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OC Transpo will still not commit to opening date for Trillium Line

OC Transpo officials say there are still several hurdles to clear before service begins on the Trillium Line, as construction and testing continues on Ottawa’s new north-south rail line.

The media was invited to tour construction on the new line that will run between Bayview Station and Riverside South, with a spur to the Ottawa International Airport on Thursday. OC Transpo says work has progressed to allow it to run vehicles seven days a week as construction nears the finish line.

Ottawa’s director of rail construction Michael Morgan says six to eight weeks of training and testing will be required once operator training is complete. Morgan won’t commit to the LRT line opening by September.

“We’re still finishing training,” Morgan told reporters on Thursday morning.

“Training is intended to wrap up in the first or second week of June, from there we’re really going to go to the full service schedule. Once we’re at the full service schedule that will give us the opportunity to really test the maintainer on the overnight period to make sure we do the inspections, the vehicle cleaning and refuelling during that tight window – we need to be in that for a period of time.”

“Once we have confidence that we are going to pass trial running, we would enter trial running. Trial running is three weeks; from that point we would make a decision about opening.”

The transit service plans to train a total of 70 rail operators, who will each have to complete 150 hours of on-the-job training. The maintenance contractor will also need to “practice cleaning, refueling and inspecting trains during the overnight period,” the transit service says.

OC Transpo says nine vehicles are currently running “as frequently as possible” to identify reliability and performance issues with the trains, systems and processes.

O-Train Line 2 was originally scheduled to open in August 2022, but has been delayed several times.  In February, staff suggested trial running could begin in May, with launch at the end of June or early July.

A report for the light-rail transit sub-committee this spring showed the window for trial operations and passenger service launch between May and September.

Councillors will receive an update on construction during a joint meeting of the transit commission and the LRT-sub commitee on May 31.

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