No timeline to resume LRT service as shutdown of Confederation Line enters a third week

OTTAWA — Ottawa’s city manager says Rideau Transit Group and Rideau Transit Maintenance are still working on a timeline to resume service on the Light Rail Transit system.

However, Steve Kanellakos is denying social media rumours the Confederation Line will be shutdown another four months following the derailment two weeks ago.

A social media account said an anonymous driver said an OC Transpo supervisor indicated the O-Train would be down till mid-February because Rideau Transit Maintenance did not have the parts to quickly repair the infrastructure.

In a memo to councillors and transit commissioners addressing social media rumours and the LRT shutdown, City Manager Steve Kanellakos said, “I will confirm that this information is not accurate.”

“We have been in regular discussions with RTG and RTM into this weekend and there is no indication that they don’t have the necessary parts and/or materials to complete the infrastructure repairs,” said Kanellakos in a memo obtained by CTV News Ottawa.

The Confederation Line has been out of service since Sept. 19, after an LRT car derailed near Tremblay Station, damaging the car, the track and rail infrastructure.

Rideau Transit Maintenance suggested on Sept. 20 that the LRT would be out of service for at least three weeks due to the damage caused by the derailment, and no update has been provided since.

“They are working on a comprehensive timeline for both the infrastructure repairs and the return to service of the trains,” said Kanellakos on Sunday. “We will be updating Council and the Transit Commission as soon as we have the information.

The city of Ottawa is currently looking to retain a firm to conduct an independent safety review of the LRT system and the return to service.

On Sept. 24, the city announced STV Inc. would be hired to conduct a third-party review. However, Kanellakos announced on Sept. 28 that STV would not conduct the review after questions were raised about its independence.

STV provided consulting services during LRT construction, leading critics to suggest their review would not be truly independent.

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