LRT should return to full service by mid-December, city says

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Emergency vehicles are parked near the scene of the Sept. 19 derailment near Tremblay station. City manager Steve Kanellakos says it's now expected full service on the Confederation Line will resume no earlier than the middle of December. (Nicholas Cleroux/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Emergency vehicles are parked near the scene of the Sept. 19 derailment near Tremblay station. City manager Steve Kanellakos says it's now expected full service on the Confederation Line will resume no earlier than the middle of December. (Nicholas Cleroux/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Ottawa's Confederation light rail line should be fully up and running again by mid-December, roughly three months after it was shut down when a train derailed, according to the city.

In a Tuesday memo to council and transit commission, city manager Steve Kanellakos said the line's builder, Rideau Transit Group (RTG), had pegged Monday, Nov. 29 as the likely date it could have the LRT line completely back in service.

However, that would still require approval from both the city and Transportation Research Associates (TRA), a U.S.-based rail safety expert hired to review any plans to get trains carrying passengers again.

"The Nov. 29 date provided by RTG is a target and is subject to validation of the vehicle inspection program by TRA and the City," Kanellakos wrote.

"Accordingly, staff anticipates a return to full service is achievable by mid-December."

Here's how long LRT has been off the rails

Partial return still set for mid-November

Trains have not been running since Sept. 19, when one carrying 12 passengers became dislodged near Tremblay station, travelling across a rail bridge with one wheel off the track before finally coming to a stop.

It was the second derailment on the line in less than six weeks. Both derailments are being investigated by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Kanellakos said a partial return to service, involving up to seven trains and one spare, was still in the cards for the first two weeks of November.

Some test trains are expected to run along parts of the LRT network later this week, he wrote.

RTG's plan to once again run 15 trains plus a spare will ultimately depend 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," Kanellakos said in the memo.

City council has already voted in favour of free transit in December, should the trains be in operation by then.

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