Flexity Freedom

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The Flexity Freedom is a light rail vehicle that will be operated by the Toronto Transit Commission on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and on the Ion LRT in Waterloo Region.[1] They will be built by Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay, Ontario.[2]

Flexity Freedom
Demonstration mockup of first two train segments
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Built at Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Family name Flexity
Entered service expected 2017[3]
Number under construction 196 ordered (182+14)[4]
Capacity 56 (seats) 130 (standees) 4 (accessible spaces) 251 (total capacity) [5]
Operator Toronto Transit Commission, Grand River Transit
Line(s) served Eglinton Crosstown line, Ion LRT
Specifications
Car length 30.8 m (101 ft 1 in)[5]
Width 2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)[5]
Height 3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)[5]
Doors 8-12 (4-6 on each side)[5]
Articulated sections 5[5]
Maximum speed 80 km/h (50 mph)[5]
Electric system(s) 750 V DC Overhead trolley wire[5]
Current collection method Pantograph
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

Design[edit]

The vehicles are entirely low-floor.[6] They can be built to operate unidirectionally or bidirectionally. The vehicles' design includes energy-saving features, like regenerative braking and the use of LED lighting, but they are also air-conditioned. The vehicles may be coated in special paint designed to resist graffiti.

The vehicles are articulated, and are built out of modules.[5] Operators can alter the number of intermediate modules, thus altering the capacity of the individual vehicles. Vehicles can be connected, so up to four connected vehicles are operated by a single driver.

The vehicles are equipped with counters, which keep track of how many passengers they are carrying.[5] The vehicles' standard passenger configuration can safely accommodate up to four passengers in wheelchairs. The maximum passenger capacities, in the standard seating layouts, are 135 and 251, for the three and five-module configurations. When run in the five-module configuration, with train-sets of four vehicles, the maximum capacity of a light rail line is 30,000 passengers per peak hour.

According to Bombardier, the trainsets can be built for "catenary-free" power, where, instead of being powered by direct contact with overhead wires they are powered indirectly through induction, through buried loops.[5]

Flexity Freedom vehicles differ from the Flexity Outlook vehicles used on the Toronto streetcar system in that they are larger and faster and use standard gauge rather than the streetcar system's unique broad gauge. They are also bi-directional, with cabs on both ends and doors on both sides. While Flexity Outlook vehicles can negotiate the tight curves of the streetcar network, Flexity Freedom vehicles require a minimum curve radius of 25 metres (82 ft).

History[edit]

The Flexity Freedom cars were originally for the Transit City plan which would have created 6 suburban LRT lines for an order ranging about 300 cars. Only the Eglinton Crosstown line is proceeding with construction, which resulted in Metrolinx ordering only 182 vehicles.[4]

In July 2013, the Region of Waterloo finalized a deal with Metrolinx to join their contract and purchase 14 additional vehicles for their forthcoming Ion light rail system.[7]

The car is also being marketed by Bombardier for future orders within North America.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bombardier façonne l'avenir de la mobilité avec ses solutions d'avant-garde pour le secteur ferroviaire à l'EXPO APTA 2011" [Bombardier is shaping the future of mobility with its avant-garde solutions for the railway sector in the APTA EXPO 2011] (in French). Le Lezard. 2011-10-03. Retrieved 2013-06-26. "A l'EXPO APTA 2011, Bombardier Transport fait le lancement de sa nouvelle plate-forme de véhicule léger sur rail très éconergétique FLEXITY Freedom, destinée au marché nord-américain. FLEXITY Freedom combine des innovations et des éléments éprouvés tirés de la réputée plate-forme de tramway modulaire FLEXITY pour en faire le véhicule de choix de tout développement futur dans le domaine du transport urbain." 
  2. ^ Bombardier Transportation. "Bombardier Builds Customer Base for Leading Light Rail Technology in North America". Retrieved 24 November 2013. 
  3. ^ Melissa Murray (11 July 2013). "Region finalizes LRT vehicle deal". Kitchener Post. Retrieved 16 November 2013. "By 2017, the LRT will serve a 19-kilometre corridor from the Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to the Fairview Mall in Kitchener." 
  4. ^ a b "Metrolinx spends $770-million to order 182 LRT vehicles from Bombardier". The Globe and Mail. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "FLEXITY Freedom" (in English). Bombardier Transportation. Archived from the original on 2013-07-13. Retrieved May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Freedom takes Flexity to the North American tram market". Railway Gazette. 2011-10-22. Archived from the original on 2014-07-08. "Reflecting Canadian conditions, the trams are designed to cope with heavy snow, featuring heated door thresholds and couplers, heat exchanges on the HVAC, and the ability to cope with snow settling to 355 mm deep on the roof. The underframe will be fabricated from stainless steel to resist corrosion from road gritting salts." 
  7. ^ Paige Desmond (2013-07-11). "Region approves purchase of Bombardier LRT trains". Kitchener, Ontario: Kitchener-Waterloo Record. Archived from the original on 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2013-07-13. "The region's train order will be added to a contract Metrolinx has to buy light rail vehicles for the City of Toronto. Officials said it would lower costs, keep the project on schedule, improve vehicle reliability over a longer period and offer an opportunity to share parts and knowledge."