Officials from Ottawa, Canada, have installed the first official rail track of the O-Train Confederation Line light rail transit project.
Initiation of the project allows the city’s transitway to be converted to light rail beginning this summer and construction of the $2.1bn 12.5km line is expected to continue into 2017.
Ottawa-Orléans member of parliament Royal Galipeau said: "Investing in a modern and efficient public transportation system will create thousands of new jobs and improve the National Capital Region’s long-term economic growth and prosperity."
The Confederation Line will be between Tunney’s Pasture Station in the west and Blair Station in the east, while the majority of the track will be built in the Transitway’s existing bus route.
The line replace existing diesel-powered buses and will have a mix of at-grade, elevated and tunnel sections.
It will have 13 stations, including three built underground, as well as feature a maintenance and storage facility at Belfast Yard.
Ontorio member of provincial parliament Bob Chiarelli said: "A modern transit system is essential to a city’s quality of life and economic wellbeing.
"This investment is in addition to the $347.4m the province has provided to Ottawa since 2003 through the gas tax programme. The province looks forward to future partnerships in Ottawa transit systems."
The city of Ottawa will allocate up to $161.5m from its federal gas tax fund to the project.
Additionally, Ottawa is setting aside $287m toward the line’s capital construction.