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Simulator Facility Helps OC Anticipate New Rail Line

In preparation for the launch of a new light rail line next year, OC Transpo in Ottawa, Ontario, recently opened an interactive simulator facility for future electric rail operators.

“The government of Canada recognizes how important affordable and efficient transit infrastructure is to growing the middle class and getting Canadians to work on time and back home quickly at the end of a long day,” said Amarjeet Sohi, Canadian minister of infrastructure and communities, who joined Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson; John Manconi, general manager, Transportation Services Department; and Transit Commission Chair Councillor Stephen Blais at the opening. “The Confederation Line simulator will help prepare operators so that when light rail transit in Ottawa launches in 2018, Ottawa residents and visitors will have a more comfortable and dependable commute with more predictable travel times.”

Blais said, “The O-Train Confederation Line is a state-of the-art light rail transit system, so it’s equally important to have access to state-of-the-art training technology for OC Transpo employees.”

OC Transpo will use the simulator, built around a mockup of a Confederation Line train, to provide practical, operational and safety training in advance of the launch. The simulator replicates many features along the line, such as station designs, local landmarks and businesses, and local weather conditions.  It will provide users with potential real-life situations to work through, including station overcrowding and unexpected objects on the track.

The agency is also installing simulators for its existing light rail route, the O-Train Trillium Line, and for buses.
The $2.13 billion (Cdn.) O-Train Confederation Line is jointly funded by the governments of Canada, the province of Ontario and the city of Ottawa.

Launching OC Transpo’s new light rail simulator, from left: Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson; Ottawa City Councillor Tim Tierney; Transit Commission Chair Councillor Stephen Blais; and Canadian Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi.

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