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Ottawa joins the list of Canadian light rail cities

Ottawa's CAD 2.1bn 12.5km east-west Confederation line 1 from Blair to Tunney Pasture finally started carrying passengers at 13.45 on 14 September after ceremonies at 10.00. The segregated line, approved in 2010, includes a 2.5km subway under the city centre Queen Street with stations at Rideau, Parliament and Lyon. CAD 600M has come from the province of Ontario and CAN 1bn from the federal government.

Earlier, on 23 August, the Mayor Jim Watson had symbolically accepted the keys to the line from the development consortium Rideau Transit Group (SNC-Lavalin. ACS Infrastructure, Alstom, Scotiabank) that was awarded the build contract in December 2012. Service runs from 05.00 to 01.00 Monday-Thursday, to 02.00 on Friday and Saturday and 08.00-23.00 on Sunday. 34 double-ended 48m Alstom Citadis Spirit LRVs (based on the European Citadis Dualis) have been delivered at a cost of CAD 400M, and peak service requires 15 two-car trains operating from Belfast yards in St-Laurent. There is interchange with the diesel operation Trllium light rail line at Bayview. Thales has supplied to Communication-Based Train Control system.

Work has already started on a CAD 2.5bn project to extend the line at both ends using SNC-Lavalin again, 10km from Blair to Place d'Orléans (option a further 3.5km to Traim) and from Tunney's Pasture 13.5km to Bayshore and Baseline, hopefully for completion in 2023. 38 more Alstom LRVs will be supplied by 2021.

17 September 2019

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