OC Transpo Line 1 returns to full service following month long shutdown

Aug. 15, 2023
The rail service returned following wheel hub assembly replacement and track adjustments to ensure safe operation of the service.

OC Transpo operated service along its full line on Aug. 14 for the first time since mid-July. Service had been suspended following the discovery of an issue with a bearing. After track adjustments, safety inspections and testing on the entire line were completed.

“It’s a very good day today because we were able to return service,” Renée Amilcar, general manager, Transit Services Department for the city of Ottawa told a media briefing.

Line 1 service will operate with 11 single-car trains providing service every five minutes during peak periods in the morning and 13 cars providing service every four minutes during the afternoon peak. During off-peak hours, nine single-car trains will provide service every six minutes.

Service was suspended along the line on July 17 after a routine inspection found excess grease on a wheel axle. Rideau Transit Group (RTG) and Alstom were tasked with inspecting every axle on the rail cars used in service on Line 1. It was determined the cars needed a new inspection and replacement regime that included the replacement of leading and trailing wheel hub assemblies and axles every 60,000 kilometers (37,282 miles) and a new inspection regime was needed for middle bogies.

Following instrumented bogies tests, RTG and Alstom determined track infrastructure work was needed to ensure train wheels did not come into contact with the retraining rail. This required adjustments to be made to 16 restraining rails.

“The last four weeks we’ve been following the principles of safety and transparency and now we are finally able to have service across the entire line. It is critically important that OC Transpo and the members of the consortium continue to work together on the permanent solutions, the solutions that will ensure we have consistently safe and reliable service that our customers expect and that they deserve,” said Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe.

While the rail line was undergoing maintenance work, OC Transpo operated bus service to would be rail riders. According to Almicar, the R1, R1 Express and Para R1 service was appreciated by riders and the bus lines will remain in operation at least through the end of 2023.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.