The popular and over-crowded O-Train service became the N(o)-Train — again — on Friday.
I’m beginning to think of this train service more in terms of “I wonder if it is running today” rather than than just suffering the occasional disappointment when it doesn’t.
I can’t imagine life for those who want to use it every day, and depended on its presence when they made their choice of where to live or where to work and how to commute. I’m sure the unreliable service contributes to OC Transpo’s increased ridership numbers.
It must be even more frustrating — when it is running — to just miss the train and have to wait 15 minutes for the next, knowing that out on Walkley road six more trainsets have set unused and unloved for more than a year, their service guarantees wasting away without revenue service, all through an election during which the mainstream media managed to avert their eyes from this as-yet-uncosted fiscal imprudence.
One of the arguments in favour of drivers-on-a-train is that they watch the right of way for any hazards. So I wonder how many drivers reported the slo-mo flooding of the OTrain track that caused Friday’s ignominious end of the Talent train service?
Here’s a pic I snapped from the Young Street ped bridge on 18 Feb — TEN DAYS AGO — showing the slow engulfing of the track in the rising glacier caused by melt water running into the OTrain corridor.
Melt water running through pipes that the City replaced with new pipes just last year. Transpo staff acknowledge that they have known for decades that there is a flooding issue. But nothing was done, neither by the transit folks nor by the engineers who replaced those pipes as is, which is sort of par for my expectations with this city that firmly believes that “out of sight” means “out of mind”.
On Thursday, in preparation for the meetings that evening on replacing the Qway bridge shown in this pic, I walked the site again, and noticed the glacier was now engulfing the rails themselves. The entire gravel roadbed was encased in ice or saturated in melt water.
Apparently the rising tide was missed by OC Transpo staff even though they are there every 7.5 minutes all day.
But its all OK, the politicians will be out in force in a little bit with a presser on how wonderful the new trainsets are and the increased level of service being offered.
I wonder if we are doing better on the Confederation Line?