Management & Operations

Light Rail Projects Make Inroads in U.S., Beyond

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Janna Starcic, Executive Editor

Page 2 of 3

Ottawa, Ontario’s Confederation Line light rail system will feature a 1.5-mile downtown tunnel and 13 stations.
Ottawa, Ontario’s Confederation Line light rail system will feature a 1.5-mile downtown tunnel and 13 stations.

Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa, Ontario’s Confederation Line light rail system will feature a 1.5-mile downtown tunnel and 13 stations.

In early October, officials gathered to mark the commencement of tunnel construction for Ottawa, Ontario’s Confederation Line Light Rail Transit system — touted as the “largest infrastructure project in the city’s history.” The eight-mile starter line, which features a 1.5-mile downtown tunnel and 13 stations, will alleviate congestion through the downtown core.

The Confederation Line is a $2.1 billion project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa. The project is the first stage in Ottawa’s future rail network. The electric light rail system replaces existing diesel-powered buses, providing rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west.

In late February, Alstom finalized a contract to provide 34 light rail vehicles and 30 years of maintenance services to the Rideau Transit Group consortium that was selected to design, build, finance and maintain the Confederation Line. Alstom’s portion of the contract is worth approximately $520 million.

Alstom will launch a new light rail vehicle (LRV) for the Ottawa system — the Citadis Spirit. Designed as a high-capacity LRV, the vehicle will be able to operate in extreme winter conditions and reach maximum speeds of up to 65 mph, reducing travel time between suburban areas and the city center.

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