Replacement buses were to be used in place of LRT service to allow for repairs on the eastern-most section of the Confederation Line starting at midnight Saturday, the City of Ottawa’s general manager of transit operations said in a late-afternoon memo.
Renée Amilcar’s memo, addressed to the mayor and city councillors, said R1 bus service would run from midnight until the end of service at 2 a.m. between St-Laurent and Blair stations, while an R1 shuttle would operate between St-Laurent and Cyrville Station, the second-last stop on the line before Blair.
Regular LRT train service would run between St-Laurent and Tunney’s Pasture Station at the west end of the Confederation Line.
That plan was implemented to allow for repairs on a damaged insulator and related components of the O-Train’s Overhead Catenary System, which powers the trains, partially affecting service since late Friday.
For most of Saturday, Line 1 ran in both directions on two tracks between Tunney’s Pasture and St-Laurent stations and in both directions on a single track between St-Laurent and Blair.
Amilcar’s memo said the late-night service modifications were needed to provide Rideau Transit Maintenance “with additional time to complete their on-site investigation and complete the necessary work to allow the service to launch on time on Sunday morning.”
RTM, which has a 30-year maintenance contract for the Confederation Line, had proposed a plan to temporarily isolate the damaged portion of the Overhead Catenary System to allow rail service to resume on both tracks, Amilcar’s memo said. This would allow time for further investigation and an assessment of surrounding infrastructure to ensure all damaged components were repaired or replaced later without impacting service.
“Once the isolation is complete, OC Transpo will run a test train on both tracks. A successful test would support a decision to launch Sunday service on both tracks from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Station,” Amilcar wrote.
In an earlier Saturday memo, Amilcar said an OC Transpo rail operator had observed “sparks” from an Overhead Catenary System support pole between St-Laurent and Cyrville stations at about 11:30 p.m. on Friday.
For the remainder of Friday service, R1 buses were used between St-Laurent and Blair stations.
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