Ottawa rapid transit network trains will be low-floor electric light rail

Ottawa, Canada

Ottawa rapid transit network trains will be low-floor electric light rail, powered by overhead wires that will be automated along the Transitway, but manually operated at street level.

With little ceremony yesterday, the city’s transit committee unanimously approved the technology that will someday form the main line of the city’s rapid transit network.

A single type of car will be used for each section of the completed network, rather than a mixed fleet with small trains serving lower capacity routes.

Deputy city manager Nancy Schepers said this will reduce operating costs by minimizing maintenance facilities and the number of vehicles kept as spares.

Transit committee chair Alex Cullen said approval of the technology makes the conversation with the federal and provincial funding partners more firm because they know the type of trains they will design the system around.

“Now we know we have to factor in overhead wire, we have to factor in the low floor. In the Transitway we have to factor in the signalling system to carry the train through,” he said.

“These are all important steps in refining the cost.”

The first portion of rapid transit network is the $2.1 billion section from Tunney’s Pasture to Blair Road through a downtown tunnel.

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