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Some LRT disruptions continue Thursday, after loss of power stranded passengers in stuck trains

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OC Transpo is continuing to use R1 buses service between Rideau and Blair stations Thursday as the system continues to be affected by freezing rain issues.

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About three dozen passengers were stuck in two stopped LRT trains overnight, some for almost an hour, in an incident OC Transpo blames on ice buildup on the catenary system that powers the rail line.

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A freezing rain warning remains in effect for Ottawa Thursday morning.

As of about 6:15 a.m. Thursday, train service was running between Tunney’s Pasture and the University of Ottawa, OC Transpo said. Replacement bus service was running between Rideau and Blair stations with a shuttle bus between St. Laurent and Cyrville stations.

In an update Thursday morning, city transit GN Renée Amilcar said that crews were still trying to move two trains stuck between Lees and Hurdman stations and a third train stopped at Tremblay Station.
Rideau Transit Maintenance was still taking ice off the catenary system, delaying the three trains being taken off the line.

Two trains were cleared to start service to the west at about 5:40 a.m.,running in a loop between Tunney’s Pasture and uOttawa stations but replacement buses were launched between Rideau and Blair Stations.

Staff are on hand to help riders, the transit service said promising updates to come.

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Renée Amilcar, general manager of transit services, said in a memo to city council early Thursday that an eastbound train stopped between Lees and Hurdman stations at about 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Alstom technicians were dispatched to try to get the train running and the transit operations control centre began running eastbound service on a single track.

But soon after, a second train stopped on the opposite track between Lees and Hurdman. More Alstom technicians were dispatched to the second train.

Freezing rain was falling so transit staff decided to keep passengers on board the trains during work to restore service, Amilcar wrote.

At about 12:40 a.m., OC Transpo special constables and other transit staff were sent to escort about 37 passengers from the two stuck trains to Hurdman station where they boarded a bus to continue their trip.

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A preliminary analysis pins the cause of the stopped trains on ice buildup on the catenary system.

There was also a temporary power loss between Blair Station and Tremblay Station from about 12:05 a.m. to about 12:30 a.m. Thursday. Replacement buses were launched while rail service ran in a loop between UOttawa Station and Tunney’s Pasture Station.

With trains stopped east of Lees Station, ice began to build up on the overhead catenary system in that area. Crews and trains with ice scrapers were sent to remove ice from the system, which delayed removing the two stuck trains.

“The root cause of the power loss is under investigation,” Amilcar said.

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