Confederation Line

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Confederation Line Olr e.png
Type Light Rail
Stations 13
Website Confederation Line
Operator(s) OC Transpo
Rolling stock Alstom Citadis Spirit
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Route map
East Transitway
St. Laurent
Tremblay · VIA Rail
Hurdman · Southeast Transitway
Rideau River
uOttawa · Lees
Rideau Canal
Bayview · O-Train
Tunney's Pasture
Southwest Transitway
West Transitway

Confederation Line is the Light Rail Transit (LRT) line under construction in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The “Confederation Line” will be part of the O-Train network of OC Transpo while the existing line will be known as the “Trillium Line”.[1]

The project was approved by Ottawa City Council[2] and the contract was awarded in December 2012. Construction of the downtown portion of the project will be substantially completed by 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation. At a cost of just over $2 billion, it is the largest infrastructure project awarded in the history of the city and one of the largest transportation infrastructure projects in the world.[3]


The line was approved unanimously by the City Council on December 19, 2012 after many years of debate on a rapid transit network for the city. The line represents the initial phase of the network and will be implemented through a 30-year Design-Build-Finance-Maintenance agreement with the Rideau Transit Group.[4] The Citadis Spirit light train will be used to provide passenger service.

Route and stations[edit]


Plans call for Confederation Line to extend from Tunney's Pasture station in the west to Blair Road at Highway 174 in the east (Blair station), a distance of 12.5 km[3] including a tunnel running under Queen Street in the central business district.


There will be 13 stations along the line. It is proposed to change some of the names for stations shown on earlier plans to better reflect community locale and to be bilingual.[5] The three downtown subway stations are to have 120 metre platforms; the remainder will be 90 metres with provision for future expansion.

  • Tunney's Pasture station, a major federal government employment area and transfer point with the Southwest Transitway to Barrhaven and West Transitway to Kanata.
  • Bayview station, a major transfer point with the north-south O-Train to south Ottawa.
  • Pimisi station (previously called Lebreton station) is planned to have an aboriginal theme in consultation with the Algonquins of Ontario; the location will improve transit connections with Gatineau and create a new transit node along Booth Street.
  • Lyon station, located under Queen Street, replacing the Bay and Kent stations. To be integrated with Place de Ville's underground concourse.
  • Parliament station (original plans showed it as Downtown East), located under Queen Street, replacing the Bank and Metcalfe stations. Direct connection to the Sun Life Centre.
  • Rideau station, located under Rideau Street, integration with the Rideau Centre complex. Replaces the existing Mackenzie King Station and will be the most important transfer station, providing transfers between the Confederation Line and the city's urban bus routes to the east (Montreal Road) and south (Bank Street).
  • uOttawa station (originally called Campus station), to be built over the existing station, also replacing Laurier Station, serving the University of Ottawa.
  • Lees station
  • Hurdman station, a major transfer point with the Southeast Transitway to south Ottawa.
  • Tremblay station (originally called Train station), a transfer point to Via Rail inter-regional services at Ottawa Train Station. A pedestrian bridge is to be built to serve Ottawa Stadium north of the Queensway.
  • St. Laurent station, integrated with the St. Laurent Shopping Centre. Major transfer between the Confederation line and east end bus routes. Possibly the simplest conversion since it is already underground.
  • Cyrville station
  • Blair station, a major transfer point between with the East Transitway (Route 95) to Orleans.


The Citadis Spirit (wider variant of Citadis 302) light trainset has been ordered and will be assembled in Alstom's plant in Hornell, New York with final assembly in Ottawa at the new Belfast yards.[6][7]


A new depot and rail yard will be built at Belfast Road and St-Laurent Boulevard, directly behind OC Transpo's headquarters and main bus depot (down the track from Tremblay station).

Rail signalling[edit]

Signalling will be handled by Thales’ SelTrac semi-automatic communication-based train control (CBTC) technology.[8] Thales will design, build, maintain the system, and support its installation and commissioning.

Expansion beyond phase 1[edit]

In the fall of 2013, the City of Ottawa released its new transportation master plan[6][7] which includes 35 kilometres of new rapid transit and 19 new stations. This would extend the Confederation Line to the Bayshore Shopping Centre to the west, Algonquin College's Baseline Station to the south west, Riverside South to the south and Place d'Orleans to the east.

The city wants to start construction as soon as the first phase is completed in 2018. Construction is expected to end in 2023. The plan is however dependent on financial commitment from the upper tier governments ($1 billion from each level, for a total of $3 billion). The Government of Ontario has committed in principal based on the governing party's 2014 provincial election campaign platform.

The city is working on finalizing plans[9] for the current gap in service between Dominion Station and Lincoln Fields Station where buses travel a little over 4 kilometres without stopping on the Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway. The plan calls for burying trains for most of the route, creating a shorter, straighter alignment. The new route will also include two more rapid transit stations in an urban area with plenty of densification opportunities.

See also[edit]


Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "DESIGN, BUILD, FINANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF OTTAWA’S LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (OLRT) PROJECT". DISPOSITION 47. Ottawa City Council. 19 December 2012. Retrieved December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Schepers (December 4, 2012), p.6
  4. ^ Schepers (December 4, 2012), p.1
  5. ^ David Reevely (June 27, 2013). "New light-rail system takes shape". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved June 2013. [dead link]
  6. ^ a b "Alstom launches North American light rail vehicle with Ottawa contract". Railway Gazette. 2013-02-14. Archived from the original on 2014-09-06. "With a similar configuration to Citadis Dualis tram-trains used in the French cities of Nantes and Lyon, the version of the Citadis Spirit for Ottawa will be a 100% low-floor LRV with a top speed of 100 km/h and space for bicycles. It will be equipped to operate in 'extreme' winter conditions." 
  7. ^ a b William C. Vantuono (February 14, 2013). "Alstom finalizes Ottawa LRT contract". Railway Age. Retrieved June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ottawa LRT signalling award for Thales". Global Rail News. March 5, 2013. Retrieved June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Unsatisfied with City proposal partially bury western extension". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2013-06-12. 


External links[edit]