H-series (Toronto subway car)

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TTC H6 Train at St George.jpg
An H6 train at St George Station (since retired)
In service 1965-2014
H1: 1965-1999
H2/H3: 1971-2001
H4: 1974-2012
H5: 1976-2013 (2 scrapped in the Russell hill subway crash in 1995)
H6: 1986-2014

H1 – H5: Hawker Siddeley

H3: Hitachi
Built at Thunder Bay, Ontario
Replaced G-series (replaced by H6)
Constructed H1: 1965-1966
H2/H3: 1971
H4: 1974-1975 [1]
H5: 1976-1979[1]
H6: 1986-1989[1]
Entered service None ( Toronto Subway) Ankara Metro
Scrapped H1: 1997-1999
H2/H3: 2001-2002
H4: 2001-2012
H5: 2012-2013
H6: 2013-2014
Number built H1: 164
H2/H3: 76
H4: 88
H5: 138
H6: 126
Number in service None
Number scrapped H1: 157?
H2/H3: 76
H4: 80
H5: 63
H6: 126?
Fleet numbers H1: 5336-5499
H2/H3: 5500-5575
H4: 5576-5663
H5: 5670-5807
H6: 5810-5935
Capacity 76 seated
Operator Toronto Transit Commission Ankara Metro Bombardier built modified versions H6
Car body construction Stainless steel
Car length 23 m (75 ft 6 in)
Width 3.14 m (10 ft 4 in)
Height 3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)
Floor height 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in)
Doors 8 sets (4 sets per side) per car
Maximum speed 88 km/h (55 mph)
Weight H1: 25,630 kg (56,500 lb)
H2: 25,590 kg (56,420 lb)
H4: 26,180 kg (57,720 lb)
H5: 30,440 kg (67,110 lb)
H6: 32,660 kg (72,000 lb)
Power output H1: 121 hp (90 kW)
H2 – H4: 116 hp (87 kW)
H5: 126 hp (94 kW)
H6: 123 hp (92 kW)
Auxiliaries 120/208 V AC Battery Auxiliary
Electric system(s) 600 V DC Third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Track gauge 4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) Toronto gauge

The H-series rapid transit cars (the "H" standing for Hawker, the original manufacturer) was a subway car model built from 1965 to 1990 for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From 1965 to 1979, the cars were built by Hawker Siddeley Canada, and later by its new owner the Urban Transportation Development Corporation. The cars were built at the Thunder Bay plant. These cars used to be the standard cars for the TTC.


Interior of an H4 subway car. The H4s had a similar interior design replicated from the H2 subway cars with the difference being reduced seating in a two-by-two configuration instead of two-by-three to allow for more passengers. The H4s were the last H-series cars all together to feature large padded bench seats (in the case of H2's and H4's the interior colour scheme consisted of beige doors, yellow panels, along with orange padded seats, dark brown walls and light brown floors) and the last subway car models not equipped with air-conditioning systems (since retired).
Interior of an H6 subway car with individual vinyl orange covered seats before being replaced with red fabric seats (since retired).

Based on the 75 ft (22.86 m) M1, the early H-series cars improved on the design, notably by enlarging the operator's cab and using a single-handle controller. Over the program, revisions were made to the designs, and each production model in the H-series improved on the last. The H5s were the first subway cars in the TTC fleet to use "chopper controls" and were also the first cars with regenerative braking along with air-conditioning systems and a brighter and more modern passenger interior and had black vinyl seats replaced by red fabric seats, featuring individual seats instead of the padded bench seats used on previous models. The interior colour scheme consisted of red floors, cream walls, yellow doors and panels, along with brown simulated wood grain panels. The H6s (which had a similar interior design replicated from the H5's, with the difference being were light brown floors along with orange doors and panels) replaced the original red G-class cars and no further H-Series orders were made. A prototype then-new car T-series was built by UTDC in 1990–1991, and evaluated by the TTC. By the time the TTC was ready to order new cars in 1992, UTDC had been sold to Bombardier. Bombardier then constructed the new car order, which added new technology such as AC propulsion to a similar platform based on the predecessor H-cars.

48 cars based on the H1 model were built and used for the Expo Express in Montreal, Quebec for Expo 67.

108 modified H6 cars were produced for the Ankara Metro by Bombardier in 1996–1997.

Retirement and future[edit]

The H1 and H2 cars were replaced by the T1 class cars. The last 12 remaining H1 cars were retired on November 29, 1999. All of the H2 cars were retired by September 28, 2001 with none being converted to work trains. Nearly all H1 and H2 cars were scrapped, although several H1 cars are used as subway work vehicles. Some H4 cars were also retired when T1 series cars were delivered.

In 2006, the TTC placed an order with Bombardier Transportation for the first 39 new articulated Toronto Rocket (TR) trains to be operated on Yonge–University line (Line 1). This allowed the TTC to retire the remaining H4 and H5 cars.[2][3]

A contract option was exercised in 2010, when the TTC ordered 31 additional new TR trains making 70 trains in total. This allowed for the retirement of the H6 subway cars on the Bloor–Danforth line and to have enough new TR trains available for the opening of the Yonge-University line extension to Vaughan.[4]

With the arrival of the new articulated TR trains in 2011, some T1 series trains were transferred from the Yonge–University line to the Bloor–Danforth line (Line 2). This allowed for the retirement of the H4 cars, between the fall of 2011 until January 27, 2012, when the last H4 train made its last run during the morning rush on the Bloor-Danforth line.[5] The H4s were expected to be scrapped at Future Enterprises in Hamilton, Ontario, although some H4 cars were retained for use as maintenance trains.

The H5 trains followed shortly thereafter, replaced directly by the arrival of more new TR series trains. The last H5 train made its final service run on June 14, 2013, with a one-round trip on the Yonge-University line. That trip began at Wilson station en route to Finch station. On the return trip, the train encountered technical difficulties at Eglinton West station, meaning the train had to go out of service. While many H5 subway cars were scrapped, it was reported that some cars were being sent to the United States for refurbishing and will be later shipped to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, where they will be used on a new Eko Rail project based in Lagos, Nigeria. [6][7]

This had left the H6s as being the only version of the H-series in service until June 20, 2014, when the last H6 train took its final run on the Bloor-Danforth line. The round trip began at Greenwood station, and headed eastbound to Kennedy station, then westbound to Kipling station and back to Kennedy station where the train was decommissioned. This marked the end of all remaining H-series subway trains which had been in service with the TTC after 49 years. Initially, it was reported that some H6 cars were to be sold to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority for use on a new Lagos Light Rail project (along with some of the already-retired H5 cars). However, TTC officials had since announced that the deal had been cancelled, and as a result, it is now expected that most H6 cars are being sold for scrap as were most H4s and H5 subway cars. Although it has been reported that some H6 cars may be retained for possible use as maintenance trains.[citation needed]

  • H1 - 5336-5499
  • H2 - 5506-5575
  • H3 - 5500-5505 (experimental/modified versions of the H2 that led to development of the H5)
  • H4 - 5576-5663
  • H5 - 5670-5807
  • H6 - 5810-5935

Work cars[edit]

Only a few H1 and H4 series cars were refurbished and converted to work cars with the TTC:

  • Four H1 cars (5388-5391) were destroyed by fire at the Christie Subway Station in October 1976. Car 5391 was salvaged and converted to subway work car RT23 in 1984.
  • H1 5422-23 now RT38-39
  • H1 5457-58 now RT-43-44
  • H1 5336-37 now RT 46-45
  • H1 5386-57 now RT66-67
  • H1 5408-09 now RT68-69
  • H4 5635 now RT58
  • H4 5694-95 now RT60-61
  • H4 5616-17 now RT62-63
  • H4 5594-95 now RT64-65

Other notes[edit]

H2 and H3 series cars were not converted into work cars and were scrapped in 2001-2002 along with several H4 cars in 2011-2012:

  • One H5 car (5755) was retired and scrapped after a switching accident at the Greenwood Subway Yard in December 1981, and one H5 car (5721) was retired after the subway collision in August 1995.
  • H5 cars 5720 and 5754 were mated together and renumbered as 5754-5755 in 2003.
  • H5 car 5796 became a mockup T1 car between 1990-1991, it was retired in September 2012.
  • H6 car 5824 was cut in half in Hamilton, and sent back to Toronto to promote the movie Godzilla at Yonge and Elm street in May 2014.
  • H5 car 5734 was converted to a set for the Canadian/American television show Defiance, which is shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


  1. ^ a b c Toronto Transit Commission (September 18, 2009). "TTC Service Summary" (PDF). 
  2. ^ "Procurement Authorization - 39 New Subway Trains – Proposal No. P31PD0571" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 15 Oct 2011. 
  3. ^ "Bombardier Signs Contract to Build 234 Subway Cars for Toronto". Bombardier Inc. 31 Dec 2006. Retrieved 15 Oct 2011. 
  4. ^ "Procurement Authorization Amendment – Option to Purchase 31 Additional New Subway Train Sets (For H6 Subway Car Replacement and TYSSE) (FOR ACTION)" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 15 Oct 2011. 
  5. ^ Tapper, Josh (2012-01-27). "Long-running subway car takes final journey". The Toronto Star (Toronto). Archived from the original on 2012-01-28. Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  6. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (6 Sep 2011). "TTC subway cars bound for Nigeria". Toronto Star. Retrieved 15 Oct 2011. 
  7. ^ "Eko Rail's Trains Begin Journey to Lagos". PR Newswire. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 

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