Ottawa

LRT service scaled back after more defective wheels found

The Confederation light rail line will be down to seven trains for an unspecified period of time following the discovery of more defective train wheels, the head of OC Transpo says.

Only 7 trains will run for an unspecified length of time, says Manconi

Riders will now have to wait eight minutes for trains on the Confederation Line to arrive after more defective wheels were discovered. (Jonathan Dupaul/CBC)

The Confederation light rail line will be down to seven trains for an unspecified period of time following the discovery of more defective train wheels, the head of OC Transpo says.

LRT service in Ottawa was disrupted Friday morning when a crack was found in a steel wheel during maintenance the day before.

That led to a fleet-wide inspection, and on Saturday the city's general manager of transportation, John Manconi, said three train wheels in total were found to have defects.

As a result, each vehicle will now be inspected after every use until the "root cause" of the problem is discovered and addressed, Manconi said in his statement.

For those inspections to happen, the number of trains will be reduced to seven active vehicles — plus one spare — and trains will arrive at stations every eight minutes, roughly twice as long as the normal wait.

"With reduced ridership this can be accommodated at this time," Manconi said.

The $2.1-billion light rail line was supposed to have 15 trains in operation during morning and afternoon rush hours, with two vehicles as backups, but a wide range of problems have kept that from happening.

Train manufacturer Alstom will replace the defective wheels, Manconi said.

His statement did not give any estimate as to when service would be restored.

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