto and Québec City, and consulting Indigenous Peoples to inform the Project's design and development. Anyone interested in sharing their views on the project, asking questions, or signing up for project updates is encouraged to visit the HFR website.
  • The Government of Canada is committed to forming meaningful nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous Peoples through an ongoing dialogue to better understand their priorities and concerns , and how best to engage with them throughout the different phases of the project.
Associated links
Source : Transport Canada

TTC hits major milestone with 33 billion rides

The TTC has reached 33 billion rides on the system since beginning operations in 1921.

"Congratulations to the TTC on its 33 billion rides milestone and thank you to all the dedicated people who work to keep our transit system running every day," said Mayor John Tory. "We worked hard throughout the pandemic to keep the TTC on track and protect transit for everyone. That work is continuing as we see ridership continuing to ramp up and we are doing everything we can to welcome more riders back to the system."

"I'd like to congratulate the TTC on surpassing over 33 billion riders," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "Though we saw a drop in ridership as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC continued to move thousands of customers around the city. I want to thank the many TTC employees who keep Toronto moving every day, as this achievement would not have been possible without them."

"Thirty-three billion riders is a major milestone, and one that we don't take for granted," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "This achievement would not have been possible without our nearly 16,000 committed employees who dedicate themselves to getting our customers to and from their destinations safely. As we look towards our next century of service at the TTC, we're working to build a sustainable transit system that our customers can continue to rely on and be proud of."

The TTC surpassed 32 billion riders on May 12, 2019. As ridership continues to recover after the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC is putting a number of measures in place to support the increased demand for service. In September, service was increased system-wide to meet back-to-school demand, including adding more trains on Lines 1 and 2.

2022 has been an exciting year for the TTC as it recently completed the installation of its Automatic Train Control (ATC) signaling system on Line 1, meaning more frequent and reliable service for customers, and fewer signal-related delays.

The TTC surpassed 31 billion riders in June 2017, and 30 billion in August 2015.

Source : TTC 

O-Train Temporary Speed Restrictions (Oct 2022 Update)

QUESTION: For the past several months, there are several segments of O-Train Line 1 that are operating under lower speed restrictions. With the work that was done over the summer (which involved some early closures), the previous normal speeds have not returned in all areas. Is there a timeline or ETA as to when the train will resume normal speeds on all parts of the alignment? (Notable areas include east of Rideau Station into the curve and beyond, Lees to Hurdman, among a few others).

ANSWER: As previously communicated to Mayor and Council on July 23, one light rail vehicle was removed from service for further inspections following an abnormal vibration report. The removal of light rail vehicles (LRVs) following unusual sound or vibration reports is required in accordance with OC Transpo's operating procedures, in order to perform further vehicle inspections. The LRV inspection for this vehicle showed a failure occurred in one of the wheel hub assemblies.

A second memo was issued on August 18 to share that out of an abundance of caution, Rideau Transit Group and Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) commenced the replacement of the axle wheel hub in the leading and trailing wheel assembly of LRVs with more than 175,000 kilometres in service. These replacements continue and components are removed from the vehicles to undergo further testing, as required. Further issues have not been discovered during the replacement of the axle wheel hubs and train availability remains capable of meeting daily service requirements.

A root cause analysis of this incident began immediately and continues. To ensure the ongoing safety and operation of O-Train Line 1, a number of precautionary measures have been put in place including temporary speed restrictions along sections of the track. Staff continue to work with RTM, Alstom and Transportation Resource Associates to identify longer term solutions to the axle issue, which may be informed from a final root cause analysis report, track design and vehicle analyses.

Though the trains continue to operate at slower speeds at certain sections of the track, we are seeing improved performance of the rail line, which will provide greater reliability. Until the root cause analysis and/or the investigation process determines that the temporary speed restrictions can be safely removed, the speed restrictions along sections of the track will remain in place.

-Attributed to Troy Charter, Director, Transit Service Delivery and Rail Operations 

Réseau express métropolitain: updating the timeline of the project to ensure successful implementation for future South Shore users

 Réseau express métropolitain: updating the timeline of the project to ensure successful implementation for future South Shore users

  • Infrastructure and electrification work completed
  • Ongoing testing between Brossard and Central Station
  • Decision to extend the final testing period to ensure system reliability

Today, CDPQ Infra provided an update on the status of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project and the many critical milestones that have been reached in recent months, particularly on the South Shore, where the opening schedule has been updated.

This year was marked by several important achievements, including the completion of infrastructure work, the complete electrification of the South Shore branch and, since July, the test run of the circulation of the REM cars between Brossard and Central Station.

"We fully understand the users who are eager to see the REM's service launch. Our teams have worked hard in the last few months in a challenging environment to deliver a reliable network. Taking a few more months to deliver an experience that lives up to expectations was the responsible decision to make."

Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra

For the past 30 months, the construction of the future network has been taking place in an exceptional context. As in all sectors, supply chains, the price of goods, and the availability of manpower are major challenges. Thus, the final tests that must be performed would have led to a commissioning in the middle of winter 2023.

However, this period is not optimal for the implementation of a new transportation network, nor for the required redeployment of our partners' bus networks. CDPQ Infra has therefore decided to update the timetable for the opening of the five South Shore stations to the spring of 2023.

"We are now in the final stage of completing the final testing required to meet our commitment to deliver a reliable, high-quality network into service.

Work on the REM began in 2018; today, the observation is that in five years, the project has taken shape at an exceptional speed, despite a global pandemic that spanned half of that period. This is a major accomplishment and a source of great pride. Adding an extra period of testing to reinforce the full reliability of the system will ensure a successful rollout for future users."

Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra

About the REM Project

The REM, with its 67 km and 26 stations, will be one of the largest automated light metro systems in the world. In preparation for the system's commissioning, many steps have been taken. Since winter 2020, an exhaustive and rigorous testing program is underway to validate the functionality and reliability of the systems. For example, for the South Shore alone, this represents more than 1,000 tracking beacons, 425 surveillance cameras, and nearly 11,000 different signals to be analyzed and processed continuously. Each REM car must also travel more than 500 km before being put into service.

TTC's Line 1 now running on an ATC signaling system

The TTC's modernized Automatic Train Control (ATC) signaling system is now fully operational on Line 1, bringing with it improved service and reduced operating costs.

"Automatic Train Control is up and running on Line 1. This is a big milestone for the TTC and our efforts to modernize our current transit system. This technology will ensure subway trains can travel faster and more reliably which will result in us being able to move more people across the line as quickly and efficiently as we can. I want to thank commuters for their patience while we implemented this new technology and I want to applaud TTC employees for their work on completing this major project," said Mayor John Tory.

"The successful completion of this project is a significant milestone for the TTC and the entire City of Toronto. Transit riders can look forward to faster, more reliable service when travelling on Line 1. On behalf of the TTC Board, I'd like to congratulate the TTC employees and contractors who worked tirelessly to make this transformative project a reality," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson.

"The completion of ATC installation on Line 1 is a major accomplishment for us, and will have significant benefits for our customers," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "This system will improve existing service, and ensure that we can accommodate expected additional transit growth. I want to thank our customers, local businesses, and the public, for their patience and understanding as we worked towards this milestone. I also want to express my appreciation to the TTC employees who have worked tirelessly over the past few years to complete this project."

Portions of the TTC's previous signaling system dated back to the 1950s, when the subway first opened. This included a "fixed block" signaling system where trains needed to have large gaps between them as they entered and exited each "block". With ATC, train speed and separation between trains is controlled automatically, through a computerized "moving block" system. Train location can be monitored more accurately, allowing more trains to operate closer together. This means more frequent and reliable service for customers, and fewer signal-related delays.

The completion of ATC on Line 1 also means that trains can use electricity more efficiently, leading to lower operating costs for the TTC. In addition, it will allow for more service flexibility if there is an operational issue on the line, with additional turn-back locations now available.

The project was completed on schedule according to the updated plan approved by the TTC's Board in April 2019.

Due to the scale of the project, the installation and testing process for ATC could only be done during non-revenue service hours, and was completed during weekend and early weeknight closures.

Crews performed special track work in the tunnels, installing thousands of pieces of trackside signaling and radio equipment. This includes two thousand beacons, two hundred and fifty-six signals, and more than one million feet of cable.

This past weekend, crews completed testing and commissioning, and the system went live during the subway closure on Saturday.

Learn more about ATC and the benefits for the TTC here: https://youtu.be/RTc0N0zRTJE

Source : TTC 

Memo: O-Train Stage 2 LRT Quarterly Update (Q2 2022) / Note de service: Mise à jour trimestrielle (T2 2022) sur l’Étape 2 du TLR de l’O-Train

Please find attached a memo providing an O-Train Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project Quarterly Update (Q2 2022)

Veuillez trouver ci-joint une note de service concernant une mise à jour trimestrielle (T2 2022) sur l'Étape 2 du projet de train léger sur rail de l'O-Train.

Source : City of Ottawa / Ville d'Ottawa 

TTC hosts 10th annual Underground Freedom Train Ride

On Sunday, July 31, the TTC is supporting the Blackhurst Cultural Centre (formerly known as A Different Booklist Cultural Centre) to host the tenth annual midnight Underground Freedom Train Ride to commemorate Emancipation Day on Aug. 1.

The Freedom Train Ride is symbolic of the role the Underground Railroad has played in Canadian history. This year, the Emancipation Day Freedom Ride will be an in-person event after two years of virtual events.

"I am pleased to see the annual Freedom Train Ride is back in person this year to mark Emancipation Day. Every year, when we mark this ride we are acknowledging the history of the Underground Railway and the role it played in our city and country. I want to thank everyone for helping put this event together. I encourage residents to take time during Emancipation Month to learn more about the history of slavery and our ongoing work to confront anti-Black racism," said Mayor John Tory.

"The TTC is proud to be a part of the annual underground Freedom Train Ride, which marks an important part of Canadian history," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "Observing Emancipation Day is just one way we are advancing our broader commitment to building a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming transit system for everyone."

"Emancipation Day is an important opportunity to recognize the dangerous journey through the Underground Railroad that formerly enslaved people took to reach Canada," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "I want to thank all our partners and employees whose efforts have contributed to this special event."

The in-person event begins at Union Station and concludes at Sheppard West Station. In past years, it has attracted more than 1,000 participants. This year, the in-person commemoration will feature music, singing, drumming, moments of reflection and remarks by TTC Chief Diversity and Culture Officer Keisha Campbell.

The Underground Freedom Train Ride is open to the public.

When: Sunday, July 31/Monday, Aug. 1, 2022.
Where: Line 1, Union to Sheppard West stations.
Start time: Remarks begin at 11 p.m.; ceremonial train departs Union Station at approximately 11:45 p.m.; and arrives at Sheppard West Station at approximately 12:10 a.m. 

Stage 2 LRT - West Extension - Ward 7 - Information Session - June 7, 2022

Councillor Theresa Kavanagh, along with members of the Stage 2 LRT team, held a virtual information session, to discuss the Western extension in Ward 7 of the Confederation Line, as well as upcoming work that is planned.

Stations covered include Sherbourne, New Orchard, Lincoln Fields, Queensview, Pinecrest, Bayshore and Moodie.

This video was recorded from the Zoom informational session held with the community and is archived on Rail Fans for informational purposes.

Memo: O-Train Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project Quarterly Update (Q1 2022)

The following memo outlines the progress made during Q1 2022 on the Stage 2 Confederation Line and Trillium Line extension projects and provides an overview of the planned work for Q2 2022. 

Stage 2 LRT Update - A Look at the Progress of the O-Train Expansion in Ottawa - May 2022

Recently, the City of Ottawa delivered an update on Stage 2 LRT progress in the city. Stage 2 expands the O-Train service in the East from Blair to Trim, in the West from Tunney's Pasture to Algonquin and Moodie, and in the South from Bayview to Limebank and the Airport. 

In this video, I discuss and provide my take on some of the important progress being realized on these massive construction and infrastructure projects across the city. 

The photos contained in this video were provided by the City of Ottawa and mostly date from Q2 2022. 

  • 00:00 - Introduction 
  • 00:44 - East Extension (Blair to Trim) 
  • 15:26 - West Extension (Westboro to Moodie and Algonquin) 
  • 33:36 - South Extension (Bayview to Limebank) 
  • 50:08 - Wrap Up and Closing 

---ERRATUM—

In the video, it is mentioned that the new East pathway that passes over Green's Creek will continue to Jeanne d'Arc. This was an error, the pathway will run from Blair and end at the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Parkway. Existing pathways from there can be used to reach Jeanne d'Arc (via the parkway and not alongside the 174). 

--------------- 

To see the latest photos of the stations, please check out our Snapshot Updates at otrain.railfans.ca/snapshot

Stage 2 LRT Construction Update - FEDCO - April 29, 2022

At today's Finance and Economic Development Committee, Transit Services provided a detailed update on its Stage 2 construction activities. Work continues on the O-Train network, extending it farther south, east and west.

In the south, work is progressing at the Walkley maintenance and storage facility and on multiple rail bridges and guideways. Station construction has begun at all sites, and preliminary vehicle tests are underway on a test track.

In the east, road work and utility relocation are ongoing on Highway 174, and work has begun on stations and tracks. The bridge from Blair Road to the Highway 174 median is nearly complete, and the overpasses at the Montreal Road highway interchange are progressing well. Track installation has begun between Montréal and Jeanne d'Arc stations.

In the west, work is ongoing at the Moodie light maintenance and storage facility, Pinecrest Station, Queensview Station, Iris Road and Pinecrest Creek, Algonquin Station, Lincoln Fields Station, and Byron Linear Park excavation. Tunnel construction is progressing along the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. Work is progressing well at the highway interchanges at Pinecrest and Holly Acres roads.

Source : City of Ottawa

Memo: Mott MacDonald Independent Expert Review – Line 1 Confederation Line

Please find attached a memo regarding the independent expert review of the Confederation Line.

Source : City of Ottawa

City marks progress on Stage 2 East Extension with start of track installation

Today, Mayor Jim Watson and Transit Commission Chair Allan Hubley joined the Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, and Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Orléans, representing the Government of Canada, to celebrate the start of track installation on the O-Train East Extension. This is a significant progress milestone for Stage 2 LRT.

The O-Train East Extension will travel mainly within the OR 174 median, between Blair Road and Trim Road, adding 12.5 kilometres of new rail and five new stations. The extension connects 95 percent of residents in the communities of Orléans, Blackburn Hamlet and Beacon Hill within five kilometres of rail.

Construction on the O-Train East Extension is well underway, and all 25 kilometres of track installation will be complete by the end of 2022. A 240-metre test track west of Jeanne d'Arc was installed in December 2021, and the main line track installation began in April, near the future Jeanne d'Arc Station. Construction of all O-Train East Extension stations are in progress.

Stage 2 LRT will transform travel in Ottawa as it expands the reach, comfort and convenience of light rail transit. It will connect communities, as well as Ottawa's major employment centres, postsecondary institutions, shopping and recreation destinations, and arts and culture hot spots. When Stage 2 is complete, LRT will ultimately be capable of carrying 24,000 people per direction per hour at peak capacity. The O-Train network will relieve congestion, reducing approximately one sixth of Ottawa's total vehicle kilometres travelled and save commuters time and money. The project will also reduce greenhouse gases by 110,000 tonnes and contaminants such as carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and sulphur oxides by 3,000 tonnes over a 25-year period.

The Stage 2 Light Rail Transit Project is a $4.66 billion project, jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. Stage 2 supports healthy transportation, gives residents more options for how they move around, including biking to destinations. Ottawa is integrating the city's pathway network with all light rail developments in support of mixed-mode travel.

O-Train East Extension quick facts:

  • Approximately 32,000 concrete ties across 12.5 kms of the O-Train East Extension will be installed.
  • Concrete ties are installed as they get delivered. Each tie weighs 600 pounds.
  • Approximately 90,000 tonnes of ballast will be installed. Ballast is composed of granite rock that comes from Wakefield, Quebec.
  • Steel clips are set in place by specialized temper machinery.
  • Crews will begin installation between Montréal and Jeanne d'Arc stations and continue west. Final installation will be from Blair Station to Montréal Station.

Quotes

Ensuring Canadians have access to safe and efficient public transit is a priority for our Government. The O-Train East Extension will cut pollution and transform transit service for thousands of residents in Ottawa's east end, making their trips to work, to school and across the city easier, greener and faster.

The Honourable Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.

Stage 2 LRT will forever change the way we move around Ottawa by extending the benefits of the O-Train network farther south, east and west. The new O-Train East Extension will be a simple and convenient travel option for residents in Ottawa's rapidly growing eastern communities. It will also provide transit improvements to major centres of employment, shopping and education and improve connectivity to encourage more active transportation.

Jim Watson, Mayor, City of Ottawa

Source : City of Ottawa

Photo Credit : Jim Watson - Twitter

Stage 2 LRT - East Extension - Information Session - April 20, 2022

City councillors from the east end of Ottawa, along with members of the Stage 2 LRT team, held a virtual information session, to discuss the Eastern extension of the Confederation Line, as well as upcoming work that is planned.

Stations covered include Blair, Montreal, Jeanne d'Arc, Convent Glen, Place d'Orleans and Trim.

This video was recorded from the Zoom informational session held with the community and is archived on Rail Fans for informational purposes.

Back on Track - VIA Rail increases services across Canada in time for the summer

As travel demand continues to progress, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is pursuing its gradual service resumption plan and is pleased to be returning most of its services across the country by the end of June 2022.

"This is a celebratory and crucial milestone in our service resumption plan after an incredibly challenging two years," said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We look forward to welcoming more of our customers back on board our trains and doing our part to encourage Canadians and tourists to get out and explore this beautiful country for the summer travel season."

VIA Rail's objective has always been the safe resumption of services when conditions allowed it, and we are pleased to offer our passengers more options this summer with service resumption from coast to coast.

Date

Route

Service

April 29th*

The Canadian

2 full frequencies

June 3rd*

The Ocean

3 full frequencies

June 9th*

Québec City-Windsor corridor

Additional frequencies across the Corridor

June 10th*

Jasper-Prince Rupert

3 full frequencies

June 14th*

Sudbury-White River

3 full frequencies

June 29th*

Montreal-Senneterre

3 full frequencies

June 29th*

Montreal - Jonquière

3 full frequencies

(*Specific dates are subject to change slightly as VIA Rail is currently finalizing details, including access to the infrastructure.)

(VIA Rail's Winnipeg-Churchill route will continue to operate its full three frequencies per week as it has since the beginning of the pandemic)

Throughout the pandemic our decision to add frequencies has been based on various factors, including demand, and continuing to employ a balanced approach in order to fulfill VIA Rail's important public service mandate and manage financial impacts.

Throughout this crisis, the health and safety of our passengers and employees have always been our top priority. The Corporation will revise its service offering in line with the latest developments if necessary.

Existing safety measures implemented by VIA Rail in response to COVID-19 remain in effect. Those include, amongst others, a mask wearing policy on our trains and mandatory vaccination required by the federal government.

The train remains one of the safest ways to travel this summer and we are pleased to be offering our passengers more frequencies and more flexibility.

REMINDER

Wearing a mask is required at all times in VIA Rail's stations and on-board VIA Rail trains. For the health and safety of all passengers and employees, passengers who do not wear a mask during their trip will be required to disembark the train or will be refused entry upon boarding.

Furthermore, VIA Rail asks that passengers stay informed of public health guidelines and respect those that apply to them and their travel plans, including mandatory vaccination. The Corporation also constantly reminds its passengers and employees of the importance of following recommendations from public health authorities and to rigorously follow good hygiene practices (wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of the arm, avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth without first washing their hands).

Passengers will be denied boarding if they are experiencing symptoms similar to a cold or flu (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or if they have been denied boarding for travel in the last 14 days due to medical reasons related to COVID-19.

The most recent updates are available on VIA Rail's website.

Source : VIA Rail Canada

Quebec City launches its request for proposal in order to acquire its rolling stock

-- Original French Version Below --

Quebec City, April 13 2022.

Following the request for qualification for the acquisition of its rolling stock and the approval by the council of ministers of the Quebec Government, qualified bidders can now submit their proposal starting today.

Qualified bidders are now invited to consult and study the detailed documentation, containing over 2000 pages that presents the requirements set in place to ensure that the tramway is effective, well integrated in Quebec's environment and the high standards of quality desired. Technical and financial proposals are expected in September, with the ultimate goal of announcing the private partner by the end of 2022.

The autorisation by the council of minister will also allow the city to launch, on April 26th, its second request for proposals for infrastructures. The autorized consortiums are also invited to consult the detailed documentation of 3000 pages. Proposals and their technical and financial packages are expected in March or April 2023, with the objective of selecting the private partner in the summer of 2023.

In either case, the provided documents and multiple sessions held between the project bureau and the bidders regarding certain specific topics will allow them to prepare their proposals. The alternative mode of realization was retained because of the scope of work, the number of assets to build, the mix of skills required and the overall complexity of the project.

Source: Ville de Québec

Québec, 13 avril 2022.

Les candidats qualifiés invités de matériel roulant peuvent, déjà aujourd'hui, répondre au premier appel de propositions, à la suite de l'autorisation du Conseil des ministres du Gouvernement du Québec, obtenue le mercredi 6 avril dernier.

Les entreprises seront invitées à prendre connaissance des documents détaillés, comptant 2 000 pages, qui présentent les exigences attendues afin que le tramway de Québec soit performant, bien intégré à la trame urbaine et réponde aux hauts standards de qualité recherchés. Les propositions techniques et financières pour le matériel roulant sont attendues en septembre, en vue de sélectionner le partenaire privé à l'automne 2022.

L'autorisation du Conseil des ministres permettra aussi de lancer, le mardi 26 avril prochain, son deuxième appel de propositions pour la réalisation des infrastructures. Les consortiums seront aussi invités à consulter les documents détaillés de 3000 pages. Le dépôt des propositions techniques et financières s'échelonnera de la mi-mars à mi-avril 2023, ce qui mènera au choix de ce partenaire privé dès l'été 2023.

Dans chaque cas, les documents remis et la tenue d'ateliers de discussion bilatéraux entre le Bureau de projet et chaque soumissionnaire sur des thématiques précises leur permettront de préparer leurs propositions. Le mode alternatif de réalisation est retenu en raison de l'envergure des travaux, de la quantité d'actifs à construire, de la mixité des disciplines requises et de la complexité du projet. 

Source: Ville de Québec

Stage 2 LRT - West Extension - ​Kitchissippi Ward - Information Session - April 7, 2022

Councillors Theresa Kavanagh and Jeff Leiper, along with members of the Stage 2 LRT team, held a virtual information session, to discuss the Western extension in Kitchissippi Ward of the Confederation Line, as well as upcoming work that is planned.

Stations covered include Westboro, Kichi Sibi (Dominion) and Sherbourne.

This video was recorded from the Zoom informational session held with the community and is archived on Rail Fans for informational purposes.

SkyTrain Burrard Station upgrades rescoped

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

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

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

More information:
TransLink Maintenance and Upgrade Program
Previously announced upgrades

Source : TransLink

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

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

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

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

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

ABOUT KATIE DAUBS

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

ABOUT THE TORONTO RAILWAY MUSEUM 

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

ABOUT TORONTO RAILWAY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION (TRHA) 

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

Source : Toronto Railway Museum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

QUOTES

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

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

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

Annie Koutrakis
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

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

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

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

The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Public Services and Procurement

Quick Facts

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

Associated Links

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

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

Source : Transport Canada

Photo Credit : David Bellerive

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

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

Source : City of Ottawa

Share your train stories in a digital exhibition

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

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

https://forms.gle/RceXyTiWL9KeyF8H8

It's finally here... the Rail Fans Canada System Map Expansion to Toronto

It's finally here... The Rail Fans Canada System Map expansion to Toronto. Now live at https://map.railfans.ca!

See all your favourite TTC Subway stations and yards in high (approximated) detail.

The map also features the under-construction Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT.

The map legend has been redesigned to be easier to browse, and clicking an item in the legend will now focus the map on that item.

Other proposed and under-construction projects and extensions will also be added (Ontario Line, Hurontario LRT, various Subway extensions, etc.) and you can help! The project is open-source and contributions are always welcome. https://github.com/RailFansCanada/RailFansMap

A sneak peek into the future: the map will also be expanded to cover the entire GTHA featuring the entire GO system. Other regions will also be added eventually (e.g. Montreal )

Lastly, if you have a suggestion for a new feature, spot a mistake on the map, or have any other feedback, you can now also email it to map@railfans.ca

The System Map was created by Derek Ellis

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

Committee receives construction update on Stage 2 LRT

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source : City of Ottawa


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

Stage 2 LRT - Construction Photos 

East Extension

West Extension

South Extension


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

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

Source : City of Ottawa

Memo: Update on O-Train Line 1 Service

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

STM launches challenge combining public transit, physical activity and exploring the city

The STM, with the support of Canada Running Series (CRS), is launching its very first Défi STM to entice Montrealers to go out more, explore their city and use public transit.

The constraints of the pandemic have led many to discover the joys of physical activity or dedicate more time to exercise. That's why the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), with the support of Canada Running Series (CRS), is launching its very first Défi STM. From June 1 to 30, this reinvented footrace will invite participants to travel the length of the Montréal métro network by walking or running through the city, while also using the bus and métro networks to get around.

The total length of the challenge is 66 kilometres over the month of June, a distance of just over two kilometres a day. And whether it's hopping on a bus to get out of a sudden downpour on a walk or taking the métro home after a particularly gruelling run, there are many ways to use STM services while successfully completing the challenge.

In addition to boosting their own physical and mental health, participants will be doing their part by supporting several good causes.

Challenge for a cause
For each registration, a $5 donation will be made to one of four charitable organizations supported by the STM: Centraide du Grand Montréal, the Canadian Red Cross, Partenaire Santé Québec and Réchaud-Bus. Participants will also have the option to start their own fundraisers for the cause or causes of their choice, among those supported by the STM, to increase the amount to be donated.

Additionally, participants who sign up for the $50 registration will receive a free STM-branded running shirt, collectible cup, fridge magnet set and a running belt. The $30 registration option also includes all these items, except the running shirt.

In these difficult times, the STM invites you to complete the Défi STM and find new ways to build exercise into your daily life. Explore or rediscover your city and the transit network that serves it—it's good for your mind, body and soul!

Information and registration

Photos - Credit @Miroslavfilm

Source : STM

TTC to complete vital tunnel upgrades and asbestos removal on Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations

Beginning on Mon., May 17, the TTC will once again take advantage of continued low ridership and close the portion of Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations. The closure will last 10 days and will allow crews to carry out tunnel lining repairs, asbestos removal, power cable removal and repair and station cleaning.

This will be the final 10-day closure in this section of the downtown "U". The completion of this work will allow the TTC to eliminate between 75-100 planned weekend closures over the next few years, significantly reducing disruptions and customer inconvenience. Customers who travel along the impacted part of Line 1 were surveyed during the previous two closures and the vast majority are supportive of the TTC's approach.

"The City is committed to investing in the TTC and making vital upgrades to our existing transit system as quickly as possible. I want to thank the TTC and all its employees for working throughout the pandemic to get as much of this work done as possible while ridership is low," said Mayor John Tory. "Getting harmful asbestos removed, tunnel linings repaired, power cables repaired and stations cleaned now will make sure our system is ready to welcome back more riders as the pandemic comes to an end."

"The TTC is continuing to make significant progress on major state-of-good-repair projects while ridership remains low due to ongoing COVID-19 public health restrictions. These closures will allow us to rapidly accelerate necessary capital work in a condensed timeframe, saving riders years of future disruption," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson.

"We've taken a different approach to some of our most critical state-of-good repair work and, as a result, we've made significant progress," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "With the completion of this series of closures, we will have accomplished 18 months of work in three weeks and saved customers travelling in this area, a two-year-long inconvenience. I want to thank all our customers for their patience and everyone at the TTC who worked hard to make this work happen and improve the subway system for our great city."

During the closure, customers can expect shuttle bus service every 60 seconds or better during peak periods and very consistent service to continue throughout the day. Service levels have been designed based on current customer volumes. Designated pick-up and drop-off locations will be outside each station, at street level.

East-west service will be available, as usual, on College (506 Carlton), Dundas (505), Queen (501) and King (504) streets, for customers to connect from Yonge St.

Museum, Queen's Park, St Patrick and Osgoode stations will be closed during this work. Customers should note that all subway entrances/exits will also be closed, including TTC connections to hospitals. St George and St Andrew stations will remain open for fare sales and connection to surface routes and Line 2. Customers are encouraged to start their journey at any station on the Yonge side of Line 1 to avoid the closure area.

Customers who require Wheel-Trans service can speak with any TTC customer service staff member for assistance.

Customers are reminded that face coverings are mandatory while travelling on the TTC. More information on how to wear a mask properly is available at ttc.ca. Some exceptions apply.

This is the TTC's fifth 10-day closure while taking advantage of reduced ridership to complete essential system improvements and upgrades. During this closure, asbestos abatement work will be performed on the southbound platforms at St Patrick and Queen's Park stations, which will complete asbestos removal in this area. Similar successful shutdowns were carried out in March and April 2021.

The TTC is using a variety of tactics to ensure customers are aware of this extended closure and to minimize the inconvenience as much as possible. Customers looking for more information or assistance planning their trips are advised to visit ttc.ca or call Customer Service at 416-393-4636.

The TTC thanks its Board, local City Councillors, and the essential workers based along University Ave., for their assistance and patience with this closure.

The TTC is committed to keeping customers informed about work and events that impact service and about alternate routes. For the most up-to-date information, follow @TTCNotices on Twitter or sign up for eAlerts.

Source : TTC

TransLink launches next round of engagement to shape the future of transportation

TransLink is launching a new round of engagement for Transport 2050, the region's transportation blueprint for the next 30 years. After a record-breaking 31,700 responses during the first phase of engagement, we are launching a second engagement for the 30-year plan and asking for more specific feedback on key transportation priorities.

From April 19 until May 14, we are asking the public for their opinions on the following priorities and recommendations which were developed based on Phase 1 responses:

  • Creating urban spaces that support active transportation
  • Developing the optimal rapid transit network that is fast and frequent
  • Integrating automated vehicles efficiently into the transportation system

Once engagement has concluded, TransLink will take the results from both phases of engagement and create a draft 30-year transportation plan. That plan will be released later this year to gather more feedback from the public, our government partners, and key stakeholders before it becomes final. Once finalized, Transport 2050 will be the next major long-term transportation strategy that outlines regional transportation priorities for the next three decades.

Members of the public are invited to participate in engagement in the following three ways:

  • Through an online survey
  • By using our online Q+A tool
  • By attending one of four Virtual Open Houses

Visit transport2050.ca to take part. For anyone with feedback specifically about building rapid transit to UBC, visit the Millennium Line UBC Extension page, as it's part of a separate engagement.

Quotes:

Gigi Chen-Kuo, TransLink Interim CEO –

"I am thrilled that TransLink has adopted one of the Vancouver-Fraserview Transit Working Group's recommendations for improved service. This investment in our community will ensure commuting remains affordable and transit is accessible for seniors and young families, all while reducing congestion and carbon pollution."

George Heyman, BC Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy –

"People in Metro Vancouver expect and need high-quality, affordable transportation options that support action on climate change and strong, healthy communities for everyone. Our government is committed to continuing our support and development of better public transit and active transportation that help shape healthy communities for decades to come. Feedback from this public engagement help us make informed decisions that will build a more sustainable and accessible province for all British Columbians."

Jonathan X. Coté, Chair of the Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation –

The long-term transportation strategy is the foundation the Mayors' Council uses to make major transportation investment decisions. The region recently completed nearly everything that was outlined in Transport 2021, which was possible because of critical long-term planning from 30 years ago. I was excited to see that Phase 1 saw responses from people throughout the region, and we need that continued enthusiasm from the public as we map out the next 30 years of transportation."

More Information
Source : TransLink

TransLink announces Kevin Quinn as new Chief Executive Officer

TransLink today announced Kevin Quinn as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The TransLink Board of Directors made the appointment following a competitive international candidate search and thorough review process. He takes on the role beginning July 19, 2021.

Kevin is currently the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), overseeing one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. With a mix of six transit modes, including buses, subway, light rail, paratransit, and commuter bus and rail, and over 100 million passengers a year, MTA has strong parallels to TransLink.

"We look forward to welcoming Kevin Quinn to the TransLink enterprise, which will benefit from his bold, innovative and customer-centred approach to leadership," said Tony Gugliotta, Chair of TransLink's Board of Directors. "As TransLink prepares to welcome back more customers to transit and launch a robust ridership recovery plan, we are thrilled to have Kevin lead TransLink into its next chapter."

In his new role, Kevin will lead TransLink's post-pandemic recovery, with an emphasis on rebuilding ridership, achieving financial sustainability, supporting employees, and continuing to deliver a reliable and thriving transportation system for Metro Vancouver.

Kevin has served as CEO of the MTA since 2017, focusing on customer experience and employee engagement, overseeing the development of customer-facing real-time tracking technology for local bus and commuter rail service, and introducing the agency's first mobile payment app. Prior to his role as CEO, Kevin was the Director of Planning and Programming for MTA, responsible for implementing a complete overhaul and rebranding of the core transit system, including the introduction of new, high-frequency bus lines.

Kevin holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). Kevin was recognized as a Top 40 under 40 transit professional in Mass Transit Magazine. As an avid runner, he is looking forward to exploring the region's great trails and Vancouver's world-famous seawall. Kevin will be moving to the Metro Vancouver region with his wife and two children in the months ahead, while following all public health guidelines.

TransLink's Board of Directors would like to thank Gigi Chen-Kuo for stepping into the Interim CEO role and providing a tremendous service to the region over the last several months. Gigi has been serving as interim CEO since Kevin Desmond resigned from the role in February 2021, following five successful years leading TransLink through a significant growth phase that included major system expansion, improved reliability and record-setting ridership growth.

Kevin Quinn Biography

Kevin Quinn is the incoming Chief Executive Officer for TransLink, Metro Vancouver's transportation authority.

Kevin is currently the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer of the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the U.S. with six transit modes, including buses, subway, light rail, paratransit, and commuter bus and rail. He also oversees the construction of a new 25-km light rail line outside Washington, D.C., which is currently the largest transit public-private partnership in the U.S.

Kevin started his tenure as CEO of MTA in 2017, focusing on customer experience and employee engagement, overseeing the development of customer-facing real-time tracking technology for local bus and commuter rail service and introducing the agency's first mobile payment app, CharmPass.

Prior to serving as CEO, Kevin was the Director of Planning and Programming for MTA. In this role, he was responsible for all aspects of design and implementation for BaltimoreLink, a comprehensive transit network overhaul of MTA's local and express bus network, which included the restructuring of more than 60 bus routes and the introduction of new, high-frequency lines.

Kevin also has private sector experience, as the Mid-Atlantic Transportation Planning and Policy Manager for STV Incorporated in Baltimore.

Kevin holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University. He has been a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) since 2010 and was recognized as a Top 40 under 40 transit professional in Mass Transit Magazine.

For the third consecutive year, VIA Rail is the most trusted transportation company

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) has been recognized as one of the most trusted companies in Canada in 2021 by the Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI), presented by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. The Corporation ranked first in the "Transportation" category for a third year in a row. Since 2015, the GBTI has been investigating overall consumer trust in brands, the factors that affect it and the brands that succeed at it. Comprising top researchers in their fields, the GBTI team emphasizes the role of brand values as part of its study of nearly 400 brands across the country.

"Despite the challenges faced since the beginning of the pa ndemic, we are humbled by the unwavering trust that Canadians have granted us for the third consecutive year. This accomplishment would not have been possible without the dedication and exemplary work of our employees," says Martin R. Landry, Chief Commercial Officer. "Not only does this vote of confidence reinforce the crucial role of passenger rail, it also drives us to work together and carry out our mission of putting passengers first. At VIA Rail, we are committed to enhancing our customers' travel journey by continuously improving our services, and offering the safest, most accessible and reliable experience. We believe this can only be achieved by listening to and integrating the needs of Canadians in our everyday decisions."

About the Gustavson Brand Trust Index

The Gustavson Brand Trust Index is provided by the University of Victoria's Gustavson School of Business. Nearly 9,000 Canadians were consulted between January 13 and February 8, 2021 on the way they view certain brands, including their consumer advocacy and social equity.

Source : VIA Rail Canada

VIA Rail in 2020: a year marked by resilience, crisis management and focus on modernization

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE ANNUAL REPORT

From January 1st to December 31, 2020

  • Ridership decreased by 77% in 2020 compared to 2019
  • Operating expenses decreased by 21.2%
  • Essential services maintained during the pandemic
  • Continuous implementation of preventive measures in response to the pandemic
  • Sustained progress on VIA Rail's modernization program

After a remarkably difficult year, VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) reflects in its 2020 annual report on the unique challenges it faced, and on its responsible and efficient response to the significant disruption in its operations stemming from blockades and the COVID-19 pandemic. VIA Rail experienced in 2020 a 77% drop in ridership and a decrease of 80% in passenger revenues compared to 2019.

"Last year, VIA Rail faced more challenges than it ever had in its 43-year history. As we adapted our operations, procedures and processes in order to manage the impact of the consecutive crises, we remained focused on serving Canadians by maintaining essential services and operating our national passenger rail service. We would like to thank the Government of Canada for its support and guidance during these trying times. Despite the blockades and the pandemic, our passengers showed an unwavering trust in our services and the measures we put in place, hence demonstrating the importance of passenger rail. As we keep dealing with COVID-19, we are committed to regaining the confidence of Canadians by offering a safe, accessible, sustainable and comfortable way to travel. This is the hallmark of the VIA Rail experience, and we look forward to welcoming back more and more passengers as soon as the situation allows it," declared Françoise Bertrand, Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

Adapting services while protecting the health and safety of all

2020 was marked by the continued adaptation of our services. VIA Rail had to suspend most of its operations due to the blockades in February and then continuously adjusted its services according to the evolution of the pandemic while striving to offer an essential service. Throughout this situation, VIA Rail has been following the guidance and recommendations of public health authorities and has since March implemented preventive measures, including the reduction of its capacity on board its trains, to protect the health and safety of its passengers and employees.

"In 2020, teams across the organization had to adapt quickly to an ever-changing environment," said Cynthia Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer. "From our schedules to COVID-19 measures, the health and safety of all were always at the heart of our decisions. While we regrettably had to temporarily reduce the size of our workforce due to this extraordinary situation, I would like to thank our employees who, whether it be in stations, on board our trains, in our maintenance centres or in our administrative offices, have been delivering an exemplary service throughout this pandemic. Their dedication and agility are the reason Canadians still chose to "love the way" in these unprecedented times."

As a result of the pandemic, VIA Rail was forced to suspend some routes and is aware that transportation options have become more limited in certain areas of the country. The Corporation will continue to adapt its operations according to the evolution of the health crisis and is committed to resuming full service across Canada as soon as the situation allows it.

Managing the financial repercussions of COVID-19

VIA Rail took steps to ensure the responsible management of its operations and the public funds allocated by the Government of Canada. The Corporation implemented a series of measures including, amongst others, the reduction of some of its operating expenses in proportion to the level of operations as well as temporary layoffs. As such, VIA Rail recorded in 2020 a 21.2% decrease in operating expenses.

Acting today for a better tomorrow

Despite the difficulties faced in 2020, VIA Rail moved forward with the implementation of its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan which establishes the values and priorities that drive a modern, accessible and sustainable passenger rail service. The Corporation also reviewed and updated its sustainability strategy which focuses on updated approaches and initiatives that reduce VIA Rail's impact on the environment, enhance its role as a responsible mobility provider, and create lasting value for Canadian society.

"As the national passenger rail service, we have a responsibility that goes beyond simply offering transportation to Canadians. Indeed, we aspire to positively impact the lives of those around us by acting today for a better tomorrow. 2020 was an important year for VIA Rail as we completed the foundational work to truly embed sustainability in all our operations moving forward. The challenges we faced over the past year only strengthen our commitment to help build a more sustainable and mobile Canada," said Ben Marc Diendéré, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer.

Continuing to improve the travel experience of our passengers with disabilities was also a key priority in 2020. In fact, VIA Rail took important steps towards accessibility by launching its first Universal Accessibility Policy and completing 18 projects under its three-year plan and the Canadian Transportation Agency's (CTA) Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations, which came into effect last June.

Providing Canadians with a modern passenger rail service

"Modernization is one way of ensuring that we always go further together. Last year truly demonstrated the limitations of the current transportation system in Canada. As such, we moved forward with our key modernization projects which will contribute to creating a more connected and modern country and enable VIA Rail to better serve current and future passengers. These projects will not only allow us to contribute to playing a key role in the fight against climate change, but also to meet the changing needs of an increasingly mobile population. Through the renovation of an aging fleet, the arrival of state-of-the-art trains in the Corridor starting in 2022, and our High Frequency Rail project, we will convince more and more Canadians that VIA Rail is the smarter way to travel. As we look ahead, our commitment to transform passenger rail service is stronger than ever, and we cannot wait to show what we have in store for the future of sustainable mobility," concluded Cynthia Garneau.

Source : VIA Rail Canada

VIA Rail's annual report is available below:

Minister of Transport investing in railway safety while growing the economy

The Government of Canada is committed to keeping Canadians safe by improving rail safety and increasing public awareness and confidence in Canada's rail transportation system while contributing to the economy during the pandemic.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Member of Parliament for Guelph, Lloyd Longfield, and Member of Parliament for Milton, Adam Van Koeverden, announced more than $21 million in funding for new projects under the Rail Safety Improvement Program – Infrastructure, Technology and Research to enhance rail safety in Canada.

Today's investment contributes to 135 initiatives across Canada that will support a wide range of eligible grade crossing safety improvements, small infrastructure projects such as fencing, pedestrian crossings and overpasses, as well as implementation and research into new safety technologies.

The Rail Safety Improvement Program is key to the Government of Canada's efforts to address ongoing and emerging safety concerns across Canada. Over the past four years, more than $85 million has been invested in the form of grants and contributions to fund projects that have contributed to an overall reduction of risk, and increased safety for Canadians.

Quotes
"Investing in rail safety is one of our commitments to keeping Canada's communities safe. Since its inception, the Rail Safety Improvement Program has provided more than $85 million in funding to enhance rail safety. We will continue to invest in projects that keep Canadians safe, and that also contribute to the economic recovery during this challenging time".
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"Supporting activities such as research and the development of innovative technologies are important parts of the Government's comprehensive approach to reducing incidents and enhancing the safety of Canadian communities on railway properties."
Soraya Martinez Ferrada
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport

"As we work to increase frequency and speed of trains to reduce commuting times, and reduce automobile and transport truck traffic and the corresponding greenhouse gas emissions, it is critical we invest in rail safety.
Increasing rail safety awareness and improving lighting, signals, level crossings and separating pedestrians from train traffic are critical to saving lives."
Lloyd Longfield
Member of Parliament for Guelph


"It is crucial that Miltonians are aware of the risks that are associated when trespassing on and around railways, some of which result in devastating accidents and collisions, largely from a lack of public awareness. Our community is grateful that Canada's Rail Safety Improvement Program is launching six projects here in Milton which will work to address the ongoing safety concerns in our community. This investment will improve safety and increase public confidence with respect to our government protecting people and communities from the potential risks surrounding Canada's rail transportation system."
Adam van Koeverden
Member of Parliament for Milton and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth and to the Minister of Canadian Heritage (Sport)


Quick facts
  • Through infrastructure, technology and research, along with public education and awareness activities, this program provides grants and contributions to provinces, territories, municipalities, and local governments, road and transit authorities, crown corporations, for-profit and not-for-profit organizations (including academia), Indigenous groups, communities, organizations and individuals to help improve rail safety and reduce injuries and fatalities related to rail transportation.
  • Funding through the Rail Safety Improvement Program enables recipients to improve rail infrastructure, explore innovative solutions, and educate Canadians on railway safety.
  • The Rail Safety Improvement Program funds projects and initiatives that contribute to increasing safety at grade crossings and along rail lines, and increase public confidence in Canada's rail system.
  • This year, the funding will go towards 103 grade-crossing improvements, 18 crossing infrastructure projects, eight grade crossing closures and six technology and research projects across the country.

Associated links

Source : Transport Canada

Stage 2 LRT - South Extension - ​Information Session #2 - May 25, 2021

Councillor Diane Deans along with members of the Stage 2 LRT team, held a virtual information session, to discuss the Southern extension of the Trillium Line, as well as upcoming work that is planned. 

Stations covered include Bayview, Corso Italia, Dow's Lake, Carleton, Mooney's Bay, Walkley, Greenboro, South Keys, Leitrim, Bowesville, Limebank, Uplands and Airport. 

This video was recorded from the Zoom informational session held with the community and is archived on Rail Fans for informational purposes.

Please note this information session essentially covers the same elements as the May 13th session, and as such the presentation and connectivity study from the previous session are once again attached below.


Presentations

Connectivity Study

Collective Agreement between VIA Rail and UNIFOR Ratified

VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) is pleased to announce the ratification of collective agreement 3 by the members of Unifor, Local 100, the union representing approximately 700 VIA Rail employees working in maintenance centres.

This two-year agreement (from January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021) was ratified by the membership on May 15 and, just like collective agreements 1 and 2, includes a 2% wage increase for 2021, benefits improvements as well as the review of several work rules.

"We are delighted that all collective agreements have now been ratified," said Martine Rivard, Chief Employee Experience Officer. "I would, of course, like to thank all parties who were involved in this process and who contributed to this positive outcome. In spite of the unprecedented situation faced since 2020, rigour and professionalism have led to this fair and reasonable agreement. Employees in our maintenance centres are crucial in ensuring that we offer a safe and enjoyable travel experience to our passengers and we look forward to continuing to work together in order to keep being the smarter way to travel."

Useful links:

VIA Rail Reaches tentative agreements with Unifor (January 30, 2021)

Collective agreements between VIA Rail and Unifor ratified (March 15, 2021)

Source : VIA Rail Canada

Stage 2 Light Rail Transit (LRT) O-Train South Extension Project - Notice of Construction Acceleration Efforts

As part of the Stage 2 O-Train South Extension project, TransitNEXT will be increasing work hours and days at various locations across the project to maximize the 2021 construction season.

What

Additional staff are being deployed across the project in addition to one or both of the following schedule recovery measures, depending on the site:

  • The addition of a second shift, for two, ten-hour shifts; and,
  • Weekend work.
When

Starting in the next few weeks and extending over the summer/fall construction period.

Why

To maximize the 2021 construction season and accelerate timelines where possible.

Where

Please see the following table.

Please note that this is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of sites where nighttime work will take place. Short-term nightwork may be required at other sites when the scheduled activity makes it necessary. In cases of nighttime work, an individual public notice will be issued to outline dates and impacts.

Anticipated Impacts

  • Sites with a double shift will have work starting at 7 am and finishing at 3 am. In these cases, efforts will be made to divert light from residences.
  • Noise will be intermittent and is expected to be within the limit set in the Project Agreement and Noise By-law exemption permits.
  • Both light and noise will naturally diminish with increased separation from the construction activity. In some locations, light and noise may be naturally attenuated by physical features.

If you have questions about this work, please contact the City's representative:


Michael Brossoit
Stakeholder Relations, Rail Construction Program
City of Ottawa
Email: michael.brossoit@ottawa.ca
Website: ottawa.ca/stage2

Up to 100 future weekend closures eliminated as TTC completes final 10-day closure between St George and St Andrew stations

Last week, the TTC completed its third 10-day closure on the portion of Line 1 between St George and St Andrew stations. The closure, which took place from May 17-26, allowed the TTC to take advantage of continued low ridership to make significant progress on critical state-of-good repair work.

The work accomplished during the three 10-day shutdowns will allow the TTC to eliminate between 75-100 planned weekend closures over the next few years as well as eliminate the need to bypass Museum and Queen's Park stations for up to two years.

With the completion of this series of closures, TTC commuters can now look forward to significantly reduced early access, weekend and platform closures. Customers who were surveyed while travelling through the area during the closures reported overwhelming support for the TTC's innovative approach to completing the work quickly and reducing inconvenience.

During the three 10-day closures in March, April and May, the TTC removed and replaced approximately 44,000 sq. ft. of ceiling in the affected stations. Repair work was also completed on the flooring at Museum, Queen's Park and Osgoode stations.

"We've eliminated up to 100 future TTC closures by getting this important work done during the pandemic when ridership levels have been lower," said Mayor John Tory. "Thank you so much to our TTC workers for getting this job accelerated and done during this unprecedented emergency. Thank you to our TTC riders for their patience as we completed these important repairs, including much-needed asbestos removal. This work will ensure we continue to have a safe and reliable transit system for years to come and that we are ready to welcome riders back as we safely reopen."

"Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TTC has rapidly accelerated extensive system upgrades and state-of-good-repair projects on our subway network to minimize future disruption for transit riders," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson. "This innovative approach has significantly reduced the need for planned closures, with up to 100 weekend closures avoided over the next few years. Congratulations to CEO Rick Leary and the entire TTC team for this impressive accomplishment. I would also like to thank our TTC riders for their continued patience and understanding."

"By doing this work while ridership is low, we've been able to spare our customers years of disruption and inconvenience," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "I'm very pleased that we were able to accomplish this much in a relatively short period of time - we've done approximately 18 months of work in 30 days. I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work, and thank our customers for their patience."

During the most recent closure, the TTC removed asbestos from the southbound platforms of St Patrick and Queen's Park stations, which completes asbestos abatement in this area. In March and April, asbestos was removed from the northbound platforms of these stations.

Additional work done includes the installation of higher capacity traction power cables, and the removal of old cables. TTC crews also installed new communication infrastructure, including additional Train Door Monitoring conduits for future OPTO implementation at Osgoode and Museum stations.

By completing planned maintenance ahead of schedule, the TTC can now turn its attention to architectural refinishing and modernization of the station platforms. That contract is expected to be tendered later this year for 2022 construction.

The TTC thanks its Board, local City Councillors, and the essential workers based along University Ave., for their assistance and patience with the closures this year.

Source : TTC

Toronto Railway Museum (TRM) to host Virtual Lecture Event, "The Crowd Went Wild!" - Canadian baseball's love affair with the railway

Toronto Railway Museum (TRM), a non-profit organization located in the iconic Roundhouse Park across from the CN Tower, debuts the theme of its third lecture in the 2021 Virtual Lecture Series, Railway Ties: "The Crowd Went Wild! — Canadian Baseball's Love Affair with the Railway". The event takes place on Thursday, June 17 at 7 p.m. and will be presented by Canada's premier baseball historian, William (Bill) Humber.

"Railway Ties aims to stir diverse conversation and curiosity between new audiences; the chance to welcome Bill and spotlight the connection between one of popular culture's most favourite sports, baseball, and its reliance on rail, is incredibly exciting!"" says Kelly Burwash, manager and curator, TRM. "Being located just a step away from Rogers Stadium and typically seeing a lift of visits on home game days, we really miss our baseball fans!"

Bill Humber entered Canada's Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 for championing the game's history. With his expert knowledge, Bill will share the evolution from its folk roots, to how the railway system helped with the independent growth in Ontario between 1854-1873, to African-Canadian team in 1869 being railway porters, to Babe Ruth starting his epic trip to Japan with a rail stopover in Moose Jaw.

"The journey of the ball, like the railway, has traveled long and far and I look forward to bringing its story into the homes of Canadians on June 17 to support TRM," says Bill Humber. As a child growing up in Toronto whose first baseball hero was Rocky Nelson of the minor league baseball club that played in the old Maple Leaf Stadium at the foot of Bathurst, Bill knows all about the area of where the TRM resides. "I couldn't think of a better match-up; to feature a night dedicated to an aspect incredibly important to connecting and growing the game of baseball — the railway—often diamonds and stadiums would be built on the railway to make it easy to come and go."

Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards future programming and support the collection, preservation, restoration of Canadian rail artifacts and important historical interpretation at the TRM.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased on TRM's website here. VIP tickets are $25 with access to Zoom link, plus a live Q&A with William Humber and Toronto Railway Museum Historians. The first 50 VIP ticket purchasers will receive a Blue Jays' Hat and all attendees will have the chance to win multiple prizes, including signed Blue Jays' memorabilia and Ripley's Aquarium of Canada tickets. General admission tickets are $10 with access to live YouTube stream link.

Interviews with Bill Humber and TRM spokespersons, as well as vintage imagery is available upon request.

Subscribe to the TRM monthly newsletter here and follow along on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay up-to-date on the schedule and themes of the next topics in the series.

#TRMXRailwayTies #CanadianBaseball

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ABOUT WILLIAM HUMBER

William Humber of Bowmanville entered Canada's Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 for championing the game's history in Canada. Author of 12 books including five on baseball, he is often asked to comment on baseball by amongst others the CBC and the Rogers Sportsnet. For the past 43 years he has taught a "Baseball Spring Training for Fans" course, (on-line this year), preparing fans for the season ahead. He is a respected member of the Society for American Baseball Research's 19th century research community.

ABOUT TORONTO RAILWAY MUSEUM (TRM)

Located in Roundhouse Park, in the heart of downtown Toronto shares stories of Toronto's railway history. The museum's exhibits include the original, fully restored and operational 120-foot-long locomotive turntable and a carefully chosen collection of full size railway equipment. The museum also operates a miniature railway and other outdoor exhibits illustrating Toronto's railway heritage. Exhibits include the original 60,000-gallon water tower, the 650-ton concrete locomotive coaling tower and a collection of historic buildings, including Don Station and Cabin D.

ABOUT TORONTO RAILWAY HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION (TRHA)

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

Réseau express métropolitain: semi-annual update - June 2021

With more than 3000 workers and employees deployed on approximately 30 construction sites, REM work is now taking place for the first time on all 67 km of the future light metro system at the same time. The year 2021 will be a critical one in preparation for commissioning the REM's Rive-Sud branch next year. Currently, 23 stations are under construction, 3 of which are nearing completion, 10 km of the overhead structure is complete, 13.7 km of rail has been laid, and a 3.5-km test segment has been commissioned on the Rive-Sud branch for a series of pre-commissioning tests.

"Active REM construction sites and the planned commissioning on the South Shore is the direct result of thousands of workers and professionals who have faced the exceptional conditions of a global pandemic for the past 15 months and found solutions to every challenge that arose. I would like to thank each one of them for their remarkable commitment to this project," said Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra.

The updated project schedule is maintained and the Rive-Sud branch will be commissioned in the summer of 2022, the central segment in the fall of 2023, the Anse-à-l'Orme branch in the spring of 2024, the Deux-Montagnes branch in the fall of 2024, and the airport branch in late 2024.

Ridership projections maintained

The press conference also provided an opportunity to present CDPQ Infra's analysis of ridership projections for the future network, taking into account the potential impact of the pandemic. REM ridership forecasts are maintained over the long term. The characteristics of REM service make it particularly resilient in the post-pandemic outlook analyzed. The project proposes fast and frequent service available 20 hours per day, as well as access to downtown and from suburb to suburb. It also encourages the development of projects on a human scale and densification of the territory.

Financial update: a special allocation for COVID-19

Following the financial analysis of the exceptional events the project has faced since March 2020, CDPQ Infra has allocated $200 million to address issues that arose due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This allocation has made it possible to implement the necessary sanitary measures to ensure the health and safety of all workers on the construction sites. Border restrictions and closures have also impacted the supply of certain materials and the mobility of skilled labour. This special allocation has helped to mitigate both of these impacts.

An additional $150 million is being added to the project budget to address the various change requests received from communities since the start of construction in 2018. These requests specifically dealt with improving access and development around the REM stations to better serve future users.

Taking into account the COVID-19 allocation and improvements made in response to community requests, the total project budget is now estimated at $6.9 billion. Costs related to the Mount Royal Tunnel are currently being negotiated and will be reported at a later date.

Financial parameters maintained

Despite the special allocation for COVID-19 and the amount required for community requests, these contingencies do not affect the main financial parameters of the project.

No additional financial contribution from public authorities

  • No additional investment from public or governmental authorities will be required. As provided for in the 2015 agreement, CDPQ Infra is responsible for the required amounts.

Rate established with the ARTM maintained

  • The fare set at 72¢ in the agreement between the ARTM and CDPQ Infra in 2018 is also maintained. Multiplied by the actual project ridership, this cost defines the annual costs paid by the ARTM to the project. In addition to being a competitive fare, in terms of operating costs, this fare also includes, within the framework of the REM, the long-term capital and maintenance costs, thus offering great predictability.

Performance targets maintained

  • In terms of performance, the targets set for CDPQ Infra at 8 to 9% and for the government at 3.7% are also maintained. Significant project progress and efficiency of execution (in five years, the project has progressed from just a project to a network that will be at least partially commissioned as early as next year) reduce project-related risks and help to optimize costs.
Progress report on the testing period

Since 2018, a test track was construct on the Rive-Sud branch to test all components and rolling stock for the future system. Completion of this 3.5 km segment in just three years demonstrates the quality of project execution and will allow the robustness of the network to be tested before the first users are welcomed.

Following a series of tests in a climatic chamber, which allowed the cars to be tested in extreme winter conditions, REM cars have been circulating on the South Shore since last winter, and more than 200 hours of tests have been conducted. More recently, the speed of the cars was increased to 90 km/h, and automation was tested. Ultimately, each REM car will have travelled more than 500 km before being put into service. In the coming weeks, a carousel will be installed near the Panama Station, which will accelerate the pace of these tests.

A detailed and technical presentation is available below:

O-Train Line 1 temporary closure to begin Thursday, June 17

There will be temporary service adjustments to O-Train Line 1 as Rideau Transit Group (RTG) undertakes remediation and maintenance work. Between Thursday, June 17 and Wednesday, June 30, O-Train Line 1 service will end each night at 7 pm, resuming at its normal time the following morning – 5 am on weekdays, 6 am on Saturdays and 8 am on Sundays.

Throughout the closure, R1 replacement bus service will start every night at 7 pm along the entire alignment, with frequent trips to provide enough space for physical distancing. Every morning, regular rail service on Line 1 will resume. The regular Line 1 schedule will resume on Thursday, July 1.

During this closure, RTG will use specialized equipment to perform rail grinding, install track lubricators and conduct track and rail maintenance that includes guideway material cleaning and inspections.

During rail grinding, nearby residents and transit customers might observe sparks and noise from the equipment. Once completed, nearby residents might notice a difference in the sound of passing trains for up to three weeks, but it is anticipated that noise and vibrations from train movements will improve as a result of this work, enhancing overall ride quality and customer comfort.

RTG will use this opportunity to install sound dampening blocks in the west end to reduce noise for nearby residents. They will complete the switch from propane to natural gas for switch heaters in the east end and complete a number of inspections and cleaning activities. RTG will also start removing propane tanks and remediation work.

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 staff will be available to assist customers throughout the temporary service closures.

Source : City of Ottawa

Government of Canada supporting the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport with new funding

Helping airports mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the Government of Canada's strategy to ensure that Canada's air transportation system provides Canadians with choice, connectivity and affordable air travel. Canada's world-leading network of airports has been put under substantial financial strain as a result of the dramatic decline in passenger travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Investments in airport infrastructure are crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, airport workers and surrounding communities.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, along with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, and the Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, the Honourable David McGuinty, announced new funding to help the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The Government of Canada is providing the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority with $6.4 million from Transport Canada's Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for the construction of a light rail transit (LRT) station at the airport. The government also remains committed to working with the Ottawa Airport to ensure this important project is seen through until completion.

The airport LRT station will be a three-story elevated structure connecting the airport terminal at the north end of Level 3 to the LRT station platform. The station will provide fully accessible connectivity for all users of the LRT who travel to and from the Ottawa Airport. Construction of the station is underway and is expected to be completed in summer 2022.

In addition to the funding for the LRT station, the Government of Canada is also providing the Airport Authority with $5,690,000 from Transport Canada's Airport Relief Fund to help the airport maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in the National Capital Region and surrounding communities.

Quotes
"As we move forward with the safe gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, both in Canada and internationally, in a way that continues to support the health, safety, and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. The construction of the light rail transit station at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport will reduce traffic congestion and improve accessibility and connectivity to the airport by offering an environmentally sustainable direct link between downtown Ottawa and the airport."
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"The integration of the Ottawa airport with the LRT will help get cars off the road, reduce emissions and build a better transit system for Ottawa residents and visitors alike. Recognizing challenges for the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport caused by COVID 19, and the importance for this project to go ahead as planned to create jobs and grow the economy, the Government of Canada providing additional funding of up to $6.4 million for the construction of the LRT station at the airport. In great news, once the second phase of the LRT is built, close to 80% of Ottawans will live within 5km of the LRT making it a critical investment in building a clean, livable city."
The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Infrastructure

"The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is a major local economic engine. The construction of the LRT station will ensure that YOW is better connected to our growing National Capital Region, making our community more resilient and sustainable. Through this funding, our government is investing in critical infrastructure that will create hundreds of jobs and help with our economic recovery."
The Honourable David McGuinty
Member of Parliament for Ottawa South

"Today's announcement and the confirmation of funding for the Airport Terminal Station is welcome news. It will help us fulfill our commitment to build the station and ensure that YOW's passengers, airport employees and surrounding communities are well served by reliable, predictable light rail service well into the future. Connecting the airport with the city centre and beyond by rail will be an important selling feature as the aviation and tourism industries recover and we work to bring major events and conferences back to Canada's Capital Region."
Mark Laroche
President and CEO
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority

Quick facts
  • The total cost of the airport LRT station is $16.9 million. The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority is the project manager and will provide the remaining funding for the project.
  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will distribute $489.6 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security or connectivity to mass transit systems.
  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, will provide $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.
  • The amount of funding to each targeted eligible Airport Relief Fund recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.
  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport's operations to ensure that the airport remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.
  • First introduced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program and the Airport Relief Fund are part of a federal stimulus recovery plan designed to build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient economy post-COVID-19.

Source : Transport Canada

Transit Commission meeting - June 16, 2021

Transit Commission approves report paving the way for OC Transpo's conversion to zero-emission bus fleet

The Transit Commission today approved a report, Zero-Emission Buses for OC Transpo, which provides a framework to explore the further electrification of OC Transpo's transit fleet. If approved at City Council on June 23, OC Transpo will negotiate an agreement with the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and seek funding from Infrastructure Canada that could result in 450 zero-emission buses phased into OC Transpo's bus fleet by 2027, with a full electrification of the bus fleet possible by 2036.

The agreement with the CIB and potential Infrastructure Canada funding will offset any added capital costs for OC Transpo's transition to battery-electric buses, and ensure the conversion is affordable under the City's Long-Range Financial Plan for transit. Energy supply and charging infrastructure for this transition will be supplied through an agreement with Hydro Ottawa.

Upon finalization of partner agreements, OC Transpo will recommend purchasing 74 40-foot battery-electric buses and charging infrastructure as part of the City's 2022 capital budget. These new buses would enter service in 2023 and join the four zero-emission electric buses that are expected to be in service later this year. As part of the report, OC Transpo also recommends that all future bus purchases should be for zero-emission buses, as long as they meet operational requirements and can be purchased in a way that is consistent with the City's Long-Range Financial Plan for transit.

The Transit Commission also received an update on O-Train Line 1 and bus service operations. Train service reliability remains high, and Rideau Transit Group (RTG) continues to make progress on its rectification plan. All remaining work will continue to be validated through a third-party independent assessment. A temporary service adjustment is taking place starting June 17 to perform track remediation work. Wheel inspection and replacement work also continues. The update also confirmed that ridership remained low in May, at 20 percent of normal levels, due to the stay-at-home order.

Finally, the Transit Commission received a report, 2021 Transit Operating and Capital Budget Q1 Status, indicating a $3.1M surplus for the first quarter of 2021, mainly due to lower than budgeted expenditures, as revenue shortfalls and additional expenditures due to COVID-19 are offset by federal-provincial Safe Restart Agreement (SRA) funding for transit.

Source : City of Ottawa


Meeting and Media Availability Audio

Transit Commission meeting - June 16, 2021
Media Availability - Transit Commission meeting - June 16, 2021

O-Train Line 1 & Bus Service Update


Zero-Emission Buses for OC Transpo

Additional O-Train Line 1 closure on Sunday, June 27

In addition to the nightly Line 1 service closures announced recently by OC Transpo, ending on July 1, O-Train Line 1 rail service will be replaced with bus service all day on Sunday, June 27. This will allow City staff to conduct proactive assessments and testing on OC Transpo's rail system technology, as required under the City's Technical Security Standards. In order to avoid a separate closure of the O-Train Line 1 system in the near future, and to further leverage a period of low ridership, this additional closure is being aligned with the temporary Line 1 service adjustment currently in place.

The current temporary service adjustment to O-Train Line 1 is being amended as follows:

  • From 7 pm until the end of service on Saturday June 26, and the entire day on June 27, O-Train Line 1 service will be replaced by R1 bus service. Rail service will resume June 28 at 5 am.

From June 28 to 30, Line 1 rail service will end each night at 7 pm and resume at its normal time the following morning. Throughout the closure, R1 replacement bus service will run along the entire alignment, with frequent trips to provide additional space for physical distancing.

Source : City of Ottawa

Algonquin Wayfinding Wheel unveiled at Pimisi O-Train Station

Earlier today, the first Algonquin Wayfinding Wheel installed in an O-Train Line 1 station was unveiled at Pimisi Station on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Designed by Algonquin artist Simon Brascoupé, Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, and inspired by the traditional four sacred directions, the Wayfinding Wheel reflects Algonquin culture and the history of the Algonquin territory. The Wayfinding Wheels are attached to boulders found in Algonquin territory from the beginning of time. They will be installed at all O-Train stations and at Ottawa City Hall along with plaques that describe the significance of the depicted animals and symbols to the Algonquin peoples.

The Wayfinding Wheel was designed through a participatory process involving Algonquin Elders and community members from Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, as well as representatives from the Algonquins of Ontario (AOO) organization. The design includes representations for all four compass directions and an orienting arrow that points north, along with important Algonquin symbols such as the canoe for transportation and animals that are important to the Algonquin peoples, including the moose in the centre of the design symbolizing food and strength.

Pimisi Station is near Chaudière Falls, also known as the Kana:tso or Akikodjiwan Falls. The surrounding area has been a significant meeting place between peoples in the region for millennia and the station design reflects the historical and current significance of the Algonquin peoples. "Pimisi" is the Algonquin (Omàmiwininìmowin) word for eel, which is sacred and has been considered a source of spirituality, medicine and nutrition for thousands of years.

Pimisi Station is a key access point to LeBreton Flats and the closest O-Train station to the new Ottawa Public Library-Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility, scheduled to open in late 2024. Elders from Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation led a blessing ceremony on the site in October 2020 prior to the start of construction.

O-Train Line 1 service began on September 14, 2019, on the 12.5-km line that connects 13 stations from Tunney's Pasture Station in the west to Blair Station in the east. It features underground stations, including Lyon, Parliament and Rideau in the downtown core.

The development and production of the Algonquin Wayfinding Wheels was funded through the Government of Canada Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) to help accelerate municipal investments to support the rehabilitation of transit systems, new capital projects, and planning and studies for future transit expansion to foster long-term transit plans.

Quotes

"The installation of artist Simon Brascoupé's Wayfinding Wheel at Pimisi Station, and LRT Stations across Ottawa, will provide a unique opportunity for travelers to engage with images and symbols that represent the culture and history of the Algonquin Anishinabeg people. As we all make our way through the Ottawa transit system, and go about our daily routines, this is a beautiful acknowledgement and reminder that we are on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people, and serves as a uniting symbol for travelers while highlighting the historical and contemporary importance of this people and place."

  • The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"The inclusion of Wayfinding Wheels at all O-Train stations honours the people and land of the Algonquin communities in Ontario and Quebec and provides transit users with a unique opportunity to increase their understanding of Indigenous heritage, culture and traditions."

- Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Ontario

"The installation of Wayfinding Wheels is respectful of traditional Algonquin territory, history and culture and provides general direction and orientation for travellers while subtly exposing them to meaningful Algonquin symbols. I am proud that the City of Ottawa is a partner in sharing this rich Algonquin culture with residents and visitors."

  • Mayor Jim Watson

"The design of the Wayfinding Wheel is an interpretation of what I heard and learned. The design is to help travellers' wayfinding in their journey on the land. The wheels are attached to boulders called Grandfathers that honour Algonquin history in the territory since the beginning of time."

  • Algonquin artist Simon Brascoupé

Video Resources

Please note, video resources were developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source : City of Ottawa

The Government of Canada is taking the first steps in preparing for the procurement process to build a new train service in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor

VIA Rail - HFR Announcement - July 6, 2021

The Government of Canada is committed to modernizing intercity passenger rail services in a way that will best meet the transportation needs of travellers, while also creating jobs and economic growth.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the President of the Treasury Board, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Joël Lightbound, the Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Infrastructure Bank, Ehren Cory, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Via Rail, Cynthia Garneau and the Mayor of Quebec, Régis Labeaume, announced the Government of Canada is taking the first steps in preparing for the procurement process to build a new train service in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor.

These steps include:

  • Engaging Indigenous groups and communities to obtain feedback on the project.
  • Engaging with the private sector to determine capacity, and seek perspectives on the best possible delivery model. The Government of Canada plans to finalize the delivery model and launch the process to select a private partner in the fall.
  • Accelerating dialogue with partner railways to negotiate dedicated routes in and out of city centres.

The request for proposal for the procurement process is expected to launch in fall 2021.

The High Frequency Rail proposal in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor involves building dedicated passenger rail tracks which would provide many key benefits to travellers, including:

  • shorter travel times and faster trains that would reduce average trip times between Toronto and Ottawa by up to 90 minutes;
  • more reliable on-time arrival performance up to 95 per cent from a current average of 67 per cent;
  • more direct routes with improved connectivity between cities and to other modes of transportation;
  • new services to certain communities, such as Peterborough, Trois-Rivières, and Laval, and new stations in targeted locations including near Jean Lesage Airport;
  • more frequent departures between cities; and
  • a cleaner travel option using electrified technology.

Working with VIA Rail, the High Frequency Rail proposal would be the largest transportation infrastructure project seen by Canada in decades, which is why the Government of Canada is doing its due diligence and undertaking a phased approach to put in place the right conditions to ensure the greatest amount of success for this project.

Quotes

"Canadians deserve a fast and reliable train service. Today, we are taking the first steps in preparing for the procurement process to build a new train service in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor. High Frequency Rail in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor is a massive transportation project with the potential to transform passenger rail service by offering faster, more reliable, more frequent, and cleaner transportation service."

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

"Today's announcement on the start of preliminary work and new resources for the Joint Project Office brings us one step closer to accomplishing this important project for our city and our region. In a few years, thousands of commuters will opt for this way of travelling, rather than by car or by plane, as it will be faster, more reliable, economical and environmentally sustainable."

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Québec

"Today, we are taking an important step towards the creation of High Frequency Rail in the Toronto to Quebec City corridor. Our government has been working relentlessly to move this major project forward as quickly as possible. It will serve as new pillar for regional economic development, while supporting labour mobility and green mobility."

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

"Not only would High Frequency Rail in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor provide a more convenient and greener travel option, but it would also help increase accessibility of our local businesses, create jobs and boost the economic growth in the Quebec region."

Joël Lightbound
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

"The Canada Infrastructure Bank is very pleased to continue our work related to the planning and procurement of enhanced passenger rail transportation in the Quebec City to Toronto corridor. We look forward to gaining further insight through market engagements with industry experts, rail-sector stakeholders and investors, as we collaborate with the Government of Canada on potential delivery models. We will bring our expertise in leveraging public, private and institutional investment to support the next steps to modernize intercity passenger rail."

Ehren Cory
CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank

"Since proposing High Frequency Rail more than five years ago, VIA Rail has been working tirelessly to ensure it becomes a reality. We are thus pleased with the decisive steps that have been announced as it brings us closer to that objective and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the federal government as a strong partner in delivering High Frequency Rail. It's time to provide Canadians with a nation-building, growth-generating and environmentally friendly project which will transform the way present and future generations live and travel."

Cynthia Garneau
VIA Rail Canada President and Chief Executive Officer

"With our focus firmly fixed on sustainable development, Quebec City eagerly welcomes the Government of Canada's decision to launch VIA Rail's proposal for a High Frequency Rail project, which will connect Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. In particular, this project will help contribute to environmentally sustainable economic recovery, while enhancing travellers' mobility and experience."

Mr. Régis Labeaume
The Mayor of Quebec

Quick facts
  • The Government of Canada has been working closely with VIA Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank to make significant progress in designing and planning an improved passenger rail service between Toronto and Quebec City that will deliver good value for taxpayers and better options for travellers.
  • A dedicated passenger track would allow a travel speed up to 177-200 kilometers per hour (or 110-124 miles per hour), which could result in reduced travel times of up to 90 minutes on some routes, such as Ottawa to Toronto.
  • It is expected that High Frequency Rail could nearly triple the amount of annual trips taken by rail in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor, rising from 4.8 million in 2019, to a projected 17 million by 2059.

Ongoing efforts for High Frequency Rail in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor

Backgrounder

As a result of having to share track owned primarily by freight rail companies, VIA Rail's services often experience longer journey times, slower speeds, limited trip frequency, and poor on-time performance, which ultimately constrains its operating and financial performance in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor.

In response to these challenges, VIA Rail submitted a proposal to the Government of Canada for High Frequency Rail in 2016.

Transport Canada, Infrastructure Canada, and Finance Canada have been working with VIA Rail and the Canada Infrastructure Bank to conduct an in-depth assessment of VIA Rail's proposal. The result of this work will help inform the Government of Canada's final investment decisions for the project.

Significant progress has been made in designing and planning an improved passenger rail service between Toronto and Quebec City that will deliver good value for taxpayers and better options for travellers.

In order to ensure there is sufficient rigour and robustness in the assessment of VIA Rail's High Frequency Rail proposal, the Government of Canada has been moving ahead with a phased and prudent approach to support its decision-making.

  • Budget 2016 provided $3.3 million over three years for Transport Canada to conduct an initial, in-depth assessment of VIA Rail's High Frequency Rail proposal.
  • Budget 2018 provided $8 million for Transport Canada to undertake foundational work to advance VIA Rail's proposal. This work supported further economic analysis of key issues, including: revenue and ridership projections along with estimates for capital and operating costs. This funding also went towards:
    • exploring opportunities to leverage private investment or a potential role for the Canada Infrastructure Bank; and
    • assessing some of the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the project.
  • A total of $71.1million was provided in 2019 to further explore VIA Rail's proposal. This included:
    • $55 million from Canada Infrastructure Bank to create a Joint Project Office, between the Canada Infrastructure Bank and VIA Rail, which has been focusing on key de-risking activities for the project (e.g., engaging with third parties for access to key urban areas, conducting geo-technical and surveying work to prepare for future assessments of environmental impacts, preparing to engage Canadians and Indigenous communities on the project, etc.).
    • $16.1million for Transport Canada and VIA Rail to support VIA Rail's contributions to the important work of the Joint Project Office. This also funded technical work to explore the options for interoperability and integration of high frequency rail with operating tracks used by local and regional transit providers in Montreal and Toronto.
  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide $4.4 million in 2021-2022 to Transport Canada and VIA Rail to support their work with the Joint Project Office, which would be used to complete the necessary analysis and assessment of options to reduce possible risks associated with a project of this magnitude.
  • In addition, Budget 2021 proposes to provide $491.2 million over six years, starting in 2021-2022, for infrastructure investments which would help VIA Rail take an important step towards transforming passenger rail service in the Toronto to Quebec City Corridor. These investments would support the project by reducing some existing bottlenecks and improving fluidity and connectivity in the nearer-term.
Source : Transport Canada

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.

TransLink to Undertake Major Upgrade to Burrard SkyTrain Station

TransLink today announced that it will be proceeding with a major upgrade to Burrard SkyTrain Station beginning in early 2022. The project will take approximately two years to complete and will require the closure of the station to allow the work to be done safely and more efficiently than were it to remain partially open during construction.

Burrard SkyTrain Station was originally built in 1985 and has not had a significant upgrade in its 36 years of operation. It is the fourth busiest station on the SkyTrain system and at peak times it is congested with only three escalators and one elevator to move people in and out. Station entrances are hard to access and the station will require upgrades to the electrical equipment in order to meet the power demands of the new station.

The upgrades to Burrard Station will:

  • Double the number of escalators and elevators to provide greater accessibility and relieve congestion on platforms and at the concourse level;
  • Relocate the Burrard Street entrance to align with the pedestrian crossing making it easier to get in and out of the station, and provide better access to buses along Dunsmuir;
  • Redesign the station's outdoor plaza to put pedestrian needs at the forefront; and,
  • Upgrade the station's power supply and mechanical systems.

"These significant upgrades are necessary to keep our transit system operating effectively and efficiently for our customers," said TransLink Interim CEO Gigi Chen-Kuo. "With more than 7.6 million annual boardings in 2019, Burrard Station is the fourth busiest station on our SkyTrain network. These upgrades will greatly improve the customer experience and as the region prepares to welcome one million new residents by the year 2050, this important project allows us to be prepared for additional future demand."

To best manage construction during these important upgrades, we will be closing Burrard Station for approximately two years starting in early 2022. Closing the station during construction:

  • Improves customer and worker safety by eliminating the risks of customer movement through a major, underground, active construction site;
  • Minimizes confusion associated with multiple changes to customer travel patterns through numerous complex phases of construction;
  • Reduces overall construction time for the project and therefore shortens impacts to customer travel by approximately two and a half years; and
  • Provides cost savings of approximately $35 million.

TransLink will work with the City of Vancouver, and local businesses and residents to minimize impacts while we complete these upgrades.

Based on pre-Covid ridership data, Waterfront and Granville Stations can accommodate the additional passenger flow during the Burrard Station closure. Additional bus service will also be added in the area to help minimize passenger impact.

To minimize impacts on our bus and HandyDART customers, bus service will remain largely the same throughout the construction period and HandyDART customers connecting to the Expo Line will have access at Waterfront Station.

As plans are finalized later this year, we will provide more details to help ready our customers for the start of construction in early 2022.

Statement by Minister Alghabra and the Parliamentary Secretary Martinez Ferrada to mark the eighth anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic rail tragedy

The Honourable Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport, and Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, have issued the following statement to mark the eighth anniversary of the tragedy that devastated the town of Lac–Mégantic and the surrounding municipalities:

"On July 6, 2013, the town of Lac-Mégantic fell victim to an unimaginable tragedy, the worst accident in the country's railroad history, which took the lives of 47 people and left families in mourning.

This tragedy sent shockwaves across Canada and will forever be etched in our country's collective memory.

Today, let us take a moment to reflect and remember this terrible accident that has forever left its mark on Lac-Mégantic.

This anniversary also reminds us of the importance of continuing our hard work aimed at making our rail system even safer for Canadians. Rail safety remains our top priority, and that of our department.

In addition, we will continue our efforts to ensure that the Lac-Mégantic rail bypass project moves forward as quickly as possible. This bypass is much more than just a rail infrastructure project. It is about supporting the rebuilding of the communities of Lac–Mégantic, Nantes and Frontenac. The project will continue to be a priority for the Government of Canada up until its full completion in 2023.

On this sombre anniversary, we want to reassure the people of Lac-Mégantic that we will continue to provide you with our unconditional support."

Source : Transport Canada

Minister of Transport releases statement launching public consultation to improve the safety culture within Canada’s railway industry

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, issued this statement regarding Transport Canada's latest efforts to improve the safety culture of Canada's rail industry:

"The Government of Canada is committed to the safety and security of communities across the country, which is why we continue to look for ways to improve rail safety.

"Today, Transport Canada launched a public consultation on the Let's Talk Transportation Web page to gauge views on improving the safety culture within Canada's rail industry.

"Safety culture comes from organizations developing shared values, actions and behaviours, along with a sense of collective responsibility and commitment to upholding the standard of safety.

"Transport Canada is committed to taking the lead on developing a safety culture policy statement for the railway industry in response to a recommendation from the 2018 Railway Safety Act review, recognizing that safety culture improvements must be driven by railway companies with support by the department.

"The draft policy statement is intended to open a dialogue and to encourage continued collaboration between Transport Canada, railway companies, industry associations, labour organizations and academia, while helping to position Canada's rail transportation system to meet the challenges of the next decade.

"We know that a positive safety culture is a key component of a safe railway system and a necessary factor for continuous improvement. Transport Canada will work with the rail industry and other key stakeholders towards a final safety culture policy statement for the Canada's rail industry, which provides a framework to help railway companies understand and address the challenges involved in building a good safety culture.

"Public consultation is a key component in developing a robust culture policy statement for Canada's railway industry.

"I encourage Canadians to provide feedback on the draft statement for Canada's rail industry, as every voice and opinion counts."

Source : Transport Canada

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

Minister of Transport releases statement launching public consultation to improve the safety culture within Canada’s railway industry

The Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, issued this statement regarding Transport Canada's latest efforts to improve the safety culture of Canada's rail industry:

"The Government of Canada is committed to the safety and security of communities across the country, which is why we continue to look for ways to improve rail safety.

"Today, Transport Canada launched a public consultation on the Let's Talk Transportation Web page to gauge views on improving the safety culture within Canada's rail industry.

"Safety culture comes from organizations developing shared values, actions and behaviours, along with a sense of collective responsibility and commitment to upholding the standard of safety.

"Transport Canada is committed to taking the lead on developing a safety culture policy statement for the railway industry in response to a recommendation from the 2018 Railway Safety Act review, recognizing that safety culture improvements must be driven by railway companies with support by the department.

"The draft policy statement is intended to open a dialogue and to encourage continued collaboration between Transport Canada, railway companies, industry associations, labour organizations and academia, while helping to position Canada's rail transportation system to meet the challenges of the next decade.

"We know that a positive safety culture is a key component of a safe railway system and a necessary factor for continuous improvement. Transport Canada will work with the rail industry and other key stakeholders towards a final safety culture policy statement for the Canada's rail industry, which provides a framework to help railway companies understand and address the challenges involved in building a good safety culture.

"Public consultation is a key component in developing a robust culture policy statement for Canada's railway industry.

"I encourage Canadians to provide feedback on the draft statement for Canada's rail industry, as every voice and opinion counts."

Source : Transport Canada

Keele becomes 53rd accessible subway station

Keele Station on Line 2 Bloor-Danforth has become the TTC's 53rd station to provide accessible access to the subway system.

The accessible station is served by two brand new elevators that connect street level to the subway platform level. Other improvements to the station include four sets of accessible sliding doors at the station, Presto-enabled accessible fare gates, improved signage, wayfinding and security features, reconstructed bus loop pavement and platform, and a new fire alarm system for the station.

"The opening of TTC's accessible Keele Station demonstrates our continued commitment to making the TTC accessible and equitable. As the TTC's 53rd accessible station and 21st station with elevators on Line 2, it underscores our city's longstanding commitment to serve residents of all abilities. Thank you to the TTC, the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit, and our partners who are working to ensure residents of all abilities can use public transit with dignity and ease," said Mayor John Tory.

"The TTC is working hard to make its vehicles, facilities and services more accessible for all passengers. By making Keele Station accessible, we are continuing the transformation toward becoming a barrier-free transit system," said TTC Chair Jaye Robinson.

"We are very pleased that Keele has become the latest accessible subway station in our system," said TTC CEO Rick Leary. "Improvements like this support the TTC's Family of Services model and give our customers the choice to use accessible, conventional transit services, such as the bus or subway."

Keele Station is now an easy and accessible connection point to the many excellent shops and restaurants in the Bloor West Village, St. Joseph's Health Centre by accessible bus and many neighbourhood points of interest.

The TTC thanks customers, residents and surrounding BIAs for their patience during construction as we work to improve transit in Toronto. The TTC also commends staff who worked to find and implement innovative solutions to the complicated task of installing elevators while maintaining service at this west-end subway station.

Easier Access work continues at the following stations: Donlands, College, Sherbourne, Yorkdale and Lansdowne. In 2021, the TTC is scheduled to begin Easier Access construction at nine more stations: Castle Frank, Christie, Glencairn, Greenwood, Lawrence, Museum, Rosedale, Spadina and Summerhill.

Accessibility improvements such as these support the TTC's Family of Services model, which gives Wheel-Trans customers the option to use accessible conventional transit services, such as buses, trains and low-floor streetcars. Family of Services is a part of the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy that aims to reimagine and transform the accessible public transit services that are delivered to customers with disabilities.

Source : TTC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

---

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

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

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

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

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

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

O-Train Line 1 Derailment - September 19, 2021

Story and Photos by David Bellerive.

To this day, the September 19th derailment is the most severe incident to occur on Line 1 since its opening two years ago. It occurred on the westbound track between Tremblay and Hurdman Stations. No injuries were reported from this incident.

A few hours after the derail, I was on-site and took the following pictures. Luckily, no one was injured, but it remains a considerably large incident. Police presence was spread throughout between Tremblay and Hurdman, with most of them located around the train, treating it as a possible crime scene with yellow cords to secure certain segments of tracks. 

At Tremblay station, ballast (rocks) were spread on the end of the platform, a concrete tie cracked (a really uncommon sight on a modern rail line, and a show of considerable stress being applied). 

After Tremblay, ballast was displaced, in addition to a lot of debris along the trackside, though I was unable to identify them. Getting closer to the Riverside Drive overpass, a concrete lid for utilities likely impacted on the trackside showing the momentum of the train. Further debris and ballast can be seen alongside as we get closer to the stopping point. 

During my visit, access to the train was limited, but it was easy to see the scale of the damage: signal box, signage, bogies and their covers... pieces spread and all. A large-scale cleanup and repair job will be needed to rehabilitate the track, and if possible, LRV 1121.

Memo: Rideau Transit Group - New Notice of Default

Please find attached a memo regarding a Notice of Default sent to Rideau Transit Group.

Source : City of Ottawa



September 19, 2021 - Derailment west of Tremblay Station.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sincerely,
Steve Kanellakos

Source : City of Ottawa

Memo: New General Manager Transit Services at OC Transpo

Please find attached a memo regarding the new General Manager of the Transit Services Department.

Renée Amilcar has been selected as the General Manager of the new Transit Services Department, effective October 18, 2021.

Source : City of Ottawa

Memo: Rail Safety Advisory Letter – August 8 Derailment

Please find attached a memo regarding a Rail Safety Advisory letter from the Transportation Safety Board.

Source : City of Ottawa


Bacteria-killing copper to be installed on Toronto and more Vancouver transit vehicles

Antimicrobial copper coatings are being installed on high-touch transit surfaces on Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) vehicles and more TransLink vehicles following a successful pilot phase that supports copper's ability to kill up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria on transit surfaces.

This new round of testing seeks to confirm those results from the first phase in Vancouver by evaluating copper surfaces on more transit vehicles over a longer duration of time across two different regions. For this phase, the medical microbiology teams at Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) and Mount Sinai Hospital/University Health Network will be undertaking regular bacteria testing, and VCH will be conducting laboratory testing on copper's ability to kill viruses in addition to bacteria.

This trial, fully funded by Teck Resources Limited (Teck) as part of its Copper & Health program, will outfit copper on high-touch surfaces on several TTC buses, subway cars, and streetcars, as well as several TransLink buses and SkyTrain cars.

TRIAL DETAILS

  • This trial will test three types of products including functional copper surface layers, copper alloys, and copper decals.
  • Copper products will be installed on buses, subway cars, and streetcars in the Greater Toronto Area as well as buses and SkyTrains in Metro Vancouver.
  • Samples will be analyzed from copper surfaces as well as non-copper surfaces on transit by VCH's medical microbiology team, supported by Mount Sinai Hospital/University Health Network in Toronto and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
    • These tests will occur every two months over a one-year period.
  • Researchers from the University of British Columbia will also test and analyze the durability of the three products as they age over the course of the year.
  • This trial is being conducted at no cost to either transit service

The results of this trial could improve understanding of options for infection prevention for the transit industry and other industries that rely on shared public spaces.

The project is the result of a partnership between Teck Resources Limited, Toronto Transit Commission, TransLink, Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), Mount Sinai Hospital/University Health Network, the Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction (CHAIR), UBC Department of Materials Engineering, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, and Westech Cleaning Audit Systems. The trial follows preceding studies conducted by the Infection Prevention and Control team at VCH that have shown copper to be highly durable and effective at killing bacteria in laboratory and healthcare settings.

FAST FACTS

  • Copper is the only solid metal touch surface registered as a public health product by Health Canada and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, proven to naturally eliminate up to 99.9% of bacteria.
  • During Phase One's five-week trial period, more than 1,140 samples were collected and analyzed by VCH at Vancouver General Hospital and at the University of British Columbia.
    • The trial supported copper's ability to kill up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria on transit surfaces.

QUOTES

Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck –
"I want to thank the TTC, TransLink and all partners for their leadership in making our communities safer using antimicrobial copper on transit. Through our Copper & Health program, Teck is working with numerous organizations to leverage copper's unique antimicrobial properties and enhance public health and safety."

Kevin Quinn, TransLink CEO –
"The pandemic has taught us to be bold and innovative to continue meeting the needs of our customers. Through this copper pilot, we have partnered with healthcare professionals to find creative ways to make transit cleaner and safer for our customers, and we've found that copper can kill up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria on transit surfaces so far. We're so excited to have our industry-leading pilot expand nationally to learn more about copper's potential health benefits on transit."

Richard J. Leary, Toronto Transit Commission CEO –
"Safety has always been the top priority for the TTC – and it's important that both our employees and customers feel safe every time they're on one of our vehicles. Participating in a pilot like this with our hospital partners is a real opportunity to look at new ways to curb the spread of infection. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of innovating and planning for the future. I'm proud that the TTC is working with Teck to do just that."

Dr. Marthe Charles, Medical Microbiologist, Vancouver Coastal Health –
"Gaining a better understanding of the effectiveness and feasibility of using copper to kill bacteria on frequently-touched surfaces has implications that are far reaching. We are grateful for industry partners like Teck, TransLink and the Toronto Transit Commission which are supporting research that could decrease our society's exposure to potential pathogens on transit and in public spaces for years to come."

Dr. Tony Mazzulli, Microbiologist-in-Chief, Sinai Health/University Health Network –
"If this study confirms the results of the initial first phase study conducted in Vancouver showing the effectiveness of copper to kill 99.9% of bacteria, which I believe it will, it will open up the potential for its use in a broad range of settings where there are high touch surfaces. The potential impact of this at reducing the spread of infections from surfaces will be tremendous."

Angela Chapman, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation –
"Vancouver Coastal Health's Infection Prevention & Control leaders are among the best in the world and we are thrilled to see their important research project expand across the country. Donor support is vital to accelerate and expand projects like this copper trial and we're grateful to Teck for continuing to fund this vital research."

MORE INFORMATION:

Coppersaveslives.com
Vancouver Coastal Health copper pilot webpage
TransLink Pilot Video

Source : TransLink

Memo: Retention of independent safety expert (TRA)

Please find attached a memo regarding the retention of an independent third-party safety expert to ensure Rideau Transit Group (RTG) implements a safe return to service of the O-Train Confederation Line 1.

Source : City of Ottawa

Côte-Vertu garage project awarded the highest distinction in sustainable development for major infrastructure projects

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) was awarded a Platinum Envision recognition for the Côte-Vertu garage project, a first in Canada for a public transit project.

"Today, communities request that infrastructure be built with a view to protect the environment and to promote the well-being of society, while stimulating the economy. The Platinum Award—the first in Canada for a public transit project—demonstrates that the STM has the expertise to deliver large-scale projects with maximum benefits to the community," said Luc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.

Some aspects of the project that were instrumental in achieving this recognition include:

Mobility and urban planning:

  • Conversion of a contaminated wastelot into a new public area, with a future development opportunity on the southern side of the main site
  • Architectural quality and urban integration facilitating the connectivity between sectors and improving community travel

Worksite impact management:

The choice of materials resulted in:

  • A 26% reduction of the materials carbon footprint
  • A recycled materials threshold of 41%
  • 87% of materials meeting responsible procurement criteria

Environmental footprint:

  • LED lights and heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems designed to attain 49% in energy savings compared to conventional designs
  • Implementation of bioretention systems and a green roof
  • Species selected for the various landscaping projects for being resilient, pesticide and fertilizer-free, and conducive to biodiversity

"Receiving the Envision recognition is a great accomplishment for the project team, as all sustainability aspects of the project were analyzed to integrate best practices and to follow them meticulously during design and construction. The project required a lot of effort and rigour and I congratulate my team for their hard work," said Sylvain Paquet, Senior Project Director.

About Envision

The platinum recognition is the highest distinction awarded by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). Envision is the top sustainable development tool in North America for major infrastructure projects.

About the Côte-Vertu garage project

Launched in 2017, the Côte-Vertu garage project involves building an underground garage to house ten additional métro trains, as well as three above-ground buildings needed to operate the garage.

The balancing out of the number of train storage spaces at each end of the Orange line will provide operational flexibility for adding trains (up to 25% improved frequency on the Orange line at peak periods), support the expected growth in ridership in the coming years and increase the offer of service to keep pace with the extension of the Blue line.

The garage commissioning is planned for 2022. This major project is funded by the governments of Québec and Canada.

Project details: https://www.stm.info/en/about/major_projects/major-metro-projects/cote-vertu-garage

Source : STM

Final pieces of trackwork being installed at Eglinton Station for Crosstown LRT project

The Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit project has seen some key advances recently – and we have the shots. Take a look at what's new on the tracks at Eglinton Station, as well as important work near Toronto's Brentcliffe Road.

We're starting this Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) update by tracking the, well, tracks.

The latest images taken around Eglinton Station show the final pieces of trackwork for the project are now being installed.

Installation of the overhead catenary system (the wires that power the trains), train signals, communications systems and other features to enable safe train movement will continue into 2022.

By the end of the year, rail will run continuously from the Maintenance and Storage Facility, located on the site of the former Kodak lands, to Kennedy Station.

Meanwhile, another progress photo shows structural work is now complete on a retaining wall just east of Brentcliffe Road. Crews are installing the geogrid and planting new greenery.

And along the surface-level section of the Crosstown LRT, restoration work continues on the streetscape, including tree planting and the ongoing installation of green track-beds, which will cover 60 per cent of the area between Brentcliffe and Ionview.

Source and Photos : Metrolinx

Memo: Judicial Inquiry

Please find attached a memo regarding a motion requesting that a Judge of the Superior Court of Justice initiate a "judicial inquiry" on a number of issues related to the City's Light Rail Transit system.

Source : City of Ottawa



Ottawa Transit Commission meeting - October 20, 2021

OC Transpo provides an update on O-Train Line 1 return-to-service plan and reports on its performance measures for July 2020 to June 2021

Today, Transit Commission received an update on plans to safely return O-Train Line 1 to service after a September 19 derailment resulted in the suspension of Line 1 service. Staff confirmed that Rideau Transit Group (RTG) submitted a return-to-service plan to the City on October 15, targeting a partial return to service of seven trains beginning on November 1. RTG's timelines for resumption of Line 1 service will be confirmed pending independent validation by Transportation Research Associates (TRA), a third-party safety expert retained by the City, in coordination with the City's Regulatory Monitoring and Compliance Officer (RMCO).

Staff also outlined the response framework, communications approach, and preliminary findings from the September 19 derailment and provided a status update on the root cause investigations into both the August 8 and September 19 Line 1 derailments. The Commission was also updated on the ongoing monitoring of reliability and technical issues previously identified on Line 1 and was provided with a status on the outstanding elements of RTG's rectification plan. The update also included an overview of the R1 replacement bus service operating during the Line 1 service disruption.

The Transit Commission carried a motion to extend the maximum transfer time for OC Transpo conventional bus service by 60 minutes, until such time that R1 bus replacement service is no longer required, with timing for this change to be confirmed by staff to Members of Council and Transit Commission. The motion will be considered at City Council on October 27.

OC Transpo also provided the Transit Commission with the second of its twice-annual performance reports for the period from July 2020 to June 2021. These performance metrics include customer safety, ridership, customer service, and service reliability.

Source : City of Ottawa


Audio Recordings of the Meeting and Media Availability

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - October 20, 2021 - PART 1
Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - October 20, 2021 - PART 2
Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - October 20, 2021 - Media Availability

O-Train Confederation Line 1 Update


OC Transpo Performance Measurement and Reporting - July 2020 through June 2021 


TRA - Confederation Line Safe Return to Service Presentation to Transit Commission October 20, 2021

Memo: Rideau Transit Group proposed full return-to-service, November 29, 2021

The purpose of this memo is to advise the Mayor and Members of Council and the Transit Commission that the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) has informed the City that full-service resumption is anticipated by Monday, November 29, and to provide you with further details on RTG's plan to safely return the O-Train Confederation Line 1 into service following the September 19 derailment.

We can advise that significant progress has been made to prepare for the resumption of partial Line 1 service since the Transit Commission was updated last Wednesday. Additional RTG technicians have been deployed to inspect the trains and conduct necessary work to relaunch the system. The independent rail safety expert, Transportation Research Associates (TRA), is actively monitoring their progress. 

Partial service resumption (seven trains plus one spare) remains on-target to resume within the first two weeks of November, consistent with what was anticipated and presented in the last updates to the Commission and City Council. 

As part of the partial return-to-service plan and to validate repairs to the infrastructure, some test trains will operate on portions of the system later this week. These preliminary test trains will be used to verify correct operation of the trains and the infrastructure that was repaired. A further memo will be issued to Council before testing on track commences. 

As a reminder, the base service plan for Line 1 requires 15 trains for the morning peak period, 13 trains for afternoon peak period, and a range of vehicles at other times of the day. RTG's proposed timeline for the availability of 32 vehicles (15 trains plus one spare) is conditional on the acceptance of their workplan by TRA, timely execution of the inspection program, validation of the work completed on the vehicle fleet and acceptance by the City. 

The City has made clear to RTG that the O-Train Confederation Line 1 will only return to service once TRA completes their assessment, and the City accepts their recommendations. Once partial Line 1 service resumes, RTG will continue to inspect the remainder of the fleet. LRT service will incrementally increase as more vehicles are cleared for service, ultimately growing the service to full deployment (16 trains/32 vehicles) for Line 1 by November 29. 

The November 29 date provided by RTG is a target and is subject to validation of the vehicle inspection program by TRA and the City. Accordingly, staff anticipates a return to full service is achievable by mid-December. I will continue to provide you with updates as they become available. 

Steve Kanellakos, City Manager

Source : City of Ottawa

Memo: Update on Rideau Transit Group return-to-service plan: start of testing

The purpose of this memo is to confirm that some test trains will begin operating on portions of the system this afternoon. 

Progress continues to be made towards restoring partial Line 1 service. Under the oversight and ongoing monitoring of the independent rail safety expert, Transportation Research Associates (TRA), RTG technicians have been deployed to the site to perform critical activities including train inspections and tasks related to relaunching service on the system. 

Prior to service resumption, the entire system will undergo a robust testing regime with three main areas of focus: 

  • track and infrastructure 
  • train testing 
  • full system-wide tests 
This testing period will commence today and continue throughout the following weeks leading up to the resumption of partial service, anticipated to launch in the first two weeks of November. Throughout this testing period, customers will see trains running at different speeds, on different sections of the track, and stopped for long periods of time. Trains will sometimes run the entire track from end-to-end and at other times may only run for short distances on the line. Trains will also often cross over between the two tracks on the line. At times, many technicians will also be on the line as they perform inspections of all components of the track and rail infrastructure. 

This testing will be critical to allow TRA, RTG and the City to confirm that all the repairs on the trains, track and the infrastructure meet the quality standards required for a safe return to service and continued operations of Line 1. As previously communicated, TRA has performed their preliminary assessment of the situation and they are now in the process of developing their own detailed workplan following the receipt of RTG's proposed return-to-service date and associated workplan.

Original signed by Renée Amilcar  

Memo: Replacement of Independent Safety Expert for O-Train Confederation Line 1

Please find attached a memo regarding the replacement of independent safety expert for O-Train Confederation Line 1.

Source : City of Ottawa

O-Train Line 1 - Testing in anticipation of a return to service - October 28, 2021

O-Train Line 1 is currently undergoing testing to verify repairs and safety prior to it returning to service, anticipated for early November. This video shows some of the testing taking place on October 28th at Tremblay Station. LRVs 1115-1110 were operating continuously back and forth along an approximately 500-metre length of the westbound track, to verify the repairs that were undertaken on the track and guideway, following the September 19th derailment.

The testing period commenced yesterday and will continue throughout the following weeks leading up to the resumption of partial service, anticipated to launch in the first two weeks of November. Throughout this testing period, it will be possible to see trains running at different speeds, on different sections of the track, and stopped for long periods of time. Trains will sometimes run the entire track from end-to-end and at other times may only run for short distances on the line. Trains will also often cross over between the two tracks on the line. At times, many technicians will also be on the line as they perform inspections of all components of the track and rail infrastructure.

This testing will be critical to allow TRA, RTG and the City to confirm that all the repairs on the trains, track and the infrastructure meet the quality standards required for a safe return to service and continued operations of Line 1. As previously communicated, TRA has performed their preliminary assessment of the situation and they are now in the process of developing their own detailed workplan following the receipt of RTG's proposed return-to-service date and associated workplan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Further updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

Source : City of Ottawa

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

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

Steve Kanellakos, City Manager

Source : City of Ottawa


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Rafael Santana, Wabtec President and Chief Executive Officer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source : CN Rail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about CP's sustainability initiatives, visit sustainability.cpr.ca.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source : CP

Memo: Retention of Independent Safety Expert for O-Train Confederation Line 1 (STV)

Please find attached a memo regarding an update on actions that staff are taking to ensure Rideau Transit Group implements a safe return to service of the O-Train Confederation Line 1 after the derailment on September 19, 2021.

Source : City of Ottawa

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - November 17, 2021

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

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

The 2022 Draft Budget includes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source : City of Ottawa


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

Ottawa Transit Commission Meeting - November 17, 2021

Audio Recording from Media Availability

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

O-Train Confederation Line 1 Update

Statement from Minister Mulroney Ottawa O-Train public inquiry

Statement by Minister Mulroney

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

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


Audio Recording from Media Availability on November 18, 2021

Minister Caroline Mulroney - Media Availability - November 18, 2021

Toronto Railway Museum (TRM) To Host Virtual Lecture Event, “Through The Window Of A Train: Hilarious, Hazardous, And Historical Memories From The Steam Era”

I am excited to share details on the seventh installment of Toronto Railway Museum's next virtual lecture event on Wednesday, October 20th at 8 pm, as we reminisce with stories from the steam era.

Presented with author Barbara Lange, attendees will hear a selection of short stories from 30 writers about their time working, travelling, and living during the bygone steam era. Relive the often hilarious, hazardous, historical, and romantic moments on the rails at this month's online lecture. There will also be a live Q&A and chances to win prizes!

Source : TRM

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

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

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

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


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


Sincerely,


Steve Kanellakos

Source : City of Ottawa