|Rolling stock||Alstom Citadis Spirit|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||(?), if any.|
The Confederation Line (French: Ligne de la Confédération) is a light rail transit (LRT) line under construction in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The Confederation Line will be part of the O-Train network operated by OC Transpo along with the existing diesel-powered Trillium Line. While using light rail vehicles and technology, the Confederation Line is completely grade separated with high frequency service and so falls towards the light metro end of the spectrum.
The project was approved by Ottawa City Council and the contract was awarded in December 2012. Construction began in 2013 and the downtown portion of the project will be substantially completed by 2017, the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation. The line is expected to open in 2018. At a cost of just over $2.1 billion, it is the largest infrastructure project awarded in the history of the city. The cost of phase 2 is $3 billion making the total cost $5.1 billion.
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. The Citadis Spirit light train will be used to provide passenger service.
On June 8, 2016, a sinkhole opened in the middle of Rideau Street near its intersection with Sussex Drive, 25 metres above the LRT tunnel construction, swallowing three lanes of the street and a parked van. The collapse forced evacuation of the Rideau Centre and the closing of a number of local streets and businesses; no one was injured or killed, but the nearly- completed tunnel was flooded, submerging a tunnel boring machine. Repairs are to take an undetermined amount of time.
Route and stations
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 (7.8 mi) including a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) tunnel running under Queen Street in the central business district. The line will connect to the existing Bus Rapid Transitway at Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west and Blair Road in the east, and to the O-Train Trillium Line at Bayview Station.
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. The three downtown subway stations are to have 120 metre platforms; the remainder will be 90 metres with provision for future expansion.
- Blair station, a major transfer point between with the East Transitway (Route 95) to Orleans.
- Cyrville station
- St. Laurent station, integrated with the St. Laurent Shopping Centre. Major transfer between the Confederation line and east end bus routes.
- Tremblay station (originally called Train station), a transfer point to Via Rail inter-regional services at Ottawa Train Station. A pedestrian bridge has been built to serve Ottawa Stadium north of the Queensway.
- Hurdman station, a major transfer point with the Southeast Transitway to south Ottawa.
- Lees station
- uOttawa station (originally called Campus station), to be built over the existing station, also replacing Laurier Station, serving the University of Ottawa.
- Rideau station, located under Rideau Street, integration with the Rideau Centre complex. Replaces the existing Mackenzie King Station and will be a major transfer station, providing transfers between the Confederation Line and the city's urban bus routes to the east (Montreal Road) and south (Bank Street).
- Parliament/Parlement 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 and Heritage Place.
- Lyon station, located under Queen Street, replacing the Bay and Kent stations. To be integrated with Place de Ville's underground concourse and a future Claridge residential development.
- 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.
- Bayview station, a major transfer point with the north-south Trillium Line to south Ottawa.
- Tunney's Pasture station, a major federal government employment area and transfer point with the Southwest Transitway to Barrhaven and West Transitway to Kanata.
As part of the winning consortium for the project, Alstom will provide thirty-four Citadis Spirit LRVs. It is the company's first order for modern light rail vehicles in North America, competing directly with similar models such as the Siemens S70 (which was originally ordered for the original extension plan for the Trillium Line but was later cancelled). Derived from the earlier Citadis X-04 series used in Europe, they will be assembled in Alstom's plant in Hornell, New York with final assembly in Ottawa at a new depot and rail yard at Belfast Road and St-Laurent Boulevard, directly behind OC Transpo's headquarters and main bus depot (down the track from Tremblay station).
Signalling on the line will be handled by Thales’ SelTrac semi-automatic communication-based train control (CBTC) technology. Thales will design, build, maintain the system, and support its installation and commissioning.
In mid-April 2015, OC Transpo posted a list of bus route changes as a result of the closure of the Transitway between Hurdman Station and Blair Station. As a result of the closure, many new routes are being created and existing routes modified, most notably routes 94, 95, and 96. Many routes will use new bus-only lanes on Highway 417, and several others will be altered or shortened to avoid serving the construction area. The changes are meant to provide extra service to those in areas affected by the Transitway closure, and to avoid as many delays as possible while construction on the Confederation Line progresses. The 417 widening project is finished.
Stage 2 and beyond
The City of Ottawa is promoting the Stage 2 project to extend the Confederation Line, once it is finished, eastwards by 4 or 5 stations and westwards by 10 stations.
In November 2013, the City of Ottawa released its new transportation master plan which includes 35 kilometres of new rapid transit and 19 new stations. This would extend the city's rapid transit service to the west at Bayshore Shopping Centre, south west at Algonquin College's Baseline Station, south to Riverside South and Place d'Orleans to the east.
The city plans to start construction as soon as the first phase is complete in 2018. The full system would be operational by 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 election campaign platform.
The city is working on finalizing plans 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 new rapid transit stations in an urban area with plenty of densification opportunities.
In July 2015, the city released a functional report on the Stage 2 system expansion. This report added the possibility of an airport link on the Trillium Line and a further extension from Place d'Orleans to Trim Road.
- "Transit commission on board with new O-Train name". Metro News. September 17, 2014. Retrieved December 2014.
O-Train passengers could be boarding the expanded and newly named Trillium Line by mid-NovemberCheck date values in:
- "DESIGN, BUILD, FINANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF OTTAWA'S LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (OLRT) PROJECT" (PDF). DISPOSITION 47. Ottawa City Council. 19 December 2012. Retrieved December 2012. Check date values in:
- "2015 Look Ahead" (PDF). Confederation Line. 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
- "Confederation Line Station Names". OC Transpo. 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2015-06-10.
- Schepers (December 4, 2012), p.6
- Schepers (December 4, 2012), p.1
- Pearson, Matthew (June 9, 2016). "What caused Ottawa's giant sinkhole? Investigation and repairs underway". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2016-06-09.
- "Confederation Line". City of Ottawa. 2015. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
- David Reevely (June 27, 2013). "New light-rail system takes shape". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved June 2013. Check date values in:
- "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.
- William C. Vantuono (February 14, 2013). "Alstom finalizes Ottawa LRT contract". Railway Age. Retrieved June 2013. Check date values in:
- "Ottawa LRT signalling award for Thales". Global Rail News. March 5, 2013. Retrieved June 2013. Check date values in:
- "OC Transpo - On Track 2018". April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- "Stage 2 - East, West and South". City of Ottawa. 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-01.
- "Transportation Master Plan". City of Ottawa. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
- "Unsatisfied with City proposal partially bury western extension". Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
- City of Ottawa (2015-06-29). "Stage 2 LRT". Stage 2 LRT Ressources. City of Ottawa. Retrieved 2015-07-06.
- Schepers, Nancy (December 4, 2012). "DESIGN, BUILD, FINANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF OTTAWA'S LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (OLRT) PROJECT" (PDF). Report to Council. City of Ottawa. Retrieved December 2012. Check date values in:
- Schepers, Nancy (June 22, 2015). Report to Finance and Economic Development Committee 29 June 2015 and Council 8 July 2015. Submitted on June 22, 2015 by Nancy Schepers, Executive Advisor, Light Rail Planning and Implementation. File Number: ACS2015-CMR-OCM-0017. SUBJECT: STAGE 2 LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT (LRT) ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND FUNCTIONAL DESIGN REPORT. Retrieved July 6, 2015.