Summer construction to shut down O-Train service for 18 weeks

The O-Train will be shutting down for 18 weeks next summer for track renovations and increased train frequency, OC Transpo announced last week.

The transit service will shut down between April 27 and Sept. 2, 2013, for renovations to the track and stations while major construction is completed, according to an OC Transpo news release.

The purchase and installation of six newly-purchased trains will aim to increase the O-Train service from the current 15 minutes to every eight minutes, essentially doubling its frequency, OC Transpo media relations officer Nikki Eaton said.

The renovations include improvements to O-Train stations, new signals, and upgrades to the Ottawa Central Railway headquarters, Walkley Yard, Eaton said.

Two “passing tracks” similar to the twin tracks at the Carleton station will be installed at Gladstone Ave. and near Brookfield Road, according to the release.

During the renovations, maintenance work will also be done to bridges, tunnels, overpasses, and pathways related to the O-Train in order to “limit inconvenience for riders,” Eaton said.

Carleton students and others who rely on the train can expect to see additional bus services that stop at each regular O-Train station, according to the release.

“The average weekday ridership in July 2011 was 4,900, compared to 13,800 in September 2011.  During construction, the replacement bus service will be more frequent than O-Train service during peak periods and the same frequency as the O-Train at times of the week with lower ridership,” Eaton said.

Eaton noted the project is estimated to cost $59 million.