Toronto Rocket

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For the former soccer team, see Toronto Rockets.
Toronto Rocket
Toronto Rocket.JPG
Toronto Rocket subway train at Rosedale Station
In service 2011–present
Manufacturer Bombardier Transportation
Built at Thunder Bay, Ontario
Family name Movia
Replaced H4, H5, H6
Constructed 2008–present
Number under construction 70 six-car trains on order[1][2]
Number built 57 trains (5381-5946)
Number in service 57 trains as of December 2014[3]
Formation 6-car permanently coupled sets
Fleet numbers 5381-6076[4] (re-used from retired TTC vehicles, H1, H2, H4, H5, H6 subway trains, and Flyer D-901A buses, car numbers ending with 7, 8, 9 or 0 are not used)
Capacity 60-68 (seated/per car)[1]
1100 (full train, crush load)[5]
Operator Toronto Transit Commission
Depot(s) Wilson Subway Yard
Davisville Subway Yard
Line(s) served TTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University–Spadina
Car body construction stainless steel[6]
Car length 23.190 m (76.08 ft) [4]
Height 3.137 m (10.29 ft)[4]
Doors 8 sets (4 sets per side) per car
Maximum speed 88 km/h (55 mph)[4]
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[4]
Traction system Bombardier MITRAC three phase AC traction motors
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 4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) Toronto gauge

The Toronto Rocket (TR) is the newest version of subway trains on the Toronto Transit Commission's (TTC) subway/RT network in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The trains are built by Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay, with designs based on Bombardier's Movia family of trains.

The TRs are the only trains in the TTC subway train rolling stock that feature full-width interior gangways allowing passengers to walk through the length of the train. In other models, it is prohibited (in accordance with TTC By-law #1) to walk between the cars via the inter-car doors.

They are arranged in a 6-car fixed configuration with two cab cars (allocated at the first and last cars of the train) and four non-driving cars, while other TTC train models are built in 2-car mated pairs which operate in sets of 2 or 3, forming 4- or 6-car trains.

The TR series trains operate on Line 1, Yonge–University–Spadina (Y-U-S). They have replaced the remaining H5 and T1 series subway trains that used to be operated on the line. The T1 series trains (which had been assigned for service on the Y-U-S line) have since been shifted to Line 2, Bloor–Danforth (B-D) line, where they replaced the remaining H4 and H6 series trains.


The trains were designated under the production name as T35A08 before the name "Toronto Rocket" was chosen through a contest open to the public.[7][8]


Deliveries of the new TR trains was expected to begin in late 2009, and they were scheduled to enter 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.[4][5][9]

The initial order was signed in 2006 for the delivery of 234 cars, making 39 six-car fixed trains which allowed for the retirement of the H4 and H5 subway cars.

On May 6, 2010, the TTC voted to exercise a contract option with Bombardier for an additional 186 cars, making 31 six-car fixed train sets which allowed for the retirement of the older H6 series trains on Bloor–Danforth, and to have enough TR trains to meet future ridership demands for the opening of the Spadina Subway extension to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre which is scheduled to open approximately fall 2016. This would make for 70 six-car train sets (420 cars) in total. As of October 2014, the Y-U-S line became fully operated by the new TR series trains while the Bloor–Danforth and Line 4, Sheppard now operate exclusively by the T1 series trains.[2][10]

On October 1, 2010, the first train set (5391-5396) was delivered to Wilson Yard. It was unveiled to the public and media at Downsview station on October 14, 2010.[11]

The first set (5411-5416) entered revenue service on July 21, 2011. As of December 2014, 57 TR trains were available for revenue service.[12]


The new 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 T1 series subway cars, with automatic flip-up seats (similar to those used on the new Flexity Outlook streetcars) to accommodate mobility devices such as walkers, wheelchairs, 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 (the stop announcements are played twice, the first announcement plays shortly after the train departs the station, "Next station is Rosedale, Rosedale station" followed by a second announcement when the train arrives at the station, "Arriving at Rosedale, Rosedale station", however unlike the other trains have, the TR's also announce if the station is an interchange station on which it says "This station connects with the Bloor-Danforth subway" or "This station connects with the Sheppard subway" respectively, and if the station is a terminal station, "This is a terminal station" is also broadcast, both messages precedes the stop announcements and likewise they are also posted on stop announcement displays).
  • 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 (similar to those on the TTC's new Flexity Outlook streetcars and Line 3, Scarborough RT trains) 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.
  • Bright orange digital LED exterior destination and train run number signs (which bears in three digits as opposed to two digits on previous models) displayed at both ends of the train.
  • Ceiling-mounted CCTV cameras with four in each car for passenger safety and security (a feature already in place on TTC's surface vehicles including buses and streetcars). 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, set 5461-5466 was the first TR train to be retrofitted with exterior door chime speakers, located at each doorway, displacing the exterior blue accessibility lights. Also included were the use of additional yellow plastic straps placed underneath the HVAC units, similarly, set 5851-5856 would also follow the same method as with set 5461-5466 in May 2014, while the rest of the TR trains fleet has the door chimes played inside the train via the public address system. The retrofitted trains have a lower pitched three-tone warning chime (F ,D, B♭), while the other TR trains have a higher pitched three-tone warning chime (G,E,C). Also, the message "Please stand clear of the doors" overlaps the warning chime, while the message precedes the warning chime on the other TR trains. It has been reported that all TR trains will eventually be retrofitted with external door chimes along with yellow plastic straps.[6][13][14][15]


The TR trains are jointly funded by all three levels of government, including the City of Toronto (via Toronto Transportation Services), the Province of Ontario (via the Ministry of Transportation) and the Government of Canada (via Transport Canada).

Interior design[edit]

The interior scheme on the TR trains are similar to the previous model, the T1 series, unlike the older versions of subway cars, they have full-open interior gangways, the colour scheme consists of white cream walls, silver doorways, and grey floors with red floor markings for visually impaired passengers.

Fleet numbers[edit]

The TR train sets are numbered 5381-6076. Most of these numbers 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 6000s, since the TRs are a six-car fixed configuration (unlike previous models which are formed in married pairs). Sets are numbered, for example, 5381-5382-5383-5384-5385-5386 and so on. At one point, two train sets had their numbers temporarily exchanged. These included sets 5781-5786 in which the exterior bore the number 5803, while train set 5801-5806 bore 5783 on the exterior car. They have since been resolved as 5803 on 5781-5786 was renumbered as 5783, and train set 5801-5806 which bore 5783 was renumbered as 5803.


Tendering process[edit]

During the tendering process, Siemens was seen a possible competitor to the Bombardier bid.[16][17] Councillors Karen Stintz (who later also served 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.[18]

Mobility issues[edit]

TTC riders holding on to an overhead AC unit for stability.

In late September 2011, it was reported that some passengers with mobility devices were experiencing difficulties while entering and/or exiting the new TR 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.[19]

To increase mobility, the train does not have centre poles, leaving 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.[20]

"Teething issues"[edit]

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 immediately 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 guard 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.[21]

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 new TR trains cannot move until all doors are fully closed (as with the older trains) 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.[22]

Increased brightness[edit]

The TR trains feature a significantly brighter interior than previous models, which some passengers find distracting.[23][24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Toronto Transit Commission (September 18, 2009). "TTC Service Summary". 
  2. ^ a b "TTC approves 186 more subway cars". 2010-05-06. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  3. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (2012-12-04). "Wonky TTC subway doors to be fixed, Bombardier says". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "New Subway Train - The Toronto Rocket". Toronto Transit Commission. May 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  5. ^ a b Natalie Alcoba (2010-01-14). "New TTC trains delayed after door company goes belly up". National Post. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  6. ^ a b "Toronto Rocket Subway Train - Toronto, Canada (Project Overview)". Bombardier Transportation. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  7. ^ Bow, James (2012-04-21). "The Toronto Rocket Cars (T35A08)". Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  8. ^ ""Toronto Rocket" A Train with a new Name". Marketwired. 2006-10-13. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  9. ^ Bow, James (2009-09-22). "TTC Looking For New Subway Cars in October". Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  10. ^ "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. 
  11. ^ "TTC unveils new subway cars". CP24. 2010-10-14. Retrieved 2012-12-05.  [ TTC unveils new subway cars] CP24, published on October 14, 2010
  12. ^ "Service Summary (October 9, 2011 to January 7, 2012)" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 2011-10-20. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  13. ^ "Toronto Rocket: Overview and Key Features". Toronto Transit Commission. 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  14. ^ TTC tweaks its new Rocket trains
  15. ^ Oakland, Ross (2012-04-20). "New TTC train, the Rocket, takes away some of the ‘fun factor’". Toronto: Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  16. ^ "TTC approves Bombardier deal". CBC News. 2006-08-31. Retrieved 2012-12-05.  CBC News
  17. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (2009-04-18). "A streetcar now for city of tomorrow". Toronto: Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  18. ^ "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. 
  19. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (2011-09-25). "Wheelchair users can’t always roll onto the Rocket". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  20. ^ Matt Gurney: Fixing the doors on new TTC’s subway cars an opportunity to change other things as well | National Post. Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  21. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (2012-03-30). "TTC working out bugs on new subway trains". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  22. ^ Grewal, San (2012-12-04). "Toronto’s new Rocket subway trains malfunctioning". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 
  23. ^ TTC launches brighter, more open subway cars | Toronto Star. (2010-10-15). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.
  24. ^ What should the TTC do to improve its Rocket trains?. (2012-12-05). Retrieved on 2013-07-26.

External links[edit]

Media related to Toronto Rocket at Wikimedia Commons