Trillium Line

Overview of the Trillium Line

The Trillium Line, also known as Line 2 of the O-Train network, first opened on October 15, 2001 and runs North to South in Ottawa. Pictured above is the Bombardier Talent 643, the first train model used.

First called the O-Train, this line was a pilot project to see the public's reception and to test alternative modes of public transit in Ottawa. The system was quick and inexpensive to setup, due to it using an already existing Canadian Pacific Railway track. The real cost was acquiring the trains, building the stations themselves and the passing track at Carleton Station. Being in a dedicated transit corridor and free from any traffic, the line quickly proved successful, especially for students and faculty at Carleton University who were finally served a rapid transit connection to the rest of the bus network. The line consisted initially of only 5 stations which included new stations at Bayview, Carling, Carleton, Confederation (later renamed Mooney's Bay) as well as the existing station of Greenboro (expanded and modified to accommodate the O-Train platform), with a length of 8km.

The first rolling stock used was the Bombardier Talent 643 trainsets, numbered C1 to C3. Incidentally, these trains were purchased as part of a larger order by Deutsche Bahn in Germany. The trains received in Ottawa were configured identically to those in Germany, including overhead luggage racks and washrooms (both of which were closed off for their use here). OC Transpo had 3 of the Talent trains, of which only 2 would run on the line at the same time, and the 3rd was kept as a backup. This is due to the line being single tracked with the only possible point for trains to pass at Carleton Station. Trains would depart every 15 minutes.

Starting in 2013, work had begun to create more passing tracks along the line, specifically at Gladstone and Walkley, with the effect of allowing more trains to run concurrently along the line, thus increasing frequency and capacity. At the same time, 6 new trainsets were acquired, specifically the Alstom Coradia LINT 41, to permit the increase in train operations and frequency. The new trains are numbered C4 to C9.

The upgraded service began on March 2, 2015, marking the first major changes to the line's operations, and at the same time the retirement of the Bombardier Talent trains. The frequency was anticipated to decrease from 15 to as low as 8 minutes, however issues due to the track layout and configuration didn't allow this to happen and service is now between 10-12 minutes. 

Since the beginning, trains have been stored and maintained at Walkley Yards, located Northeast of Greenboro Station, along Albion Road North and Kitchener Avenue. On occasion, it is possible to visit the facility during the annual Doors Open Ottawa event in early June.

In September 2014, the O-Train was renamed the Trillium Line, in anticipation of the opening of the Confederation Line and to allow the name O-Train to now refer collectively to both lines.

With the arrival of the Confederation Line in 2018, Bayview Station will serve as its connection to the Trillium Line and become the only O-Train interchange station.

Stage 2 LRT will begin construction in 2019 and will bring with it an expansion of 8 new stations to the Trillium Line by 2021. Two new stations will be built along the passing tracks at Gladstone and Walkley. The service will extend from Greenboro as far as Limebank Road in Ottawa South, with a separate spur line from South Keys Station to the Ottawa International Airport. The new service will also feature 7 new trainsets, the Stadler FLIRT, which will be powered by diesel, but retain the capability for electric operations at a future date. The new trains will run alongside the existing Alstom Coradia LINT 41 trains currently in service.

Alstom Coradia LINT 41 passing over the Rideau River by Carleton University
Inside of the Alstom Coradia LINT 41
Alstom Coradia LINT 41 pictured at Carleton Station
 

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Sunday, 16 December 2018