TTC Unveils New Streetcar Design and Mockup (Update 2)

Updated November 10 at 4:45 pm: Photos of the mockup have been added to this article.

This shows the mockup (actually three sections of the five-section vehicle) including street level (front door) and island level (at the second door with a ramp deployed) comparisons for boarding heights.

For more photos, scroll down to the bottom of the article.

See also coverage on the Torontoist, Urban Toronto and blogto websites.

Updated November 9 at 5:20 pm:  In response to questions that have come up in this thread and previous articles about the new cars, I have added information at the end regarding the issues of weight-per-axle and the Toronto requirement that the cars negotiate single-point track switches.

The TTC will display a mockup of the new streetcar fleet for public viewing.

TTC Hillcrest Yard
November 12 to 15, 2011
10:00 am to 7:00 pm

Additional information about this event and the new cars is on the TTC’s LRV Page.

39 years ago, the TTC decided to retain its streetcar system, and this will be the second generation of new streetcars.  Toronto joins the rest of the world with a modern car based on designs used in other major cities.

They’ve been a long time coming, and design changes have added almost a year to the process that TTC and LRT advocates expected when the order with Bombardier was approved.  When I have details of the delivery schedule, I will update this post.

For additional hi-res views of the new cars, visit the “Meet Your New Ride” page.  Something that’s immediately obvious is a family resemblance to the interior of the new Toronto Rocket subway cars.

Two observations about the TTC’s website:

  • Comments about the improvement of capacity on routes and the approach to scheduling service are now out of sync with statements in the TTC’s budget papers.  Originally, the TTC was committed to improving capacity on streetcar routes and keeping wait times reasonably short.  Today, this position is no longer as definite because running service above a full standard load is transit gravy.
  • The new cars will operate, according to the TTC, on new routes for the eastern waterfront.  Considering the foot-dragging on this project, the cost escalation and the low priority given to waterfront transit generally, it’s hard to say whether these routes will ever actually be built.

Updates regarding technical issues with the cars follow the break below.

I exchanged emails with the TTC’s Stephen Lam, Chief Engineer, Rail Vehicle Engineering on some the technical subjects readers have raised about the new cars.  The sections below are based on his responses.

Comparing weight-per-axle of LVLRVs with other cars

Yes, the weight-per-axle is greater on the new cars than those we now operate.  The new cars, like the ALRVs, have three two-axle trucks, but these carry longer, heavier cars.

The axle load is higher on the new low floor cars than that on the ALRV because it is a longer car with higher capacity, air-conditioned, more auxiliary equipment, with structure and metal still built for 30-year life, but on the same number of axles. The axle loads on the CLRV and ALRV are almost identical because the ALRV is approximately 1.5 times longer than the CLRV, with 1.5 times more axles to carry the additional 50% weight.

What really matters, however, is the “unsprung load”, the portion of the total load that is not supported through some form of resilient suspension.

Vibration that could cause track and equipment degradation, however, is more caused by the mass below the suspension system – in other words, the weight on the wheel-axle set, or what is known as “unsprung” mass.

The new low floor vehicle still employs three layers of suspension – super-resilient wheels with soft rubber blocks between the wheel tyre and the axle; a rubber primary suspension system; and a coil spring secondary suspension system that supports the carbody.

More importantly, the “un-sprung” mass on wheel axle set of the new vehicle is lower than that on the current fleet of vehicles by approximately 10%.

Vibration and noise

Vibration problems with the roadbed arise from a number of sources, and this was described in detail in a research paper prepared in response to early problems with the CLRV fleet.  The original “Bochum” wheels on those cars have a rubber layer to damp vibrations, but it is a completely different configuration from what existed on the PCC fleet and a similar arrangement with the super-resilient “SAB” wheels now used.

On the Bochum wheel, the axle hub is separated from the steel tire (the ring of metal that actually runs on the track) by a rubber ring.  This ring is placed in compression by the force of the wheel on the track, and so the wheel is stiff in that direction.  This aids in transmission of vibration to the trackbed.  The concrete slab acted as a resonator.

When these wheels were introduced, Toronto was building non-resilient track with rails laid directly in concrete.  By contrast, older tracks sat in asphalt or paving setts and the roadway would not vibrate.

The SAB (and PCC) wheels also have rubber between the hub and the tire, but in a vertical sandwich.  On the PCC wheel, it is a single piece of rubber on each side while on the SAB wheel there are 16 separate “hockey pucks” (8 on each side of a wheel) providing a similar, but greater effect than the PCC design.

This puts the rubber in shear vertically, the direction the wheel bears on the track.  It also changes the vibrating frequency to one that is high enough that solid pavement cannot resonate.  Moreover, for many years the TTC has been building track that is mechanically isolated from the slab with a rubber sleeve so that any vibration from the wheels is damped out.

The new LFLRVs have skirts that cover much of the truck and block the transmission of noise from the wheels into the air.

Single-point switches

Unlike the switches found on many LRT systems, the TTC’s streetcar network is built in the North American standard layout using single-point switches.  This means that there is a movable blade only on the “inside” rail of a curve.  By contrast, railways and the subway use double-point switches where both rails have a movable blade.

A single-point switch is cheaper to build and maintain, especially for street trackage, because there is no need to link the two blades so that they move as one unit.  That’s why it was so common on streetcar systems.  When a streetcar enters a switch that is in the curved or “open” position, the wheel on the inside of the curve (the right side of the car on a right turn) is pulled into the turn, and through the axle this directs the wheel on the outside into the correct track.

When the CLRVs operated with Bochum wheels, this arrangement caused derailments because the Bochum wheel, with its rubber ring, is not stiff horizontally.  Rather than turning into a curve, the wheel would deform.  Because the inner wheel was not pulling its mate on the other side of the car into the curve, the outer wheel would follow the straight track.

The SAB wheel is stiff horizontally and this pushes the inner wheel into the curve as desired with a corresponding move in the outer wheel.

One concern the TTC had with low floor car designs that used split axles (a separate half-axle for the wheel on each side of the car) is that there was no mechanism to transfer the force between inner and outer wheels at switches.

Truck design also affects how well a car will follow track on a curve, but that is independent of the type of switch used.  The specification for the new cars improves on the CLRV truck in this regard.

Stephen Lam provided a set of illustrations of the design illustrating some of the points discussed here.  Page 2 shows the design used for the Bochum wheel (left) and for the super-resilient wheel.  Pages 3 and 4 show details of the suspension system.  Page 5 shows the full truck (bogie) and skirting.

Photos of the Mockup added November 10, 2011:

This shows the second doorway of the car (also the second section) looking from the rear.  The accessibility ramp is deployed at the high platform level.  During the media briefing, we did not see it extended to its full length for pavement level access, but I was told that it is roughly three times longer for that type of situation.

The brick pattern in the window is a reflection from a nearby building.  It is not part of the colour scheme.

This is the rear half of the second door panel showing the pushbuttons for opening the door (red) and requesting ramp deployment (blue).  All doors on these cars are passenger activated.

This is a view toward the same set of doors from inside of the car.  Note that the door panels are not all of the way open because they were set up manually for the tour.

Also visible here is a sample of the extra wide seat.

This is the view directly across the car from the second door.  There are five flip-up seats in an area that can otherwise be used for wheelchairs and scooters.  The lighter patches on the floor mark where spots for these devices and there are stop request buttons on the wall beside each of them.

The red box showing partly in frame (see enlarged version) on the left side is a placeholder for the ticket/Presto machine.

Looking out through the front door which is single width.  TTC Chair Karen Stintz is in the background.

The main part of the operator’s cab.  The video display in the middle will contain images from the cameras at each of the four door locations.

The left side of the operator’s cab showing the control handle for the car.

A poster explaining how fare collection will work.  Both a generic ticket vending machine and Presto are shown.

The text in the poster says that the new scheme requires a system-wide conversion to time based transfers.  This appears to set the stage for new transfer rules on the TTC.

A poster comparing vehicle capacity.  The values shown are Service Planning averages, not the crush capacity of the vehicles.  Also, the size of the new fleet is still shown as 204 despite budget moves to reduce or defer part of the order.

This map shows the deployment plan for streetcars on each route, and it is much different from the scheme laid out in last year’s budget papers.  Bathurst, Harbourfront and Spadina are first up in 2014 with Queen following in 2015.  This will allow the ALRVs to be retired in roughly 2016.

About Steve

Steve thanks you for reading this article, even if you don't agree with it.
This entry was posted in New Streetcars, Transit, Vehicles. Bookmark the permalink.
RSS for Comments

126 Responses to TTC Unveils New Streetcar Design and Mockup (Update 2)

  1. Jacob Louy says:

    I will surely miss the real bells on the new streetcars (instead they’ll be using a simulated computerised bell).

    Why did UTDC even bother with Bochum wheels to begin with, if the rubber-in-shear wheels worked perfectly fine before on the PCC’s?

    Steve: Because Bochum wheels were in common use in Europe (on track with very different characteristics from what we have in Toronto), and because the UTDC did not really understand streetcars. The CLRV was a desperate attempt at credibility by a crown agency that was unable to deliver a credible product. They started with the work the TTC and Hawker-Siddeley had done on a new streetcar design, and would up with a tank designed for high speed (110kph) operation that was aptly described as the “Edsel of streetcars”.

  2. Sylvan says:

    How does the TTC intend to issue timed transfers on the subway? It seems that such a system will break down unless transfers are issued solely at the time a fare is paid. If a rider could get a timed transfer from a machine once inside the fare paid zone, you can see that with a bit of effort they would be able to extend any trip indefinitely.

    So will every rider who requires a transfer (anyone intending to connect to a streetcar route, presumably, due to POP) have to pay their fare to the collector? Is that even feasible in terms of passenger volumes? Or is the TTC going to put TVMs in every subway station as well as on the surface? Wouldn’t that present many of the same problems and expenses (e.g., lack of communications infrastructure) as installing Presto in every subway station?

    Steve: This is only part of what the TTC must wrestle with in looking at new fare collection schemes. Yes, the idea of freely issued transfers will become a thing of the past.

  3. “Edsel of streetcars”

    Better then the other alternative at the time, the Boeing LRV, the Corvair of streetcars.

  4. I still see the major problem with these cars being reduced service. It is great to say that capacity will increase, but with less streetcars frequency will have to be reduced. I see this as a huge disadvantage which should have been considered when the whole project started.

    Steve: Originally, the TTC claimed that it would maintain service frequency, but this has fallen victim to the current regime’s focus on budget cuts. Advocates for articulated buses should note that a similar fate would befall any line where larger buses were implemented. It’s not just a streetcar-related issue.

  5. Kristian says:

    Some comments after my visit to the mock-up:

    - The warning light strip on the door edge doesn’t seem very visible and is rather small. Someone noted that it may be obscured from view if a motorist is sitting at the 2-metre setback in the neighbouring lane. The “Do not pass open doors” sign in the rear window is supposed to light up and flash, however there is a manual button for this on the operator’s console. It seems rather dumb that this would have to be manually turned on and off every time especially if the vehicle is still in motion at the time.

    Steve: I agree that the whole mechanism of warning lights for motorists is very badly designed. This was not an aspect of the cars the Design Review Panel had any chance to comment on.

    - I overheard Jeffrey Kay talking about a problem with the ramp access. The external request button for the ramp is in the middle of the door panel. A mobility-impaired customer has to get right up to the button to press it but then has to back away far enough to clear the ramp extending. This safety issue is compounded by the potential need to enter the roadway before the warning lights are activated. Has there been any discussion of how wheelchairs and scooters are supposed to get on and off the curb where there is a traffic lane in between? It would also seem to me that a number of existing island platforms don’t have enough manouvering space for such devices to get on and off the ramp, even when it is minimally extended.

    Steve: The City will be doing curb cuts at transit stops to allow wheeled devices easy access to the pavement. However, the requirement to come right up to the car to push a button in a location where the ramp extension would collide with you is really, really dumb. Another piece of the design the Design Review Panel didn’t get to see in advance.

    - One staff member commented that the white LED strips between the headlights seem to serve no purpose whatsoever. It is unfortunate that they have gone to the effort to insert these and pre-empt our ‘traditional’ centre-headlight. Also missing are the green marker light(s). Why were these specified on the CLRV/ALRV but now absent? The blue markers are not really a substitute because they specifically refer to accessibility. On a related note, once all TTC vehicles are accessible don’t the blue lights become redundant?

    Steve: Those strips seem to be a reaction to the “where’s the headlight” discussion that came up earlier in the design process. There are structural reasons why a headlight assembly cannot be in the middle of the front of the car, and the LEDs seem to be an attempt to get around this with something that requires less space (depth). Other than giving the front of the car a distinctive lighting “look”, I’m not sure what they do. As for the marker lights, they are descendents of the “advance light” that was on PCCs. This morphed to something more akin to a bus or truck marker light for simplicity of manufacture, and following the TTC’s evolving colour code, they’re now blue as you mention. They simply add to the “look” of a car from afar, although just how well this will work depends on the brightness of the lamps and the optics of the lenses.

    - The camera views replacing the driver mirrors are nice because this has eliminated the ‘insect-like’ appearance of many other modern LRVs. This will also mean less time wasted fumbling with mirror adjustments during driver change-offs.

    - The operators’ hand control right away felt wrong to me because I couldn’t move it through its full range without having to slide my arm on the armrest. This will likely lead to very fast destruction of the armrests from the constant friction and may affect the operator’s ability to smoothly control the vehicle. There was a dummy deadman pedal on the floor but I was told this feature will be incorporated into the handle much as in the newer subway trains. The front console buttons seemed to be placed way too far forward and down and spread out to be a comfortable reach. All regularly used features should be at your fingertips, not a reach-and-lean affair.

    Steve: The floor pedal is to adjust the angle of the footrest. It is not a deadman, although everybody thinks it is. I agree that the console is rather spread out and will require a lot of reaching. However, this design was supposed to have been vetted by real operators, and so far I have not heard any grumblings. No doubt real world experience with the prototype will show how well, or not, the arrangement works.

    - Has there been any document put together about how many stops must be modified or have parking spots removed to accommodate the length of these vehicles?

    Steve: The review of the system (which also affects many loops at stations) is in progress.

  6. Michael says:

    You mentioned earlier that the TTC doesn’t have a program in place to ensure the best and newest trains/LRVs/buses are on the rails/road. Do you know why that is? I’ve been wondering for months now why, at 7am, there’s a Rocket train stored on the middle track north of the Eglinton station platform, dark and unused, instead of in revenue service. I had some hope that that’s where the TTC keeps its newly arrived trains for testing purposes, but now it now seems likely that they just don’t see fit to have the morning rush fully stocked with Rockets.

    Steve: Things have always been this way. What works goes out into service, old or new. As for a train stashed north of Eglinton, that’s probably one of the gap trains that will be dispatched into service if/when there are problems later in the rush hour.

  7. Robert Wightman says:

    Kristian says:

    “There was a dummy deadman pedal on the floor but I was told this feature will be incorporated into the handle much as in the newer subway trains. The front console buttons seemed to be placed way too far forward and down and spread out to be a comfortable reach. All regularly used features should be at your fingertips, not a reach-and-lean affair.”

    Are you sure it was a dead man pedal? I played with it and it was not in a convenient spot for either my left or right foot and when I pushed it the entire floor section moved. I could set the floor height using that pedal. This would allow you to change leg room with out needing to raise and lower the chair. The pedal is just awkward for a dead man, since, if I remember correctly, the controller is on the dash, it would be a problem to raise and lower the seat. It would be more logical to build the dead man into the controller handle by either pressure or capacitor sensor.

    Steve: The pedal is to adjust the footrest height. The deadman is a capacitive sensor in the controller handle.

  8. Kristian says:

    It’s funny because the only reason I said it was a deadman is because one of the staff told me he thought it was. He was the one who did say it would be part of the handle in the production model though. By the way, how does a capacitive sensor provide any physical resistance?

    As a general follow-up comment after everything I’ve observed, I am much more concerned with Bombardier’s willingness to make technical modifications than I am with the TTC’s ability to raise issues. This is supposed to be a vehicle based on a mature, proven design and yet we are finding flaws that should have already been discovered in service in other systems. Are we really so different in Toronto?

    Steve: I don’t know the specifics of the deadman, but a capacitive system could be designed to detect either (a) no hand on the control or (b) no change in the degree of contact for “x” seconds. In the latter case, it could sound an alarm requiring the operator to do something simple that the car could detect. I will find out the details the next time I am talking to someone with the technical background for this.

    As for mature designs, the ramp is a “one of” for Toronto because of our street running which includes stops that do not have islands. Some aspects of the car are unique to Toronto.

  9. Tony P says:

    With fixed trucks, how will it negotiate Toronto’s 11 metre curves, which I understand was a big issue when the process started? I recall Bombardier initially failed a derailment test. What features of the new design enable it to run tight curves?

    Steve: My understanding is that the trucks have been redesigned and their placement relative to the carbody has changed. The “test” that all vendors failed, not just Bombardier, was in a mathematical model, and this revealed where changes were needed for the tight geometry.

  10. Tony P says:

    Thanks Steve. It is hard to imagine that this design will not cause great stress on tight curves, even if derailment is avoided. This would result in higher maintenance costs. It will be interesting to see what real-life testing brings!

    Steve: I don’t understand what your concern is. All existing cars have fixed geometry trucks.

  11. Tony P says:

    This issue. See previous discussion.)

    Don’t your existing streetcars have rotating (pivoting) trucks?

    Steve: I have passed this question to TTC vehicle engineering for a detailed response to this and to Kristian Abell’s comment following.

  12. Kristian says:

    I think what he’s getting at is that the trucks have a very limited range of motion that is also tied to the carbody by rubberized springs. This increases the outward forces entering turns because the entire mass of the body section above is forced to swing with it rather than easing into the curve. The springs also cause the body to fight the travel of the truck and can lead to exaggerated lateral sway in the front section.

    The Seimens Combinos I rode in Amsterdam exhibited this problem quite violently compared with the complete lack of the behaviour in their older ‘traditional’ LRVs. This is exactly the concern I already had with our coming design.

    Steve: See my response to the previous comment. I expect to get detailed feedback from the TTC next week.

  13. Jacob Louy says:

    A lot of these door problems can be solved if all streetcar doors simply open automatically every time it stops (deployed by the operator). There’d be no guessing when passengers will load and unload- so long as doors open, then motorists would know when to yield.

    Too bad for the need to have near-perfect A/C in the vehicle. Does that mean air-conditioned subway cars should keep as many of its doors closed as much as possible outside?

    Steve: Winter would be a greater problem as it would be almost impossible to keep the interior of the cars warm.

  14. Jacob Louy says:

    “Steve: Winter would be a greater problem as it would be almost impossible to keep the interior of the cars warm.”

    The same can’t be said for subways that have outdoor stations?

    Steve: Most subway stations are not outdoors. Even when they are, they are mostly sheltered to some degree and the doors don’t stay open as long as they would on, say, a streetcar sitting at a red light. Have you ever been on the RT with the snowdrifts inside of the cars? That’s the other extreme.

  15. Jacob Louy says:

    As for the placement of the ramp deployment button, I suspect that the reason for it being on the door itself, and not on the wall beside the door, is so that the button remains reachable at all times (whenever the doors are open or closed).

    If the button was placed on the wall beside the doors, the doors may block it, although I suppose this can be solved by moving the button further out. But then again, the people who need that button have to start further away from the door itself and that might be an inconvenience.

    Do you know the details of the door cycles? How fast does the ramp deploy? What is the time for doors to open/close/lock, etc.?

  16. J Lee says:

    I have a question, is this the same vehicle for Transit City?

    Steve: No, the Transit City vehicles are not the same as the cars for the “legacy” streetcar system. Same family, but cousins, not twins.

  17. Jacob Louy says:

    In a climate like Toronto’s, I do have to question why Transit City proposed using double-point switches, instead of single-point switches. Wouldn’t that inevitably mean more maintenance than single-point switches, since the piece that connects the two points is under the pavement (and can freeze up)?

    The TC cars would have came with axles anyways; the only other modification is to use the SAB wheels, instead of the standard LRT bochum wheels.

    Steve: I wasn’t aware that the TC cars were going to use Bochum wheels.

  18. Jacob Louy says:

    Woops, that was an assumption I made, that most modern and standard LRV’s (which use double-point switches) also use Bochum wheels, since you said it was common in the 1970′s/1980′s.

    But anyways, I question the choice of double-point switches rather than single-point switches in the TC network, unless Bombardiers standard LRV cannot handle single-points?

  19. Tony P says:

    Hi Steve. Christmas has come and I assume that a reply from the TTC has perhaps not come yet concerning how a fixed truck LRV (normally suitable only for minimum curve radius above 25 metres) will work on Toronto’s 11 metre curves. I can see Bombardier is putting the trucks as close as possible to the articulations and there are long overhangs at the ends (presumably the clearance will be OK) and perhaps this is how they intend to deal with it. But it defies conventional wisdom and will certainly cause track and tram wear, which is why some of us in Australia and elsewhere are watching the matter with interest.

    As you know, the Skoda-Inekon consortium proposed this solution which does address the small curve radius but TTC apparently would not even talk to them about it, which was rather puzzling. So, any information that comes along (not to mention the prototype testing) will be very interesting.

    Hoping of course that you don’t have the order cancelled by politics, which concerns us as much as it must concern you!

    Steve: I am still awaiting a reply.

  20. Jacob Louy says:

    From what I read, the service capacities of the streetcars are as follows:

    LFLRV: 132 passengers
    ALRV: 155 passengers (!)
    CLRV: 102 passengers

    (info from transit.toronto.on.ca and the National Post)

    Imagine how the streetcar haters would react when they find out that the service-capacity of the LFLRV’s is less than the shorter ALRV’s!

    I understand that the LFLRV’s have less floor-space, because of the bogie-machinery around the wheels, but this seems like a huge discrepancy.

    Is this discrepancy because of the changing loading standards that have occurred over the past few decades? Are these in-service numbers therefore comparable with each other?

    Steve: You are quoting two separate sets of numbers. The capacity of a CLRV for service design purposes is 74. The higher figure is a crush load. Similarly, the design capacity of an ALRV is 108, and for the LFLRV will be 132. Quite often, LRT advocates screw themselves up by using the crush capacities in calculations of line capacities (X people per car times Y cars per hour) and even Bombardier is guilty of this.

    It is possible on a short-term basis and under specific conditions (typically mass boarding with prepaid fare collection at one major stop through all doors) to pack a car to crush capacity, but this cannot be sustained in normal service. The moment you need space left over for people to move around with ons/offs at stops along the way, crush capacity is lost. A good comparison familiar to us all is on the subway where under certain circumstances, trains can leave a peak point absolutely packed, but this condition cannot be sustained for an entire hour at the minimum line frequency. One big problem the TTC ignores when talking about very close headways on Yonge is that if they don’t keep dwell times short by having enough free room on trains, they won’t be able to run the frequent service (and high capacity) they claim to be aiming for.

    Any time I have quoted line capacities in calculations, I have used the service planning numbers. These did not change under RGS because there were no spare cars with which to improve service. A side effect of that is that there are were peak period service cuts proposed on the streetcar lines because their loading standard was unchanged. However, the offpeak standard went from a seated load to seated plus 25%. That’s a policy decision independent of the vehicle capacity.

    On the bus system, seated plus 25% may affect service because there is proportionately less standee space in the vehicles, and seated plus 25% is closer to the peak design load. For example, on streetcars, the new CLRV offpeak standard would become 53 (up from 42), compared to the peak standard which remains 74. On the bus fleet, the new offpeak standards lie in a range of 44-48, up from 35-38, out of a new peak capacity of 52-57. While the CLRV offpeak standard is now about 72% of peak, the bus offpeak standard will be about 85%. This will bring offpeak conditions on bus routes much more like peak conditions, and service will run more slowly from loading delays, not to mention the effect of things like strollers, shopping carts and bicycles which tend to be found mainly outside of the peak.

  21. Jacob Louy says:

    I’m still confused. The numbers I had quoted earlier (from transit.toronto.on.ca) are labeled as “Normal service usage”, not crush capacity.

    The crush capacities that have also been quoted by the National Post and Transit Toronto are as follows:

    CLRV: 132 passengers
    ALRV: 205 passengers
    LFLRV: 251 passengers

    I had specifically avoided quoting crush capacity numbers from the reasons you’ve mentioned before.

    Service capacities quoted by National Post and Transit Toronto:

    CLRV: 102 passengers
    ALRV: 155 passengers (!)
    LFLRV: 132 passengers

    Service capacities quoted by the poster at the official mockup:

    CLRV: 74 passengers
    ALRV: 108 passengers
    LFLRV: 130 passengers (!)

    Why are the service capacities quoted by Transit Toronto and National Post different than the numbers shown on the poster at the official mockup?

    Steve: The ones at the mockup are on posters actually produced by Service Planning, and they match the figures given in the Service Standards. I don’t think it is physically possible to get 132 people on a CLRV. A few times I have counted people getting off a packed car at Spadina Station, and that doesn’t even break 100. As for 251 on an LFLRV, that is a fantasy number from Bombardier, I think.

  22. Tony P says:

    Bombardier’s 251 isn’t exactly a fantasy figure, it’s based on the calculations they do in Europe which could be based on 4, 6 or 8 persons per square metre according to the circumstances. Theoretically (at 8 ppsm) a 30 metre LFLRV can carry 300 passengers but, as you say, that could not be sustained. The number of doors has a lot of influence on the practical figure. If there are few doors, passengers will stay within range of a door and not spread out through the streetcar. If there are lots of doors the passengers will distribute more evenly as they don’t have to worry about getting to a door quickly, so the vehicle will carry more.

    Your Bombardier I see has only 2 double doors and 2 single doors, seemingly limited to this by the configuration of the trucks and articulations. If you look at the same-length Skoda 15T for example you will see that it has 6 doors and the trucks are under the articulations so its practical carrying capacity is far greater. As well as the cornering issue, this may be another issue on which TTC has disadvantaged itself by buying the Bombardier rather than the Skoda-Inekon design which, I note, has been able to fit in 4 double doors and 2 single doors.

  23. Jacob Louy says:

    Has there ever been a transit system which tried accessible ticket-issuing fare-gates at every door on streetcars? Would such a thing be possible or feasible?

    Steve: Gates? The whole idea of self-service fare collection is to move people quickly, not to slow everyone down to a crawl behind the person whose pass isn’t working today.

  24. Mikey says:

    If I’m not mistaken, the overhead wiring along Richmond Street has been converted to pantograph-friendly wiring, even for the wrong-direction half-paved-over track just east of Yonge Street. Are there plans to preserve both pairs of tracks along Richmond and Adelaide?

    Steve: No. The “wrong way” track has been removed in several locations including at some intersections. The overhead crew is probably just blindly converting whatever they encounter.

  25. Mikey says:

    “The overhead crew is probably just blindly converting whatever they encounter.”

    That seems like a waste of time and resources. I wonder why they don’t just remove these wires then.

    Steve: Probably because nobody ever thought to tell them to do this.

  26. Jacob Louy says:

    At first I thought the double doors would open all the way to allow for faster passenger flow, but then I saw your photos which shows the accessible doors open only to the width of the ramp. Having the doors fully open would mean wheelchair users might use a part of the doorway that doesn’t have ramp coverage, and risk falling off as a result.

    Does anyone know if the double doors open all the way in general, or just to the width of the ramp?

    Steve: Oh dear … nothing like having one of your extra wide doors not operate at its full capacity. We should have a real live car here quite soon to check this out.

Comments are closed.