In 2001 when the O-train was built, an S-curve was introduced at the northern station, at Bayview. This S-curve on a hill was forced by a decision not to spend $700 to move a Hydro Pole by a former city of Ottawa "transit" planner.
This curve has caused a lot of wheel squeal as the train has to put on its brakes, go around the curve, and then applies power to climb the hill. The reverse happens when it travels south: it coasts down the hill, brakes, squeals around the curve, and then has to apply power again at the bottom.
This problem isn't just about noise: it also causes excessive wheel and track wear, and consumes fuel. A straight track on a hill would otherwise provide a perfect brake for the train. For a calculation of how much money is lost yearly by the presence of this pole, see the comment to:
Friends of the O-Train has suggested for some time that the hydro pole be moved, and the track straightened. Emails went to the city repeatedly, a new one went to Alain Mercier in 2007. We had hoped that
the during the shutdown this summer they would do this work. We asked repeatedly of city staff, management and councillors what work would be done. We got few answers, and in the end we had to just watch like
The news is not good. While the main line rails have been vandalized (removed, chopped up, such that no train will ever get to Gatineau), the O-train siding remains as it was. This result is that one should expect no change in the amount of noise experienced.