O-Train Confederation Line kicks off track installation with laying of first rail

Written by Jenifer Nunez, assistant editor
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City of Ottawa

Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament (Ottawa–Orléans), Bob Chiarelli, Member of Provincial Parliament (Ottawa West–Nepean) and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson installed the first official rail of the O-Train Confederation Line light-rail transit project June 12.


This allows the city’s transitway to be converted to light rail beginning this summer; construction of the track along the entire line will continue well into 2017.

“The government is pleased to see this project progressing well, making public transit faster, safer and more convenient for commuters in Ottawa,” said Galipeau. “Investing in a modern and efficient public transportation system will create thousands of new jobs and improve the National Capital Region’s long-term economic growth and prosperity.”

“A modern transit system is essential to a city’s quality of life and economic well-being. Ontario is pleased to invest up to CA$600 million (US$487 million) towards Ottawa’s Confederation Line, the largest single provincial investment in transit infrastructure in the city of Ottawa’s history,” said Chiarelli. “This investment is in addition to the CA$347 million (US$281 million) the province has provided to Ottawa since 2003 through the Gas Tax Program. The province looks forward to future partnerships in Ottawa transit systems.”

“Today’s milestone is another sign of momentum towards completing this world-class project on time and on budget,” said Watson. “The Confederation Line O-Train will mean shorter commute times, cleaner air and a stronger economy.”

Spanning 12.5 kilometers (7.76 miles) between Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west and Blair Station in the east, the majority of the O-Train Confederation Line track will be built in the Transitway’s existing footprint. It will have a mix of at-grade, elevated and tunnel sections and will replace existing diesel powered buses.

The system has 13 stations, including three new underground stations and a maintenance and storage facility at Belfast Yard. The Confederation Line is a CA$2.1-billion ($US1.7-billion) project that is jointly funded by the Canadian government, the province of Ontario and the city of Ottawa. The line will provide rapid transit between Blair Station in the east and Tunney’s Pasture in the west and will have a 2.5-kilometer (1.5-mile) tunnel that will reduce congestion through the downtown core.