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DavidBellerive

Confederation Line - Train Tests Spotting

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Hey everyone, first post around here. Since testing is increasing, I thought it could be interesting to build a database of train outings across the alignment. Feel free to contribute with your own spotting!

On my end, currently next to uOttawa station, spotted the following (all in singles):

1107, 1116, 1120, 1122 - 1124, 1126, 1131

Additionally, a double was spotted at uOttawa also, however I didn't catch the set numbers. I'll update if I catch it. UPDATE: Double is number 1114 and 1130.

Based on what I can see on the next train displays and headway, it seems they are testing them between Blair and Rideau, with maybe another loop on the other side of the tunnel.

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Hi David, welcome to O-Train Fans.

This is a great idea. Thank you for sharing your findings. Eager to see them testing more and more. Day 1 is quickly approaching.

Great cover photo on your profile of Tunney's. Love it!

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Thanks! Glad to see there is more people that are excited with the network we are getting in our city!

Day 1 is closer than ever, and seeing the increased testing (both in quantity of vehicles, speed and length) is a nice sight, as it seems it took "forever" to get there. I'll definitely try to catch as many trains as possible whenever they start running!

I'll update the initial post with a list of all the sets spotted or not, so we can "guess" how much of the fleet is missing.

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Hey, been reading you guys for a while now and felt like giving a small contribution. 

I'm a student at uOttawa, and I study a lot at the FSS building. The building has a large view over uOttawa Station, and today I felt like spotting and I saw a lot a train movement there. 

During my studies I took the time to spot all the trains being tested on the line today. From 4pm to around 6:30pm. I spotted:

#1116, #1132, #1126, #1107, #1118, #1124, #1131 and #1114+#1130 (seems like the only double train couple being tested on the line)

After 6:30pm I went to walk by the station, and I saw #1126 stationed. For some reason the information display telling when the next train is coming was displaying a ''HELD'', meaning that all trains on the line were stopped. Maybe employees were on break or there was a problem with one of the trains I don't really know. 

I also noted a few other things, like when a train enters the station and stops, it will not open the doors. It’ll stop for about 15sec and then carry on in what ever direction it’s going. 

Also, it seems that couple trains operate at lower speeds then single trains. 
I lived in France for 13 years, and I’m used to the Alstom Citadis family of trams/LRVs. I was wondering what electric power-train the Citadis Spirit uses? Because the noise they make when they accelerate is completely different from their European counterparts. They sound almost like the Citadis Dualis which is also a variant of Citadis used as Hybrid Tram/Train (they can be used as LRVs, Streetcar or Mainline Train) for the European Market.

Example here:

 

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During my observations (from FFS also), it seems the "HELD" message is shown when they are changing the test pattern, or likely when testing stops for staff rotation or adjustments.

While they will automatically open doors during rush-hour, they won't do this if it is quite cold outside, or there is low traffic. Reasoning is it is more energy + time efficient if no one actually gets in or off from a stating in low-traffic situation (end of night rides, etc.). However, the current behavior of really short stops is more to get drivers accommodated to platform spotting and ensure proper positioning, more than actual "practice service", at least I presume. Lower speed of the double train is one thing I also noticed, likely to do with which tests they are doing at the time and the level of certifications of each respective unit.

As for the powertrain and sound, they are using a 750V DC, with a 1500V DC power-supply from catenary. Someone will have to double check me on this, but it seems other Citadis variants use a 600V DC engine, which might explain the sound difference. It is also likely that some of the sound difference comes from the actual acceleration curve profile + load dynamics of the engine used. I'll see if I can find more information about those.

Glad to see we are adding more vehicles to the list spotted, adding 1118 and 1132 to the count!

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Went back today to spot some more. Very interesting day today. 

#1116, #1132, #1122, #1133, #1121, #1124, #1118, #1131, #1117, #1107, #1115 were rolling. 

As for the tests it appears, they were testing the Thales System at around 5pm today. Several times I saw going eastbound one train pulling inside the station and another train following very closely behind (about 50 meters behind). Very impressive to watch. Every time the front train would move, the one just behind would move also keeping the 50 meters gap. 

Around 7pm trains started doing more classic looking tests. But I realised quickly that they we're testing the trains between Blair and uOttawa. Trains going westbound would turn around at the switch before the tunnel. Sometimes two trains would be waiting at the switch waiting to go back eastbound. 

And concerning the Citadis version used in Europe they have engines working on 750V DC.

PS: Concerning recent concerns about reliability of the trains, I’m not too worried. Citadis are very reliable trains. In France out of 30 Tram/LRT systems 24 use Citadis trains with different use. In Bordeaux and Tours use central third rail, Nice uses rechargeable battery and until now I’ve never heard of any problem concerning the trains. Grenoble a town that receives every winter a lot of snow, never heard of any huge breakdowns either. Only critics I’ve heard is from systems where trains go to their top speed (80km/h) like in Lyon, where people say suspension are a bit hard and the trains tends to shake a bit.

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Interesting information. I have yet to be close enough to clearly hear the startup sound of the trains when leaving stations.

Based on your comments on the trains that were running closely together, it sounds like they are testing the control system to the max, to ensure safe operations and proper communications.

It will be interesting to see how over time they may increase capacity by running the trains at even shorter intervals. I believe in rush hour they are going to start at every 5 minutes. In Montreal on the Metro, it isn't uncommon to see them running every 2-3 minutes. Although I think in their case and due to how they operate, I don't see them getting even shorter, as they only dispatch trains from the stations when the next station is clear, to avoid a tunnel evac as much as possible. Our system doesn't seem to be limited by this, as well, the inter-station distances are longer in some areas, and will be especially on Stage 2 towards Orleans.

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Brought you guys a little surprise. Went for a spotting yesterday night around 9:30pm after class on the pathway between uOttawa and Lees. Not the greatest quality but eh! I'm no professional. Lees is a very good spot to watch train come and go. The pathway is fully open between uOttawa & Lees. Note that #1105 was out for testing also yesterday. 

 

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Less will indeed be an amazing stating to spot from, especially with the pathway on the side, the overpass right after and the Ottawa river not far. Cant't wait for the part of the MUP between Lees and Hurdman to open, will be an incredible photo spot.

2 hours ago, Shane said:

It will be interesting to see how over time they may increase capacity by running the trains at even shorter intervals. I believe in rush hour they are going to start at every 5 minutes.

As far as the technical design goes, headways can reach a minimum of 80-90 seconds with the current generation of ATO systems we have, but it does not limit two other factors: the length and capacity of trains. Headways of 80 seconds would still represent a 200-220% increase in throughput, either by increasing speed on the line (which is possible) or the amount of trains. However, adapting the network for longer trains would likely need a rebuild of stations, as they are designed for 100m length overground (with a protected space for the additional 20m), 120m in the tunnelled sections. Not sure what they could add in that 20m down the road though. An additional module to each train?

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UPDATED SPOTTING LIST

As of March 15, the following units have been spotted at uOttawa or Lees Station.

1105, 1107, 1114 - 1118, 1120 - 1126, 1130 - 1133 (19 trains)

This leaves us with the following as missing, or on other sections of the alignment:

1101 - 1103, 1106, 1108 - 1113, 1119, 1127 - 1129 and 1134 (15 trains)

We know there is at least 24 vehicles that have been certified so far, some with minor deficiencies, but I think we can all agree that both the testing frequency and amount of vehicles has increased. We are getting sooo close.

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2 hours ago, Matth69000 said:

Brought you guys a little surprise. Went for a spotting yesterday night around 9:30pm after class on the pathway between uOttawa and Lees. Not the greatest quality but eh! I'm no professional. Lees is a very good spot to watch train come and go. The pathway is fully open between uOttawa & Lees. Note that #1105 was out for testing also yesterday. 

 

Great video clips Matt. Thank you for taking them and sharing. Things are really advancing well now. 

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5 hours ago, DavidBellerive said:

Not sure what they could add in that 20m down the road though. An additional module to each train?

That's exactly what they will do. It's been very public that the plan is to eventually add another module to the train to get to about 120m in length. That's where part of the 25000ppdph number comes from (along with adding more trains to a degree).

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I had read that as well. It will be interesting to see when the time does come if it will still be possible to do; whether the modules will still be available to be made or if they will be discontinued, precluding the possibility of lengthening the trains. I can appreciate that having gotten longer trains right from the start would have necessitated the longer stations from the start as well, which would have incurred more costs. Still, this particular Citadis variation is brand new so if sales go well, it should be available for quite some time.

Does anyone know what the expected lifecycle should be on the Citadis Spirit train sets?

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19 minutes ago, Shane said:

I had read that as well. It will be interesting to see when the time does come if it will still be possible to do; whether the modules will still be available to be made or if they will be discontinued, precluding the possibility of lengthening the trains. I can appreciate that having gotten longer trains right from the start would have necessitated the longer stations from the start as well, which would have incurred more costs. Still, this particular Citadis variation is brand new so if sales go well, it should be available for quite some time.

Does anyone know what the expected lifecycle should be on the Citadis Spirit train sets?

Well Citadis trains have entered services in the early 2000's. So we don't really have a system replacing them yet. But I would say a good 30 years. I know that the Citadis 401 series in Montpellier started rolling in 2000, and the city has no plan on replacing them so that gives you a good idea. 

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I took a short video at Bayview yesterday. With the escalators, the trains and the announcements it really felt like an active transit station yesterday afternoon. I can't wait for the system to finally open!

 

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.Good afternoon all

The following units were spotted at Tunney's Pasture yesterday at around 2:45pm

1107, 1109, 1121, *1116-1125 (*This was the only 2 car train) and a un-numbered unit

I got a couple of pictures to share as well. 

20190315_145815.thumb.jpg.92224c34b9949afd7f11f526f1a74eb6.jpg

20190315_145239.thumb.jpg.250b5757dd0dcadd61e014d6f60dadb6.jpg

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23 hours ago, DavidBellerive said:

 This leaves us with the following as missing, or on other sections of the alignment:

1101 - 1103, 1106, 1108 - 1113, 1119, 1127 - 1129 and 1134 (15 trains)

I spotted 1103 around Hurdman on February 14th (just found the note I made of it). 

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On 3/16/2019 at 3:05 PM, occheetos said:

I spotted 1103 around Hurdman on February 14th (just found the note I made of it). 

Noted on my side. Since I don't want to spam updated listing, I'll put it as part of the next update.

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I was out earlier today at Tremblay Station around 12pm, and I saw the following trains pass: 1112, 1124, 1131. I was only there for 5-10 minutes train spotting. 

They seemed to be operating at a 5 minute interval in both directions.

 

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Seen on Reddit earlier today, interesting observations.

Reddit

Basically, max track speed would be 90km/h, not 80. Today 20 vehicles were on the line at the same time, and they are back to a higher speed profile. So it seems we are at a point where the system can run sufficient vehicles at the same time (regular operation will be 15 "vehicles"), and able to function at the time intervals expected!

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