News   Sep 24, 2021
 406     1 
News   Sep 24, 2021
 767     3 
News   Sep 24, 2021
 684     0 

TTC: Flexity Streetcars Testing & Delivery (Bombardier)

drum118

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
16,963
Reaction score
12,657
Location
Mississauga, where cars rule city growth
4506 is out testing on 501, heading westbound at Jarvis after 4 days being here.
 

steveintoronto

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
10,167
Reaction score
4,339
To read the press releases, the rewelding program is needed because some welds were less than thoroughly formed and are susceptible to breakage.

If the bad welds are left alone, the repeated stresses on the car frames (braking being one stress, but only one) will eventually lead to the welds coming apart. But as of this moment, none of the welds on any of the cars has failed.

If I understand the above, rewelding the frame won’t alter the braking mechanics. The creaking will still be there, although with wear on the joints and bogie bolsters it may change somehow over time. I don’t see a conspiracy theory here, although bad welds are a damning enough defect.

Unless there is retrofitting of snubbers or similar, the creaking will remain a defining characteristic of the car. Our children will wax poetic about the characteristic creaking when the Flexities go off to scrap in a couple of generations. Nobody said that PCC’s were meant to sound or ride the way they did, it’s just what we learned to love.

- Paul
There's been more serious issues than that reported.
upload_2018-11-1_22-15-46.png
[...]
Internal emails and interviews make clear, however, that some of the problems were not being addressed and fixed.

Most notably, workers at the Sahagun plant were failing at what one official calls the “black art” of welding.

Components of the car were being produced at different sizes from what drawings specified. When assembled, the steel sidewalls were not flat, leaving gaps with mating parts. The parts needed extra attention when put together.
[...]
upload_2018-11-1_22-2-34.png

[...]
Metrolinx consultant John Watkins told Bombardier that he wasn’t seeing improvements in Sahagun, and in fact, inspection methods had regressed. Watkins swore in an affidavit that by December 2016, deficiencies had forced Bombardier to issue more than 400 “quality notifications” for just three builds. Watkins said between 15 and 50 notifications were typical in the early stages but he alleged that notifications had been issued for “every single welded and machined part” made in Mexico.
[...]
http://projects.thestar.com/bombardier-ttc/

The term "weld" occurs 16 times in this article. The trucks are also made in Mexico.
Martin Allen, Bombardier’s new vice-president of operations for the Americas, opened an Oct. 15, 2015, meeting “by acknowledging that BT’s (Bombardier Transportation’s) biggest past issue was their inability to produced (sic) quality cabs, trucks, and underframes” in its plant in Sahagun, Mexico.

As stated, I'd like to read an engineering analysis of the story, albeit I'm sure since many of these details were also known by the TTC and kept quiet, there's a lot we will never know.

L. Wall | July 3, 2018 at 11:22 pm

Wow! There’s explosive news out tonight from Ben Spurr of the Star about welding defects in most of the Bombardier streetcars out on the road right now. The city needs to get the RFI and RFP’s out ASAP. It also makes me wonder what the TTC overseer at the Thunder Bay plant has been doing this whole time.

Steve: More to the point, this problem has been known since October 2017 when Andy Byford was still CEO. Transparency?
https://stevemunro.ca/2018/06/07/will-toronto-get-more-new-streetcars/

Most new TTC streetcars to be recalled to fix welding defect, Bombardier says
By BEN SPURRTransportation Reporter
Tues., July 3, 2018
[...]
According to Bombardier, the company first discovered the welding problem in 2015, but it took an 18-month investigation to discover the extent and the cause.

Company representatives said the problem is a “lack of fusion” in some of the welds on the car’s skeleton, particularly around bogie structures and the articulated portals where different sections of the articulated vehicle are joined. The company says it brought the issue “under control” last June and it won’t be repeated in future deliveries.
[...]
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/20...ec-to-fix-welding-defect-bombardier-says.html

Just move along folks, nothing to see here, everything is alright....Have we ever misled you in the past?
 

Attachments

  • upload_2018-11-1_22-2-34.png
    upload_2018-11-1_22-2-34.png
    45 KB · Views: 360
  • upload_2018-11-1_22-15-46.png
    upload_2018-11-1_22-15-46.png
    173.9 KB · Views: 375
Last edited:

smallspy

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
4,511
Reaction score
4,650
"Squatting" is exactly the sensation. It is probably a combination of a multiplicity of 'sense and correct' loops being complicated and disjointed by a loose mechanical coupling. It *feels* like it's putting enormous stress on the frame members (I desist from saying 'chassis' as I doubt there is one per-se in entirety).

It's far more likely that it's due to the construction of the car and how everything is designed. As I noted above, the only articulation that allows for a large degree of vertical movement is the one between the third and forth modules. Under very hard braking, the front half of the car would try and squat nose-down, which would raise that particular joint and then cause the back half to take on the opposite angle - nose-high.

As well as a rough ride, I'd see it as doing permanent and possibly catastrophic damage to the vehicle if not addressed. I'm really just projecting from vehicular experience with loose sub-assemblies, but it never ends well. I think BBD were covering their arses by recalling the affected units. It wasn't kindness on their part. It was liability, perhaps even criminal if personal injuries resulted.

They will be rough-riding for as long as the trackwork needs to exist in its current form - and unfortunately, a lot of that is by virtue of their multi-segment design. But causing any permanent damage? I doubt it. These things were built specifically to handle Toronto's trackwork and conditions. And similar cars have been operating in lots of places overseas with no difficulty for many years.

I'd be interested in reading an engineering article on what the problem is, and how far it affects surrounding structure. What boggles me is that the TTC is claimed to have known of it from very early on. No huge surprise, as their engineers would have wondered "WTF?".

I'm sure that there are engineering articles dealing with the on the performance of multi-segment light rail cars and handling - I've read a bunch on the truck/wheel-to-rail interface over the years - but as for any concern, there is none. They've been teaching the operators about it since day 1.

To read the press releases, the rewelding program is needed because some welds were less than thoroughly formed and are susceptible to breakage.

If the bad welds are left alone, the repeated stresses on the car frames (braking being one stress, but only one) will eventually lead to the welds coming apart. But as of this moment, none of the welds on any of the cars has failed.

If I understand the above, rewelding the frame won’t alter the braking mechanics. The creaking will still be there, although with wear on the joints and bogie bolsters it may change somehow over time. I don’t see a conspiracy theory here, although bad welds are a damning enough defect.

Unless there is retrofitting of snubbers or similar, the creaking will remain a defining characteristic of the car. Our children will wax poetic about the characteristic creaking when the Flexities go off to scrap in a couple of generations. Nobody said that PCC’s were meant to sound or ride the way they did, it’s just what we learned to love.

- Paul

The welds in the bodies of the earliest-built cars did not achieve full penetration of the material. Strength-wise, they are more than adequate and safe, but it does allow for the potential for the joint to fatigue over time and eventually fail. And to be fair to the workers, this is generally type of thing that only gets discovered by fairly advanced processes, not by looking at it closely with a skilled eye.

In other news, Millhaven is building cars 4570 and up. They've got 3 just about done, as 4572 was having its finishing touches put on during the media event a couple of days ago.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

steveintoronto

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
10,167
Reaction score
4,339
^ Well the CR4000s don't do what the Toronto Flexities do in terms of stuttering and grabbing during hard braking. I look forward to comparing the ride with the regional LRTs using Flexities.
 

crs1026

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Messages
7,282
Reaction score
10,863
The welds in the bodies of the earliest-built cars did not achieve full penetration of the material. Strength-wise, they are more than adequate and safe, but it does allow for the potential for the joint to fatigue over time and eventually fail. And to be fair to the workers, this is generally type of thing that only gets discovered by fairly advanced processes, not by looking at it closely with a skilled eye.

The damning thing in this for Bombardier is that the "fairly advanced processes" are supposed to be methodically and diligently applied in qc'ing the fabrication. How production reached 60+ cars before this became an issue just astounds me. The techniques may be complex, but the principle of QC'ing welds thoroughly is Quality Management 101 material.

- Paul
 

drum118

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
16,963
Reaction score
12,657
Location
Mississauga, where cars rule city growth
If the Jail Birds are to be number 4570-4604, that will be a huge misleading gap between what we have until Thunder Bay catch up to 4569. This means, TB only has 61 more cars to do, while Kingston is doing 34 by Nov 2019.

Kingston should be shipping a car about every 10-11 days while TB is doing it every 6 days
 

smallspy

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 27, 2009
Messages
4,511
Reaction score
4,650
^ Well the CR4000s don't do what the Toronto Flexities do in terms of stuttering and grabbing during hard braking. I look forward to comparing the ride with the regional LRTs using Flexities.

The CR4000s also use fully rotating bogies with a quasi-Jacobs bogie for the articulation. They are much more akin to the ALRVs than to the Flexities in terms of their dynamics and interface with the track.

The damning thing in this for Bombardier is that the "fairly advanced processes" are supposed to be methodically and diligently applied in qc'ing the fabrication. How production reached 60+ cars before this became an issue just astounds me. The techniques may be complex, but the principle of QC'ing welds thoroughly is Quality Management 101 material.

- Paul

No doubt. It makes one wonder why they simply assumed that the first cars through were fine, and why it appears that they have not been used to assure the processes and training in place were adequate for the whole project.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
 

KevinT

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 20, 2016
Messages
608
Reaction score
748
Location
Kitchener
No doubt. It makes one wonder why they simply assumed that the first cars through were fine, and why it appears that they have not been used to assure the processes and training in place were adequate for the whole project.

Maybe they had the same trouble finding/training/keeping qualified QA inspectors at the Sahagun plant as they did for welders.
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
24,166
Reaction score
4,429
Location
Toronto
If the Jail Birds are to be number 4570-4604, that will be a huge misleading gap between what we have until Thunder Bay catch up to 4569. This means, TB only has 61 more cars to do, while Kingston is doing 34 by Nov 2019.
If car 4604 is coming from Kingston - that would be the 205th car.

So have they decided to not modify 4401 as part of the initial 204 car order?

Or have they added additional vehicles for compensation?
 

drum118

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
16,963
Reaction score
12,657
Location
Mississauga, where cars rule city growth
If car 4604 is coming from Kingston - that would be the 205th car.

So have they decided to not modify 4401 as part of the initial 204 car order?

Or have they added additional vehicles for compensation?
In a rush and 4604 should be 4603, but you never know what that last number will be until 2019. TTC should be getting an extra 15 cars to cover BBD mess.

4401 will be rebuilt as a production car and could be here by June 2019.
 

drum118

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
16,963
Reaction score
12,657
Location
Mississauga, where cars rule city growth
The CR4000s also use fully rotating bogies with a quasi-Jacobs bogie for the articulation. They are much more akin to the ALRVs than to the Flexities in terms of their dynamics and interface with the track.



No doubt. It makes one wonder why they simply assumed that the first cars through were fine, and why it appears that they have not been used to assure the processes and training in place were adequate for the whole project.

Dan
Toronto, Ont.
Why wasn't x-ray testing done on the welds in the beginning, as it would highlighted then, not now, when issues first surface for joining sections?? There are other test that can be done before x-ray to determined if the welds are good or not. Seen too many welds that look good on the surface, only to find no penetration (fusion) or impurity in the weld.
 

Steve X

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 16, 2016
Messages
2,141
Reaction score
1,612
In a rush and 4604 should be 4603, but you never know what that last number will be until 2019. TTC should be getting an extra 15 cars to cover BBD mess.

4401 will be rebuilt as a production car and could be here by June 2019.
You keep saying that like compensation would come in the form of new cars. Yet there is no concrete prove that will happen.

What if the TTC doesn't order additional cars. What if TTC withheld the last payments and BBD waives it instead of keeping the workforce around. More cars means BBD would option for more parts through their supplier and more warranty. Without the 60 car option from the TTC, it'll be cheaper for BBD to just give the last few cars away than to build more for free. I really don't see how TTC would end up with more cars than they order.
 

nfitz

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Messages
24,166
Reaction score
4,429
Location
Toronto
You keep saying that like compensation would come in the form of new cars. Yet there is no concrete prove that will happen.
There's no concrete proof, but the last public vote on the issue that I know of, the TTC board did direct staff to take the compensation as new cars.
 

drum118

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
16,963
Reaction score
12,657
Location
Mississauga, where cars rule city growth
You keep saying that like compensation would come in the form of new cars. Yet there is no concrete prove that will happen.

What if the TTC doesn't order additional cars. What if TTC withheld the last payments and BBD waives it instead of keeping the workforce around. More cars means BBD would option for more parts through their supplier and more warranty. Without the 60 car option from the TTC, it'll be cheaper for BBD to just give the last few cars away than to build more for free. I really don't see how TTC would end up with more cars than they order.
It has been assume that TTC will option for extra cars like they have on buses and other things in place of cash where the supplier has fail to live up to the contract.

We know TTC want more cars and getting extra cars from BBD in place of payment is one way to go, since we have Ford saying Ontario is open for business and TB has been single source for decades.

The thought of going elsewhere for more cars was deferred to 2019 to see how well BBD up hold their last promises to have all cars here in 2019, as well meeting this year schedule. At the same time, what is the best option for TTC to recovery the damages and extra cost keeping a fleet on the road longer than plan for?? Does this mean getting cars from BBD or take legal action to get money instead??

Until there is a new commission BOD in place come 2019 as well what the Mayor want to do, we have no idea what will take place at the end of the day at this time.

I did say TTC should get, but that is an open end statement. I am on record for going elsewhere for more cars and getting funds from BBD and still stand on that statement.
 

rbt

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
6,880
Reaction score
2,686
What if the TTC doesn't order additional cars.

That's easy to answer. Bus service on 1 or more routes with tracks between ~2020 through 2024 (if they order immediately from someone else; otherwise 2024 gets later).
 

Top