City of Ottawa moves forward on Confederation Line plans

11 December 2012

The City of Ottawa has selected its consortium choice to build the city’s CAD 2.1bn (USD 2.13bn) light-rail transit system, local new reports stated late last week. Rideau Transit Group won the contract for the 12.5km east-west Confederation Line, which includes a 2.5km tunnel to be completed by 2017.

Rideau Transit Group has agreed to a fixed-price contract of CAD 2.1bn (USD 2.13bn), meaning that any increased costs related to construction will not be the city's responsibility, the news report stated.

The project would be expected to start in February next year with related work to widen Highway 417 from the Nicholas Street on-ramp to the split with Highway 174 and construction of a maintenance and storage facility at Belfast Road where trains are to be assembled. Work on the tunnel is expected to start in July 2013. The route is expected to be in service by May 2018.

Alstom Citadis trains are to be used, with each single 49m-low-floor car capable of carrying 300 passengers. It is suggested that they perform well in heavy snow and cold weather, and are capable of reaching speeds of up to 100km/h. Trains are to be assembled in Ottawa, and 30 vehicles are to be in service on opening day.

The Rideau Transit Group bid is led by a builder, ACS Infrastructure and includes Quebec engineering firm SNC-Lavalin and assorted subsidiaries playing roles as financiers, engineers, operators and maintenance overseers. The consortium also includes Ottawa firm bbb architects.