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TTC: Flexity Streetcars Testing & Delivery (Bombardier)

Maltesefalcon

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Driverless cars are also around the corner, and it would be naive to think that driverless streetcars arent either. In fact they would be even easier to automate, since they are on tracks.

Operators do more than drive the vehicle. They need to ensure fare compliance as much as possible, offer guidance to new riders to ensure they are on the correct route, and provide some measure of security. We would still need some kind of attendant if only to mitigate chaos on board.

This would also apply to delivery vehicles, taxis, ambulances etc. True driverless society needs a few bugs to be worked out along that line.
 

Kitsune

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Was the driver injured in the 4445 crash ? Surprised I cant find anything in the news about.... that looks like a newsworthy crash.
 

smallspy

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no it doesnt but it shows that ttc is finally willing to step out of their box and modernize. for all its worth they couldve called for poles only for this current order but at least theyre trying to conform with
what has been universally accepted for decades. That and the abolishment of the token which they still have yet to do fully

That's an extremely short-sighted view. How about things like low floor buses (1999)? ATC/ATO in the subway (SRT in 1985, YUS ongoing)? The TTC is still one of the only of the only properties in North America that is going through a full-fledged and fully planned out program to upgrade all of their older stations and ancillary systems to handle wheelchairs. Those three things along all have very, very serious implications on service quality and quantity. The conversion of the streetcar system from trolley poles to pantographs does not.

You call it "modernization" - it can just as easily be seen as a vanity project.

Melbourne's tram network is also 3x the size of the TTC streetcar network, and is markedly more complex, so 1-2 weekly pantograph replacements doesn't sound bad at face value, though I'm not sure where that number comes from.

2 and a half was my understanding about the size difference, but nevertheless: that's also why I added the caveat about "it remains to be seen how they fare here". It is certainly possible that our overhead will be kept to a higher standard than theirs. Or that because ours is newer that it won't be as problematic.

But my point of it was that it can be and will be a problem at some point. We just don't know how big a problem it will be. Honestly, maybe our failure rate will be one-per-year - that would be fantastic, because the things are bloody expensive and a pain in the ass to replace.

If you're concerned about cost and "progress for progress' sake", I'd suggest you first consider why the TTC employs a full-time blacksmith to make streetcar parts for the old fleet.

You mean the blacksmiths that will no longer have a job blacksmithing because of the new cars that we are getting? Don't you think it might be a bit shortsighted to eliminate that position before the TTC is ready to do so?

It actually will, because the shoes on the trolly poles have to be replaced daily, and the pantographs last months, the trolly poles spray caustic materials onto the back of the streetcars, which deteriorates the paint and needs to be cleaned off daily, they wear down the overhead wire faster than pantographs, and the trolly poles dewiring at intersections cause damage over time to the overhead, needing repair.

Shoes are replaced every 3 to 5 days in normal circumstances. Pantograph carbons are replaced at about the same rate.

"Caustic materials"? Trolley shoes are made of graphite - which incidentally is also what pantograph carbons are made of.

The only possible difference is where the worn away powered graphite lands. A trolley pole needs to be at the back of the vehicle, where the streaking can be easily seen. A pantograph, at least in the Toronto application, will be in the middle. Where the streaking can be hidden on the roof and behind panels. But it will still be there.

The pantographs also work much better with icy conditions, which is a problem with trolly poles, as I'm sure everyone has experienced.

Actually......they don't, at least not inherently. There's a reason why many electric locomotives operating in northern climates have an "ice mode" that allows them to raise two pantographs at once. But it's kind of hard to do that on a vehicle that only has one pantograph.

To be honest, the bigger issue with ice has more to do with the TTC's own operating practices than anything else. In years past, if there was the threat of icing they would operate extra streetcars with special "ice cutter" shoes on the poles to help keep the overhead clear. They seem to have forgotten about that practice in the past couple of years. But with the impending conversion to pantographs, they same thing will have to happen if they want to keep everything running reliably.

Also, currently the new streetcars have a restriction on the AC units along with a speed restriction with the trolly poles. They will be able to work full blast and the streetcar can operate at full speed with panto.

I don't know why you think that. They've had no issues running the A/C at full bore the several summers when needed. And there have been no speed restrictions instituted when doing so.

Trolly poles are a rarity, pantos are commonplace, which helps the TTC use parts that are common and thus cheaper through mass production.

Well, except......

A trolley pole costs about $200. The shoe holder is about the same again.

A powered pantograph like the ones that the TTC are using can cost about $30K or more.

Now, where you are right is in the actual contact surfaces. The TTC needs to go out and source its own shoes (although it's not like they are that hard to find, although when they source shitty ones like the last batch that fell apart in 4 hours of rain that can be a big strike against them), whereas pantograph carbons are a dime-a-dozen, provided you get the right sized ones.

Driverless cars are also around the corner, and it would be naive to think that driverless streetcars arent either. In fact they would be even easier to automate, since they are on tracks. You can't have trolly poles dewiring with a driverless vehicles. You need to reliability of a pantograph. Perhaps we could have waited to rewire the streetcar network for this, but its done now so we are ready for that change.

Driverless cars are around the corner? Yeah, not quite.

So its much more than just the fact that pantographs dewire much much less than trolly poles.

All these little things do add up.

There are very, very serious advantages to pantographs, sure. No one is debating that.

But there are very, very serious cost implications to converting to them as well. And that has been my problem all along - that rather than organically upgrading the system as components have worn out, they have gone out and - in more than just some cases - removed and changed out overhead equipment that had a lot of life left in it in the rush to convert and "upgrade". Sure, it may have taken them 20 or 25 years to convert the whole network if they did it in the more piecemeal manner that I'm advocating - but we're in the process of buying vehicles which will have a 30+ year lifespan, and which are being equipped from the factory with both types of current collector anyways. There was no need to rush out and do it, and hire extra crews and purchase extra vehicles in order to do so.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

drum118

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Unreal that CP hasn't pickup 4401 at Hillcrest that was ready to go on Monday.

Now where are 4477-4480??

4475 is still sitting in the same service bay area where it has been the last 3 days. Whopps..........just moved to another area as I was checking for 4476.

4476 has been out the last 3 days doing testing and is now in the service bay. It was out on the Queensway earlier today as well St Clair. It had in service arrow while on the Queensway.
 

Kitsune

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Oh, CP showed up. Somebody forgot to leave the key to the gate under the mat. Or something like that. Anyways, the CP crew couldn't gain access, and the pickup had to be rescheduled.

- Paul

... they could of just put the engine in drive slightly and popped the gate - there is more then enough weight in those locos :D
 

smallspy

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... they could of just put the engine in drive slightly and popped the gate - there is more then enough weight in those locos :D

You don't do that with a switch lock. That's how you end up on the ground, and collect cherries.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

dowlingm

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A shame that 4466 went back under warranty - could use an LFLRV with a smushed in back end right now to slap its front two modules on the front of 4445! :D

(looking at the pics again - 4445 looks like it stood the hit pretty well - even the windscreen looks intact albeit that the lighting makes that hard to say for sure)
 

robmausser

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This thread is becoming the Dan Snide (self-perceived) Takedown Thread. More so than is typical in UT overall. I’m sure I’m not the only one mildly nauseous about this.

I've blocked him. He's a moron who doesn't know what he's talking about and pretends to. Its annoying.
 

smallspy

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Another new streetcar was spotted on a southbound CP train passing the Little Pic River area on Sunday.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

dowlingm

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Melbourne also mixes and matches there streetcar manufacturers instead of sticking to a sole manufacturer.
Melbourne uses 1435mm/2.65m/standard curve radii so that's a bit easier to seek tenders on than 1495mm/2.54m/11m curves
 

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