Ottawa (Canada) O-Train

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by MasonJar, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Took a quick ride on the O-Train this past Sunday. My first trip on this relatively new addition to Ottawa's public transit. It is designed as a pilot to test whether adding light rail is a good idea. The only problem is currently it does not go anywhere. The City opted to use exisiting trackage to save on costs. Currently it runs from "almost" downtown to "almost" the airport. Ottawa is an east-west oriented city, and the route is north-south. I hope it works out, since it is a great set up.

    Here is a photo at Carling station where we started.

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  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The cab is amazing, with a lockable plexiglas door, and a curtain. The seat must be adjustable in about 47 different ways. The controls are all computerized from what I can see.

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  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The interior seems very European to me. It is incredibly clean, but that may have something to do with a) the newness, and b) nobody rides it! While it was Sunday at lunchtime, we were the only people on the train several times, and we probably could have counted the maximum number of passengers on one hand anyway.

    [Don't worry, it is not the train that is tilting, it is operator error with the digital camera ;)]

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  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    At the north end (Bayview) the track actually ends in a little siding off the borrowed main line. This is the view out the driver's window... :)

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  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Overall, we had a great time. For CAN$2, you would be hard pressed to find a better entertainment value for a 2 1/2 year old (or her dad ;) ).

    The only disappointment I had was the bell on the train, or lack thereof... They actually have a loudspeaker that plays a digital recording of a bell as the train is moving in or out of the station stop.


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  6. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    The O-Train doesn't have a lot of passengers on a Sunday or a Saturday. But during the week, it's the main transportation route of a lot of Carleton University and high school students. Daily, it will carry from 6,000 to 10,000 passengers.

    My idea of what the O-Train should be able to do is to look at Calgary's C-Train.

    Can you imagine something like this going along Slater/Albert along the existing eastern bus transitway to Orleans, or along the existing western bus transitway and somehow ending up in Kanata along the old railway lines? And to get south, extend the existing O-Train line from Greenwood station?

    Lots-o potential here - but no vision!
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Hi Bob,

    We went after dropping by the HOTrak meet...

    The Calgary train looks good. I am glad that they seem to be making it work. I would like to see the O-Train expanded... can you imagine how popular it would be if it ran from Kanata and/or Orleans to downtown. Even downtown to the airport would be an improvement.

    Are the numbers you quote high enough to justify continuing? I hope the latest rounds of service cuts don't mean the end of the experiment...

    I could see it running along the Ottawa River parkway (there is plenty of room in the median, and maybe they could take advantage of the old Britannia right-of-way? From the east end of the parkway, it could cross the newly redeveloping Lebreton flats, including an interchange with the north-south line, and then entre downtown down the middle of Sparks Street.

    Do you know how far the planning for the future O-Train has gone?

  8. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Great shots Andrew nice to see your daughter again:D
    And the first post I might add of the O train that I have seen.:thumb:
  9. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Neat train and what a cute youngster ;)
  10. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Thanks for posting these interesting photos Andrew, especially the cute 2 1/2 year old enjoying the ride. Hope this O-train works out to be successful.
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi Andrew.
    We've been invited to Ottawa over Easter. Maybe I can get a ride then. Does $2 get you a round trip or one way?
    I remember taking the Ottawa street car out to the Observatory* and we had to pay a second fare to get back downtown.

    * Dominion Observatory of Canada. At the beginning of the long dash following ten seconds of silence...
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Thanks everyone for the kind comments.

    David - for $2, you get a time-limited "POP" (proof-of-purchase) ticket. You can ride as much as you like for that time - I think it is about 2 hours. Since the round trip takes about 30 minutes, you should be able to do 4 complete trips :D Check the website for more info.

    Despite the fact that it replaced the entire streetcar network, OC Transpo is not too bad, I think it just needs to be a bit more imaginative in problem solving, and more responsive to its customers.


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