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Here’s a sneak peek at the new Alstom Citadis electric light rail vehicles, currently being assembled at Belfast Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility....
July 21, 2016
Here’s a sneak peek at the new Alstom Citadis electric light rail vehicles, currently being assembled at Belfast Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility. This photo was taken recently as the trains were being moved from one bay to another in order for assembly to continue.
The O-Train Confederation Line’s ‘guideway’ is the footprint along which the Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) will travel....
November 14, 2015
Guideway Fact Sheet
What is a guideway?
The O-Train Confederation Line’s ‘guideway’ is the footprint along which the Light Rail Vehicles (LRV) will travel. The guideway will span 12.5 kilometres across the City and feature a mix of at-grade, elevated and tunnel sections along which tracks are being laid and an Overhead Catenary System (OCS) is being installed. The guideway is being built mostly in the footprint of the existing Transitway.
Construction of the guideway began in 2014 at Hurdman Station. Guideway work and OCS installation will be ongoing across the alignment until the end of 2017.
What is trackwork?
The Confederation Line track has been designed to optimize many factors including safety, end to end travel time, passenger comfort, vehicle performance, and system maintainability.
Two types of track support will be used on the O-Train Confederation Line: ballasted tracks and direct fixation tracks. Each is selected to best suit the needs of the track’s environment along different portions of the guideway.
Types of track
Ballasted Track: Ballast, comprised of crushed stone, forms the trackbed where railway ties are laid. Railway ties consist of rectangular timber or precast concrete track supports that are laid perpendicular to the tracks.
Ballasted tracks will be installed on the guideway located outside of the tunnel, the LRT stations and Belfast Yard. This type of trackwork represents 2/3 of total guideway.
Direct Fixation Track: Direct fixation tracks, also known as ballastless track, use a rail fastener system that is directly anchored to a concrete trackbed instead of being placed on ballast.
Direct fixation tracks will be installed on the guideway inside the tunnel, the LRT stations and Belfast Yard. This type of trackwork represents 1/3 of total guideway.
Special Trackwork: Special trackwork (or crossovers) allow LRVs to transfer from one track to another or to cross intersecting tracks.
Special trackwork will help LRVs navigate at strategic locations along the alignment. This type of trackwork is found in the Belfast Yard and at over half a dozen other locations along the guideway.
How are tracks installed?
Confederation Line trackwork will be assembled by first joining rail lengths together using two welding techniques; thermite welding and flash butt welding. The welding method selected depends on the track’s location. The 24m long rails are first flash butt welded together in 150m long strings or sections and then the strings are pulled to their designated location where they are thermite welded together.
Thermite Welding: Thermite welding, also known as exothermic welding, is the process of pouring molten steel into a cast placed around a cross section of rail. The molten steel is created by an exothermic chemical reaction between aluminum and iron oxides. Thermite welding will be done in situ.
Flash Butt Welding: Flash butt welding is a forged weld created by placing an electrical charge between the cross sections of rails until the steel is malleable. The lengths of rail are then forged together using no filler material. Flash butt welding will generally be done before track work sections are moved on site.
How will the tracks be maintained?
The O-Train Confederation Line’s design approach has used a combination of architectural landscaping, track structure and periodic maintenance to minimize the build-up of snow, ice and vegetation and guideway.
Once in operation, regular maintenance will include visual inspections and removal of debris such as branches. Additional maintenance will be performed on an as needed basis.
In the winter, significant accumulation of snow on the rails will be removed with plows. In the event of heavy snowfall or ice, LRVs can be run along the alignment in the overnight hours to prevent build up.
How will the system be powered?
In addition to trackwork, guideway construction includes an Overhead Catenary System (OCS). The OCS is comprised of physical supporting structures, such as poles and wires. The OCS system distributes DC power from the Traction Power Sub Stations (TPSS) to the vehicle through a pantograph; a device mounted on the roof of an LRV that collects power through contact with the overhead wires. A total of nine TPSSs located along the alignment, integrated into stations and Belfast Yard structures, will convert electricity from the local power supply.
For the first time in Canada, the Verona System was used on the Confederation Line’s Belfast Yard connector....
April 14, 2015
For the first time in Canada, the Verona System was used on the Confederation Line’s Belfast Yard connector. This system, patented by the Petrucco Group (based in Italy), was used to reinforce and support the existing VIA railroad tracks while a concrete section of the Belfast Yard connector tunnel was pushed under the tracks.
The Verona System allowed for minimal interruptions to the VIA Rail trains, compared to extended interruptions required with more traditional methods. The connector tunnel will allow vehicles to travel to and from the Light Rail Transit (LRT) track to the Belfast Yard facility located on Belfast Road.
The 12 x 20 metre section of tunnel, weighing in at roughly 1.7 million kilograms, was built beside the tracks and slowly pushed into place by using 14 hydraulic jacks at about a millimetre per second that covered a distance of 500 millimetres. Once the jacks reached their maximum distance, spacers were added in between the jacks and the thrusting block. The process was repeated until completed. The first push began in mid-November and the final metres were pushed into place in early December 2014.
Once the push was completed, crews removed the temporary Verona support system during the overnight hours.
After the system was removed, crews backfilled and reinstated the VIA Rail tracks to their original condition. By Monday morning on December 15, 2014, preparations were underway to ship back the temporary support system to Europe.
On any construction project, public and worker safety and security is a priority. On the Confederation Line, we...
November 12, 2014
Safety and Confederation Line construction
On any construction project, public and worker safety and security is a priority.
On the Confederation Line, we are proud to announce that we exceed industry standards when it comes to safety. Our staff is highly trained and vigilant, and uses the best equipment possible to increase the safety of users and of the surrounding areas.
We are pleased that since the beginning of construction of the Confederation Line, we have exceeded 1,000,000 person-hours without serious accidents causing loss time injury.
This is an important achievement and one that we are very proud of.
Stay on-track with us and find out what we are building, where and when at ottawa.ca/confederationline.
The Confederation Line is a complex engineering and construction project involving many components and activities that will have...
December 6, 2013
Minimizing disruption during construction
The Confederation Line is a complex engineering and construction project involving many components and activities that will have some impact on daily life in Ottawa; however, the City of Ottawa and the Rideau Transit Group are committed to minimizing disruption whenever possible. We recognize the importance of being a good neighbour by reducing impacts on surrounding businesses, residences and the natural environment.
The following are some examples of this commitment:
The sequential excavation method (SEM) chosen to mine the tunnel has minimized interference with traffic downtown by reducing works at the surface, in particular with respect to access to Parliament Hill and the interprovincial bridges. The tunnel method also lessens impacts on pedestrians, cyclists, transit and traffic.
At the West Portal and East Portal, protective covers were added at tunnel access points to minimize dust and noise impacts during construction.
The Belfast Yard Maintenance and Storage Facility (MSF) has been designed to be integrated with the surrounding residential, commercial, light industrial and retail land uses. A noise berm on the site will help reduce noise from the light rail vehicle operations.
Advance notices via social media and online will continue to be posted to ensure that the public are aware of any major construction, potential road closures and alternative routes.
Stay on-track with us! Visit the Confederation Line website at www.ottawa.ca/confederationline for further information on what we are building, when and how.
Safety Tips The Confederation Line team wants to ensure everyone is safe and aware around the Confederation Line...
October 4, 2013
Being aware is being safe
The Confederation Line team wants to ensure everyone is safe and aware around the Confederation Line construction sites. Please keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Adhere to all safety signage.
- Watch your step!
- Report anything that looks dangerous to the Confederation Line site staff on site or contact the City of Ottawa 3-1-1 line.
- When travelling near people operating equipment or crossing guards, make eye contact to ensure that they see you.
- Never enter a construction site.
- Don’t lean, stand or climb on construction equipment, fencing or material.
- Don’t run or play in the construction area.
Thank you for respecting these important safety tips. Take care and watch your step!
The Confederation Line will result in a number of economic benefits for the City of Ottawa. As outlined...
May 15, 2013
Economic Impact of the Confederation Line
The Confederation Line will result in a number of economic benefits for the City of Ottawa. As outlined in 2012’s The Benefits of Light Rail, the project will generate real savings for the City and for taxpayers. The economic output from the light rail transit project is approximately $3.3 billion over a 30 year analysis period. These savings include $1.5 billion in time savings, $1.1 billion in vehicle operating costs and $400 million in accident avoidance.
The Confederation Line will also help invigorate Ottawa’s economy through the creation of new jobs. More than 20, 000 person-years of direct and indirect employment will be generated as a result of the LRT investment. New jobs in construction, operation and maintenance of the light rail system will keep workers busy in the coming years.
Once in service, Confederation Line will help the City’s economy become even more competitive and dynamic. Through the City’s Official Plan, and associated Community Design Plans, the City will use Confederation Line as a catalyst for the development of more populated mixed use communities that require less infrastructure per capita, reduce demand for road traffic and encourage walking, cycling and transit. This approach will reduce urban sprawl and help limit the costs of growth. It will also make the City a more attractive place for investors, employers and employees.
Confederation Line will make our City cleaner, more efficient, more prosperous and an even better place to live, work and play.
– Rail Implementation Office
In July 2011 the City Treasurer reported that the transit component of the City’s Transportation Master Plan, including...
April 15, 2013
Affordability of the Confederation Line
In July 2011 the City Treasurer reported that the transit component of the City’s Transportation Master Plan, including the Confederation Line, is affordable and that the City has sufficient capacity to take on a project of this size.
These conclusions stem from the City Treasurer’s Transit Long Range Financial Plan IV report which looked at all the capital and operating costs for delivering transit services for the next 37 years to ensure the resources are in place to construct, operate and maintain the system. The affordability of the Confederation Line project was considered within the context of all transit projects and operating costs, as they are all funded from the same revenue sources. These include an annual amount raised from taxation, transit fares, development charges and gas tax revenues.
Stress tests were also conducted to ensure the plan was affordable without increasing taxes beyond the inflationary target and without affecting the other critical capital envelopes. The analysis showed that the plan is affordable with the continued contributions from senior levels of government and with transit taxes and fares increasing at the rate of transit’s inflation. Transit Long Range Financial Plan IV further demonstrated that the plan would remain affordable even in the unlikely event that the City lost access to provincial and federal funding or if development revenues did not meet forecasts.
The other critical factor in affordability is operating costs. Here Confederation Line is a clear winner. Because the operating costs for Light Rail Transit are much lower per passenger than buses, Confederation Line will begin saving the City $16 million a year in its first year of service. This number will only increase as the City grows and as more residents begin to enjoy the comfort and convenience of Light Rail Transit.
– Rail Implementation Office
The genesis of the Confederation Line was the November 2008 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) update, in which the...
March 15, 2013
The Confederation Line – A Brief History
The genesis of the Confederation Line was the November 2008 Transportation Master Plan (TMP) update, in which the Council of the day identified the bottleneck of transit service in the downtown core as the City’s most pressing transit challenge. Council directed staff to pursue a rail plan that would provide a long term solution to the downtown bottleneck and set the foundation for development of a world-class transit network that would meet the City’s needs for generations to come.
The TMP launched the planning phase of the project. Extensive public consultations were undertaken, rail technologies examined, different track alignments evaluated and financial models reviewed to determine affordability. All of this work culminated in December 2009 with the Downtown Ottawa Transit Tunnel (DOTT) Planning and Environmental Assessment Study – Recommended Plan, which established the functional design of the project. Approved by the City’s Transit Committee in December 2009 and by City Council in January 2010, the functional design demonstrated the feasibility of a 12.5 kilometre, 13 station Light Rail Transit (LRT) alignment between Blair station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture station in the West with a $2.1 billion project cost estimate.
With Council approval of the plan secured, work now began to receive Federal and Provincial Environmental Assessment approvals and funding agreements for the project. In addition, the project entered a design phase known as Preliminary Engineering, in which the City contracted a local joint venture (Capital Transit Partners) to advance the design of the project in order to prepare for the procurement phase.
In August 2010, the City received the project’s Provincial Environmental Assessment approval, followed by contribution agreements for $600 million each from the Federal and Provincial governments.
In May 2011, the City undertook a thorough review of the project schedule and accelerated the delivery of the LRT system by a year (bringing completion date from 2019 to 2018) and in July 2011 presented Council with the Implementation of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Project report. Council approval of this report commenced the procurement phase of the project.
A Request-for-Qualifications was undertaken between July and October 2011 and shortlisted three world-class consortia to compete in the Request-for-Proposal (RFP) stage of procurement. The RFP was undertaken from October 2011 to October 2012 and, following the evaluation period, the Rideau Transit Group was presented to Council in December 2012 as the preferred consortia to Design, Build, Finance and Maintain the Confederation Line project. During this time (July 2012) the City also received approval of the Federal Environmental Assessment.
On December 19, 2012 Council voted unanimously to move forward with the Rideau Transit Group’s proposal and authorized staff to finalize the project contract. This was signed on February 14, 2013 and the Confederation Line has now entered the construction phase.
– Rail Implementation Office