Salient Features of the O TRAIN Route

Between  Bayview and Greenboro

A northbound train on the bridge over the Rideau River (Item No. 29)

1981 Ottawa - Rideau River Bridge
This is an interesting earlier picture taken by Ray McDermott
of an unusual combination
 of MLW RS-18 road switchers bookending a GMD (Canada) F7 B unit crossing the Rideau in 1981.  Freight trains no longer use this route.
The main features of this line are shown in the table below.  The O Train runs from Bayview station (north) to Greenboro station (south).  Passengers travelling southwards should read the table from top to bottom while those travelling northwards should read from bottom to top.

History of the line

The line between Greenboro (51) and Chaudiere Junction (46) was built by the Bytown and Prescott Railway as part of their line between Prescott on the St. Lawrence River to Ottawa, Sussex Street.  This section was built in November 1854 and opened to traffic in December 1854. 

The section of line from Chaudiere Junction (44) to the switch leading to Bayview Station (5) was built by the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Railway, the successor to the Bytown and Prescott, and opened to traffic on December 13. 1871.

The line was acquired by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1884 and was subsequently sold to the city of Ottawa in 2005.

The short length of line from the switch (5) to Bayview Station (2) was built for the opening of the O Train on October 15, 2001. When originally built, the line crossed the Rideau Canal at Dows Lake on a swing bridge and then skirted Dows Lake.  It then ran at ground level with many crossings at grade with city streets.  In order to eliminate these crossings, the Federal Government funded the tunnel under Dows Lake as well as the cuts leading to it.  The lowering of the tracks and associated grade separations was completed in 1966.

Kilometer posts are located on the west side of the line while signals are to the right of the train in the direction of travel (i.e. on the east side for northbound trains and on the west side for southbound trains.

OC Transpo Transitway overpass.  Opened in 1981.
Bayview station.  Built for the opening of the O Train on October 15, 2001.  From 1966 to the late 70s CPR operated a shelter called Ottawa West on the main line to the northwest of this point.  The station was used by Budd Rail Diesel Cars (RDC's) running between Ottawa Station and Montreal via Hull/Gatineau and Lachute.
Albert Street overpass, originally Wellington and Scott Streets.  Built in its present location in 1968. The CPR Ottawa West roundhouse stood in this area until April 1968.
Three Aspect Dwarf signal 224D.   Applies to south bound trains.
Switch to Bayview Station.  Put in for the opening of the O Train on October 15, 2001.  The line to the Prince of Wales Bridge is protected by a derail north of the switch at the end of the signalled area. No trains have travelled across the bridge since 26 July 2001. The frog to this switch was  removed in the summer of 2010 thus severing the link to the POW bridge.
Somerset Street overpass. The original bridge here was built in 1896 and widened by the addition of a second bridge on the south side in 1907.  It was reconstructed in 1928, 1966 and 1982.
Site of former railway switch back, west side, to serve Bruce Fuels and Standard Bread .  This was removed in 1987.
Kilometer post 7.
Gladstone Avenue overpass.  Opened in 1966.
Queensway overpass.  Opened in 1965.
Young Street pedestrian overpass.  Opened in 1966.
Beech Street overpass.  Opened in 1964. The brick-built former warehouse to the north-east used to have rail access.
Carling station.   Built for the opening of the O Train on October 15, 2001.
Three Aspect Dwarf signal 222D.  Applies to southbound trains.
Carling Avenue overpass.  Opened in 1964.
Kilometer post 6.
Prince of Wales Drive overpass.  Opened in 1964.
White signal 220.  Applies to southbound trains.  When lit this indicates that the tunnel is not flooded with water.
Tunnel under Dows Lake.  Opened in 1964.
White signal 221.  Applies to northbound trains.  When lit this indicates that the tunnel is not flooded with water.
Sunnyside Avenue overpass.  Opened in 1969. (Originally known as Campus Road).
Two Aspect Dwarf signal 219D.  Applies to northbound trains.
Carleton station.   Built for the opening of the O Train on October 15, 2001. Passing track with spring switches at each end.
Two Aspect Dwarf signal 218D.  Applies to southbound trains.
Pedestrian underpass.   Built for the opening of the O Train on October 15, 2001, replacing an earlier culvert underpass.
Kilometer post 4.
Pedestrian underpass.  This was originally built about 1912 to allow narrow gauge trains to pass under the railway.  They were used to transport earth and clay from the vicinity of Hartwell's Locks to fill in a swampy area, including an inlet of the Rideau River, at the south end of Bronson Avenue, now known as Brewer Park.  It was rebuilt in 1926 as a concrete slab underpass.
University Road underpass. Opened in 1967.
Rideau River bridge.   The first bridge at this location was a wooden one with three 100 foot spans.  It was rebuilt in 1882 and the new bridge was painted white and known locally as the "White Bridge".  It was replaced in 1912-13 by one 100 foot deck lattice span, two 60 foot plate girder spans and two 30 foot deck plate girder spans.  One of the spans was brought in from Magog, Quebec. The north end was rebuilt in 1967.  A cycle path runs under the south end of the bridge. Except for the rails over this bridge the line is laid with continuously welded rails laid new in July 2004.  An emergency walk way was installed in 2001. The bridge and piers was renovated in the summer of 2010,.
Kilometer post 3.88.  This indicates the south end of the Rideau River bridge. In the summer of 2010 additional fill was placed here to ease the curve for the climb up past Vincent Massey Park.
Vincent Massey park.
Riverside Drive overpass.  Reconstructed in its present form in 1962.
Tunnel under Heron Road.  Constructed in 1970.
Confederation station.  Built for the opening of the O Train on October 15, 2001.
Two Aspect Signal 216.  Applies to southbound trains.
Airport Parkway overpass.  Opened in 1973.
On the east side can be seen the location of the former connecting line to the line now used by the VIA Rail Canada trains.  The connecting switch was removed in June 2003.  At one time there was also a connecting  track in the south west quadrant but although there were plans to do so, there was never a connection in the north east quadrant.
Ellwood Diamond.  This diamond or flat crossing was constructed in 1910 when the Canadian Northern Ontario Railway built its line across the Canadian Pacific Railway line.  The original manually operated interlocking plant was replaced by an automatic protection system in 1936. This line is now used by VIA Rail Canada trains to and from Toronto.  This is erroneously labelled "Ellwood Junction", it should be "Ellwood Crossing" or "Ellwood Diamond".
OC Transpo Transitway overpass, opened in 1996.
Two Aspect Signal 217.  Applies to northbound trains.
Bridge over Sawmill Creek.   This bridge was reconstructed in 1914 and in the summer of 2001 in preparation for the opening of the O Train.
Brookfield Pedestrian Way.  Crossing at kilometer 2.18.  This is the only level crossing on the route and is protected by  lights and bells automatically actuated by the trains.
Kilometer post 2.
Walkley Road overpass.  Opened in 1978.
Kilometer post 1.
Chaudiere Junction curve.  Here the line curves away from the original line which ran northward to Sussex Street. Originally this was known as Chaudiere Junction and later became known as Ellwood when the railway named Ellwood Station after two local families, the Ellises and the Woods.
Two Aspect Signal 214A.  Applies to southbound trains.
Disused siding to LCBO warehouse.
North connection to Walkley Yard.  Opened in 1961.
Single Aspect Dwarf signal 215 controls northbound movements from the Walkley Yard connection on to the main line.
Walkley Diamond.  This is a diamond, or flat crossing, with the Walkley freight line which connects the Walkley freight yards, to the east, with the main line, to the west.  This line was built by the National Capital Commission and opened to traffic on November 19, 1953 as part of the scheme to route trains away from downtown Ottawa.  The O Trains are maintained in Walkley Yard.
OC Transpo Transitway underpass.  Built about 1992.
South connection to Walkley Yard.  Opened in 1967.
Three Aspect Signal 213.  Applies to northbound trains.
Greenboro station.  Built for the opening of the Southeast Transitway in 1994 and expanded to include the platform and footbridge of the O Train on October 15, 2001.  The design of the addition was conceived by the late Darrell Richards, former Transport 2000 president, who is commemorated by a bronze City of Ottawa plaque in the station.

Updated May 27 2012.