2 Ottawa LRT trains removed from service Thursday for coupler, heating issues

Two Ottawa LRT trains were removed from service Thursday morning for issues with their couplers and heating systems, respectively. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The Ottawa light-rail transit system’s tumultuous August continued Thursday with two trains removed from early morning service on the Confederation Line for unrelated reasons.

Ottawa transit boss John Manconi said in an email to councillors and transit commissioners Thursday that an eastbound train arriving into Lyon Station was forced to stop suddenly after experiencing a “coupler issue.”

He said the sensors that connect the two cars in a double-train can become misaligned, triggering safety systems designed to halt the vehicle.

LRT operators held back a train from entering service earlier this week when it displayed an error code indicating similar issues.

Read more: Axles, odours, fires — OC Transpo boss answers questions in memo amid Ottawa transit turbulence

In this instance, the operator of the train tried to troubleshoot the problem but couldn’t fix it alone. A Rideau Transit Maintenance technician came to the station and removed the train from service.

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The vehicle has since been taken back to the maintenance yard for diagnosis and repairs.

Manconi said the issue is not related to the axle-bearing problems that disrupted LRT service for five days earlier in the month.

Read more: Rideau Transit Maintenance facing ‘significant’ pay deductions over Ottawa LRT shutdown

All passengers were able to disembark safely from the train at Lyon, according to the email.

Service kept running with some delays across the Confederation Line during the incident, with normal frequency returning shortly after 7 a.m.

At around that time, however, an empty train at Blair Station started to show problems with its heating and cooling system.

With Ottawa under a heat warning Thursday, Manconi said the call was made to remove the train from service and take it back to the storage yard.

He said service continued at Blair Station “without delays to customers” related to train’s issues.

By 10 a.m., the Confederation Line LRT was operating with 10 trains at a service frequency of five-to-six minutes.

The latest disruptions come one day after some councillors and transit commissioners rallied at City Hall for more transparency and open meetings about recent issues plaguing the LRT system.

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