Tony Turrittin of Transport 2000 sent along a copy of a note explaining to potential bidders the kind of requirements that would appear in the specifications for new streetcars. I am publishing it here to save on answering ongoing queries about what the TTC plans to do. Note that this is a shortened version of the original text to retain the core information about the Commission’s technical requirements.
Stephen Lam, P.Eng.
Superintendent – Vehicle Engineering
Vehicle Engineering Department
Toronto Transit Commission
I am sending this note to all who have expressed an interest in our Low Floor Light Rail Vehicle Procurement project through the submission against our RFI, which closed last November.
I want to let you know of the Commission’s position concerning floor configuration of the new vehicles, as a result of my meeting with our senior managers and the Chair and Vice Chair of the Commission.
The direction was that the new vehicle shall have at least a 70% continuous low floor area between the end trucks, AND with all axles powered. From an engineering perspective, we recognize that the combination could present a challenge for some of you. We believe, however, this arrangement is necessary to ensure that the low floor vehicles would have the best chance of success in our stringent operating environment, while providing accessibility and good passenger flow within the vehicle. I would like to qualify this requirement further with the following principal requirements:
- car length can be between 27m and 29m (approximate), meeting TTC’s maximum dynamic envelope;
- modular design to offer flexibility for possible shorter vehicle length for subsequent order/option;
- all wheels powered – must meet 17% adhesion limit, 8% grade-ability, and be able to push a disabled vehicle of the same type up an 8% grade from stationary in an emergency recovery operation;
- minimum aisle width to be confirmed;
- Documentations are required to address the following issues.
More rigorous analyses and simulations are expected if powered stub axles and “independent rotating wheels” are offered.
- safety against derailment;
- minimum wheel unloading that can be accomplished;
- compatibility with the Commission’s single-point trackswitch;
- “sinusoidal” running on tangent track for maximum stability and minimum flange bearing with 1:20 wheel tread conicity;
- track parameters and special trackwork (warp, crossfall, superelevation) standards required;
- suspension system, unsprung mass, wheel radial and axial stiffness;
- ground borne vibration.
As a general program note, I would like to advise that the procurement will likely be divided into two phases – 50 cars for Phase 1 and 154 cars for Phase 2. The absolute quantity of the phase 2 purchase may change depending on:
- number of shorter vehicles required, if any;
- passenger carrying capacity of the vehicle selected; and,
- headway requirement calculations at the time of exercising the option.
This total quantity of 204 cars may increase in future as it does not include vehicle requirements to meet the City’s ridership growth strategy and expansion plans.
A technical meeting is planned for mid-June for interested bidders, and the Request for Proposal should go out in November.
The splitting of the order into 50 + 154 cars is a budgetary fig-leaf to keep the bean counters happy. If the initial commitment is only for 50 cars, the amount of future dollars “above the line” in the Capital Budget is smaller. “Below the line” projects don’t have committed funding.