'Power loss' on 2 LRT trains leads to delays for riders Saturday

Rideau Transit Maintenance said the problem was likely the result of a "known electrical arcing issue" which caused the trains' main circuit breakers to trip.

RTM says 'known electrical arcing issue' likely caused circuit breakers to trip

Two trains were out of commission Saturday afternoon after experiencing a power loss. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Two trains experienced a "momentary power loss" Saturday afternoon, leading to longer wait times for LRT users.

Just after 2 p.m., one train was stopped at Tunney's Pasture station and eventually moved back to Belfast Yard, while another was still being examined by a technician at the uOttawa station two hours later, according to Troy Charter, the city's director of transit operations. The delays meant customers waited between five to 10 minutes for trains to arrive. 

The interruption to Saturday's service was likely caused by a "known electrical arcing issue that can trip a train's main circuit breaker, causing the train to stop," Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM) wrote in an email to CBC Ottawa late Saturday night.

The company also said the problem has been part of an ongoing investigation that was known before Saturday.

Video provided to CBC Ottawa from a passenger showed sparks coming off the top of one train.

A video taken by Melanie Grant appears to show sparks coming from an LRT train Saturday afternoon. 0:40

Replacement buses were being used between Rideau and St-Laurent stations for much of the afternoon and into the evening, but OC Transpo said trains were running from end-to-end by early evening.

Riders reported delays of several minutes throughout the afternoon and vented their frustrations on social media.

The power loss is the latest in a string of problems plaguing the trains, the most recent of which was a collision between two trains at Belfast Yard on Friday.