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.
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.
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.
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:TTC Spec Section 10, p 10-24
• 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
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.
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.
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 theTTC Spec Section 25.7.6
first Group [Train 10]. The period shall last for at least:
(i) 12 months and shall end when the reliability target is achieved.
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.
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.
(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.