New Subway Car Update

Those of you who follow other Toronto blogs will already have read much of the update on the new subway cars.  You can read the spacing wire coverage here.

A few additional tidbits:

The article by Kevin McGran linked from spacing’s post claims that the seats are all along the sides facing inward.  This is an error, as you can clearly see from the design photo below.  After the April Commission meeting where a nearly apoplectic Chairman Moscoe took staff to task for ignoring repeated calls for transverse seating, this is now part of the official design.

New Car Interior

Other changes include additional handholds from the overhead grab-bar and the elimination of vertical stanchions in the doorways adjacent to wheelchair tie-downs.  The intention is to give maximum manoueverability at doors where wheelchairs will enter while preserving the extra handholds at the other entrances.  The effect is to have poles at the two middle entrances on each car, and no poles at the ends.

When the TTC posts information about these cars on their site, there will be a piece of Flash animation that gives a flying tour through the new train layout.

The media day for unveiling the modified T-1 mockup car will be June 5, and public viewing starts on June 6.  Further details are in the spacing post.  One commissioner asked if the car could be displayed at Dundas Square, but was dissuaded when the logistical complexities of moving a subway car over city streets were explained.  One alternative display site may be the unused north platform at Sheppard-Yonge Station.

6 thoughts on “New Subway Car Update

  1. This is a good compromise solution; while it appears to have less tranverse seating than T1s to permit increased standing room, it does have enough for people who are sensitive to longitudinal seating (not me).


  2. From the renderings that I have seen, the new trains look like they will be very nice.  I’m also glad that they’ve opted to keep the current seating arrangement (or at least something that resembles it). 

    I’ve ridden the trains in Hong Kong, which have an articulated design that has been quoted numerous times with regards to the new Toronto trains, and I have to say that they aren’t too nice to ride in (at least from an aesthetic point of view).  The seats are hard and are basically benches along the car’s length, the colour scheme is boring, and it all seems very dull and mechanical.

    Although we may have to make sacrifices in the area of looks to allow for increased capacity and efficiency, I think that it is worth keeping the cars comfortable and unique in order to add a level of comfort to the hours that we spend on the TTC (this also helps to keep riders who are trying transit for the first time).

    It would also be cool if they could include a couple of spots on the train where you could throw out your rubbish and recycling, and some sort of shelf where you could put your used newspapers, magazines, and books for other riders to enjoy.

    Steve:  This is highly unlikely as any waste repository would quickly overflow and it would also be a fire hazard.

    One question about the renderings: all of the images that I’ve seen show windows that look as though they can open at the top.  Am I wrong in assuming this (it seems kind of strange with air conditioned cars)?

    Steve:  I’m not sure if this has to do with the video display panels, or what.  More news when I find out.


  3. Why not just put new flooring and new seats in the old cars?

    Steve:  The issue is not just flooring and seats.  The electrical equipment in the H6 and particularly the H5 cars is an early generation of solid state controls for which parts are not available.  Reliability is an ongoing problem.  This also applies to the CLRV streetcar fleet where the single largest expense in the planned rebuilt program is to replace the electronics package.

    There is also a question of the ability of the trucks to survive another 20 or 30 years without encountering structural fatigue.  On the streetcars, this is not an issue because the trucks were so over-build in the first place.

    Why not simply put new front windows in the first car of each of the old trains?

    Steve:  This really doesn’t address any of the problems that the old cars have.


  4. Hey, i was just wondering, but why do people here in Toronto hate side facing seat so much?   I have never in my whole life heard so much complaining about the seating arragments.  I am a Canadian that travels to hong kong ever summer, and for majority of my vacation I take the Hong Kong subway (MTR) and all the trains have side seats, and there you do not find any one complaining about the seats.  Honestly being a Canadian I find that people here in North America complain way too much.  If the TTC did want side seats so bad, they should not have asked the public about their inputs about them.

    Steve:  It’s a bit more complicated than this.  First off, people with any kind of back problems or problems holding themselves steady prefer transverse seats because of their better support.  With a history of 50 years of subway cars with transverse seats, keeping them is a reasonable expectation.  People complain when you change something without just cause.

    The mockup for the new car has identical seats to the present arrangement and so passengers are being sold a bait-and-switch — show them existing seating but actually build something else.  There is no question about seating layout on the questionnaire that people visiting the mockup fill out.

    Finally, Torontonians are not the only ones who complain about bench seating.  Just the ones you hear about in this blog.


  5. When I take the subway/metro, sometimes there is nothing to hold on when I’m standing. Do you think putting in more “monkey bars” will help people that are standing? I’ve seen the monkey bars, but there are only a few and you have to hold them down, which is annoying.

    Steve: The design of handholds for standees involves a lot of tradeoffs. For years, the best way to give handholds was to provide lots of vertical stanchions because these can be used by people of any height. However, these interfere with the free movement of wheelchairs and scooters through a car.

    One of the design issues in the debate about perimeter seating is that with some transverse seats (as there are today), it is easy to have stanchions running from the outer end of the seat up to the ceiling. This provides a handhold at a location midway between the doors where people travelling some distance tend to congregate.

    The “monkey bars” are spring loaded to keep them out of the way of passengers standing up from the seats below and, as you point out, this makes them harder to reach.


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