Ottawa Light Rail: Never-Before-Seen Video Featured for Final Day of Hearings


Ottawa Light Rail: Unreleased video presented for the final day of hearings

This derailment – the second in two months – led to the closure of the Ottawa transit system track from September 19 to November 11, 2021 (Archived).

For the 18th and final day of hearings, a video of the incident that arguably sparked the creation of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit Commission of Inquiry was released. broadcast: it shows the derailment of a train leaving Tremblay station last fall, throwing stones on the station platform.

In addition to this video, which had never been shown to the public before, a second closed circuit camera captured the Rideau Transit Maintenance maintenance man, who was on this train and disembarked at the station after having heard a noise.

The OC Transpo operator, however, did not notice that the train had derailed. The vehicle traveled another 1,400 feet with 12 passengers on board.

This derailment – the second in two months – resulted in the closure of the railroad track of the public transit system in x27;Ottawa from September 19 to November 11, 2021 and led the City of Ottawa to issue a second Notice of Default to the Rideau Transit Group (RTG) for breaching its contract.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) concluded last November that an Alstom maintenance employee had failed to properly tighten a bolt on the wheel hub before a change. shift.

This accident demonstrated that inconsistent and incomplete maintenance of the most important components of the train can have serious consequences, had written the former director of railway investigations of the TSB, Paul Treboutat, who has since been hired as chief of the OC Transpo security.

Employees of the train manufacturer Alstom analyze the rail among markers placed on the tracks on September 20, 2021 after an OC Transpo light train derailed west of Tremblay station (archives).

Lawyers for the Commission, created by the provincial government to investigate Ottawa's light rail, had so far questioned witnesses little about the September derailment.

This instead, are an outside lawyer for the City of Ottawa and a lawyer for the builder and train maintenance subcontractor, Alstom, who presented the two videos, Thursday morning.

They showed different camera angles from the Tremblay station platform, in order to make two very different arguments.

Alstom's lawyer, Me Michael Valo, spoke earlier in the week about the City of Ottawa's incident report on the day of the September derailment during the interview with Troy Charter, the operations manager of the City of Ottawa. OC Transpo.

The radio transcript showed the driver was distracted and talking to the control room about smelling human excrement on the train, while parked at Tremblay station, Valo said. /p>

Mr. Charter refuted the argument that the operator was distracted. But Me Valo felt that with the driver's cabin window open, he should have heard the ballast hit the west platform, the vehicle scrape and the gearbox drop.

Me Valo spoke again about driver distraction Thursday when interviewing Mario Guerra, CEO of Rideau Transit Maintenance Group, a consortium with a mandate to maintain and repair the light rail and infrastructure once service begins. /p>

The operator should have noticed the problem and stopped the vehicle sooner, Guerra said, which would have minimized extensive damage further down the lane. The operator should have seen dust on his cameras, he added.

However, City of Ottawa lawyers instead suggested on two occasions that the Rideau Transit Maintenance manager could have done more.

< p class="e-p">Steven Nadon was on the train that day, which he mentioned during his interview with the lawyers in charge of the public inquiry in April.

I was with my family, my grandchildren, just for a ride. We were taking the train for the first time, they were excited, he said then.

Between [the stations] Saint-Laurent and Tremblay, I heard snapping noise coming from below and I thought a cable had come loose or something was dragging. So I said to my wife, “We're going to get off at the next station because I don't think that train will get to our final destination. It will be decommissioned”.

During Thursday's hearings, a lawyer for the firm hired by the City of Ottawa released the video showing Mr. Nadon getting downstairs and taking out his phone.

He took no action to stop this train. He didn't press the emergency passenger intercom, did he? He didn't put his foot in the door to stop the train? questioned Me Catherine Gleason-Mercier, one of the City of Ottawa's lawyers, in a series of questions similar to those her colleague asked Mr. Charter earlier in the week.

Mr. Guerra, however, felt that there was no reason for Mr. Nadon to take such action, but that Mr. Nadon had reported the issue. The latter indeed mentioned in an interview that he had called the control center to say that the train had to be taken out of service.

During his testimony, Mr. Guerra also suggested that the light rail should have been tested over a longer period to avoid problems. According to him, the rail tests were not carried out during the winter, for example, which would have allowed the adjustments necessary for its proper functioning.

However, he considers that the light rail is now almost 100% safe and reliable.

Since June 13, Commissioner William Hourigan has heard testimony from approximately 40 witnesses. He must now analyze the testimonies to make his recommendations.

A round table with experts will also take place at the end of July to discuss the public-private partnerships used in the project of the Ottawa light rail. The roundtable will be webcast live on the commission's website, in English and French.

The commission plans to release its report and recommendations this fall.

< p class="e-p">With information from Kate Porter of CBC News and Frédéric Pepin


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