O-Train service suspended until at least Thursday
Transit commission chair Stephen Blais and OC Transpo general manager John Manconi apologize
Two signal interruptions will keep O-Train service cancelled until at least Thursday as crews work to fix the issues and inspect the remaining signals along the new passing tracks, OC Transpo general manager John Manconi said in an email statement on Tuesday afternoon.
A mechanical failure at the Carleton University switching station caused delays Monday morning.
The delays came on the same day OC Transpo launched what was meant to be a more frequent service with new trains after about $60 million in upgrades.
As light rail service disruption continued on Tuesday, transit commission chair Stephen Blais apologized to OC Transpo and O-Train riders. Bus service continues to run as an alternative.
"Well it's certainly been a frustrating few days," Blais said Tuesday in an interview with Ottawa Morning host Robyn Bresnahan.
"We're going to get to the bottom of this issue and make sure that we have everything fixed and ready to go as soon as we can. We had hoped that things would work perfectly on day one, but obviously there were some hiccups."
Monday was meant to be the first day of upgraded service, with four trains supposed to run once every 10 to 12 minutes.
O-Train service was cancelled outright early Tuesday morning after a newly installed switching station sent the train yard an error message about a problem on the track, Blais said.
Manconi added Tuesday afternoon that "two signal interruption issues" were identified by crews.
"The first is due to an isolation joint used to separate different train signals," he said.
"The second issue is still under investigation. The approximate location of where this is occurring has been identified; however the root cause of the issue is still unknown. The problem can be anything from a faulty wire or a connection, et cetera. The work involves physical inspection to identify, locate and resolve the problems."
Manconi added that each of the 18 signals on the new passing tracks are being inspected as part of the work.
'Hundreds of hours' of tests on new system, GM says
Manconi said OC Transpo conducted "hundreds of hours" of tests before the new system was launched, and that "we had none of these issues on Sunday when we ran the trains in another trial just before launch."
He said it's not uncommon for new and retrofitted train systems to have a break-in period.
An update on the work is expected Wednesday afternoon, he said.
Manconi also apologized to transit users.
"We understand this is another inconvenience for them and we do apologize, but we don't have an estimated time yet in terms of the repairs and restoration of service," Manconi said.
"I do want to thank [people] for their patience. I know whenever there's a delay it affects their personal commute, but like any new system we're trying to get some of the kinks out of it."