TSB probe shows damage to Ottawa LRT tracks, station in latest derailment

A Transportation Safety Board of Canada report shows signs of damage along Ottawa's light-rail transit system as a result of the Sept. 19, 2021 derailment. via TSB

Canada’s transportation watchdog has published new photos and details about the latest derailment on Ottawa’s light-rail transit system, showing the damage sustained to Tremblay Station and the surrounding infrastructure.

The letter posted Thursday from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada does not hint at why the LRT train left the tracks on Sept. 19, but shows more details about the timeline of the derailment that Sunday afternoon.

The TSB said in its initial findings that the train “derailed near the middle of the Tremblay Station north platform” as it was travelling westbound around 12:15 p.m.

Read more: MPP Harden calls for Ontario auditor general probe into Ottawa LRT procurement

The train had stopped at Tremblay to let a few passengers off before continuing towards Hurdman Station across a railway bridge.

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“There was no reported unusual train handling nor were any track anomalies observed in advance of the train,” the TSB report said.

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Cleanup crews arrive at the scene of a two freight head on crash in Prescott Thursday

The train accelerated to a speed of about 35 kilometres per hour in the derailed state, according to the report.

But once it reached the rail bridge over Riverside Drive, striking a signal mast and switch heater along the way, an emergency brake was pulled to bring the train to a stop just west of the bridge.

The 12 passengers on board were then escorted off the train after about a half-hour wait.

Read more: Ottawa’s troubled LRT trains are off the rails again. Advocates demand answers

The TSB report said it was the rear train, called LRV 1121, that derailed on Sept. 19.

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An investigation of the scene after the derailment showed damage along the side of the Tremblay Station north platform. Scraping shown in photos included in the report was consistent with damage on the train’s passenger door, the TSB said.

The ballast — bits of stone that form a foundation around the tracks — was disturbed for about 1,400 feet or 425 metres outside Tremblay Station.

The derailed wheels had also impacted or sheared off bolts on the south side of the guard rail on the railway bridge.

Damage to Tremblay Station’s north platform is shown in the TSB report on the Sept. 19, 2021 derailment. via TSB
A TSB report shows damage to bolts on the Confederation Line LRT rails outside Tremblay Station as a result of the Sept. 19, 2021 derailment. via TSB

The TSB’s investigation is ongoing. The watchdog cleared the derailed train to return to the city’s maintenance facility after its initial inspections were completed.

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Next, the TSB has to remove the motor bogie from LRV 1121 to get a closer inspection of the derailed wheels.

No timeline has been given yet for when the Confederation Line LRT will be up and running for either full or partial service. R1 replacement bus service has been running along the spine of the light-rail system in the interim.

The city rejected Rideau Transit Group’s initial plan to return the system to service as “unsatisfactory under all of the conditions” and issued a second notice of default against the rail construction and maintenance company five days after the Sept. 19 derailment.

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NTSB says data shows Amtrak train was travelling under speed limit before derailment

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