On October 13, 2022, the TTC issued a Request for Proposals for a new fleet of subway trains. The submission deadline is July 28, 2023, and the anticipated contract award date is December 22, 2023.
This article is not an exhaustive review of the specification which is over 1,200 pages long, but an attempt to pick up major points including differences between the new fleet and the existing TR trains. The information has been organized for easy reading with related points grouped together, not necessarily the sequence in which they appear in the RFP.
Updated October 21, 2022 at 9:10 am:
- A section has been added with information on car ventilation as it relates to health concerns and air quality.
- A section has been added with more details of the emergency detrainment at the cab ends of the train.
Click here to jump to these updates.
The initial order would be for 480 cars (80 6-car trains) to replace the existing T1 fleet which operates on Line 2 Bloor-Danforth and to provide both for ridership growth and added trains for the Scarborough and Yonge North extensions. The delivery window is 2027-2033.
The trains are intended to be operated as much as possible like the existing TR fleet on Line 1 to minimize retraining requirements.
Although it is buried in an appendix, the TTC proposes a new exterior livery for the trains bringing the red from surface vehicles back into subway territory.
The requested design life for the cars is 35 years, somewhat longer than the 30 year span usually associated with a new fleet, but not unreasonable given the usual lag in replacement orders. For example, the T1 fleet of 370 cars was delivered between 1995 and 2001, and so the first of them will be 33 years old when the first new trains arrive.
Pre-pandemic service on Line 2 was provided at peak by 46 trains (January 2020 schedules). Allowing for spares at 20 per cent, this makes the peak requirement 55 trains compared to the present T1 fleet of 61 trains. (The extra T1s were displaced from Line 4 Sheppard when it converted to 4-car TR sets.)
The initial round of industry consultation took place in 2021 and resulted in pre-qualification of four potential suppliers:
- Alstom Transport Canada Inc.
- CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd.
- Hyundai Rotem Company
- Kawasaki Rail Car, Inc
The next round of vendor consultations and proposals will only occur with these four companies.
A key issue here is funding. The RFP states:
The TTC has secured commitment to date of $624 million from the municipal government and is actively pursuing additional funding from the other orders of government (Provincial and Federal) towards the full estimated cost of the project. Timelines associated with this RFP have been communicated to potential funding partners, and a request for confirmation of funding by early 2023 has been requested. In order to receive the NST [“New Subway Train”] deliveries in time for the legacy fleet replacement and to meet growth needs, the TTC has elected to commence the procurement at this time, however, contract award is subject to receiving full funding commitments.TTC RFP, Page 4, Section 1.2.2
There is a 25 per cent Canadian content requirement in the RFP.
There is an ironic leftover in the specification that the trains should be capable of operation on existing lines, new extensions and a new “Relief Line”. This spec has been around for a while. [Technical Specification section 1.1.1]
In past financial plans, TTC management warned about due dates for funding needed to acquire trains in a timeframe that would fit with earlier proposals for a Line 2 Renewal project. That timeline has now passed, and it is clear that delivery of the new fleet might not be completed in time for the Scarborough and Yonge North proposed opening dates in 2030. This could leave more of the old T1 fleet in operation until enough trains are available to provide full service on extended Lines 1 and 2. That, in turn, has implications for the full transition to ATC signalling on Line 2.
It is possible that the total train requirement will be reduced from pre-pandemic levels by operation of both lines at a higher average speed taking advantage of Automatic Train Control and of the “high rate” available but not used. However, that option comes with caveats about the timing of ATC installation on Line 2 as well as the effect of higher speeds on track maintenance and power consumption.
The proposed delivery schedule is shown in the table below. The first two trains are planned for 2027 to allow acceptance testing and tweaking of the specification should problems arise before the main production run. Cars will be delivered to Wilson Carhouse by flatbed truck.
The 32 optional trains are allocated as below:
- 7 for the new Scarborough Subway Extension
- 8 for the new Yonge North Extension
- 5 for the headway improvement on Line 1
- 8 for the maturity service on the new Yonge North Extension
- 4 for the maturity service on the new Scarborough Subway Extension
Delivery schedule relative to Notice to Proceed:
- 40 months: Availability of first train at Wilson Carhouse for testing and commissioning
- 42 months: Availability of second train at Wilson Carhouse for testing and commissioning
- 52 months: Trains 3 to 10
- 60 months: Trains 11 to 20
- 66 months: Trains 21 to 30
- 72 months: Trains 31 to 40
- 77 months: Trains 41 to 50
- 81 months: Trains 51 to 60
- 85 months: Trains 61 to 70
- 89 months: Trains 71 to 80
Availability for service is one month later. To put it another way, when a train arrives, it is expected to work more or less “out of the box” without months of testing and fixes.Continue reading