G series (Toronto subway)

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G series
A G-series train heads south at Rosedale station circa 1971
In service1954–1990
ManufacturerGloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company
Built atGloucester, England
ScrappedOctober 6, 1990
Number built
  • 140 (total)
  • G-1: 100
  • G-2: 6
  • G-3: 6
  • G-4: 28
Number preserved2[a]
Number scrapped136
SuccessorH series
Fleet numbers
  • G-1: 5000–5099
  • G-2: 5100–5105
  • G-3: 5110–5115
  • G-4: 5200–5227
Capacity62 seated
OperatorsToronto Transit Commission
Lines served Yonge–University
Car body construction
Car length17 m (55 ft 9+14 in)
Width3.2 m (10 ft 6 in)
Height3.5 m (11 ft 5+34 in)
Doors6 sets (3 sets per side) per car
Weight38,140 kg (84,000 lb)
Traction motorsCrompton Parkinson
Power output68 hp (51 kW)
AuxiliariesNone (?)
Electric system(s)Third rail600 V DC
Current collector(s)Contact shoe
Braking system(s)Westinghouse Brake & Signal Company digital electro-pneumatic braking and Electro-dynamic reheostatic service brake
Track gauge4 ft 10+78 in (1,495 mm)

The G series was the first rolling stock of rapid transit cars used on the Toronto subway, built 1953–1959 by the Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Company of Gloucester, England, for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) of Toronto, Canada.

As the only Toronto subway cars to be manufactured outside of Canada, its design was mainly influenced by the Q38 and R stocks of the London Underground.[2] Since the TTC's original concept for the subway system foresaw the use of rapid transit cars derived from the Presidents' Conference Committee (PCC) design of its streetcar network, the cars were also equipped with bulls-eye incandescent lighting similar to that of a PCC,[3] and a small operator's cabin located in the front left corner of each car. To this end, it was influenced by the 6000-series cars used on the Chicago "L", felt through the work of DeLeuw, Cather & Co. of Chicago, whom the TTC contracted as a consultant for the rapid transit project.

The G-series cars were frequently described as "robust and reliable", despite being constructed overweight and energy-inefficient. The last G-series train ran on October 26, 1990,[3] with the G series having been replaced by H-series trains. The only surviving cars, still mated in original condition, are fleet number 5098 and 5099, which are kept at the Halton County Radial Railway in Milton, Ontario.[1]


Two mockup cars were delivered with slight variation from the final design:

  • doors slid on the outside of the cars
  • more interior lighting
  • no additional handle bars for standees
  • ceiling vents – missing on final design


The interior of a G-1 car, one of two where the original incandescent lighting was experimentally replaced with fluorescent

A total of 140 cars were built. Most were steel-bodied and had painted exteriors; however, six G-2-series experimental aluminum-bodied cars demonstrated the benefits of using aluminum for rapid transit car construction. The G-3-class cars were built as "non-driving motors" in that they had motorized trucks but were equipped with an operator's cab without driving controls and thus could only be used in the middle of the train.[4]

The G cars were originally designed in 2-car "married pair" formations, and were run in trains consisting of 2, 3 or 4 sets (4, 6 or 8 cars). When the G-3-class non-driving cars were introduced in 1956, 14 pairs of the G-3-class cars were inserted between G-1-class cars to form semi-permanently coupled 4-car trainsets, which could be coupled to the 2-car sets or operated on their own. The G-series vehicles were the only subway trains with painted livery.


Upon retirement from revenue service, several G-series cars were rebuilt or refitted for duties as subway work cars.

  • 5068/5069 converted to grinder cars RT-36/RT-37 in 1991 and are now retired
  • 5100/5101 converted to garbage cars RT38/RT39 in 1987 and were retired in 1998
  • 5102/5103 converted to grinding cars RT-34/RT-35 and were retired after an accident with a T1 subway car in 2004
  • 5104/5105 became tunnel washing units RT14/RT15 in 1988 and were retired in 1999

Scale models[edit]

Two 1/16 scale models of cars 5042 and 5043 were commissioned by Sir Leslie Boyce of GRC&W and constructed by Bassett & Lowke, and have been located at Hillcrest and Greenwood at various times. The model cars are stored and on display at the Hillcrest Training Centre.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Owned by Halton County Radial Railway, a private museum[1]


  1. ^ a b "Halton County Radial Railway: Collection Roster". Halton County Radial Railway. 2009. Archived from the original on August 22, 2009. Retrieved October 4, 2009.
  2. ^ Toronto Transit Cars Designed to Cut Costs Railway Age May 7, 1952, pages 16/17
  3. ^ a b "The Gloucester Series Cars (1954–1990)". Transit Toronto.
  4. ^ "Subway Car 57 foot class G cars". Toronto Transit Commission. February 1988. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011.