Axle repairs needed on 10 Ottawa LRT trains

Crews inspect the damaged Confederation Line train just east of Tunney’s Pasture station on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. Ten trains have now ben found to have similar issues. Nick Westoll / Global News

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story indicated that only nine trains needed repairs. A clarification from OC Transpo’s Troy Charter confirmed the total number is 10.

Inspections of Ottawa’s light-rail transit fleet have revealed a tenth train car needs repairs for an axle issue, a process that’s now expected to stretch into the coming week.

The latest update from Ottawa transit boss John Manconi came in another memo to council on Wednesday afternoon.

In it, Manconi wrote that inspectors with Rideau Transit Maintenance found nine train cars out of 39 have issues with their axle bearings — the same type of fault that derailed one axle on the train from the Confederation Line track on Aug. 8.

Including the original affected vehicle, the total number of trains in need of repairs is now up to 10.

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Read more: Ottawa LRT shut down, TSB on scene after errant axle results in ‘abnormal and rough ride’

“RTM has begun implementing the necessary repairs to the nine cars. We anticipate that this work may continue throughout the coming week. As work on each train car is finished and as on-going inspections are done, they will be returned to service,” Manconi wrote.

So far, 37 of the 39 individual train cars have gone through inspections for axle faults, with the original derailed vehicle and another already under maintenance remaining. An update earlier this week had only identified concerns in eight train cars.

On Wednesday morning, nine double-car trains launched for reduced weekday service. One train was held back in the yard because of an error code unrelated to the wheel inspections but which Manconi characterized as a “standard process” in OC Transpo’s daily operations.

Two more trains were launched into service later in the day.

Manconi again promised a more fulsome update on the axle-bearing situation will be available at the next transit commission meeting on Sept. 20 — a meeting some commissioners and city councillors have been trying to get moved up with some opposition.

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