OC Transpo reports major train shortage on Ottawa LRT during Thursday morning snowfall

Service on the Confederation Line was six trains short during Thursday morning’s heavy snowfall, causing longer wait times for passengers, according to OC Transpo.

Only seven trains — instead of the 13 needed for peak travel periods — were launched on the LRT system for the morning rush hour, the head of the public transit agency said in a 6:30 a.m. update sent to media.

By 7 a.m., OC Transpo had reported that two trains had stopped on the tracks due to “vehicle power issues” — one at the underground Rideau station, the other at Tremblay, just east of the downtown core.

Service continued around the stopped trains as crews worked to remove them from the line, OC Transpo boss John Manconi said. Manconi reported at around 8 a.m. that immobilized trains were off the tracks and there was full service on the line with longer wait times in between trains.

Manconi’s series of updates didn’t explain why Thursday morning’s service had only seven trains to begin with.

But the serious train shortage comes just hours after LRT service was restored to the line’s east end following an issue Wednesday afternoon with the overhead wire system that supplies power to the trains.

A part of the overhead catenary became “loose” Wednesday, OC Transpo said. Trains initially stopped running between Blair and St-Laurent stations, which extended to Hurdman station shortly after.

Riders also had to be evacuated off two trains that stopped on the tracks, one just east of St-Laurent and the second just east of Tremblay station, near Ottawa’s Via Rail station.

OC Transpo had to deploy replacement bus service to carry riders between Hurdman and Blair stations. LRT service between Hurdman and Tunney’s Pasture stations was unaffected, except for a train that halted later in the evening at uOttawa station.

End-to-end service was restored at 12:20 a.m., according to OC Transpo.

Transit officials are expected to provide more information about the latest LRT issues a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. on Thursday.

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