The Flexity Freedom is a light rail vehicle that will be operated by the Toronto Transit Commission on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and by Grand River Transit on the Ion LRT. They will be built by Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
|Built at||Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada|
|Entered service||expected 2017|
|Number under construction||196 ordered (182+14)|
|Capacity||56 (seats) 130 (standees) 4 (accessible spaces) 251 (total capacity) |
|Operator||Toronto Transit Commission, Grand River Transit|
|Line(s) served||Eglinton Crosstown line, Ion LRT|
|Car length||30.8 m (101 ft 1 in)|
|Width||2.65 m (8 ft 8 in)|
|Height||3.6 m (11 ft 10 in)|
|Doors||8-12 (4-6 on each side)|
|Maximum speed||80 km/h (50 mph)|
|Electric system(s)||750 V DC Overhead trolley wire|
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The vehicles are entirely low-floor. They can be built to operate uni-directionally or bi-directionally. 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. 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. 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 3 and 5 module configurations. When run in the 5 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 instead powered indirectly through induction, through buried loops.
Flexity Freedom vehicles differ from the Flexity Outlook vehicles used on the Toronto streetcar system in that they are larger, 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).
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.
The car is also being marketed by Bombardier for future orders within North America.
Besides the Eglinton and Ion lines, the LRT cars may be considered for other TTC and Metrolinx projects in the future:
- "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."
- Bombardier Transportation. "Bombardier Builds Customer Base for Leading Light Rail Technology in North America". Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- Melissa Murray (11 July 2013). "Region finalizes LRT vehicle deal". Kitchener Post. Retrieved 16 November 2013. "By 2017, the LRT will service a 19-kilometre corridor from the Conestoga Mall in Waterloo to the Fairview Mall in Kitchener."
- "Metrolinx spends $770-million to order 182 LRT vehicles from Bombardier". The Globe and Mail. 14 June 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- "FLEXITY Freedom" (in English). Bombardier Transportation. Archived from the original on 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2013-05.
- 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."