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OC Transpo opens up east end of Confederation Line after overnight repairs

Though the issue has been resolved, crews will continue to investigate the damaged overhead power system at the Confederation Line's east end, according to a memo from Ottawa's transit general manager Renée Amilcar. (Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)
Though the issue has been resolved, crews will continue to investigate the damaged overhead power system at the Confederation Line's east end, according to a memo from Ottawa's transit general manager Renée Amilcar. (Andrew Lee/CBC - image credit)

OC Transpo says the entire Confederation Line is back up and running after crews completed overnight maintenance on the system that powers Ottawa's LRT line.

In a memo to city council sent out Sunday morning, general manager Renée Amilcar said the work conducted by Rideau Transit Maintenance was "successful." Furthermore, she said rail service launched this morning for all platforms from Tunney's Pasture to Blair Station.

The issue began on Friday night. OC Transpo said a rail operator reported seeing sparks from a pole that supported the Confederation Line's overhead wires.

On Saturday morning, OC Transpo cut service to one track between St-Laurent and Blair stations.

But later on Saturday afternoon, Amilcar said the line would would be shut down between St-Laurent and Blair stations at midnight — two hours before the end of service — to give crews more time to complete maintenance work.

Replacement R1 bus service ran from St-Laurent to Blair during the late night shutdown, while a shuttle also operated between St-Laurent and Cyrville.

Previous power issues

It's not the first time a problem with the Confederation Line's power system has caused delays or disruptions.

A buildup of dirt and grit caused electrical issues on New Year's Eve in 2020. Ice buildup during a January 2023 ice storm caused sparks, flashing, and ultimately a partial shutdown that lasted several days.

Amilcar's memo said the city and its transit partners will continue to assess the affected system and schedule "necessary repairs to permanently resolve the issue and allow the temporary solution to be removed."

Details and updates will be provided at the next Transit Commission meeting in March, Amilcar said.