Delivery of first Ion vehicle causes a commotion

News Feb 24, 2017 by Bob Vrbanac Waterloo Chronicle

It’s been a while since people excitedly waited for the arrival of a train but after months of delay the official arrival of the first Ion vehicle has caused quite the commotion.

People were trailing the Ion test vehicle’s progress through the community as it arrived in the region on Wednesday en route to the Ion’s operations, maintenance and storage facility on Dutton Drive in Waterloo on Friday. Social media postings of the vehicles journey through the region, including a nice shot of it going through Kitchener’s Victoria Park, made spotting the train like a local version of Pokemon Go — points for if you saw it first.

Regional politicians shared in that elation with the first vehicle ready to roll into its testing phase after months of questions about whether the LRT supplier Bombardier would get back on schedule to deliver the 13 more cars the region has ordered after piggybacking on a contract with Metrolinx. That is intended to save the Region about a $1 million per vehicle. They posed for pictures in front of the vehicle on its way to being prepped by Bombardier and GrandLinq for test runs expected to start in late spring after being delivered from Thunder Bay.

That sense of relief from regional officials was palpable as major construction winds up and people get used to the new normal of seeing the track wind its 19 km route through Kitchener and Waterloo. With the bulk of construction done, Regional Chair Ken Seiling said seeing the vehicle in person was an important next step.

“People have been seeing the final construction taking place and now with a train here, people who were questioning it before and weren’t really sure about it, are now saying it looks pretty good,” said Seiling. “It makes it more real when people realize that it’s actually coming, and people will get a sense of how it is going to serve the community.”

Seiling said the scale and the size of the vehicle and some of the features that go into each car like air conditioning and heating units will surprise some people. It will definitely change the transit landscape of the region.

“People who have been crowded on Route 7 buses all these years will realize that there is some space on this and they aren’t going to have to miss buses or squeeze in to get on here,” said Seiling. “The scale always amazes me even though I’ve seen it before.”

The goal is to make sure the regular appearance of the LRT vehicles becomes a more common sight as the Region gets set to launch the service at the start of 2018. The next delivery is slated for June from Bombardier’s Kingston facility

Tom Galloway, chair of the region’s planning and works committee, said the next step is co-ordinating the GrandLinq system and its operating system with the vehicle. He hopes by May or June the testing vehicle is out on the track and paving the way for the delivery of the rest of the vehicles.

“The second vehicle should be arriving in June, (and) after that every 15 days after that another vehicle is to arrive, until December when the 14 vehicle is scheduled to arrive,” said Galloway. “Although they are late, this one is on time according to their new schedule.”

Galloway said they will be holding Bombardier to that new schedule as the Region has stayed out of a spat the manufacturer has had with Metrolinx, which is co-ordinating new LRT systems in Toronto, Mississauga and Hamilton. Metrolinx said it won't accept  their testing vehicle until it is fully operational.

“This is on schedule according to the revised schedule and they are already in pre-production of four more vehicles in Kingston,” said Galloway. “This is the only vehicle being produced in Kingston, and they have a dedicated facility for our vehicle.

“We’re fairly optimistic at this point in time that they’ve turned things around and have got things on track. But the arrival of the second vehicle will tell us if they really have things in order and we can become more confident they will be coming.”

Regional officials will be visiting the Kingston plant in April to see the facility and to review the progress of the next round of vehicles.

Mark MacGregor, project manager for the Next Links project for Bombardier, said his company has invested $11 million into the operations and has more than 300 people working on meeting the new production schedule.

Bombardier has also brought a number of its employees to the area to get the vehicle up to speed and through its warranty phase as they work to have it properly integrated with the local LRT system.

“These are new trains and a specialized design,” said MacGregor. “The first ones are always a little trickier than the next ones, and that’s why it takes many months for the first few.

“But once we get going it’ll take a little over a month to get turnover of the vehicle.”

MacGregor said once full production of the vehicle ramps up people will see delivery of vehicles once a week after that.

“We have 300 people working in sequence and in parallel and we’ll be working on upwards of five vehicles at a time,” he said. “As we ramp up to that full production you’ll see five being built at a time.

“We’ve had some challenges in the past, that’s obvious … but we’re 100 per cent confident that we’re not only going to be on time, the vehicle will operate very well.”

 

 

Delivery of first Ion vehicle causes a commotion

News Feb 24, 2017 by Bob Vrbanac Waterloo Chronicle

It’s been a while since people excitedly waited for the arrival of a train but after months of delay the official arrival of the first Ion vehicle has caused quite the commotion.

People were trailing the Ion test vehicle’s progress through the community as it arrived in the region on Wednesday en route to the Ion’s operations, maintenance and storage facility on Dutton Drive in Waterloo on Friday. Social media postings of the vehicles journey through the region, including a nice shot of it going through Kitchener’s Victoria Park, made spotting the train like a local version of Pokemon Go — points for if you saw it first.

Regional politicians shared in that elation with the first vehicle ready to roll into its testing phase after months of questions about whether the LRT supplier Bombardier would get back on schedule to deliver the 13 more cars the region has ordered after piggybacking on a contract with Metrolinx. That is intended to save the Region about a $1 million per vehicle. They posed for pictures in front of the vehicle on its way to being prepped by Bombardier and GrandLinq for test runs expected to start in late spring after being delivered from Thunder Bay.

That sense of relief from regional officials was palpable as major construction winds up and people get used to the new normal of seeing the track wind its 19 km route through Kitchener and Waterloo. With the bulk of construction done, Regional Chair Ken Seiling said seeing the vehicle in person was an important next step.

“People have been seeing the final construction taking place and now with a train here, people who were questioning it before and weren’t really sure about it, are now saying it looks pretty good. It makes it more real when people realize that it’s actually coming, and people will get a sense of how it is going to serve the community.” — Regional Chair Ken Seiling

“People have been seeing the final construction taking place and now with a train here, people who were questioning it before and weren’t really sure about it, are now saying it looks pretty good,” said Seiling. “It makes it more real when people realize that it’s actually coming, and people will get a sense of how it is going to serve the community.”

Seiling said the scale and the size of the vehicle and some of the features that go into each car like air conditioning and heating units will surprise some people. It will definitely change the transit landscape of the region.

“People who have been crowded on Route 7 buses all these years will realize that there is some space on this and they aren’t going to have to miss buses or squeeze in to get on here,” said Seiling. “The scale always amazes me even though I’ve seen it before.”

The goal is to make sure the regular appearance of the LRT vehicles becomes a more common sight as the Region gets set to launch the service at the start of 2018. The next delivery is slated for June from Bombardier’s Kingston facility

Tom Galloway, chair of the region’s planning and works committee, said the next step is co-ordinating the GrandLinq system and its operating system with the vehicle. He hopes by May or June the testing vehicle is out on the track and paving the way for the delivery of the rest of the vehicles.

“The second vehicle should be arriving in June, (and) after that every 15 days after that another vehicle is to arrive, until December when the 14 vehicle is scheduled to arrive,” said Galloway. “Although they are late, this one is on time according to their new schedule.”

Galloway said they will be holding Bombardier to that new schedule as the Region has stayed out of a spat the manufacturer has had with Metrolinx, which is co-ordinating new LRT systems in Toronto, Mississauga and Hamilton. Metrolinx said it won't accept  their testing vehicle until it is fully operational.

“This is on schedule according to the revised schedule and they are already in pre-production of four more vehicles in Kingston,” said Galloway. “This is the only vehicle being produced in Kingston, and they have a dedicated facility for our vehicle.

“We’re fairly optimistic at this point in time that they’ve turned things around and have got things on track. But the arrival of the second vehicle will tell us if they really have things in order and we can become more confident they will be coming.”

Regional officials will be visiting the Kingston plant in April to see the facility and to review the progress of the next round of vehicles.

Mark MacGregor, project manager for the Next Links project for Bombardier, said his company has invested $11 million into the operations and has more than 300 people working on meeting the new production schedule.

Bombardier has also brought a number of its employees to the area to get the vehicle up to speed and through its warranty phase as they work to have it properly integrated with the local LRT system.

“These are new trains and a specialized design,” said MacGregor. “The first ones are always a little trickier than the next ones, and that’s why it takes many months for the first few.

“But once we get going it’ll take a little over a month to get turnover of the vehicle.”

MacGregor said once full production of the vehicle ramps up people will see delivery of vehicles once a week after that.

“We have 300 people working in sequence and in parallel and we’ll be working on upwards of five vehicles at a time,” he said. “As we ramp up to that full production you’ll see five being built at a time.

“We’ve had some challenges in the past, that’s obvious … but we’re 100 per cent confident that we’re not only going to be on time, the vehicle will operate very well.”

 

 

Delivery of first Ion vehicle causes a commotion

News Feb 24, 2017 by Bob Vrbanac Waterloo Chronicle

It’s been a while since people excitedly waited for the arrival of a train but after months of delay the official arrival of the first Ion vehicle has caused quite the commotion.

People were trailing the Ion test vehicle’s progress through the community as it arrived in the region on Wednesday en route to the Ion’s operations, maintenance and storage facility on Dutton Drive in Waterloo on Friday. Social media postings of the vehicles journey through the region, including a nice shot of it going through Kitchener’s Victoria Park, made spotting the train like a local version of Pokemon Go — points for if you saw it first.

Regional politicians shared in that elation with the first vehicle ready to roll into its testing phase after months of questions about whether the LRT supplier Bombardier would get back on schedule to deliver the 13 more cars the region has ordered after piggybacking on a contract with Metrolinx. That is intended to save the Region about a $1 million per vehicle. They posed for pictures in front of the vehicle on its way to being prepped by Bombardier and GrandLinq for test runs expected to start in late spring after being delivered from Thunder Bay.

That sense of relief from regional officials was palpable as major construction winds up and people get used to the new normal of seeing the track wind its 19 km route through Kitchener and Waterloo. With the bulk of construction done, Regional Chair Ken Seiling said seeing the vehicle in person was an important next step.

“People have been seeing the final construction taking place and now with a train here, people who were questioning it before and weren’t really sure about it, are now saying it looks pretty good. It makes it more real when people realize that it’s actually coming, and people will get a sense of how it is going to serve the community.” — Regional Chair Ken Seiling

“People have been seeing the final construction taking place and now with a train here, people who were questioning it before and weren’t really sure about it, are now saying it looks pretty good,” said Seiling. “It makes it more real when people realize that it’s actually coming, and people will get a sense of how it is going to serve the community.”

Seiling said the scale and the size of the vehicle and some of the features that go into each car like air conditioning and heating units will surprise some people. It will definitely change the transit landscape of the region.

“People who have been crowded on Route 7 buses all these years will realize that there is some space on this and they aren’t going to have to miss buses or squeeze in to get on here,” said Seiling. “The scale always amazes me even though I’ve seen it before.”

The goal is to make sure the regular appearance of the LRT vehicles becomes a more common sight as the Region gets set to launch the service at the start of 2018. The next delivery is slated for June from Bombardier’s Kingston facility

Tom Galloway, chair of the region’s planning and works committee, said the next step is co-ordinating the GrandLinq system and its operating system with the vehicle. He hopes by May or June the testing vehicle is out on the track and paving the way for the delivery of the rest of the vehicles.

“The second vehicle should be arriving in June, (and) after that every 15 days after that another vehicle is to arrive, until December when the 14 vehicle is scheduled to arrive,” said Galloway. “Although they are late, this one is on time according to their new schedule.”

Galloway said they will be holding Bombardier to that new schedule as the Region has stayed out of a spat the manufacturer has had with Metrolinx, which is co-ordinating new LRT systems in Toronto, Mississauga and Hamilton. Metrolinx said it won't accept  their testing vehicle until it is fully operational.

“This is on schedule according to the revised schedule and they are already in pre-production of four more vehicles in Kingston,” said Galloway. “This is the only vehicle being produced in Kingston, and they have a dedicated facility for our vehicle.

“We’re fairly optimistic at this point in time that they’ve turned things around and have got things on track. But the arrival of the second vehicle will tell us if they really have things in order and we can become more confident they will be coming.”

Regional officials will be visiting the Kingston plant in April to see the facility and to review the progress of the next round of vehicles.

Mark MacGregor, project manager for the Next Links project for Bombardier, said his company has invested $11 million into the operations and has more than 300 people working on meeting the new production schedule.

Bombardier has also brought a number of its employees to the area to get the vehicle up to speed and through its warranty phase as they work to have it properly integrated with the local LRT system.

“These are new trains and a specialized design,” said MacGregor. “The first ones are always a little trickier than the next ones, and that’s why it takes many months for the first few.

“But once we get going it’ll take a little over a month to get turnover of the vehicle.”

MacGregor said once full production of the vehicle ramps up people will see delivery of vehicles once a week after that.

“We have 300 people working in sequence and in parallel and we’ll be working on upwards of five vehicles at a time,” he said. “As we ramp up to that full production you’ll see five being built at a time.

“We’ve had some challenges in the past, that’s obvious … but we’re 100 per cent confident that we’re not only going to be on time, the vehicle will operate very well.”