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Ottawa LRT trains testing regular service following ‘minor incident’ at storage facility

An OC Transpo Light rail transit (LRT) train arrives at the Tunney's Pasture station in Ottawa, Ontario on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Lars Hagberg

A “minor incident” involving an Ottawa light-rail train at Belfast Yards earlier this week is not holding back live testing on the Confederation Line on Thursday as the system gears up for a relaunch in the days ahead.

Brandon Richards, the City of Ottawa’s chief safety officer, confirmed to Global News in a statement Thursday that there was an issue during “routine maintenance activity” at the LRT storage facility on Tuesday.

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He said there were no injuries or delays to systemwide testing on the line as a result of the incident, which was reported to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).

A TSB spokesperson confirmed it was notified about the occurrence and is investigating, but that it doesn’t warrant a standalone report. Rather, the incident will be collected as data for future analysis.

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OC Transpo is meanwhile Thursday starting full testing on the Confederation Line, which has been shut down since the Sept. 19 derailment near Tremblay Station.

The trains are being run as though it’s “full service,” including regular stops and station announcements, but no passengers will be aboard.

Partial service with seven trains on the line is expected to begin sometime in the first two weeks of November, with full service planned for sometime in December.

The city’s independent rail safety advisor, TRA, will need to sign off on Rideau Transit Group’s repairs and maintenance protocols before service can resume on the Confederation Line.

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City manager Steve Kanellakos said Thursday in a memo to council that TRA is “nearing the completion” of its assessment and will hold a technical briefing on Friday to address questions about the line and provide initial findings and recommendations.

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