Rolling stock manufacturer Stadler has won a contract to deliver seven four-car multiple units for Ottawa. Stadler will adapt these trains, based on its FLIRT platform, to the city’s harsh climate. This contract for the Trillium Line trains is Stadler’s second Canadian project. The company is also manufacturing panoramic carriages for the Rocky Mountaineer, which operates in British Columbia and Alberta, to the northeast of Vancouver.
The city of Ottawa – the capital of Canada – and the SNC Lavalin Group have awarded the contract for seven four-car diesel-electric multiple units, type FLIRT, to Stadler. This contract is part of the second phase of the O-Train Trillium Line expansion in the city. The city of Ottawa first announced its intention to buy Stadler FLIRT trains for its O-Train on 3 May 2018, when it secured funding for the Trillium Line extension. The contract is worth around 106 million Canadian dollars (70.5 million euros / 79 million USD). In fact, Canada is now the 18th country in which Stadler has sold FLIRT trains.
According to the contract Stadler will begin delivering the vehicles as of mid-2021. Once there, they will undergo extensive testing. This is the first contract for multiple units in Canada for Stadler.
The four-car trains for the city of Ottawa each come with four 480kW diesel engines. Some of the traction equipment and the diesel engines are housed in a central section called a power pack. This modern design allows Stadler to fulfil the Tier 4 final emission standard, the North American Track Class IV, the North American norm for people with reduced mobility (ADA) and the conditions of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Furthermore, these multiple units conform to the North American fire regulation standard NFPA 130.
These Stadler FLIRT trains will run on the Trillium Line at up to 120km/h. The Trillium Line extension is a public-private partnership, which will see the route grow by 16km and eight new stations. It will also include a connection to the Ottawa Mcdonald-Cartier International Airport.
TransitNEXT, a subsidiary of SNC Lavalin, is responsible for planning, building, funding and maintaining the second phase of the Trillium Line extension.
The Trillium Line is currently Ottawa’s only light rail line. However, this year the new Confederation Line will open, giving the city an east-west link.
Stadler will manufacture the FLIRT for Ottawa at its site in Bussnang, Switzerland. The train manufacturer says that this site in particular possesses a huge wealth of experience with regard to building trains for countries with very high requirements for winter climates. For example, its trains in Estonia, Norway, Finland and Sweden all exhibit high availability, even in severe winter conditions.
The trains currently serving Ottawa’s light rail line are Alstom Coradia LINT trains. They entered service in 2015, replacing the earlier Bombardier Talent fleet. Once the new Stadler FLIRT trains are ready to enter service, they will run alongside the existing Alstom fleet. Alstom is also providing the trains for the new Confederation Line.
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