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TTC: Flexity Streetcars Testing & Delivery (Bombardier)

I guess we could call 4450 the Halloween car.

BBD still has yet to ship cars less than 7 days apart more than once. There is only 57 days to have 15 more cars here by Dec 28 since TTC only accept them on the week day and based on 7 day shipping schedule, we will only have 8/9 cars, aka 4458/4459, not 4465 claim by BBD, down from the plan 4470. TTC CEO was only looking at 4460 being here by year end.

Since 4460 is the make or break point per contract, TTC Dec meeting will be interesting to see what happens if those break point fail to meet the grade as per the contract.

Nov TTC meeting will give us a clue where the failure rate currently is at and how far below the the contract 35,000 km rate.

2020/21 is shaping up as final delivery date now and 5/6 year late per contract. BBD has kiss the NA market good bye for streetcars.

Since Waterloo has yet to test 502 and no cars delivery by month end as promise, don't expect to see that line in service now until mid=later summer 2018.
 
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I guess we could call 4450 the Halloween car.

BBD still has yet to ship cars less than 7 days apart more than once.

The apparent unexpected arrival of 4450 seems to dispute that point. 4449 by all accounts was spotted in Thunder Bay yard around October 22nd and arrived last week. If 4450 was really spotted on Bathurst on October 31st that would mean that 4450 was shipped no more than 3 days after 4449

There is only 57 days to have 15 more cars here by Dec 28 since TTC only accept them on the week day and based on 7 day shipping schedule, we will only have 8/9 cars, aka 4458/4459, not 4465 claim by BBD, down from the plan 4470. TTC CEO was only looking at 4460 being here by year end.

Given my first point and if the frequency remains constant 4465 could very well arrive before that cutoff.

Since 4460 is the make or break point per contract, TTC Dec meeting will be interesting to see what happens if those break point fail to meet the grade as per the contract.

Nov TTC meeting will give us a clue where the failure rate currently is at and how far below the the contract 35,000 km rate.

Mean distance between failures of 35000 km is a nice number to have if you are dealing with essentially an off-the-shelf product. The TTC customizations in my opinion make this number an incredibly difficult feat to achieve so early in the contract.

2020/21 is shaping up as final delivery date now and 5/6 year late per contract.

I can't help but blame the City of Toronto and the TTC for these delays. They have a well-known history of putting off vehicle replacements well beyond what can reasonably be expected to be the maximum age of a vehicle before reliability goes down the drain. (look at how many times they refurbished the GMDD New Looks to keep them in service).

BBD has kiss the NA market good bye for streetcars.

NA hasn't been a really big market for streetcars since the PCC days. The last time Bombardier built streetcars for the NSLSC market was back when it was the Crown corporation UTDC. Since then the lack of a market for them leeched all the engineering talent out of UTDC to other companies/countries.

The production of Light rail vehicles however is a growing market in North America with several big projects coming up.

Since Waterloo has yet to test 502 and no cars delivery by month end as promise, don't expect to see that line in service now until mid=later summer 2018.

503-506 are all ready to ship (503 & 504 have been for 2+ weeks now). Regional council meets today at 7 PM so we'll probably learn what is delaying them then. My thoughts are Metrolinx wanting to do some multiple unit proof-of-concept testing (trains of 2/3/4 vehicles) and other stuff before the first production Eglinton Crosstown vehicles begin assembly. We have the 4 functional vehicles there already to do it (they have 2 functional vehicles there too).

Your assertion that ION won't be in service until mid-late summer 2018 is unfounded and frankly unlikely given that assembly of the vehicles is going quite well. 502-506 are assembled and functional, 501 assembled and non-functional (requires about 2-4 weeks with a Bombardier crew to make functional), and 507-514 in various states of assembly with the lower numbers more assembled than higher numbers.

The assembly of the first production Eglinton Crosstown (5 module single cab) / Edmonton Valley Line (7 module dual cab) vehicles should be getting underway fairly soon.
 
503-506 are all ready to ship (503 & 504 have been for 2+ weeks now). Regional council meets today at 7 PM so we'll probably learn what is delaying them then.

Your assertion that ION won't be in service until mid-late summer 2018 is unfounded and frankly unlikely given that assembly of the vehicles is going quite well. 502-506 are assembled and functional, 501 assembled and non-functional (requires about 2-4 weeks with a Bombardier crew to make functional), and 507-514 in various states of assembly with the lower numbers more assembled than higher numbers

There is a video in the Ion thread that shows a fair number of these vehicles
 
There always is the potential that Bombardier is still surprised that they could actually produce LRVs for Ion so fast that they haven't gotten over the shock yet... Once they snap out of it, they'll come flying out the doors.
 
There always is the potential that Bombardier is still surprised that they could actually produce LRVs for Ion so fast that they haven't gotten over the shock yet... Once they snap out of it, they'll come flying out the doors.

The Region and Grandlinq are delaying delivery to have changes made in Kingston on as many vehicles as possible whenever Bombardier discovers things that need changes during it's testing. The changes can be done faster there and to more vehicles than delivering them all and then waiting for a Bombardier to make all the changes recursively through all the vehicles delivered. What that means for us is that there will end up being a lot of vehicles delivered at once in January/February.
 
The MDBF does concern me. A new LRV should be able to achieve close to 100,000 km before any failure. Subway cars reach far past that. Given the more complexity of LRVs itself and TTC's additional hardware, the number would drop easily. If they are only performing somewhat better than the current dying CLRVs, we have a problem. I hope to see the ION LRVs shoot past 50,000 km MDBF.
 
The apparent unexpected arrival of 4450 seems to dispute that point. 4449 by all accounts was spotted in Thunder Bay yard around October 22nd and arrived last week. If 4450 was really spotted on Bathurst on October 31st that would mean that 4450 was shipped no more than 3 days after 4449
Given my first point and if the frequency remains constant 4465 could very well arrive before that cutoff.
Mean distance between failures of 35000 km is a nice number to have if you are dealing with essentially an off-the-shelf product. The TTC customizations in my opinion make this number an incredibly difficult feat to achieve so early in the contract.
I can't help but blame the City of Toronto and the TTC for these delays. They have a well-known history of putting off vehicle replacements well beyond what can reasonably be expected to be the maximum age of a vehicle before reliability goes down the drain. (look at how many times they refurbished the GMDD New Looks to keep them in service).

NA hasn't been a really big market for streetcars since the PCC days. The last time Bombardier built streetcars for the NSLSC market was back when it was the Crown corporation UTDC. Since then the lack of a market for them leeched all the engineering talent out of UTDC to other companies/countries.

The production of Light rail vehicles however is a growing market in North America with several big projects coming up.

503-506 are all ready to ship (503 & 504 have been for 2+ weeks now). Regional council meets today at 7 PM so we'll probably learn what is delaying them then. My thoughts are Metrolinx wanting to do some multiple unit proof-of-concept testing (trains of 2/3/4 vehicles) and other stuff before the first production Eglinton Crosstown vehicles begin assembly. We have the 4 functional vehicles there already to do it (they have 2 functional vehicles there too).

Your assertion that ION won't be in service until mid-late summer 2018 is unfounded and frankly unlikely given that assembly of the vehicles is going quite well. 502-506 are assembled and functional, 501 assembled and non-functional (requires about 2-4 weeks with a Bombardier crew to make functional), and 507-514 in various states of assembly with the lower numbers more assembled than higher numbers.

The assembly of the first production Eglinton Crosstown (5 module single cab) / Edmonton Valley Line (7 module dual cab) vehicles should be getting underway fairly soon.

First off, ION cars are being delay by the Region with 503 due at the end of Nov and 504 at the end of Dec. Based on the various changes and the delay by the Region, summer start up will happen. You need time to do burn in as well train the drivers before taking cars from end to end for training as well getting everyone aware on the new thing on the road they will be dealing with on a daily base.

As for BBD not doing cars in NA, you need to look at the cars built for Minneapolis Blue Line in early 2000's that had the same issues as the first batch of TTC cars. Unlike TTC, Minneapolis had no experience with streetcars and did what BBD wanted to do for TTC, which TTC said no. Since that order, the Blue line has expanded both in the number of cars per set as well length. At the same time, the Green Line has been built and a number of new lines under or about to start construction with all the cars going to Siemens. What happen to BBD not bidding on these cars??? In fact, there been close to a 1,000 cars order in this time frame with Siemens having the lion share and a back log of over 400 cars.

Again, why hasn't BBD being bidding on these cars since they will be built in the US like Minneapolis order or even pickup another order?

A lot of cars for your supposed big projects coming up have already been tender. The US is getting back into the streetcars game, but mostly on a small scale requiring only a few cars.

There used to be 2 US builders of cars, but only one today with the rest being off shore with plants here now. You only need to go to Detroit to see cars built by the only US company and its not ready for prime time as well the system, but in the right direction.

How can you blame TTC and Toronto for BBD delaying the new cars when they have no control over them in the first place?? Toronto knew in the 90's that TTC needed a new fleet, but weren't willing to do it since too many councilors were long in the tooth and not prepare to pay the cost to have these cars order on their watch. A plan was hatch in 2005 to order new cars, but not as many TTC wanted. TTC is enforcing what they contracted for and up to BBD to comply with the contract.

As for the failure rate, its in the contract and must be achieved by the 60th cars, not at the end of the contract, like the TR. The TR are all built and been in service for X years, yet there are doors problems on them today, similar to the new streetcar fleet as well other issues.

A contract is a contract and you must comply with it 100%, otherwise you pay the price not doing so.

As for delivery, I do what TTC does and note the date they are on TTC Property as per the contract, not ready for pickup. Below is a table of time frame between deliveries for this as well how long it took to get them into service. Both TTC and BBD have no control how long it takes to get a car from the plant to TTC, but CP does. Its is also why TTC wanted delivery to their property like any contractor with sub trades before cost has to be paid out.
4431
4432 18 days
4433 30
4434 18
4435 16
4436 16
4437 17
4438 17
4439 7
4440 18
4441 23
4442 14
4443 15
4444 13
4445 5
4446 9
4447 14
4448 1
4449 14
4450 5

Only 3 delivers less than 7 days so far this year.

In Service From the day it was off loaded
4431 9
4432 10
4433 9
4434 12
4435 24
4436 18
4437 10
4438 10
4439 15
4440 9
4441 22
4442 14
4443 14
4444 17
4445 16
4446 10
4447 9
4448 14
4449 -6 On Schedule for 9/10 days to be in service Nov 4/5
4450 -2
 
First off, ION cars are being delay by the Region with 503 due at the end of Nov and 504 at the end of Dec. Based on the various changes and the delay by the Region, summer start up will happen. You need time to do burn in as well train the drivers before taking cars from end to end for training as well getting everyone aware on the new thing on the road they will be dealing with on a daily base.

504 is arriving in Nov. 503 in Dec.

May 1st is still the date set by the Region for service start and will likely stay that way.

As for BBD not doing cars in NA, you need to look at the cars built for Minneapolis Blue Line in early 2000's that had the same issues as the first batch of TTC cars. Unlike TTC, Minneapolis had no experience with streetcars and did what BBD wanted to do for TTC, which TTC said no.

BBD long lost the engineering talent from UTDC who knew how to make cars for the NA market by that point. The standards difference between NA and Europe is hard to overcome which is why Minneapolis' order of Flexity Swifts were having issues. (The Mexico plant that built them is another big issue for Bombardier in NA. It leeches talent regularly. They apply, get trained and then leave for higher pay).

Since that order, the Blue line has expanded both in the number of cars per set as well length. At the same time, the Green Line has been built and a number of new lines under or about to start construction with all the cars going to Siemens. What happen to BBD not bidding on these cars??? In fact, there been close to a 1,000 cars order in this time frame with Siemens having the lion share and a back log of over 400 cars.

Again, why hasn't BBD being bidding on these cars since they will be built in the US like Minneapolis order or even pickup another order?

BBD scrapped the Flexity Swift NA design. Opting instead to go back to the drawing board and design a Flexity product around the much more flexible Flexity 2 platform which would become the Flexity Freedom.

A lot of cars for your supposed big projects coming up have already been tender. The US is getting back into the streetcars game, but mostly on a small scale requiring only a few cars.

There used to be 2 US builders of cars, but only one today with the rest being off shore with plants here now. You only need to go to Detroit to see cars built by the only US company and its not ready for prime time as well the system, but in the right direction.

There used to be much more than 2 car builders in the US. Most of them got acquired and merged into bigger companies as most of them were failing due to low demand. Bombardier is one of the companies that acquired streetcar / railcar / locomotive makers in the US and Canada.

How can you blame TTC and Toronto for BBD delaying the new cars when they have no control over them in the first place?? Toronto knew in the 90's that TTC needed a new fleet, but weren't willing to do it since too many councilors were long in the tooth and not prepare to pay the cost to have these cars order on their watch. A plan was hatch in 2005 to order new cars, but not as many TTC wanted. TTC is enforcing what they contracted for and up to BBD to comply with the contract.

How can you not blame the city for all the woes of the TTC. City Councillors time and again fail to provide the TTC with adequate funding to conduct it's operations at a reasonable level. One of the only reasons the TTC can even meet it's commitments is because they have the fare base to make up for what the city fails to provide. But even that is starting to slip away. The city needs to do something beyond begging higher levels of government for money for the TTC. With the tax base that the city has even a basis point increase in property tax rates would make for a huge boost in available funds for the TTC.

If the City of Toronto tendered the replacements in the '90s when they needed replacement Bombardier would not be having the same issues they have now. The gap between 1991 and 2009 when the contract for the vehicles was signed was enough time for Bombardier to irreversibly lose the engineering talent that worked on or around the UTDC CLRV/ALRVs and other products built to North American standards. Instead Bombardier now has to rely a lot on the talent-base of AdTranz and it's other European/UK purchases to design new light rail/streetcar designs.

As for the failure rate, its in the contract and must be achieved by the 60th cars, not at the end of the contract, like the TR. The TR are all built and been in service for X years, yet there are doors problems on them today, similar to the new streetcar fleet as well other issues.

Those door problems exist on a lot of other manufacturers products as well. It's a known problem with many fly-by-wire systems (though to be fair Bombardier has done a terrible job handling this situation in the operating software). Bombardier seems to be the only company that gets criticized for it though.

A contract is a contract and you must comply with it 100%, otherwise you pay the price not doing so.

If only Metrolinx followed that advice when they tried to sever their contract without using the dispute resolution mechanism first.

As for delivery, I do what TTC does and note the date they are on TTC Property as per the contract, not ready for pickup. Below is a table of time frame between deliveries for this as well how long it took to get them into service. Both TTC and BBD have no control how long it takes to get a car from the plant to TTC, but CP does. Its is also why TTC wanted delivery to their property like any contractor with sub trades before cost has to be paid out.
4431
4432 18 days
4433 30
4434 18
4435 16
4436 16
4437 17
4438 17
4439 7
4440 18
4441 23
4442 14
4443 15
4444 13
4445 5
4446 9
4447 14
4448 1
4449 14
4450 5

Only 3 delivers less than 7 days so far this year.

In Service From the day it was off loaded
4431 9
4432 10
4433 9
4434 12
4435 24
4436 18
4437 10
4438 10
4439 15
4440 9
4441 22
4442 14
4443 14
4444 17
4445 16
4446 10
4447 9
4448 14
4449 -6 On Schedule for 9/10 days to be in service Nov 4/5
4450 -2

CP's ship time is so inconsistent most times that this isn't shouldn't be considered a reliable metric for performance.
 
First off, ION cars are being delay by the Region with 503 due at the end of Nov and 504 at the end of Dec. Based on the various changes and the delay by the Region, summer start up will happen. You need time to do burn in as well train the drivers before taking cars from end to end for training as well getting everyone aware on the new thing on the road they will be dealing with on a daily base.

Drum, that's your opinion you maybe heard from one person, but there's another side, which I've heard from, which says that responsibility for the delay doesn't rest with the Region.

So what you're presenting isn't fact, it's opinion based on a conversation, which is also what I'm doing. Just wanted to provide readers here with additional information to consider.
 
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Drum, that's your opinion you maybe heard from one person, but there's another side, which I've heard from, which says that responsibility for the delay doesn't rest with the Region.

So what you're presenting isn't fact, it's opinion based on a conversation, which is also what I'm doing. Just wanted to provide readers here with additional information to consider.

No the region is actually delaying delivery of cars. It was talked about last night at Regional Council. The reason is there are tweaks in manufacturing process and overall design that Bombardier is making regularly that they also want made to the ones already assembled. It's much faster to have them made in Kingston than at the OMSF in Waterloo.

NOTE: These types of changes happen everywhere a new product starts being manufactured (most of the changes happening in the first 20-50 units). The 100th Boeing 787 or Airbus-Bombardier CS100 is far superior to the first one and also becomes assembled much quicker.
 
No the region is actually delaying delivery of cars. It was talked about last night at Regional Council. The reason is there are tweaks in manufacturing process and overall design that Bombardier is making regularly that they also want made to the ones already assembled. It's much faster to have them made in Kingston than at the OMSF in Waterloo.

NOTE: These types of changes happen everywhere a new product starts being manufactured (most of the changes happening in the first 20-50 units). The 100th Boeing 787 or Airbus-Bombardier CS100 is far superior to the first one and also becomes assembled much quicker.

Thanks. Well, that's certainly a clearer explanation than the other one given.
 

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