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'They're not perfectly round:' O-Train wheels to blame for train shortage

The chair of the city's transit commission said that Rideau Transit Maintenance, the company that maintains the light rail line for the city, has not provided an explanation for why the train's wheels are no longer round.
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2019-07-26 lrt ottawa o-train light rail MV4
O-Train sign outside of Tunney's Pasture Station, 2019. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters.com

The chair of Ottawa's transit commission says the current shortage of working O-Trains on the Confederation Line is due to the trains' wheels not being round.

Only eight trains were put into service at the start of Tuesday morning's commute. A ninth train was added after 8 a.m. There are supposed to be 13 trains in service during the peak of the morning commute on the Confederation Line, but multiple trains have been taken offline for maintenance.

"There [are] flat spots appearing on the wheels, so they're not perfectly round," Councillor Allan Hubley told The Rob Snow Show on 1310 NEWS. "[Rideau Transit Group] has to run these trains through what's called a lathe, that rounds out the wheels again."

"They're having problems with getting the work done that they were told ahead of time had to be part of the maintenance program," Hubley said.

Hubley said that Rideau Transit Maintenance, the company that maintains the light rail line for the city, has not provided an explanation for why the train's wheels are no longer round, but he hopes they'll have more details by Thursday.

Hubley, as chair of the city's transit commission, has called a special meeting for Thursday afternoon to discuss the current state of Ottawa's light rail system.

Because of the continuing shortage of trains during peak periods, OC Transpo has put supplementary bus service into place to help meet rider demand.

Non-stop buses have been running from Tunney's Pasture and Hurdman stations and heading downtown to drop passengers off on Albert Street and Slater Street, during Tuesday's peak morning commute. The supplemental parallel bus service will also operate in the opposite direction, ferrying people out of the downtown, between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Hubley said the plan was to keep that supplemental bus service in place as long as it's needed.




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Jason White

About the Author: Jason White

Jason is an award-winning reporter on 1310 NEWS.
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