Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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LRT shutdown update - July 18

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Good afternoon, Kitchissippi. Below you'll find an update with respect to the current LRT shutdown from Renée Amilcar, head of OC Transpo. I listened to the press conference this afternoon and it's clear that the shutdown will extend at least into tomorrow if not longer. You can watch the press conference recording below. I think the update speaks for itself, but there is considerable uncertainty still this afternoon as we wait for timelines on further testing and analysis on top of inspections. I'm encouraged that trains are passing their inspections, but OC is taking no risks and clearly wants answers as to what happened to the one train they've found so far with bearing issue.

I am following up with OC Transpo with additional questions and will pass on what I learn as I learn it. In the meantime, even if you don't take LRT remember be aware that providing R1 capacity will affect other bus trips in the system. Check before you leave to ensure your trip is running as usual.

Good afternoon, Mayor and Members of Council,

I am writing to provide an update regarding our current service levels and ongoing investigation. 

Currently, OC Transpo is providing the following service levels to our customers:

  • R1 bus service will continue to run between Tunney’s Pasture and Blair station
  • Similarly, to this morning, for the afternoon peak service, 28 buses will be in operation providing service every 5 minutes.
  • Currently, service is running well, and our Transit Operations Control Centre is monitoring demand and adjusting where possible
  • Staff continue to be at stations supporting customers during their trip

Customers can expect until further notice that:

  • R1 service will continue to operate from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station
  • R1 service will start at 5:00 am and operate until 1:00 am
  • We will continue to have staff at stations to support customers and share updates on social media and on our website as they become available
  • We know that customers encountered some crowding at stations and our Transit Operations Control Centre is reviewing possible mitigation strategies 

There are currently three key areas of work relating to the ongoing investigation:

  • Inspections:

A track inspection from end to end has been completed, with no issues found

Later today, a geometrical rail inspection will take place. This inspection will take measurements of key rail infrastructure, like the distance between rails and other key metrics  

Currently, every axle on every train is being inspected. Vehicle inspections are looking for excess grease and if the wear and tear on the axle is above the expected amount. There have been 5 trains inspected, and no issues have been identified

Instrumented Bogie Tests:

  • Customers may see a train on the track throughout the day. This train is not in service but is equipped with specialized tools to measure the forces and loads on the axles of the train. This provides key data to understand the wear and tear that the wheel hub assembly of the trains may be experiencing and provides the information required to determine root cause and the conditions necessary for a safe return to service.

Return to Service Plan:

  • RTG, Alstom and the City are working on scenarios to resume passenger service
  • Alstom is working to establish the requirements of the safety regime that will allow passenger service to resume
  • All axle hubs will be inspected and data from instrumented bogie testing will be analyzed prior to the return to service plan being finalized. The team is working around the clock to expedite this work.

Additional progress is required in these three key areas before an expected time for safe resumption of service can be provided.

I know that this is a frustrating experience for customers. Our number one priority is the safety of our customers and staff and no shortcuts will be taken.

Many thanks,

Renée Amilcar

General Manager, Transit Services Department

Directrice générale, Services de transport en commun


Posted July 18, 2023