O-Train out of service in Ottawa's east end as cold temperatures impact train power

An east-bound OTrain pulls in to Rideau Station on the Confederation Line of the Light Rail Transit system in Ottawa, ON. (Brenda Woods/CTV Ottawa)

OC Transpo and Rideau Transit Maintenance says this extended period of very cold temperatures impacted power to the Confederation Line Saturday morning, causing five trains to stop and shutting down service in the east end.

The transit service reported "local power grid issues" along the Confederation Line disrupted service between Blair and Hurdman stations just after 7 a.m. R1 replacement bus service has been running since between the stations, while reduced O-Train service continued between Hurdman and Tunney's Pasture stations.

In a memo to transit commissioners and council Saturday afternoon, OC Transpo said some of the trains in service experienced a loss of power in the eastern portion of the line at approximately 7 a.m.

"As a precautionary safety measure and according to standard operating procedures, five trains came to a stop along the line," said the memo.

"As the investigation and repairs are ongoing, these trains will remain stopped until they can be safely removed from the line."

OC Transpo says customers onboard the stopped trains were able to exit the vehicles at a station.

Environment Canada reported a low of -29C at 5 a.m., with the wind chill making it feel like -37.  The Twitter account YOW_Weather reported the wind chill of -39 at 8 a.m. was the coldest wind chill recorded in Ottawa in three years.

Rideau Transit Maintenance has deployed technicians to assess the line.

"Based on initial inspections, it appears the extended period of very cold temperatures affected the overhead catenary line impacting power to trains," said the memo.

Three trains are currently providing service every 15 minutes between Tunney's Pasture and Hurdman stations. R1 bus service has been implemented between Hurdman and Blair stations.

OC Transpo says service along the Confederation Line is likely to be impacted throughout the day.

"We are working with RTM to restore normal service for Sunday," said OC Transpo.