The Canadian Federal Government is funding light rail projects in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto, but at $600-million, Ottawa the nation’s capital is receiving more federal aid for its light rail project expansion than any other city.

Now in November 2018, this new Light Rail was set for opening but this is postponed to early 2019.

Finally the Ottawa Light Rail Project is Moving

More than a decade in the planning, with numerous stops and starts, Ottawa is finally pushing ahead with the project in the hope was that at least the downtown stage was going to be completed in time for Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. But this didn’t happen. Now it is November 2018 and the line is still not completed or opened. In the video above you can see that the testing is still happening.

Ottawa is a city of more that 1 million. It’s traffic problems are legendary and the main highway the 417 Queensway reduces to a crawl every rush hour in spite of recent improvements and residents who select the bus often find themselves caught in traffic jams as all routes to the suburbs squeeze the same downtown streets.

In the winter time, with freezing temps. All of the trucks, busses and cars whirls up dust into the air which in many cases can be poison for many sorts of people. Especially for those having Asthma. So, it is great to see Ottawa trying to do something.

Maybe the city would need a better city planner or someone from Germany helping them out?

A 3km tunnel is soon to be constructed

Plans are now moving ahead and they have managed to bore a 3km tunnel just blocks from Parliament Hill as Ottawa joins other Canadian cities in hoping light rail is the answer to downtown traffic jams and intense commuter frustration.

The $2.1-billion construction project was scheduled to run right through Canada’s 150th-birthday celebrations, wrapping up a year after the 2017 festivities. But building such project takes time and so its all postponed.  But the near is now nearer than ever as the test runs is running.

Soon the new Ottawa Light Rail project will open and then things will improve. Just look to Dublin in Ireland or Bergen in Norway. Here the light rail openings have improved the air in them and also reduced the traffic by up to 40% in the areas where the light rail lines goes.

Tunnel Links New areas in Ottawa

The 12.5-km LRT route links Tunney’s Pasture and Blair station. There are 13 new Light Rail stations, including at least three underground stations in the tunnel. The tunnel portion of the project is around 3.2km long with estimated costs for the tunnel reaching $735 million. It might sound high now, but after 2-3 years. These costs will be seen at as worthy money spent.

Outdoor stations are chosen to be enclosed to protect passengers from Ottawa’s harsh winter weather, which is something that Bergen in Norway is lacking!!!

Preliminary station designs have recommended building the lower part of the enclosures with wood as a characteristic trait that pays homage to Ottawa’s history as a lumber town. The two main themes, innovation and environment, will be applied to the design of the stations.

Ottawa Light Rail route will have selected artwork

The city council is dedicated to having an open and transparent procedure to select artwork that will be displayed along the entire route. The hope is that there might be station-specific topics, such as an Algonquin topic proposed for LeBreton station and gallery theme for Rideau station.

The city council believes light rail line costs in total will be about $981 million to run over the first 30 years all funded by the city. Forecasts have indicated up to $100 million in annual savings starting in the first year of service, with buses being replaced with trains as OC Transport revises the bus network. The city also claims the project will reduce downtown bus traffic and reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 38,000 tonnes per year.

Rolling stock from Bombardier

The existing light rail line uses Bombardier Talent DMU trains today. And as the City of Ottawa prepares to spend billions that probably puts Bombardier on the inside track in the purchase of rolling stock for the new light-rail system.

As the Ottawa Talent is not certified for simultaneous passenger freight shared-track operation,, freight traffic is not permitted on the O-Train’s route while passenger services are running. Although it is still legally classified as a main-line railway, Transport Canada allow the O-Train to use One-Person Train Operation, with fares collected through a proof-of-payment system.

German rolling Light Rail trains in Ottawa

Bombardier Talent DMU trains are a derivative of trains originally developed by Waggonfabrik Talbot in Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany just before Bombardier purchased the company in 1995. The name Talent is an acronym in German for TALbot LEichter Nahverkehrs Triebwagen (English translation: Talbot light suburban motor-coach). It comes in a number of variations: high-floor, low-floor, diesel-mechanical, diesel-hydraulic, diesel-electric, electric, and tilting. Usually with two, three, or four carriages.

The Talent is an articulated railcar with shared jacobs bogies. The interior is to all intents and a purpose is a single, extended cabin where you walk from end to the other without opening doors. However a Talent unit cannot be easily disassembled or reshuffled without the aid of a railway yard because of the shared bogies.

After a prototype was presented in 1994, the first Talents entered service in 1996. They are used by mainline railways in Germany, Austria and Norway and more than 260 are in service worldwide.

If you live in Ottawa. Distrita is interested to know what you think of this new Light Rail project? It seems like it’s taken some time to construct.


Source: Distrita Own Experience, Wikipedia