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TTC: Flexity Streetcars Testing & Delivery (Bombardier)

ShonTron

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A shorter dwell time at stops would result in tighter schedules, which could results in savings that could be used for fare enforcement. The pre-payment could be as simple as stamping time information in tickets at stops or on board at doors, just like Viva or GO, or as complex as a smart card.
 

dowlingm

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It's important to note that neither streetcar is likely to be exactly like what's planned for Toronto - they are off the shelf demonstrators. I did like that Siemens had theirs in TTC colours!

Also - other Toronto regions will want LRT so it's not all about Toronto, our funny (and expensive) gauge and so on. Siemens have been pushing their corporate presence in Mississauga and I think they hope that that's where they will get their foothold, probably with a cheaper standard gauge system, especially if it ties into any expansion of their Alberta systems.

NOW are wrong (quelle surprise) - if Siemens wants TTC business they must have CanCon.

http://www.heritagetrolley.org/existTorontoRTOL4.htm

Bombardier are likely to build 49% of theirs outside Canada and assign 51% value to Thunder Bay, as I understand is true of the subway cars.
 

CDL.TO

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Toronto, our funny (and expensive) gauge and so on. [...] probably with a cheaper standard gauge system

The gauge difference is that each wheel much be moved outwards by an inch. That's right, one inch. When it comes to producing new vehicles, this minute difference in track gauge makes no difference in design or in cost. Toronto's unique track switches, turning radius requirements, and hills are real issues that would cost money to deal with that modern systems would not be designed with.
 

GregWTravels

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Not to mention that it would be an awful shame to let the other regions have different gauges of track, which would mean that other regions RT could never enter Toronto, nor could TTC streetcars leave the region.
 

Admiral Beez

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The gauge difference is that each wheel much be moved outwards by an inch. That's right, one inch. When it comes to producing new vehicles, this minute difference in track gauge makes no difference in design or in cost. Toronto's unique track switches, turning radius requirements, and hills are real issues that would cost money to deal with that modern systems would not be designed with.
All the factory needs to do is slightly increase or decrease the axle length to suit the new gauge.
 

ShonTron

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Toronto easily changed the gauge on used PCCs from Kansas City, Cincinatti, Cleveland and Birmingham. Ex-Toronto PCCs were re-gauged for Alexandria, San Francisco, and Kenosha. CLRVs were even re-guaged for a demonstrator to Boston. It's hardly a big deal.

I would hope all the bidders are aware of Toronto's unique street railway. San Francisco has street-running trains still with hills and tight intersection junctions, so there's precedent in North America, though I regret not checking whether they use single-point switches. Also, even their new cars are high-platform (high-level ramps are used for accessibility where street-level stops are equipped, the Muni Metro is high-platform (think Buffalo).
 

drum118

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Toronto easily changed the gauge on used PCCs from Kansas City, Cincinatti, Cleveland and Birmingham. Ex-Toronto PCCs were re-gauged for Alexandria, San Francisco, and Kenosha. CLRVs were even re-guaged for a demonstrator to Boston. It's hardly a big deal.

I would hope all the bidders are aware of Toronto's unique street railway. San Francisco has street-running trains still with hills and tight intersection junctions, so there's precedent in North America, though I regret not checking whether they use single-point switches. Also, even their new cars are high-platform (high-level ramps are used for accessibility where street-level stops are equipped, the Muni Metro is high-platform (think Buffalo).

The last I heard, all bidders will get a full city layout of all tracks showing what the curves radius are, where, as well gradient.

Talking to some of the bidders last year, track gauge was not an issue as it was easy to increase the width since they deal with different gauges world wide in the first place.

Single point maybe an issue, but can be overcome.
 

Admiral Beez

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The last batch of Streetcars were custom designed by the Ontario government and built for Toronto's specific requirements. Why not do that again?

It seems to me that most of the Streetcar option discussed in this thread concern vehicles more designed for ROW LRT systems with multiple cars connected together, such as the Scarborough RT (which should have been a subway, but that's another story).

As an aside, would you guys like to see double decker street cars like in Blackpool http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpool_tramway or Hong Kong? Hong Kong has introduced a new version of its trams, called the Millennium trams. Who makes those? Perhaps Toronto should contact them?
 

Prometheus The Supremo

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The last batch of Streetcars were custom designed by the Ontario government and built for Toronto's specific requirements. Why not do that again?

It seems to me that most of the Streetcar option discussed in this thread concern vehicles more designed for ROW LRT systems with multiple cars connected together, such as the Scarborough RT (which should have been a subway, but that's another story).

As an aside, would you guys like to see double decker street cars like in Blackpool http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpool_tramway or Hong Kong? Hong Kong has introduced a new version of its trams, called the Millennium trams. Who makes those? Perhaps Toronto should contact them?


double deck? wouldn't the wiring have to be all redone? what about bridges? shops?
 

rbt

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The last batch of Streetcars were custom designed by the Ontario government and built for Toronto's specific requirements. Why not do that again?

Excellent question. That option, including manufacturing them in-house (TTC has the tools and knowledge) was considered. Can't find the report that discounted manufacturing in-house but I think the main reason was time requirements more than cost due to the small workforce on staff.

The answer is that they will be designing their own vehicle. It's impossible for find an off-the-shelf model that will fit TTC requirements (grade, turning radii, etc.), but they will instead try and design a custom undercarriage that will wedge into a standard shell.

In the end, unless you pay very close attention, they will look like off-the-shlf models. Everything else (electronics, outer shell, etc. etc. etc.) will be off-the-shelf.

Design and retooling costs are negligible for an order of 200 and completely disappear if they order 400 (200 extra for transit city).


Heck, if the TTC does a decent job their design may be the new defacto design for everyone.

Incidentally, we're running custom designed buses as well. Orion 7 buses were designed largely by MTA and TTC. They quickly became the defacto standard as the 2500+ buses ordered by the two agencies quickly reduced the manufacturing overhead (design, line tooling, etc.)

Most transit agencies order buses 5 to 10 at a time, not by the thousand, so that design has become the defacto standard for North America.
 

ShonTron

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Were the Orion VIIs custom-designed though? I find the interiors to be lacking, and even the TTC has had to address this WRT seating arrangements. I do know that the TTC and MTA have very strict specs that have lead to the mechanics and electronics (and frame requirements) in the buses the way they are, but I doubt they dictate the shell design. The TTC even dictates things like the solid blue LED lights that designate the bus as wheelchair accessible - I love that little detail.

The TTC and MTA would even send inspectors to the Orion plants during construction and before taking delivery. MT, who I believe was the first orderer of VIIs, got a bunch of lemons (and immediately broke tradition and went New Flyer since).

The newer Orions (anything above 7900) seem to reflect some evolution, at least in the interiors - the rear doors close much quicker, the seating has been spaced better, at least on the lower level, the change in power. And I think MTA and TTC did require the hybrid version of the bus.
 

wyliepoon

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Hong Kong has introduced a new version of its trams, called the Millennium trams. Who makes those? Perhaps Toronto should contact them?

The Millennium Trams were developed and built entirely in-house by Hongkong Tramways. Only three were built for demonstration purposes. (and thank God only two were built- although the new trams look futuristic, I'd choose to ride the old rickety trams over the new ones any day!)
 

Admiral Beez

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The Millennium Trams were developed and built entirely in-house by Hongkong Tramways. Only three were built for demonstration purposes. (and thank God only two were built- although the new trams look futuristic, I'd choose to ride the old rickety trams over the new ones any day!)
I'm with you there, I always take the old trams whenever I'm in Hong Kong.
 

spaced

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Mock-ups show two better ways
TheStar.com
August 30, 2007
Christopher Hume

Tucked away in a quiet corner at this year's Ex, the future can be glimpsed.

Just past the corn-dog stand, not far from the Human Cannonball, the observant visitor will notice two streetcar mock-ups. Both are examples of what the TTC is considering for use in this city.

(We may not be able to afford to operate the public transit system in Toronto, but thanks to the province – Ever so grateful Mr. McGuinty, Sir! – we can expect to get new rolling stock some time this century.)

About time, too. The battleships that rumble along the mean streets of Toronto now were interesting when they appeared back in the 1980s, but light rail transit – as streetcars are now called – has progressed. Even though the mock-ups on display bear little relationship to what will eventually appear in Toronto, they are clearly miles ahead of where we are now.

The most obvious feature, common to both models, is how much lower they are to the ground. Compared to the UTDC (the provincial Urban Transportation Development Corp.) vehicle we're used to, they seem to float just above the road. That eliminates the four-step climb at the entrance and exit of the current streetcar. This will be good news for the elderly, the disabled and mothers with strollers. It will improve access enormously, opening up the system to thousands of people for whom public transit represents a series of insurmountable barriers.

Though details of the seating arrangements are still years off, it's clear there are better configurations than those we're used to. The two contenders – from Siemens and Bombardier – are both worthy, and raise the question of how the decision should be made. For example, is it preferable to cram as many riders as possible into the vehicle? Or to accommodate a smaller number of users in comfort?

More important still is the relationship between inside and out. In other words, the best approach might be to ensure that everyone inside has a good view outside, not just because that's a more pleasant way to travel, but also because we can see where we're going.

Of course, we live in a city where such niceties seem entirely beside the point. Why bother discussing streetcar details when the system itself is not viable? So it won't be surprising that the decision about which streetcar to choose will be made for reasons other than efficiency, sustainability and user pleasure. It will be justified on the basis of which is cheapest.

As often as not, this kind of thinking is flawed. Consider the English practice, in which the least and most expensive proposals are eliminated and the winner chosen from what remains.

The better way is not necessarily the cheaper way. That's important for Toronto to keep in mind as we head into a civic recession with the most basic services up for grabs.

The TTC cannot afford to cut back any further; without public transit the city really has no future. We see evidence daily that the car cannot save us; indeed, it has become the problem. So at the very moment when streetcar (and subway) lines should be expanded, they face reductions.

These two mock-ups stand as a beacon. As they make clear, the technology exists and there are plenty of examples of advanced LRT operations around the world. Yet we remain firmly ensconced in a mindset and a system that's 20 or 30 years behind the times.

Wouldn't it be great if once, just once, the city, the province, maybe even the federal government, would get smart and make a serious commitment to public transit. That's unlikely, of course; it looks as if the train has already left the station.
 

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