The towing effort of the LRT fails, further damaging the aerial cable and extending the shutdown
The partial closure of the LRT continues for a third day on Saturday morning as repair efforts further damaged the system for the third time since the breakdown.
According to the latest update from OC Transpo, as of Saturday morning, Confederation Line trains are still running on two loops: between Blair and Tremblay stations in the east and between Tunney’s Pasture and uOttawa stations in the west.
The R1 bus service remains in effect between St-Laurent and Rideau stations.
OC Transpo does not yet have an estimated time to restore full service.
In an update, transportation services general manager Renée Amilcar said crews successfully cleared the ice from the overhead wires Friday night.
But when Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) sent a train at low speed to move one of the immobilized trains, it caused additional damage to the overhead cable, Amilcar wrote.
A third attempt at repair caused more damage
After the initial shutdown, the wire was damaged for the first time on Thursday when crews tried to move one of the trains running from Lees station to a maintenance facility.
Saturday morning’s towing attempt was the second time since then that RTM had sent a train on that stretch of track and the second time it caused wire damage.
RTM sent a train for the first time with a special attachment called a winter carbon strip to remove ice from the overhead wire. The train was not clearing the ice buildup and caused further damage to a short section of the wire, which Amilcar said would require repairs.
“The RTM is now conducting a thorough inspection of the entire OCS section [Overhead Catenary System] Before further attempts are made to get trains in and out of that area,” Amilcar wrote on Saturday.
Amilcar added that OC Transpo is putting in “additional outside oversight” to closely monitor RTM’s work. New custodian OC Transpo hired TRA Inc. in October 2021. will form the supervisory company.
Here is the latest information update available:
⚠️1. Line: Train service is operating between Blair and Tremblay stations in the east and Tunney’s Pasture and uOttawa stations in the west.
➡️ R1 service St. It is operating between Laurent and Rideau stations.
An “inordinate” number of incidents.
Stuart MacKay, board member of the transit advocacy group Ottawa Transit Riders, believes a “disproportionate” number of incidents have occurred between uOttawa and Tremblay stations.
“I think we need to start asking serious questions about that stretch of track,” MacKay said. “Are we doing everything in terms of preventative measures?”
Regular LRT commuter Gabriel White was forced to take an R1 replacement bus on his way to work on Saturday.
Speaking to the CBC at a bus stop outside the Rideau Centre, White said the train will run from Gatineau to St. That it is an important part of his regular commute to the Laurent Shopping Center.
“I depend on these trains a lot,” he said. “They need to get the train running again. It’s more efficient, and it’s more time saving.”
Out of service since Wednesday
Two out-of-service trains near Lees station have blocked the section of the track between uOttawa and Hurdman stations since Wednesday night.
The series of cascading problems was revealed in city statements and a Friday evening press conference by the CEO of the track maintenance team.
A freezing rain warning was issued Wednesday night after ice began falling at the international airport by 10 p.m., according to Environment Canada.
Video tweeted after 11pm showed bright flashes and sparks around the system near the Hurdman station, which the city said can occur in severe weather and are not necessarily a safety hazard.
Two trains stopped between Lees and Hurdman stations around 11.45pm on Wednesday. Amilcar said at the time that the outage was due to ice build-up in the power system.
Rideau Transit Maintenance General Manager Mario Guerra said when the trains stopped, more ice built up on the equipment preventing the trains from going through.
Guerra said after the ice is cleared on Friday — which has now happened — the electrical system should be repaired, the two stalled trains removed and the system tested to make sure the trains can run safely.
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