LRT train derails on Confederation Line near Tremblay Station
Josh PringleCTV News Ottawa Digital Multi-Skilled Journalist
Jackie PerezCTV News Ottawa Multi-Skilled Journalist
Published Sunday, September 19, 2021 12:54PM EDTLast Updated Sunday, September 19, 2021 5:54PM EDT
Ottawa's two-year-old Confederation Line was shut down on Sunday after an LRT car derailed between Tremblay and Hurdman Stations. (Viewer submission photo)
OTTAWA -- For the second time in six weeks, a train has derailed on Ottawa’s $2 billion, two-year-old Confederation Line.
OC Transpo says the light rail transit service is now out of service from Blair Road to Tunney's Pasture, with R1 bus service running along the entire route.
Photos on social media show a stopped train along the Confederation Line west of the Tremblay Station, with wheels off the tracks. The train stopped near a curve the track near Riverside Drive, where trains usually slow down.
OC Transpo, and Rideau Transit Group are investigating the derailment, with assistance from the Ottawa Police Service. OC Transpo has notified the Transportation Safety Board about the incident Sunday afternoon.
The Ottawa Fire Service (OFS) said in a release that they were called to line near Riverside Drive at 12:27 p.m. on reports of a derailment, which was deemed "minor in nature."
"Prior to arrival OC Transpo had de-energized the train and stopped train traffic in both directions," OFS said. "Ottawa Fire crews assisted with the evacuation of persons who were on board. Fire crews remained on location to ensure the train would not need to be stabilized prior to an investigation being conducted."
No one has been reported hurt.
Coun. Jeff Leiper shared a photo of the stopped train off the rail on social media, saying a passenger on the train told him, "A couple of bumps, and it came to a stop."
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, OC Transpo confirmed a car derailed between Tremblay and Hurdman stations, and the O-Train was shutdown for "precautionary" reasons.
"A train became immobilized between Tremblay and Hurdman Stations due to a derailment," said Troy Charter, Director of Transit Operations in a statement to CTV News Ottawa Sunday afternoon.
"There were no injuries and all passengers have been accommodated. As a precautionary measure, Line 1 service has been suspended and full R1 service has been deployed."
Mayor Jim Watson said on Twitter that a full update on the derailment will be provided at the Transit Commission meeting tomorrow.
"Staff are gathering all the info on the LRT issue that occurred this afternoon between Hurdman and Tremblay Stations," said Watson about two hours after the train stopped in Ottawa's east end.
"A full briefing on what is known will be provided tomorrow morning at Transit Commission, which you can watch on the City’s YouTube account."
OC Transpo general manager John Manconi says OC Transpo has notified the Transportation Safety Board of the derailment.
"There were no injuries and all passengers have been accommodated. The next steps are an assessment of the situation by the technical teams," said Manconi in a statement.
"We are waiting for TSB investigators to provide clearance to undertake the inspection of the derailment. R1 bus service continues to operate throughout the entire line. Details will be provided as they become available."
The Ottawa Police Duty Inspector Twitter account said the Ottawa Police Service is assisting with the investigation on the LRT Confederation Line west of Tremblay Station.
"Seeing this, you're just dumbfounded," said Coun. Shawn Menard on Sunday afternoon. "After all this is a brand new system. It's just a shocking feeling.
Menard says he wants to hear information from city staff and Rideau Transit Group on why these derailments keep happening.
"I’m concerned about the future of the construction we’ve had on this line and I hope we can get improvements in the future of phase three," said Menard. "We got to get this working properly on Stage One first."
The issue with the Confederation Line comes one day before the Transit Commission meets for the first time since the middle of June.
Transit Commissioners will receive an update on the Confederation Line and OC Transpo service, including an update on the train derailment near Tunney's Pasture Station on Aug. 8.
OC Transpo general manager John Manconi said the LRT system was shut down out of an "abundance of caution" for five days after an axle became dislodged from the track.
Manconi told councillors in a memo that the root cause investigation identified the fault in the axle bearing assembly.
"As part of the investigation, the sealed unit was taken a part and it was found that the green section of the bolt, which should be completely tightened, had a very small amount of movement, by fractions of a millimetre," wrote Manconi. "This movement caused damage to the bearings inside the unit and wheel, which in turn lead to the axle coming off the track on Sunday evening."
Nine O-Train cars were pulled out of service for additional analysis of the axle.
According to the OC Transpo Twitter feed, this is the first issue with the Confederation Line since a technical issue was reported on Sept. 3.
CALLS FOR AN INVESTIGATIONSomerset Coun. Catherine McKenney is calling for two independent task forces to be established to look into the Light Rail Transit system.
"First one to look into the original 2012 bid & provide full assessment of system delivery," said McKenney on Twitter.
"Second one of leading rail experts to determine & advise how we fix this mess."
SHUTDOWN LRT INDEFINITELY: CITIZEN TRANSIT COMMISSIONERCitizen Transit Commissioner Sarah Wright-Gilbert is calling for the entire LRT system to be shutdown "indefinitely" until an investigation is completed.
"The entire #LRTline needs to be shut down indefinitely until an independent investigation can be completed and customer safety can be guaranteed," said Wright-Gilbert on Twitter.
With files from CTV News Ottawa's Ted Raymond