RTG falls two trains short of deadline
The Rideau Transit Group could get only 13 double-car trains on the Confederation Line at one time on Tuesday, not the 15 trains directed by the city.
However, the city acknowledges that all trains must go through a rigorous wheel inspection regime, which is why two trains can’t be on the line for peak-period service.
As part of a notice of contract default issued to RTG in March, the city ordered the rail contractor to have 15 trains available for the busiest times, plus a ready-todeploy spare and a maintenance spare, by Aug. 4.
On Tuesday, city transportation general manager John Manconi told council in a memo that RTG met the 15-train requirement, but because the train wheels are going through enhanced inspections, only 13 trains (with two spares in the depot) can be in service at peak times.
It means trains will arrive at stations every four minutes.
The mandatory inspections follow the discovery of cracks on four steel wheels, leading to an investigation started by the Transportation Safety Board on July 10. The number of trains on the line was dramatically reduced in July.
The lower ridership has provided relief to RTG and the city as they work through the new inspection regime. The root cause of the cracked wheels is under review.
“RTG is making progress with the investigation and resolution of the wheel issue and as they make further progress, additional vehicles may be added to the morning peak service if required,” Manconi’s memo said.
The city paid for 34 Alstom Citadis Spirit cars for Stage 1 LRT. The original plan was to have 15 double-car trains running at the busiest times, with two spares. Before the pandemic, the city felt it needed only 13 double-car trains to meet peak service requirements, although there was optimism that RTG could get the other trains on the line to provide more capacity.
RTG is also providing 38 of the Alstom cars as part of the Stage 2 LRT expansion. As the Stage 2 trains are assembled and commissioned, they can be added to the Stage 1 fleet to bolster daily operations.
Manconi told council that 13 double-car trains can handle the current passenger volumes while allow the physical distancing between passengers required to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19. firstname.lastname@example.org twitter.com/JonathanWilling
The Confederation Line operated with a maximum of 13 trains Tuesday, instead of the 15 directed by the city.