At its meeting on May 6, the TTC approved two add-on orders of Toronto Rocket subway cars.
- 21 6-car trainsets to replace the H-6 fleet
- 10 6-car trainsets to provision the Spadina subway extension to Vaughan
The unit cost of the first 21 sets is approximately $15.1-million, while the remaining 10 will cost about $16.3-million each.
These orders will follow the current TR car production at Bombardier’s Thunder Bay plant allowing continuous production at a lower price than if a small Spadina-only order were to be placed closer to the opening date in 2015.
Once these trainsets are delivered, the Yonge-University-Spadina line will operate entirely with TR trains, and the T1 fleet will be shifted to the Bloor-Danforth line. (The Sheppard line will continue to use T1 equipment that will likely be stored on the YUS, but serviced at Greenwood Carhouse.)
The TTC’s subway fleet plan, presented as part of the 2010-2014 Capital Budget, foresees an eventual fleet of 69 trains on the YUS calculated as follows:
- Existing service is 48 trains (T1 equivalent)
- Add 3 for extension of the short-turn operation to Glencairn
- Add 5 for growth and closer headways with Automated Train Operation (ATO)
- Add 9 for extension of the short-turn operation to Wilson (when the Vaughan extension opens)
- Add 1 for growth in each of 2019 and 2020
This gives a total of 67 “T1” equivalent trains. At this point, the calculation gets a bit murky, but the outcome is roughly the same. The TTC deducts the extra capacity of the TR trainsets to reduce train requirements by 7, although this very capacity bump is often mentioned as one of the reasons for buying the TRs in the first place. However, additional effective capacity will be available through the implementation of ATO.
The TTC talks about this in terms of station dwell time, but I believe this is a red herring. Passenger loading times have nothing to do with ATO. What will be possible, however, is for trains to operate at a higher speed on those parts of the line where stations are further apart, and this will not require complete re-engineering of the signal system as would have been the case for the existing block signals. Faster trips mean that the same number of trains can operate on a shorter headway and, thereby, increase capacity.
After allowing for spares at 13%, the total fleet requirement is 69 trainsets and this is the combined size of the three TR orders now on the books.