O-Train service moved to one track due to ‘stopped train’

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O-Train service has initiated ‘R1’ replacement bus service between Rideau and Hurdman stations downtown due to a “stopped train” on the line.

Trains continued to run in both directions between Tunney’s Pasture and Rideau stations and between Blair and Hurdman  stops, OC Transpo said.

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University of Ottawa student Anna Schubert said her train had just passed Lees station around 9:49 a.m. when it “hit a bump,” lost power, and ground to a halt.

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She and her roommate, also a university student, waited on the stopped bus for about 45 minutes before the doors were opened and the bus was evacuated.

Schubert was late for a Valentine’s Day brunch, while her roommate missed 50 minutes of a class.

“There was no heat on the train, so it got pretty cold,” Schubert said outside the U Ottawa train station. “They did try to get the power started a couple of times on the train, and they got it on but it didn’t stay on.”

University of Ottawa student Anna Schubert says her LRT train had just passed Lees station around 9:49 a.m. when it hit a bump, lost power, and ground to a halt. She was stuck on the train for about 45 minutes Photo by Marlo Glass /POSTMEDIA

Wednesday morning was the first time Schubert had experienced a train stoppage, and called it an inconvenience, noting it was about -16 C with the windchill.

Meanwhile, a woman named Sara, who declined to give her last name, was among the hundreds of passengers scrambling to get on a bus at Hurdman station. She was heading downtown on her daily commute, but given the chaos, she expected to be late for her shift at the National Defence headquarters.

Sara said she got on the train at Blair station around 11 a.m. and “it was packed, which was unusual for the time of day.”

Passengers were told the train was delayed “due to a technical difficulty,” but no further details were given, she said.

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The train began to move, then abruptly hit the brakes, causing some passengers to knock into each other, she said.

The train ran from Blair to Cyrville station, she said, where the train then turned around and took them back to Blair. When she eventually boarded again, passengers were told the R1 buses were waiting for them at Hurdman station, but some passengers were directed to the wrong stop.

“It’s just a whole confusing mess,” she said. “None of the passengers have been told what the technical difficulty in question is.”

OTTAWA Passengers board replacement OC Transpo busses at Hurdman station in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. According to OC Transpo, an issue involving a train in the east end of the LRT tunnel has suspended service on parts of the Confederation Line. Spencer Colby/Postmedia
Passengers board replacement OC Transpo buses at Hurdman station in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Photo by OTTAWA Passengers board replacement OC Transpo busses at Hurdman station in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. According to OC Transpo, an issue involving a train in the east end of the LRT tunnel has suspended service on parts of the Confederation Line. Spencer Colby/Postmedia

Earlier, Transpo said Confederation Line trains were alternating in both directions on a single track between Hurdman, Lees and uOttawa stations. Passengers were advised to use the eastbound platform for service.

An OC Transpo employee helps passengers at Hurdman station in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.
An OC Transpo employee helps passengers at Hurdman station in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Photo by Spencer Colby /Postmedia

“Please listen to on-board and station announcements for more information,” the agency said on X, formerly Twitter.

A broken down OC Transpo LRT is seen near uOttawa station in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024.
An OC Transpo LRT train is seen near uOttawa station in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. Photo by Spencer Colby/Postmedia

There was no immediate information on the nature of the problem or when full service might return.

More to come…

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