Flexity Outlook (Toronto streetcar)

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Flexity Outlook
TTC LRV 4401 test come.JPG
4401 being tested on Queen Street East
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Built at Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Family name Flexity
Replaced Canadian Light Rail Vehicle, Articulated Light Rail Vehicle
Constructed 2009–present
Entered service expected August 31, 2014[1]
Number under construction 204 ordered[1]
Number built

3 Prototype Vehicle, 1 Service Vehicle

Number in service First set delivered on September 26, 2012
Fleet numbers 4400-4604
Capacity 70 (seats), 181 (standing), 251 total[2]
Operator Toronto Transit Commission
Depot(s) Russel (Connaught), Roncesvalles & Leslie Barns
Line(s) served Toronto streetcar system
Car body construction Stainless Steel
Train length 30.20 m (99 ft 1 in)[1]
Car length 28 m (91 ft 10 in)[1]
Width 2.54 m (8 ft 4 in)[1]
Height 3.84 m (12 ft 7 in)
Doors 4 (right side only)[1]
Articulated sections 5[1]
Maximum speed 70 km/h (43 mph)
Weight 48,200 kg (106,300 lb)
Electric system(s) 600 V DC[1] Overhead trolley wire[1]
Current collection method Trolley pole[1] and will convert to Pantograph
Track gauge 4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) TTC gauge[1]

The Toronto Flexity Outlook is the newest model of streetcar vehicles for the Toronto Transit Commission. They are built by Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.[3][4]


A mockup of the first three sections of the new vehicle on public display in 2011

With the TTC's existing streetcar fleet nearing the end of its service life, the commission began looking for a manufacturer to build new streetcars. In mid-2009, the TTC announced that it has chosen the Bombardier Flexity Outlook to replace the existing streetcar fleet, namely the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle and the Articulated Light Rail Vehicle on its streetcar network most of which serve Toronto's downtown core.[5] On June 26, 2009 the Toronto City Council approved funding for 204 new vehicles and signed the contract with Bombardier.[6] A mockup of the new streetcar was put on display at the Bathurst Hillcrest Complex for tours in November 2011. The first vehicle arrived in September 2012, and was unveiled to the public and media two months later in November 2012.[7][8][9] Since 2013, the new streetcars have been undergoing a series of tests on several streetcar routes, and are scheduled to enter revenue service as of August 31, 2014 on the 510 Spadina streetcar route.[10]


In 2010, Bombardier released the specifications of the Toronto LRVs. The vehicle will be based on the Flexity Outlook product, but will be tailored to Toronto's unique needs. The vehicles will use TTC's unique gauge (4 ft 10 78 in/​1,495 mm) rather than standard gauge, and trolley poles using 600 V DC for power collection. Other design requirements such as the ability to handle tight turning radii and single-point switches,[11] climb steep hills, clearance, and ability to upgrade into a more modern pantograph current collection system will also be factored into the design. The Outlook is almost twice as long as the current streetcar fleet and has five articulated sections.[1]

These new streetcars will gradually replace the ageing fleet of CLRV and ALRV streetcars which have been in revenue service since the 1970s and 1980s, and will provide future ridership growth and congestion relief efforts.

The new vehicles are low-floor and are just over 30 metres longer than the current streetcars. Each has four doors, 64 fixed seats, six flip-down seats, long digital LED destination signs at the front and at the sides of the vehicle. They have the Presto card fare system, large windows, airy interior design, air-conditioning systems and interior bike racks.

Toronto was hit by unusually cold weather in late December 2013, and January and February 2014. On the colder days buses had to supplement the older streetcar fleet, when the pneumatic systems on many of the older vehicles failed. Small amounts of moisture that had leaked into the pneumatic lines were freezing in the cold weather.[12][13] The TTC told commuters that the new Flexity vehicles used different technology. Servos were either powered by electric motors or hydraulic systems.


The first vehicle arrived in Toronto on September 25, 2012 by rail from the Thunder Bay plant to Canadian Pacific’s Lambton Yard near Runnymede Road and St. Clair Avenue West. [14][15]

It was loaded on a truck/trailer flatbed and arrived at Harvey Shop at the Hillcrest Complex a few days later.

Car 4400 is the first of three test vehicles that will be delivered for extensive testing and technology verification. The carset has the same number as the wooden mockup car.

The new vehicle was unveiled to the public at the TTC's Hillcrest complex during a media conference on November 15, 2012.[16][17]

On June 25, 2013, the Railway Age quoted TTC General Manager Andy Byford about the need for the TTC to order an additional 60 vehicles.[18]

On February 5, 2014, a National Post article described how the TTC was testing the new streetcars in snowy conditions that had incapacitated the old streetcars.[19]

Contract amendments reported on February 24, 2014 called for pantograph current collection for part of the fleet (60 cars) with the later inclusion of pantographs on the remaining 144 cars.[20] The 3 initial cars (4400, 4401, 4402) have both a pantograph and a trolley pole.

The first revenue vehicle arrived at Hillcrest Complex on May 31, 2014. Car 4403 is the first revenue service vehicle to be delivered to the TTC.


In March 2013, the demonstration car set made several test runs throughout the streetcar network including one trip from Hillcrest Complex down Bathurst Street to Bloor Street and another trip to Bathurst and Lake Shore Boulevard.[21]

The TTC has been running LRV 4401 with the pantograph within the Hillcrest Complex and the trolley pole on the street.

On June 19, 2013, the TTC announced that the new vehicles will first be operated on the Spadina streetcar line.[22] The full fleet will not be rolled out until 2018 or 2019.[23] Global News reported that the first new streetcar will be introduced into revenue service on August 31, 2014 on the 510 Spadina streetcar route.[24]

Rollout schedule[edit]


The existing two carhouses are oriented to service the older high-floor cars with most equipment located under the vehicle floor. They are not oriented to low-floor vehicles with equipment located on the roof. Thus, the TTC constructed a new building at the Roncesvalles Carhouse to serve the new vehicles. The TTC is also scheduled to open a new maintenance facility at the corner of Leslie Street and Lake Shore Boulevard in early 2015.[20]

New taller building at Roncesvalles to service extra roof mounted equipment
View of the roof with trolley pole lowered and pantograph raised at Hillcrest

Flexity Freedom LRT[edit]

Main article: Flexity Freedom

On June 14, 2010, an option for an additional 182 vehicles (not the Outlook model which will be for mixed traffic use downtown, but the Bombardier Flexity Freedom model for suburban use) was exercised to provide vehicles for several new light rail lines, collectively dubbed Transit City;[25][26] there is an option for up to 118 more.[27] These vehicles included a number of differences from the streetcar replacements:

  • They are double-ended, as Transit City lines would not have had turnaround loops at the ends of the lines;
  • They are standard gauge, as opposed to the unique gauge used for TTC streetcar and subway lines;[28]
  • They do not need to be able to navigate the sharp curves found on some TTC streetcar lines.
  • They have pantographs instead of trolley poles.

The Flexity Freedom is scheduled to be used on the Eglinton Crosstown line running under and beside Eglinton Avenue between Black Creek in the west to Kennedy Road in the east. Other lines approved include the Etobicoke-Finch West LRT along Finch Avenue west from the Yonge-University-Spadina subway line and the Sheppard East LRT along Sheppard Avenue east from Don Mills subway station.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Steve Munro. "LRV fact sheet". Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Meet Your New Ride". The Toronto Transit Commission. Toronto Transit Commission. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ontario Funds New Streetcars In Toronto". Government of Ontario. June 2009. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  4. ^ "TTC picks Bombardier to supply streetcars". Toronto: Toronto Star. April 24, 2009. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  5. ^ Toronto Transit Commission (April 24, 2009). "TTC Staff recommend Bombardier for new streetcar order". Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  6. ^ Toronto Transit Commission (June 26, 2009). "City Council approves funds for TTC purchase of new streetcars". Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  7. ^ Kevin Connor (November 15, 2012). "TTC officially unveils new streetcar". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 16, 2012. "The current, 35-year-old fleet is being replaced by 204 new vehicles, which will be in service by 2014 and introduced to Toronto’s streets during a five-year period. The 510 Spadina line will be the first route to operate the new low floor streetcars starting August 31, 2014." 
  8. ^ Kyle Bachan, Hamutal Dotan (November 15, 2012). "TTC Previews Our New Streetcars: Media and politicians explore the first full-size test vehicle from Toronto's new streetcar fleet.". The Torontoist. Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. "Key is the new Presto fare payment system, which will include open payment options—by credit and debit cards, and by mobile devices, as well as the Presto fare cards. Crucially, this will allow for all-door loading and hopefully cut down on the amount of time vehicles need to spend at each stop. Also crucial: the new low-floor design, which will make it much easier for people using wheelchairs and other mobility aids to board and exit." 
  9. ^ The Torontoist (November 17, 2011). "The Toronto Light Rail Vehicles (The LRVs)". James Bow. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved November 16, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Media to get sneak peek of new TTC streetcars". CP24. November 10, 2011. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. "Compared with existing streetcars, the TTC said the new streetcars are more comfortable, reliable and spacious enough to carry almost twice as many passengers to meet increasing ridership." 
  11. ^ "TTC Unveils New Streetcar Design and Mockup (Update 2)". Steve Munro. Steve Munro. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  12. ^ James Armstrong (2014-01-03). "Extreme cold forces 50 TTC streetcars out of service for rush hour". Global News. Archived from the original on 2014-01-23. Retrieved 2014-02-09. "“The age of the streetcar fleet and equipment – over 30 years in many cases – does not respond well to extreme cold,” according to a statement released by the TTC. “Specifically, pneumatic air lines that provide braking and door operation can see moisture build up in the lines that then freeze, causing the streetcar to be taken out of service.”" 
  13. ^ "Why 'ancient' TTC streetcars don't like the cold: Moisture in pneumatic door and brake lines clog in frigid temperatures". CBC News. 2014-01-08. Archived from the original on 2014-01-09. Retrieved 2014-02-09. "Byford said the decades old vehicles' "critical weakness" is the pneumatic air lines used to operate the brakes and doors. TTC crews purge the lines at night but during the day, moisture in the lines can freeze and prevent the doors from operating." 
  14. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (September 26, 2012). "TTC’s new streetcar spotted in the Junction". Toronto Star. Retrieved September 26, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Exclusive: New TTC streetcars (pictures)". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2012. 
  16. ^ http://www.cp24.com, published on November 15, 2012 Chris Fox (November 15, 2012). "TTC officially unveils new streetcar". CP24. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  17. ^ ] www.thestar.com, published on November 15, 2012 Tess Kalinowski (November 15, 2012). "TTC unveils Toronto’s new streetcars: Fully accessible, with room for twice as many riders, the first of the new TTC downtown streetcars will be in service in 2014". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  18. ^ Douglas John Bowen (June 25, 2013). "TTC mulls 60 more Bombardier Flexity streetcars". Railway Age. Retrieved June 26, 2013. "Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) CEO Andy Byford said Monday the agency is urging Toronto to order 60 more Bombardier Flexity streetcars to bolster the 204 Flexity cars already on order." 
  19. ^ Peter Kuitenbrouwer (2014-11-05). "Peter Kuitenbrouwer: Toronto’s sexy, shiny new streetcars get a ‘real-world’ test in less-than-ideal snowy conditions". National Post. Archived from the original on 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-02-09. "“We want to see how it functions in the snow,” he says, explaining that we saw a “test vehicle.” “This is real-world conditions. The testing is going really well. We are going to have our first production vehicle in March.”" 
  20. ^ a b "TTC Board Meeting Preview: February 24, 2014". Steve Munro. Steve Munro. Retrieved 23 February 2014. 
  21. ^ Graham Slaughter (March 14, 2013). "TTC’s new streetcar takes early morning maiden voyage down Bathurst St.". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  22. ^ Tess Kalinowski (June 19, 2013). "TTC announces Spadina as first line for new streetcars". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 19, 2013. "TTC riders on Spadina and Bathurst will be the first to ride the city’s long-anticipated new streetcars when they roll out next year. Kingston Rd. and Carlton car riders, however, will be waiting until 2018 to 2019 for their turn." 
  23. ^ Chris Kitchings. (June 20, 2013). "New streetcars will roll out on Spadina, Bathurst first". CTV News. Retrieved June 20, 2013. "After Spadina and Bathurst, the streetcars will be introduced on the 509 Harbourfront route next year, followed by 505 Dundas in 2014-15 and the Queen and Lake Shore routes in 2015-16. The Bombardier streetcars will roll out on the King route in 2016-17, and the St. Clair Avenue right-of-way in 2017-18. Riders on Kingston Road and Carlton Street will have to wait until 2018 or 2019, according to a rollout plan that is being presented at Monday’s TTC board meeting." 
  24. ^ James Armstrong (2014-03-17). "New streetcars to hit Spadina in August but riders remain worried about wait times". Global News. Archived from the original on 2014-03-17. "TTC passengers will get their first chance to ride the new streetcars on August 31, when six of them will be deployed along the Spadina Avenue route. That number will increase to “12 or 13” in October, Ross said." 
  25. ^ "FLEXITY Freedom: Riding the Winds of Change". Bombardier rail. 2013. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  26. ^ "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. October 3, 2011. Retrieved June 26, 2013. "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." 
  27. ^ "Toronto buying 182 more Bombardier streetcars". Toronto Star. June 14, 2010. Archived from the original on March 16, 2013. 
  28. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (January 6, 2010). "Transit City measures up to international standard". Toronto Star (Toronto). Retrieved May 2, 2010. 

External links[edit]