Written by Bytown Museum
Part of the rail line on which Ottawa's O-Train runs was built by the Bytown and Prescott Railway as part of their line that ran from the town of Prescott to Sussex Drive in the mid-1800s. The line was acquired by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1884 and sold to the City of Ottawa in 2005.
Introduced in 2001 as a pilot project, the O-Train's diesel-powered trains run from Bayview Station in the north to Greenboro Station, near the South Keys shopping centre, in the south. The line includes a tunnel under Dow's Lake and serves close to 8,000 people per day.
The O-Train project involved a number of “firsts” in North America, including the combined operation of light rail passenger trains and heavy rail traffic on the same rail network, as well as the first use of bus drivers to drive light rail trains.
Ottawa is now planning on expanding light rail. What do you think of the City's latest light rail plan?