TTC Issues RFP For New Subway Trains

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.

Train Consist

The trains are to be supplied as six-car sets of three married pairs as shown in the drawing below. This differs from the TR trains on Lines 1 and 4 which are explicitly configured as 6- and 4-car units respectively.

The A cars are cab cars with full controls. The B and C cars are intermediates. All B and C cars will have hostler controls at one end for manual operation as independent sets. This is a different configuration from the TRs which only operate as full trainsets.

The cab-end truck of the A cars will not be powered. This is to avoid ATC position measurement problems caused by wheel slip/spin. A full 6-car train will have 10 powered trucks.

The only difference in the specification between a “B” car and a “C” car is that the combination “A-B” (including a cab car) or “B-C” (without a cab car) is possible, but not an “A-C” pair.

The fleet numbering will follow a similar pattern to the TR trains with consistent numbering for each car of the train, although this varies over the entire order. The ranges of numbers, tentatively, is:

  • 38 trains: 5000 to 5375
  • 42 trains: 6381 to 6796

It is not clear why the first 38 trains would have the A cars numbered “0” and “5” while the rest use “1” and “6”. The numbering of the first 38 train duplicates the existing T1 fleet. This could prove problematic for fleet co-existence and I suspect the specification will change. The group of 42 trains skips over the TR and Metrolinx LRV numbering ranges. The spec provides for changes in the numbering scheme and trains are generally referred to by their production sequence, not their fleet numbers.

Automatic Train Control

The trains are to be priced without ATC gear, but capable of being fitted with ATC that will be supplied by the TTC under a separate contract. It is not clear whether this work would be done pre-delivery by the builder or as a retrofit by TTC forces.

The trains will include train stop gear associated with block signal systems and trip cocks because they will operate over trackage that has not been converted to ATC operation before they are delivered.

Option 14 – Provision of Dual Fitted ATC

The TTC, through a separate contract in the future, will be procuring a different ATC system for the Line 2, accordingly the scope of this option shall comprise, unless specifically excluded, the design provisions of a dual fitted trainborne ATC which shall interface with a future ATC system, such that the train shall be able to operated safely and reliably by both existing and future ATC systems. The dual fitted ATC shall be complied with the requirements as specified in TS Appendix I Annex 6.

TTC Technical Specification Section 3.10.14

This implies that it is possible the ATC system for Line 2 could be different from that on Line 1. Why the TTC would take this route is difficult to say given their experience with mixing technologies.

There is also a provision for driverless operation.

Driverless Train Operation

(a) Design provision shall be given to ensure that Driverless Train Operation will be used for a number of scenarios as follows:

(i) To move trains through the tail tracks at the designated turnback stations after passengers have disembark, as part of normal revenue service;

(ii) To store the trains in the tail tracks after they were taken out of service, and

(iii) To move the trains to the CBTC-equipped yard for storage and maintenance.

TTC Technical Specification Appendix I, Annex 3, Sction 1.3.6

One advantage of ATC combined with the new train specification is that changes to speed and braking profiles are much simpler to implement than with fixed block signal systems and speed timing based on “standard rate” performance. This would allow for faster trips especially over portions of a route where stations are further apart. For example, based on my own experience riding trains that were “unofficially” in high rate, about two minutes could be shaved off of the run between Eglinton and Finch each way. An offsetting requirement, however, is that track be maintained at a condition where 80 km/h operation is safe and comfortable, and that the added energy requirements are provided for in the traction power system.

Performance

The trains will have both a standard and high rate performance. Standard rate would accelerate to about 65 km/h (40 m/h) while high rate would accelerate to 83 km/h (52 m/h) in 60 seconds. The acceleration performance should be possible over a range of power voltages from 580 to 720 volts (±120 volts from the nominal supply at 600 VDC).

For design purposes, the maximum speed will be 88 km/h (55 m/h) with a service speed of 80 km/h (50 m/h).

In a worst case scenario, a 4-car train should be capable of pushing a disabled 6-car train with both trains carrying passenger loads at L4 (full standing load of 250 passengers/car) up a 3.5 per cent grade.

Internal Layout

The internal layout is based on the existing TR cars with a mixture of transverse and longitudinal seats.

The issue of all-longitudinal seating comes up from time to time. Although this is superficially attractive in order to pack more riders into each car, that is not necessarily what is achieved.

The number of seats in an all-longitudinal layout would be the same (or almost) as in the TR layout. Passengers in longitudinal seats extend out with their legs (and sometimes other articles) roughly the same distance as the transverse seats occupy.

An important role of the transverse seats is for accessibility. Some people cannot sit in sideways-facing seats because of the strain of horizontal acceleration on their body.

Because Toronto’s cars are fairly wide, the space in the middle of the car cannot be easily used by standees without a ceiling mounted handhold, or with stanchions. The TRs were designed without a row of centre stanchions specifically to avoid barriers for riders using mobility devices.

The specification includes a trade-off on this point:

… a vertical stanchion located at the meeting points of the longitudinal centreline of the car and the centreline of those doorways that have no multi-purpose area …

Technical Specification Par. 7.7.1 (vi)

A “multi-purpose area” is one with movable seating to accommodate mobility devices.

There are two separate descriptions of the function of a dynamic route map of which the more complex is:

The DRM shall display information on a real time basis. The information displayed to the passengers shall include:
• the line that the train is running on,
• the direction to which the train is travelling
• terminal station
• next station the train will arrive
• current station the train stop
• interchange station and the corresponding line for interchange

TTC Spec Section 10, p 10-24

Cars will have a mixture of static advertising card frames and LCD Information Display Systems (LIDS) with pairs on opposite sides of the cars being one of each type. Network connections will be included in the static frame areas to provide for future upgrades to 100 percent LIDS.

Additional information displays will be provided at various positions along the car.

WiFi and charging ports will be provided within the cars. The authentication process is intended to include a certificate within an app that will allow fast reconnection.

Additional Options

Several options are included in the RFP for separate pricing. Among them are [numbers are those used in the RFP]:

(3) Correct Side Door System

This option would add a mechanism to detect a wayside device (a fixed rail) indicating the platform side at a station. The intent is to support “OPTO” (one person train operation) presumably during a period when part of the system would not be under ATC control where platform information is part of the “map” in the software.

(5) Provision of a Heated Floor

The TTC is considering the use of a heated floor to replace the baseboard heaters found on existing trains.

As an alternative to the baseboard heater, the Heating Floors technology will be considered provided that such technology is able to provide more superior thermal comfort, energy efficiency, reduced installation time, and lower lifecycle costs.

TTC Spec at Section 15.21.7

(8) Fire Suppression

An option included in the RFP is a fire suppression system using water mist. When the system is activated, water would be pumped from tanks under the cars through nozzles in the car ceilings. The cars would also have a smoke detection system including an alert to the operator and to Transit Control of the location of the fire.

(9) Collision Avoidance System

Although train-to-train contact would be prevented by the signal system, this is not the only thing that might be encountered on the track.

As an extended and integral function of the Cab Front Camera of the VSS (refer to TS 10.2.7), a Collision Avoidance System (CAS) shall be provided with a mid-range radar or light detection and ranging (LiDAR) device, such that the CAS shall be reliably able to capture and identify objects, such as, person or obstacle at track level in the travel direction of the train.

TTC Spec at Section 9.9.2

(11) Energy Storage Device

This option entails an energy storage device that would be used to recoup braking power on board rather then depending on receptivity of the third rail power system. With a hoped-for reduction of power requirements. It would also allow for operation of a train in unpowered locations or during emergency power cuts.

(13) Provision of a Driving Cab Simulator

(14) Artificial Leather Seat Cushions

This option makes reference to a paragraph in the “Seating” section 7.6.1 (d) that does not exist. It is unclear what is intended.

Reliability Targets

The base requirement for train reliability is 772,485 car kilometres (480,000 car miles) by the end of the reliability demonstration period. There is an extensive description of which type of failures would be counted against this goal including a provision for a Failure Review Board to review all delays on a weekly basis.

By comparison, the current target as shown in the CEO’s Report is 600,000 km per train defect for TR trains, and 330,000 for T-1s. There appears to be a discrepancy between the contract requirement which is stated in car kilometres and the CEO’s report metric which is in train kilometres. There is a sixfold difference in these values, and so this is not a trivial distinction. I have asked the TTC for a clarification.

As a contract option, the TTC has asked for pricing on a higher target:

Option 16 – Provision of Higher Reliability Target

The Contractor shall provide the trains to achieve a reliability target not less than 1,000,000 car kilometres (621,504 car miles) for MDBTD criteria by the end of the reliability demonstration period according to the requirements of 25.7.3(b).

TTC Spec at Section 3.10.16

A related target is the period during which achievement of train reliability must be sustained.

The Reliability Demonstration Period shall begin from the beginning of the fifth month following the date of the issue of the Final Acceptance Certificate for the last Six Car Subway Train Set of the
first Group [Train 10]. The period shall last for at least:
(i) 12 months and shall end when the reliability target is achieved.

TTC Spec Section 25.7.6

The base period is 12 months, with an option (17) for pricing of an 18 month period.

Updated October 21, 2022

Air Handling and Filtration

Air will be constantly replenished with fresh air, or more frequently if recirculated air is used to ensure that it passes through the filtration and disinfection systems.

15.2.1 d. (ii) Fresh air intake under normal mode of operation shall represent no less than 25% of the air being continuously circulated at any given time in the saloon. As a minimum and without opening the passenger bodyside doors, the air inside a train shall be completely replaced 15 times per hour with fresh air and 50 times per hour when mixing in recirculated air.

The CO2 level inside the car will be monitored and the air flow adjusted to maintain it at a low level.

15.6.8 CO2 sensing shall be provided to regulate the normal ventilation airflow rate, such that the concentration of carbon dioxide in the saloon shall be maintained to less than 2000 parts per million at an occupancy of all seated and four passengers per square metre standing.

Air filtration will be provided to remove particulates. For reference, a table of MERV values is available on the US EPA’s website.

15.19.1 The air filter element shall be non-combustible and manufactured to the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of rating 13 according to ASHRAE 52.2 – Method of Testing General Ventilation Air-Cleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size or better, or other approved standard.

The trains will include a UV system to disinfect air as it circulates through the ventilation system.

15.23.1 An In-Duct Ultraviolet (UV) LED Light System shall be provided as part of the filtering equipment to treat the return air that passes through the HVAC unit with ultraviolet light in order to reduce or eliminate the DNA-based airborne contaminants (e.g. bacteria, viruses, mold spores, yeast, protozoa), and provide operators, maintainers and passengers with much healthier air to breathe.

Emergency Detrainment

As on the existing TR cars, a detrainment device is required as part of the cab-end of the “A” cars at the ends of trains. Both a ladder and ramp option are offered, although it is not clear how a ladder could accommodate 1500 passengers in half an hour, nearly one per second. Also a ladder would pose accessibility challenges that could limit the exit rate or even make this impossible for some riders. There is a related issue that the floor of subway tunnels, or open track rights-of-way would be very difficult for wheelchairs or scooters because there are many obstacles, but that is not part of the train spec.

8.16.1. General
(a) The device shall comprise a detrainment door panel and Emergency Detrainment Device (EmDD) completed with handhold.
(b) The EmDD shall be based on either:
• a detrainment ladder design similar to the existing T1 train as showed in Figures 8-7 and 8-8; or
• a detrainment ramp design similar to the existing TR train as showed in Figures 8-9 and 8-10.
(c) The EmDD shall allow the detrainment of 1500 passengers in a maximum period of 30 minutes, including deployment time.
(d) The minimum headroom height through the detrainment door shall be 1 930 mm for all modes of detrainment.

37 thoughts on “TTC Issues RFP For New Subway Trains

  1. One aspect of longitudinal seating is that for some disabled people the side to side motion of the starts/stops is harmful and causes pain. I avoid buses as much as possible because of this. None of the disabled seating on current surface vehicles is forward facing.

    The idea of two separate ATC systems on lines that are currently interoperable seems silly to me.

    It will be interesting to see what comes out of this RFP.

    Steve: Thank you for reminding me of this. It was a big issue a few decades ago with a new train order then, but I forgot to mention it in the article. I will update the text.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lack of “railfan” window, likely designed by non-transit users. By “provision for driverless operation”, does that mean that the driver cab could be removed completed to become “driverless”?

    A “thumbs down” by me.

    Steve: It’s a duplicate of the existing TR train design, so not exactly a brand new choice. As for driverless operation, it will be interesting to see how they use this. Probably in yards first, later for some turnbacks in revenue service.

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  3. 1. Longitudinal seating may or may not be more efficient but what is not considered is that transverse seating esp 1-2 seat units passengers are far more likely to occupy seats with their bags, and relatedly fewer want a stranger sitting “with them” (transverse) vs “beside” them (longitudinal).
    2. Please tell those painful-to-hold-bending away-from-you subway poles are a thing of the past. Why not a straight pole?

    Steve: The longitudinal seats get people sitting side by side as many of the seats are three, not two, people wide. As for the poles, it’s a question of where they attach to the car.

    As I have noted in an update prompted by another comment, some people cannot sit in sideways seats because of the horizontal acceleration stress on their bodies. This is an accessibility issue.

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  4. Honestly, they should have kept it simple, stick with 2-car permanent sets, with open gangway between the two only. Sure you would still need a cab in every car, but at least you can interchange them easily. Looks like A car and C car can’t run on their own.

    Too bad they aren’t using the Greenwood yard spur connection to deliver cars.

    Can’t wait to see more details. On these new trains. Look forward to seeing an exterior red again.

    Steve: They want a through gangway in the train in order to spread load, and to make evacuation easy by allowing people to move between all cars.

    The Greenwood spur no longer exists. It was converted to TTC gauge track for additional storage some years ago.

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  5. These new trains should go to the Bloor-Danforth Line. Why should Scarborough always be given old used trains from Downtown lines?

    Steve: Enough with the “Scarborough deserves new trains” trope. Scarborough is eating through a big chunk of transit capital spending all because they “deserve” a subway.

    The new cars necessarily will go to Line 2 because if the 6-car trains from Line 1 were shifted over they would not fit in Greenwood carhouse which was built for married pairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What is the likelihood that a Chinese company be awarded the contract to build these new subway trains? (CRRC)

    And are these trains going to display the line number on their destination signs along with the destination? 2 Kipling – 2 Sheppard East

    Steve: It will be interesting to see if there is any political pressure to exclude CRRC. Alstom has a leg up because the new trains are so similar to the TRs which their plant in Thunder Bay already built, plus, of course, Canadian jobs.

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  7. “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.”

    I have every confidence that the opening of the new subway will be more behind schedule then the new train deliveries.

    Steve: Oh ye of little faith! Metrolinx delivers every project on time, on budget!

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  8. Flight81 said: “Honestly, they should have kept it simple, stick with 2-car permanent sets, with open gangway between the two only. Sure you would still need a cab in every car, but at least you can interchange them easily. Looks like A car and C car can’t run on their own.”

    Agreed, they could’ve had an open gangway within each pair, and an inter-car door at the cab ends, possibly with diaphragms to close off the open space where 2 pairs would be coupled together, making it safer (and legal) to walk through the inter-car doors from 1 pair to the next (this would imply going back to a non-aerodynamic cab like on the pre-TR trains). As long as the inter-car doors are kept unlocked it would still be possible to evacuate through those doors (even if illegal under normal circumstances, an emergency situation would override that).

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  9. Maybe they could also spec for level boarding (the TRs doors are not level with the platform). It doesn’t look like much, but can mess up those with mobility devices.

    While they’re at it, how about doors that don’t take 20 seconds to open and two 20 second cycles to close?

    As for seating, TR seating was a real step back. I’m 6’2″ and a bit and large and none of the forward/rear facing seats are comfortable (except for the ones by the flip-up blue seats) because there is no place for my feet to go. This was a real backwards step from the T-1.

    Steve: Problems with doors being level with platforms are not unique to the TRs. There is an inconsistency in platform heights relative to top of rail that is not easy to solve, although TTC has been making changes at some stations to correct this.

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  10. I hope these new trains on line 2 you will be able to walk through the entire train like the TR trains on lines 1&4

    Steve: That’s how they are designed even though they can be broken into pairs of cars.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I see the new trains are going to use dynamic route screens instead of the “old school” systems on Line 1. I’ve seen subways begin to use ultrawide displays (New 4:1 LCDs) that would be perfect for this kind of application.

    Are screen retrofit planned for the existing Line 1 cars? Their old non-screen systems won’t be able to handle the upcoming expansions. I suspect this would be a later RFP.

    Either way,

    It’s nice to see GTHA has one of the fastest and largest transit expansions of the Americas in progress. Even the COVID schedule reductions hit us less harshly than many North America cities.

    Steve: Oh ye of little faith! Metrolinx delivers every project on time, on budget!

    True. It seems while Metrolinx may be slow, but the way Metrolinx was designed successfully made it more immune to most government churn and changes. So many aspirational lines were stuffed into the pipeline that they eventually became reality.

    Even Most Transit City Lines survived thanks to the obfuscation and inertia. Sometimes the Rabbit inefficiency makes the Tortoise win, apparently. Bureaucracy so perfectly calibrated to exceed a 4-year term, creating zombie unconcealable lines that eventually are forced to be resurrected by the other party. Even the Conservatives resurrected the Hamilton LRT, of all things!

    I wish things were more efficient but Canada is not China nor Europe. At least we’re not the United States of Transit Dissappointment.

    Steve: Retrofitting screens to the TR cars is not simply a case of swapping out the static units for screens, but also of providing the underlying technology to manage the images. If this only consists of presenting the current location, that is fairly simple. However, other functionality such as display of emergency messages requires a communication system to receive these updates and that would be a more substantial change. In any event, extensions requiring new dots on the map will not open for 8 years, and so it’s not a pressing question.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Why are these new trains being put on Line 2 first? Traditionally, “old” trains (in this case the TR series) are moved from Line 1 (Yonge) to Line 2 (Bloor).

    Steve: I have answered this question a few times already. The Line 1 TRs will not fit in Greenwood shops for maintenance because it is too short to hold a complete six-car train and cannot be expanded due to physical site constraints. The original plans for Line 2 were to build a new MSF at Kipling that could handle six-car sets, but that project has been pushed off until the 2030s after the new trains are in service.

    These trains are designed so that they can be broken into two-car sets and be manually operated just as the existing T-1 fleet is made up of married pairs of cars that can operate independently.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Are these trains going to display the line number on their destination signs along with the destination? 2 Kipling – 2 Sheppard East?

    Steve: I have no idea. That could be done by existing cars as the signs are digital, as are the signs on the new trains. However, it’s not as if this will contribute much if anything the route number is displayed on the side destination signs and announced by the trains on external speakers already. Far more people see/hear this info than the destination sign on the front of the train.

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  14. Thanx very much for this.

    Isn’t it short sighted to confine the new trains to be operated ‘as much as possible like the existing TR fleet on Line 1 to minimize retraining requirements’? Surely potential operational improvements would be worth any retraining needed.

    Steve: The question is what operational improvements are needed. Change for its own sake is not a valid goal.

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  15. Must they stick with 75′ cars. What is restricting this, is it horizontal curves and fitting a straight car through a curved tunnel, or is it the size of storage spaces (pocket tracks or train yards)? It the latter, surely it was sized and designed with some degree of safety factor under original manual operation that they could now possibly squeeze in a few more feet or car length.
    My thought is that 6-80′ cars to add a bit of capacity is much more logical than the old idea of having a half sized 7th car?

    Steve: The TTC has talked about adding a 7th 50′ car to trains making them 500′ long in total. This would match the length of platforms and various storage areas, although some of those would be tight. At this point they prefer to add capacity by running more trains/hour with ATC.

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  16. With all due respect, Anil has it wrong. Longitudinal seating is fantastic precisely because it makes it easier to sit next to strangers — the first person crams tight to the window, the next person can sit facing angled a little outward to create more separation. It also forces the seating to function in the number as designed. When you have just one long longitudinal bench very quickly the space meant for three people becomes just two as riders intentionally spread themselves out. NYC has abandoned all transverse seating and only gone with longitudinal benches and let me tell you, it has been a big mistake. Good on the TTC for not following suit.

    But oh no, not the return of center poles! The current TR cars are amazing precisely because they have no stanchions. The moment you put a pole in the middle, people stop moving deeper into the car: they grab the pole and freeze. Eventually this forms an impenetrable circular wall of 4 or 5 riders around the pole, spaced out for comfort, and no one will be able to get past them, reducing door efficiency. NYC has made a huge error in ordering open-gangway carriages that will be festooned with center poles, making them completely impossible to pass through and to even enter because the poles are located at the centerline of the doors. Someone needs to talk to the TTC about this, pronto.

    As for the coloured bits, cool. Most cities have returned to some sort of colour cladding to spruce up their looks, it’s fine so long as it ages well.

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  17. In regard to chosing builder of new subway cars. Here is a great place for serious Federal and Provincial funding, provided USMCA trade agreement is met.

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  18. The TTC Can’t Even Keep Line One Operating For More Then A Week… How Much More Of Tax Payers Money Is The TTC Asking For This Time ? They Can’t Fix The Problems They’re Having Now, Let Alone Taking On A New Fleet Of Subway Cars That Will Take Up To 20yrs To Fix Daily… ( TTC ) TAKE THE CAR…!!!

    Steve: If you want to see service failing even more, don’t give the TTC money for a new fleet.

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  19. In regards to the vehicle numbering on these new cars they ought to change their method. If these new trains can/will be broken up into their respective married pairs for maintenance, the TTC should number the pairs with a cab end (A/B) in one series (eg. 6400’s, 6600’s & 6700’s). Married pairs without a cab end (B/C) placed in another series (Eg. 6800’s, 6900’s). “B” cars can always be odd numbers and “A” & “C” cars even. This will make more sense if they start swapping pairs to make up train sets and stop tying up so many number series by using all digits instead of just 6. For example the first train set would be made up of 6400-01, 6800-01, 6402-03, second set 6404-05, 6802-03, 6406-07.

    The Line 6 Finch cars have been numbered in the 6500 series, so I assume the TTC would not want to duplicate these numbers.

    Steve: Yes, the chosen numbering has problems, especially, as will inevitably happen, sets are not re-married. There will have to be an entirely separate transit Wiki just to keep track of them.

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  20. I remember seeing this style of Bombardier Movia trains in Europe and Hong Kong with two car units sitting in yards with no cab cars attached. They also would put units back together that were not originally coupled. This made for interesting looks when they had different style liveries.

    I could not figure out why the TTC did not do this with their line 2 train order, but I see they have.

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  21. Are new subway cars a better investment than the major capital projects? And should we use a regional carrier for regional transit instead of lengthening our already overlong lines?

    Steve: Without new cars, the service on Line 2 will eventually collapse due to constant delays. Yes, GO should be carrying more of the load, but that does not eliminate the need for capacity and reliability on the lines we already have.

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  22. Good to see them moving in the right direction towards procuring the new fleet, but how likely is it that the T1s would end up like the ALRVs or SRT if they were to be rebuilt (not trying to play devil’s advocate here)? The ALRVs & SRT have always been far more unreliable, while the T1s never had any major problems (aside from the air-conditioning in 2015/2016), and even today we haven’t heard of any significant decline in their reliability compared to when they were new. How realistic is the assumption that they will deteriorate more in the next 5–10 years than in the past 25+ years?

    Steve: They are already less reliable than the TRs by a wide margin, and the real problem (by analogy to the ALRVs) is just how extensive any rebuild will be beyond cosmetics. We could have shiny new junk for all our effort. There is a harder problem, however, in that if the T1s remain in service, this implies no replacement of the old signal system. It is already getting cranky, and if that fails, the condition of the trains will be a secondary problem.

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  23. “One aspect of longitudinal seating is that for some disabled people the side to side motion of the starts/stops is harmful and causes pain. I avoid buses as much as possible because of this. None of the disabled seating on current surface vehicles is forward facing.”

    If I remember correctly, the LFLRV’s are the first TTC vehicles with forward/backward-facing blue accessible seats. But before the LFLRV’s, I don’t remember ever seeing one anywhere else. I wonder why this wasn’t a bigger controversy, as it would have shown the agency’s commitment to accessibility to be a complete sham.

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  24. Is there anything that prevents the TTC from using, say, 5-digit numbers (ex: 10001-10480) or keeping the rail numbers internally independent from the bus ones (to allow overlapping without worrying about conflicts)?

    Steve: I would not be surprised to find that there are still a few legacy IT systems that have a four digit constraint. The fleet isn’t large enough to require five digits. There have always been odd usages over the years including a time when the odd decades (1900, 2100) were city buses and the even decades (2000) were GCL interurban coaches. The early buses inherited ranges used by the Toronto Railway Company, and the TTC Peter Witts started at 2300. One could argue it either way for either recycling numbers, or just continuing upward. Given that it would take about three decades to untangle the current arrangement, I’m not sure that having distinct ranges for each group is worth the effort.

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  25. “If I remember correctly, the LFLRV’s are the first TTC vehicles with forward/backward-facing blue accessible seats.”

    Are there still even backward-facing ones? I recall on launch there were two at the rear door, but after about a year those were all changed to red seats. Steve, do you know why they changed that? Were those not truly “Accessible” as per the standards they have to follow?

    Steve: I’m not sure. The rear door is narrower, but so is the front door. I’ll just leave this comment here for others who might know the background.

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  26. Justin Ha: What is the likelihood that a Chinese company be awarded the contract to build these new subway trains? (CRRC)

    Steve: It will be interesting to see if there is any political pressure to exclude CRRC. Alstom has a leg up because the new trains are so similar to the TRs which their plant in Thunder Bay already built, plus, of course, Canadian jobs.

    If it is Canadian jobs that Steve is concerned about, then he can stop lobbying for Proterra and start supporting BYD whose premier electric buses are made right here in the GTA. I hope that the electric bus contract is given to the Chinese industrial giant BYD which is the largest electric bus manufacturer in the world. I hope that the subway train contract will be given to the Chinese industrial giant CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd which is the largest rolling stock manufacturer in the world.

    Steve: I have never lobbied for Proterra. As for BYD, their buses were in the shop more than they were on the road. You really should read my stuff carefully before making claims for a position I have never held.

    You can hope contracts go to Chinese suppliers all you like, but that country is not exactly high on Canada’s list of favoured trading partners these days.

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  27. 1. Why don’t they get Bombardier to make the trains like they did with the T1s and TRs.

    2. Why can’t they keep the design of the subway squared like they have since the beginning and keep the colour silver like they always have (except for the Gloucester cars). Why are they changing so many things away from the original design of Toronto’s subway system?

    Steve: The design in the spec is very much like the TRs except for the change to have two-car sets operable on their own. Alstom, who bought Bombardier, will be one of the bidders and has an obvious leg up on the contract. As for the red doors and red cars, you talk about the “original” system, but that was the all-red “G” cars.

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  28. Why do the windows on the doors take up almost the entire door? Why not half the door like they always did?

    Steve: This is the standard format of doors on surface vehicles, now extended to the subway as well.

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  29. Doors with full-height glass are also on buses and streetcars now, and on new subway trains elsewhere. I’m guessing it’s a weight reduction thing, and maybe a bit of comfort?

    Steve: I think it’s just a design aesthetics thing making all fleets uniform in their door styles.

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  30. Is there any Canadian content requirement in the RFP or evaluation process? Seems to me the Ottawa, Eglinton, Finch, Kitchener-Waterloo and Hurontario LRVs all have significant Canadian content through the final assembly process and some Canadian parts.

    Steve: I was not able to find anything specific on that count in the documents. It is possible that this would be imposed by the federal and/or provincial government(s) as a condition of funding the project.

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  31. GojiMet86: “Is there anything that prevents the TTC from using, say, 5-digit numbers (ex: 10001-10480) or keeping the rail numbers internally independent from the bus ones (to allow overlapping without worrying about conflicts)?”

    It’s also worth noting that the 7000–7899 range has been unused since 2018, which would be plenty enough for 80 new subway trains (or even the additional 32 if they don’t skip numbers by using only 6 digits out of 10).

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  32. I’ve ridden on trains with the triple stanchions, and I loved them. On the TTC, if you’re short, you can’t stand in the middle section unless you’re very stable because of the lack of poles. You just end up falling all over the place because of the lack of anything to hold. And people end up standing by the doors instead, blocking everyone, because that’s where the handholds are. The triple stanchions are super good because there’s always some idiot who leans on the pole, leaving everyone else standing around with nothing to hold. But with the triple stanchions, you can usually still grab hold of something even if someone is leaning on one or two of the poles.

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  33. Out of curiosity are some of the current T1 set for high rate operations? From the past week I’ve been noticing that I end up on some trains that have a much higher pitched acceleration sound that others. Is there any solid way of identifying if the train is set on high rate operation?

    Steve: Generally it’s the acceleration rate that is the giveaway, although they can hit higher speeds too as long as the speed control system doesn’t cut in to limit them. This didn’t exist back in the day when trains ran in high rate regularly.

    Regarding the new trains, is it necessary to include low and high rate operations? Wouldn’t it be simpler to just spec the new trains for high rate considering that BD has quick stop-and-go action with closer station distance? Sorry for the questions, this discussion about low and high rate is intriguing and leads to the question of why have both and why not just operate on high rate.

    Steve: If nothing else, there has to be compatibility across the fleet. An official change to high rate can be handled on Line 1 in ATC software. On Line 2, it affects grade timing signals, stopping distance markers for stations, and probably some of the SCS settings. Not a trivial change in either case.

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  34. To continue the discussion about numbering, is there a reason the TTC never used 4-digit numbers starting with 0 (i.e. 0000–0999)? Some other systems do use such numbers, and while numerically 0999 = 999, in programming this wouldn’t hold true if the values are treated as strings rather than numbers. And for all intents and purposes, a fleet number is just a string of digits, not a meaningful numeric quantity (the exception being counting the number of units, i.e. 0000–0999 = 1000 units).

    Steve: That is not true, in the sense that vehicles with fleet numbers below 1000 have no leading zero. However, the full range was used for various purposes over the years. See Transit Toronto’s field guide to the streetcar and bus fleets.

    I should also point out that fleet numbers below 1000 long predate the arrival of computer systems, and whether the values were treated as numbers or strings was utterly immaterial.

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  35. Re: fleet numbers below 1000, my point was that by including a leading 0 (like some other systems do), as well as treating numbers with a leading 0 as being distinct from those without (i.e. 999 and 0999 could be 2 internally independent numbers), there would be more fleet numbers available to use. 5-digit numbers are rare (but they do exist), but 3-digit numbers are a lot more common (i.e. GO).

    On the subject of T1 replacement vs. rebuild, I’ve heard someone mention that it would be a “goldmine” for Alstom to sell both T1 rebuild parts now and new trains 10 years later vs. selling only the new trains now. I sure hope this won’t be seen as an incentive (neither on Alstom’s part nor the TTC’s) to move forward with the rebuild just for the sake of pouring more money into Alstom’s pocket (at the expense, at least in part, of the TTC, something they must surely be disinterested in).

    It will be interesting to hear more updates next year regarding the RFP & funding. I suspect there would be quite a bit of backlash from the public if they already went this far in planning the specifications & logistics of the new trains only to then change their minds & tell the public that none of it is going to happen in the foreseeable future. I also really hope the new train deliveries (as well as the opening of the SSE, YNSE & OL) don’t fall behind the proposed schedule like the TRs, Flexities, TYSSE & line 5/6 did.

    Steve: I suspect that if the only work to come Alstom’s way for the next decade was to supply spare parts for a T-1 rebuild, the Thunder Bay plant would close for lack of work. This is not politically acceptable. Of course there is always the option of shipping the trains to Thunder Bay for their overhaul just as GO Transit has to provide some work at that plant. We will have to see how the funding challenges work out over 2023.

    As for fleet numbering, the TTC does not need more than 10,000 fleet numbers. Who really cares if or how they recycle numbers over the years? This is a non-issue.

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