Loose Rail transit

It gets cold in Canada. Particularly if you’re living in Ottawa. In January/February, it gets extremely cold in Canada. I’ll admit to not being an expert, but you’d think someone might want to tell the experts.

Saturday’s service outage on the Confederation Line was caused by a clamp on the overhead power line that shifted “by just millimetres” in the extreme cold, Transit Commission chair Allan Hubley said Sunday.

“The train has to get its power from the catenary. And if there’s any change, even by just millimetres, it kills the power to that train. It says, ‘Something’s wrong.’ ”

The Confederation Line was out of service east of Hurdman Station for almost the entire day on Saturday. OC Transpo replaced it with R1 shuttle buses between Blair Road Station and Hurdman, and ran trains between Hurdman and Tunney’s Pasture on a reduced frequency.

Five trains were stopped on the tracks by the shutdown. All passengers were evacuated safely to platforms.

These guys are new, right? I mean, tell me this is their first time in Ottawa. Please? Okay, so the trains didn’t go sideways when we got spanked with 48 CM of snow. Awesome. That’s good. But we hit -25 or -30 degrees a hell of a lot more often than we get whacked by record snowfall–that’s why it’s record snowfall. Someone… included that in a memo to these guys, right?

At least they got everyone off the trains without issue–that would be a whole other problem our belovedly broken train system doesn’t need to deal with. But I think if I have things to do for the foreseeable future, I’ll just pay Uber or Lyft. Especially if it’s cold.

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