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Archived - Simulator training facility helps get OC Transpo Ready for Rail

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October 5, 2017
Announcements and Events

Mayor Jim Watson and Transit Commission Chair Councillor Stephen Blais were joined today by the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, to unveil OC Transpo’s new interactive simulator facility that will help get staff ready for rail.

The City of Ottawa is taking steps to get employees, including future Electric Rail Operators (EROs), ready for the launch of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018. As part of employee training efforts, OC Transpo now has a Confederation Line simulator that will be used as an interactive, safe and cost-effective training tool for future EROs.

The simulator, which is built around the Confederation Line “mock-up” train that was unveiled in 2015, will be used to provide practical, operational and safety training in advance of the launch of the Confederation Line. The simulator replicates many Ottawa features along the line, including station designs, local landmarks and businesses, and the various weather conditions that Ottawa sees each season.

The simulator will also give EROs potential real-life situations to work through, including varying weather conditions, station overcrowding and unexpected objects on the track.

In addition to the simulator for the O-Train Confederation Line, OC Transpo has 12 desktop-based work stations and is installing a simulator for the O-Train Trillium Line and one for conventional buses. The simulator facility will be an integral component to the OC Transpo training program.

Selected through a competitive bid process, all OC Transpo simulators were designed, manufactured, delivered and installed by OKTAL, based out of Toulouse, France. OKTAL specializes in the development of railway, automotive and aeronautics simulators, including simulators for some of the biggest national and international railway companies, such as Alstom and Bombardier.

The O-Train Confederation Line is a $2.13 billion transit project that is jointly funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario and the City of Ottawa.

For more information on the O-Train Confederation Line, please visit OC Transpo’s Ready for Rail web section at

For more information on City programs and services, visit or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.


“The Government of Canada recognizes how important affordable and efficient transit infrastructure is to growing the middle class and getting Canadians to work on time and back home quickly at the end of a long day. The Confederation Line simulator will help prepare operators so that when light rail transit in Ottawa launches in 2018, Ottawa residents and visitors will have a more comfortable and dependable commute with more predictable travel times.”

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“Today’s announcement is great news for Ottawa as OC Transpo’s simulator facility helps prepare employees for a seamless launch of the O-Train Confederation Line in 2018. Our government knows how important public transit is to managing congestion, curbing emissions, creating jobs and building communities. That’s why we are investing in this project to ensure that neighbourhoods in and around the Ottawa region can thrive and prosper through better and more efficient transit infrastructure that gets people to where they need to go faster and easier.”

The Honourable Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation

“The Confederation Line simulator is an incredible and innovative piece of technology that will help train electric rail operators now, and beyond the launch of the Confederation Line in 2018. The simulation of various weather conditions and plausible situations provides a thorough training experience and ensures that passengers will travel comfortably, efficiently and safely.

Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

“The O-Train Confederation Line is a state-of the-art light rail transit system, so it’s equally important to have access to state-of-the-art training technology for OC Transpo employees. The combination of simulated and real-life training will ensure our operators get well-rounded training to prepare and build employee experience and confidence.”

Councillor Stephen Blais, Chair, Transit Commission

Quick facts

  • The O-Train Confederation Line simulator was shipped in six crates from OKTAL’s Toulouse, France headquarters to its current 1500 St-Laurent location.
  • The four-week training program for the first of group of EROs is slated to begin in October 2017.
  • Training will occur in groups of 12, combining in-class, mini-simulator and full-size simulator training.
  • There will be up to 70 EROs operating the O-Train Confederation Line.
  • EROs will require 80 hours of actual on-train operation.
  • After the four-week training program, qualified EROs will continue development opportunities by participating in testing and commission activities until the start of revenue service.


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