This is the third part of my review of the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Ottawa LRT fiasco. This article covers mainly the vehicle and control system manufacturing, and corresponds to chapter 9 of the Inquiry Report.
Part IV will deal with the construction of the line, and Part V will deal with the transition to revenue service.
The entire process is a textbook example of what happens when “on time, on budget”, coupled with an unproven design, forces abandonment of well-established best practices for manufacturing and testing. Moreover, the lack of integration and communication across the project puts the lie to the idea that a private sector consortium will automatically be run like a well-oiled machine rather than a clanking contraption on the edge of collapse.
Updated Dec. 12/22 at 5:30 pm: The discussion of signalling systems used on various lines has been corrected to cite Bombardier’s Cityflo 650 system as the one used on Line 5 Eglinton.Continue reading