Testing of the first Confederation Line Citadis Spirit light rail vehicle has begun between stations in Blair and Cyrville.
The tram – the first to be assembled in Ottawa – is one of 34 vehicles due to enter service on the line in 2018.
The light rail vehicles will be tested up to speeds of 100 km/h on the short test track. Once this phase is complete, the two four-car units will be coupled together to undergo additional dynamic testing, according to manufacturer Alstom. Static tests will also be carried out at the Belfast Yard Storage and Maintenance Facility.
The $2.1 billion O-Train Confederation Line will link Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west. The 12.5-kilometre line includes 13 stations and a 2.5-kilometre tunnelled section through downtown Ottawa.
Ottawa’s mayor, Jim Watson, said in a statement: “Today’s milestone is significant as the first light rail vehicle assembled in Ottawa undergoes testing, demonstrating that we are on track to delivering a first-class transit system to our residents in 2018.
“This is a celebration of all the work that has taken place to date and is a glimpse of the future of transit for our city.”
Delivered by the Rideau Transit Group, Stage 1 is due to open in 2018. Stage 2, which will extend the line by 30 kilometres east, west and south, includes spurs to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport and Trim Road in Orléans. The full line will open in 2023.