Mon. Nov 29th, 2021

“Blaming subcontractors and going through efforts by subcontractors to blame other subcontractors is not going to solve the current issues.”

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Rideau Transit Group sees its top subcontractors arguing over who is responsible for the latest train problems on Ottawa’s LRT system, according to the city’s latest breach of contract notice sent to the consortium.

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The city seemed shocked by the reaction from RTG to the question of the derailment of 8. August near Tunney’s pastures.

According to the city’s characteristic of RTG’s response, included in the 24 September on default released this week, RTG sent the city an explanation from Alstom that “(m) the management of track design with respect to all permissible tolerances is the responsibility of OLRTC as a course designer. ”

Alstom is the train manufacturer that supplied the Citadis Spirit trains to the Confederation Line and is a subcontractor to RTG and RTG’s maintenance department, Rideau Transit Maintenance (RTM). Most of RTM’s workforce is from Alstom.

OLRTC, or Ottawa Light Rail Transit Constructors, is the RTG affiliate organization that built the Phase 1 LRT system.

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The city did not care that RTG sent Alstom’s position in response to derailment in August, telling the consortium that it “constitutes a completely unacceptable disclaimer from RTG.”

Added city: “Blaming subcontractors and going through efforts by subcontractors to blame other subcontractors is not going to solve the current problems.”

The city says it does not trust RTG’s subcontractors, which is a significant problem as Alstom is the main supplier for LRT maintenance.

An investigation marker indicates some of the damage from the LRT derailment near Tremblay Station on 19 September.
An investigation marker indicates some of the damage from the LRT derailment near Tremblay Station on 19 September. Photo by Tony Caldwell /Postmedia

The city requested a change in the person who held the position of car maintenance manager. An Alstom manager has been in that role. The project agreement gives the city the power to request changing “key people” in the project, and RTG has 30 days to propose a replacement.

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In its latest statement of default, the city noted the two recent derailments, including one on 19 September, and wrote: “RTG does not appear to appreciate the seriousness of the current situation given its rejection and / or inability to carry out actions quickly and appropriately with an adequate level of resources. “

At the time of sending the default notice, the city had not received a root cause analysis from RTG regarding derailment in August. The Danish Transport Safety Agency (TSB) determined that part of a shaft bearing assembly was overheated, which led to a cut train wheel.

Referring to the day of derailment in September near Tremblay Station, the city pointed out that RTG “was more than three hours late on the spot”, so city officials and TSB were waiting.

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It was the second standard message the city sent RTG. The first was in March 2020, after RTG struggled to deliver enough trains for daily service.

RTG cannot comment publicly on the LRT service, the situation with its subcontractors or the legal action taken by Ottawa City because the project agreement prevents the company from saying anything without having the city’s permission.

Meanwhile, OC Transpo customers are waiting for replacement buses along roads near the Confederation Line without any indication of when the trains will run again.

The city rejected RTG’s proposed plan and timetable for resolving the issues. On Wednesday, the city could not indicate before the deadline whether RTG proposed a date when return of service would be possible.

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Even when the city sees a satisfactory plan from RTG, a city-hired consultant must review the strategy and provide an assessment to the independent LRT supervisor and the city manager.

Ottawa’s LRT problems supply political ammunition in Queen’s Park.

Ottawa Center NDP MPP Joel Harden brought the disabled LRT up in the legislature on Wednesday, urging the Progressive Conservative government to ask Ontario’s Auditor General to investigate Infrastructure Ontario’s role in procurement.

The provincial government paid $ 600 million for the $ 2.1 billion Phase 1 construction contract and commits $ 1.2 billion for the construction of the $ 4.6 billion O-Train expansion. Crown Agency Infrastructure Ontario helped manage Phase 1 procurement but was not involved in Phase 2 procurement.

Willowdale MPP Stan Cho, the Associated Secretary of Transportation, said, “We are well aware of these municipally led projects, and the city is responsible for the procurement that has gone off the rails here in Ottawa.”

jwilling@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JonathanWilling

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