Toronto Rocket train at Rosedale Station
|Built at||Thunder Bay, Ontario|
|Replaced||H4, H5, H6 (phase out occurring as more new TR trains enter service)|
|Number under construction||70 six-car trains on order|
|Number built||48 trains (5381-5856)|
|Number in service||48 trains (as of February 2014)|
|Formation||6-car permanently mated sets|
|Fleet numbers||5381-6076 (re-used from retired TTC vehicles, H1, H2, H4, H5, H6 subway trains, and Flyer D-901A buses, cars numbers ending with 7, 8, 9 or 0 are not used)|
|Capacity||60-68 (seated/per car)
1100 (full train, crush load)
|Operator||Toronto Transit Commission|
|Depot(s)||Wilson Subway Yard
Davisville Subway Yard
|Line(s) served||■ Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina subway)|
|Car body construction||stainless steel|
|Car length||23.190 m (76.08 ft) |
|Height||3.137 m (10.29 ft)|
|Doors||8 sets (4 sets per side) per car|
|Maximum speed||88 km/h (55 mph)|
|Weight||205,000 kg (202 long tons; 226 short tons) (per trainset); 34,167 kg (33.627 long tons; 37.663 short tons) per car|
|Traction system||Bombardier MITRAC|
|Acceleration||0.90 m/s2 (3.0 ft/s2) (limited)|
|Deceleration||1.35 m/s2 (4.4 ft/s2),
1.5 m/s2 (4.9 ft/s2) (Emergency)
|Auxiliaries||120/208 VAC Battery Auxiliary|
|Electric system(s)||600 V DC (third rail)|
|Current collection method||Contact shoe|
|Braking system(s)||Regenerative and Pneumatic|
|Safety system(s)||Emergency evacuation ramps at each end of trainset|
|Track gauge||1,495 mm (4 ft 10 7⁄8 in) Toronto gauge - TTC Gauge|
The Toronto Rocket (TR) is the newest model of subway trains on the Toronto subway and RT network, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, owned and operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The TRs are the only trains operating in North America with a "six-car fixed" configuration with full-open interior gangways, (which are similar to that on the TTC's Articulated Light Rail Vehicle streetcars, the TTC's new low floor streetcars and its new low-floor articulated buses). This allows passengers to move freely from one end to the other, unlike the previous TTC train models (which were built in 2 car mated pairs and operate as 2 or 3 pair (4 or 6 car) train sets respectively, meaning passengers are not allowed to move from car to car through the inter-car doors). The TR trains have two cab cars (the first and last car of the train) and four non-driving cars. They are built by Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay, with designs based on Bombardier's Movia family of trains.
The TR series trains operate only on Line 1 (Yonge–University–Spadina (Y-U-S)) subway. They have replaced the remaining H4 and H5 trains, which were the oldest lines of subway trains that had been in revenue service since the 1970s. The H4s were the last in the TTC train fleet to be furnished with large orange vinyl bench seating and did not have air-conditioning systems, some of which have been retained by the TTC for use as maintenance trains. As more TR trains enter service, the remaining T1 series trains serving Line 1 (Y-U-S line) will move onto Line 2 (Bloor–Danforth line), which will replace the older H6 series trains. In turn, some of the H6s are being shipped to the United States (along with the retired H5 cars) for refurbishing and conversion to standard gauge and will ultimately be shipped to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority for use on the Authority's new Eko Rail project in Lagos, Nigeria.
The TR trains were expected to be delivered starting in late 2009 and start passenger service in early 2010. However, delivery was delayed by the bankruptcy of a key part manufacturer, Curtis Doors, which was to install door components for the TTC's new subway trains.
The initial order was signed in 2006 for the delivery of 234 cars, making for 39 six-car fixed trains. This allowed the retirement of the older H4 and H5 series trains.
On May 6, 2010, however, the TTC voted to exercise a contract option with Bombardier for an additional 186 cars, making for 31 six-car fixed train sets. This would allow the TTC to retire the older H6 series trains operating on Line 2 (Bloor–Danforth subway), and to have enough TR series trains available to meet future ridership demands for the opening of the Spadina Subway extension to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.
In early May 2011, testing and operator training began during revenue service hours. The trains did not provide service for passengers at the time. The TTC held another open house (as part of Doors Open Toronto) at Davisville station on May 29, 2011, where passengers were able to tour the new TR train again.
The first TR train (5411-5416) entered revenue service on July 21, 2011. In February 2014, 48 TR trains were available for revenue service. The delivery of all 70 six-car fixed train sets (420 cars) is scheduled to be completed by mid-2014.
The TR series trains have several new features that make them more accessible and user-friendly for passengers including:
- A "six-car-fixed" configuration with full open interior gangways, allowing riders to move freely from one end to the other.
- An exterior blue light on each car leading to the nearest accessible seating area for passengers using mobility devices.
- Red stanchions and high visibility floor markings for visually impaired passengers.
- Antimicrobial properties on various surfaces.
- Doubled number of accessible seating areas in each car compared with the previous TTC train models including the T1 and H6 series subway cars, with automatic flip-up seats to accommodate mobility devices such as walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, bicycles and strollers.
- Automated stop announcement system with audio (uses female computerized voice announcer) and visual displays with arrows that indicate which side doors will open on at the next stop.
- Electronic lighted route maps that indicate which stations have been served and which stations are next to follow (green dots indicate the stations that have already been served, steady red dots indicate the stations that have yet to be served, flashing green dots indicate the station to be served next and interchange stations are lit in yellow dots).
- A two-way passenger assistance intercom system for passengers to communicate with the train crew in the event of an emergency.
- Built-in evacuation ramps located at the ends of the train to allow for faster and easier evacuation in the event of an emergency.
- Full-width operator cabs located at the ends of the train for the enhanced safety and security of operating personnel (as operators are allowed to access the cab unit directly from the subway platform and are not exposed to the public while performing operating duties); as such, there is no front or rear facing window accessible to passengers since it has been sealed off with a one-way mirror.
- Brighter orange LED exterior destination and train run number signs displayed at both ends of the train.
- Ceiling-mounted CCTV cameras with four in each car for passenger safety and security. Footage is recorded and can be reviewed in the event of an incident.
- Video screens displaying safety messages, TTC-related advertising and the name of the next station at the bottom.
In February 2013, TR train set 5461-5466 was retrofitted with additional features including exterior door chime speakers located at each doorway, displacing the exterior blue accessibility lights. The same train set also has been retrofitted with additional yellow plastic straps placed underneath the HVAC units, while all other TR trains have the door chimes played via the train's interior public address system.
Gangway between cars. The poster, in French, when translated into English, reads "The Toronto Rocket is jointly financed by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, and the City of Toronto."
Side view of cab car, seen at Wilson yard
The TR train sets are numbered 5381-6076, most of which have been re-used from retired TTC vehicles, including the H1, H2, H4, H5, H6 subway cars and old Flyer D-901A buses, each set is numbered 5xx1-5xx6, car numbers ending in 0, 7, 8 and 9 are not used, these will be the first trains to adopt numbering in the 6000's, since the TR's are a six-car fixed configuration (unlike previous models which are formed in married pairs), most sets are numbered as for example 5381-5382-5383-5384-5385-5386 and so on, however two train sets have had their numbers mixed up separately, these include sets, 5781-5786 in which the exterior bears 5803, and set 5801-5806 bears 5783 on the exterior car.
During the tendering process, Siemens was seen a possible competitor to the Bombardier bid. Councillors Karen Stintz (who later also serves as TTC chair), Denzil Minnan-Wong, and Rob Ford (who later became mayor in late 2010) were opposed to sole-sourcing the contract to Bombardier. They alleged that many sole-source advocates had union ties and were thus not interested in getting the best financial deal available to the city.
In late September 2011, it was reported that some passengers with mobility devices were experiencing difficulties while entering and/or exiting the new trains. TTC officials noted that this could either be because the train was sitting too high in relation to the level of the platform or be the result of the train’s door threshold, which is not parallel with the platform and/or the number of passengers riding on the train. They were actively looking for ways to solve the problem.
To increase mobility, the train does not have centre poles, which leaves standing riders with fewer places to hold onto. There are swinging handles hanging from a lateral pole along the length of each car near the ceiling, except for near the doors, which instead features an overhead ventilation unit.
In March 2012, TTC officials admitted that the door threshold incidents were the result of “teething issues”. Another issue that was acknowledged involves a short delay in opening of the doors when the train pulls into a station. On the older train models, the door release interlock could be triggered just before or immediate after the vehicle came to a complete stop. The TR trains must come to a complete stop with confirmation from the on board computer before the door interlock can be released and the operator can open the doors. This causes a one- or two-second delay from the time the train appears stopped and the time the doors open.
In December 2012, the TTC announced a demanded high-level meeting with Bombardier regarding ongoing performance problems related to "teething issues" with the doors, TTC officials admitted at the time that the TR trains cannot move until all doors are fully closed and if the doors fail to fully close three times in a row, the TR train would require a system reboot, meaning that the train will have to be pulled out of service until it is resolved; this has led to several delays on the Yonge–University–Spadina line.
- Toronto Transit Commission (September 18, 2009). "TTC Service Summary".
- "TTC approves 186 more subway cars". TBNewsWatch.com. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Kalinowski, Tess (2012-12-04). "Wonky TTC subway doors to be fixed, Bombardier says". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "New Subway Train - The Toronto Rocket". Toronto Transit Commission. May 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Natalie Alcoba (2010-01-14). "New TTC trains delayed after door company goes belly up". National Post. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
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- Bow, James (2012-04-21). "The Toronto Rocket Cars (T35A08)". transit.toronto.on.ca. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- ""Toronto Rocket" A Train with a new Name". Marketwired. 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Bow, James (2009-09-22). "TTC Looking For New Subway Cars in October". transit.toronto.on.ca. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Procurement Authorization Amendment - option to purchase 31 additional new subway train sets (for H6 subway car replacement and TYSSE)" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
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- Warmington, Joe (2011-05-04). "Rocketing UFO spotted underground". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Service Summary (October 9, 2011 to January 7, 2012)" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Toronto Rocket: Overview and Key Features". Toronto Transit Commission. 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- TTC tweaks its new Rocket trains
- Oakland, Ross (2012-04-20). "New TTC train, the Rocket, takes away some of the ‘fun factor’". Toronto: Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "TTC approves Bombardier deal". CBC News. 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2012-12-05. CBC News
- Kalinowski, Tess (2009-04-18). "A streetcar now for city of tomorrow". Toronto: Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "Made in Canada Matters! - Why the City of Toronto Should Purchase ‘Made In Canada’ Products" (PDF). Toronto & York Region Labour Council. 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Kalinowski, Tess (2011-09-25). "Wheelchair users can’t always roll onto the Rocket". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Matt Gurney: Fixing the doors on new TTC’s subway cars an opportunity to change other things as well | National Post. News.nationalpost.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
- Kalinowski, Tess (2012-03-30). "TTC working out bugs on new subway trains". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- Grewal, San (2012-12-04). "Toronto’s new Rocket subway trains malfunctioning". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- TTC launches brighter, more open subway cars | Toronto Star. Thestar.com (2010-10-15). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
- What should the TTC do to improve its Rocket trains?. Blogto.com (2012-12-05). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
Media related to Toronto Rocket at Wikimedia Commons
- "New Subway Train - The Toronto Rocket". Toronto Transit Commission. May 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
- "New TTC Subway Cars - Urban Toronto". Forum » Greater Toronto Discussion » Transportation & Infrastructure » New TTC Subway Cars. Urban Toronto. 2006-01-29. Retrieved 2012-12-05.