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Shane

Revenue Service Availability date for Confederation Line

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Great analysis of the situation David. Thank you for sharing.

I read online today (Shared on the Skyscraper forum by Brad Nixon) that the brake valve repairs started yesterday and that RTG says they can do 4 vehicles per day, which would mean 9 days to do the whole fleet if all goes well.

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49 minutes ago, Shane said:

Great analysis of the situation David. Thank you for sharing.

I read online today (Shared on the Skyscraper forum by Brad Nixon) that the brake valve repairs started yesterday and that RTG says they can do 4 vehicles per day, which would mean 9 days to do the whole fleet if all goes well.

Yeah, same figure was given during the FEDCO, but Manconi was not "trusty" of the figure, given that RTG hasn't manage to achieve such levels in the past. However, the door issue is really the big point that will define the future timetable. 14 doors per train, 34 units for a total of 476 doors that might (or might not) need a rebuild and redesign. I am no expert, but this seems to me to be the key time-factor. And it goes without saying that RTG / Alstom will be redesigning those out of pocket. That's a massive cost for them, in addition to not be paid until significant completion. Is it gonna bankrupt them? Of course not. But I can tell you it will hurt their bids in the future.

I still believe the Alstom product is a lot better than the equivalent Bombardier Flexity, but I think RTG has waited way too long to address those issues. It has been on the table for months, and yet here we are. Of course those issues were expected, as it is with most "new designs", but the way you address them matters a lot.

Because of this attitude, we are forced to consider (again) a fall / winter launch, which is gonna be far from ideal. I definitely do not want a spring 2020 launch, because I can already say it will be atrocious for the bus service this winter. We need RTG / Alstom to deliver, and quickly.

On a more positive / optimistic note, the city will likely enable the ticket machines that are facing the street (uOttawa and others), so that people can reload their presto there before opening the line. This should help take some traffic away from service centres, but also increase the refill points for most users. Drivers at OC Transpo have (for the most part) been working overtime, many of them 7 days a week, even cancelling their vacation. Without their efforts, the situation would be a lot worse, and I think being courteous and nice to them is the least we can do. It is difficult on everyone, so let's make sure we try our best to find positivity in all this!

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Good Day.

Question - any backgrounder or insider info for hoping the vending machines will be turned on ? It would definitely be a good thing !

Thanks !

 

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12 hours ago, PHrenetic said:

Good Day.

Question - any backgrounder or insider info for hoping the vending machines will be turned on ? It would definitely be a good thing !

Thanks !

 

I asked this about the ones on the southeast transitway and apparently the answer is revenue service for all of them.

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23 hours ago, PHrenetic said:

Good Day.

Question - any backgrounder or insider info for hoping the vending machines will be turned on ? It would definitely be a good thing !

Thanks !

 

From the FEDCO meeting, seems unlikely that they will be turned on before. Brought up during the Q&A at the end. Manconi said they might consider it, but haven't said it was a sure thing.

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RTG have until this week to provide a new date. I am not expecting that we will hear about it until the city has reviewed it to see if it even makes sense this time around. The recent dialog from Manconi and Watson seem to suggest this.

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City council has approved the fare freeze extension until the opening of the Confederation Line.

Fare reduction was voted down as “there is no money for it” or guarantees they could recoup it from RTG.

I think we need as a city to reconsider how we distribute the transit cost burden, but for now, guess it is the best we will get!

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Yesterday, it was reported by Jon Willing that : "The city is continuing with its review of RTG’s readiness of the Light Rail System and the requirement to provide the City with a highly confident and achievable RSA date. The City is expecting an update from RTG next week.”

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5 hours ago, Shane said:

Yesterday, it was reported by Jon Willing that : "The city is continuing with its review of RTG’s readiness of the Light Rail System and the requirement to provide the City with a highly confident and achievable RSA date. The City is expecting an update from RTG next week.”

IMO the city should have exercised its right to the RSA failure penalty. RTG has been giving "unrealistic" RSA knowingly, which means they should pay for them.

However, if we end up with an actually realistic and confident RSA, which the city will be able to use in order to ready the network, I guess it is "worth it"...

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My thoughts are yes they will receive a new date but based on how Manconi spoke at FEDCO, I feel they will be reluctant to share any dates now until they can have a high confidence in it being followed through. (Rightfully so)

Having said that, the stations are done. The trains are operating, it’s just the ongoing issues that need to be addressed and things will finally wrap up. 

Thinking back to 2018, the original RSA was in May, then it was November...

I started this site back in July of 2018, honestly optimistic (perhaps too optimistic) that it was going to open in November. Looking back at the old Snapshot updates from before November, it was clear it wasn't going to happen. This pattern continued into the spring of this year. We are now at a point where the stations are done and the only visible work is cleanup, landscaping and some art installation, hardly anything that would delay an opening.

The point I am trying to make is that in retrospect, last year at this time, it did not visually appear they were close. Now they are, its unfortunate that the trains are the last key part holding things back.

Bottom line, it will be ready when its ready. I don't think it will be a year from now, or even half a year. By now the issue with the brakes (according to FEDCO timeline for their repair and refit) is probably completed. The doors and coupled train operations seem to be the main things remaining (along with some smaller deficiencies). Since this is work that is handled behind closed doors, unlike the stations that we can readily and easily see, we will just have to wait for the good news to arrive and hear the progress from the memos and updates released and the FEDCO meetings.

Being the ever optimist, that news could come sooner than we think. I hope so.

Fingers crossed!

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MEDIA ADVISORY

For immediate release

June 17, 2019

Mayor Watson to meet with Alstom and RTG executives

Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and City of Ottawa senior management will meet with Mr. Henri Poupart-Lafarge, CEO, Alstom and Mr. Peter Lauch, CEO, Rideau Transit Group.

Where: Mayor’s Office, Heritage Building, 110 Laurier Ave. West
When: Tuesday, June 18

Time: B-roll at approximately 5:15p.m. Media availability will follow

-30-

For more information:

Livia Belcea
Press Secretary
Office of Mayor Jim Watson

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Might get some answers tomorrow or an idea of a timeline. Going to be an early news week. 

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The Mayor has shared the news that Alstom promises to have the trains ready by July 7th. RTG will handover the system in the 2nd or 3rd week of August. Following 4 weeks for OC Transpo to ready for the launch, passengers should be riding the rails in September. 

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1 hour ago, Shane said:

The Mayor has shared the news that Alstom promises to have the trains ready by July 7th. RTG will handover the system in the 2nd or 3rd week of August. Following 4 weeks for OC Transpo to ready for the launch, passengers should be riding the rails in September. 

Here is a few things we can look forward to see this summer, even though we will still not ride the trains:

  • 12 days service simulation (mostly 4 minutes intervals, coupled-units, with full door and announcements operations)
  • Removal of all fencing and finalization of operational arrangements (fall service, fleet reorganizations, MUP openings along the alignment)
  • Regular scheduled running of units, especially after handover
  • 360 degrees views of (each?) station

As for opening in September, I am conflicted. Of course I am happy for it opening as soon as possible, but September is the "worst" of all seasons for launching such a new system. On the bright-side, we do get to ride it before 2020, and therefore experience Stage 1 Confederation Line with "Pre-Stage 2" Trillium line. Hopefully both RTG, OC and Alstom will deliver on-time (or earlier), making the transition as easy as possible.

Eitherway, I am very hopeful the transition will bring better reliability and service across the city. A lot of people might be sceptic, but I sincerely believe we are making progress in the right destination.

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