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OC Transpo would not comment on the launch date of the Trillium Line as testing and training continues

OC Transpo would not comment on the launch date of the Trillium Line as testing and training continues
OC Transpo would not comment on the launch date of the Trillium Line as testing and training continues

Testing and staff training are still ongoing on Ottawa’s new north-south light rail line, but there is no information yet on when passengers will be able to board the Trillium Line this summer.

The new north-south line will carry passengers between Bayview Station and Riverside South, with a branch line to Ottawa International Airport. The new LRT line was originally scheduled to open in August 2022, but the launch is two years behind schedule due to construction delays.

“At this time, we are still making progress on testing, training and construction,” OC Transpo spokesperson Katrina Camposarcone-Stubbs said in a statement to CTV News Ottawa.

“This phase is critical to helping us achieve our goal of providing safe and reliable service by ensuring all systems work together and giving our staff the opportunity to gain more experience operating trains on the new lines. Additionally, TransitNEXT continues to complete final construction activities and demonstrate to the city that they can fulfill their maintenance responsibilities.”

In late May, council members on the public transportation committee and the light rail subcommittee were told that training was expected to be completed by mid-June. Another eight to ten weeks of testing and trial runs would be needed before the LRT system could be put into service.

A train departs from a station along the Trillium Line on Thursday, May 16. An opening date has not yet been announced for the new north-south rail line. (Leah Larocque/CTV News Ottawa)

Under that schedule, passengers would not be able to board the Trillium Line until “mid-August” at the earliest, said Michael Morgan, director of rail construction.

The eight to ten week testing period is intended to ensure that operators can safely run the system during normal working hours and that the maintenance team can carry out work during overnight closures.

As part of the pre-launch, OC Transpo and TransitNEXT are required to conduct a 21-day testing period before the system can be launched. The 21-day period includes a 14-day reliability test where the Trillium Line operates a full regular service schedule to simulate passenger service and a seven-day period for “failure scenario management.”

The council receives a daily summary of the trial period, including a list of any ‘critical issues’ discovered during the trial period.

An opening date will be proposed to the light rail subcommittee for approval before the line opens.