H series (Toronto subway)

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H series
TTC H6 Train at St George.jpg
An H6 train at St George Station (since retired)
In service1965–2014
H1: 1965–1999
H2/H3: 1971–2001
H4: 1974–2012
H5: 1976–2013 (2 scrapped in the Russell hill subway crash in 1995)
1986–2014 (TTC)
1997–present (Ankara Metro)
ManufacturerH1 – H5: Hawker Siddeley
Bombardier Transportation (Ankara Metro) H3: TTC, rebuilt from Hawker Siddeley-built H2's with Hitachi-supplied chopper controls (Converted back to H2's in 1984.)
Built atThunder Bay, Ontario (H1-H6, TTC)
ConstructedH1: 1965–1966
H2/H3: 1971
H4: 1974–1975 [1]
H5: 1976–1979[1]
1986–1989 (TTC) [1]
1996–1998 (Ankara Metro)
Entered service1966 (Toronto Subway)
1997–1998 Ankara Metro
ScrappedH1: 1997–1999
H2/H3: 2001–2002
H4: 2001–2012
H5: 2012–2013
H6: 2013–2014 (TTC)
Number builtH1: 164
H2/H3: 76
H4: 88
H5: 138
126 (TTC)
108 (Ankara Metro)
Number in serviceH6: 108 (Ankara Metro)
Number scrappedH1: 161
H2/H3: 76
H4: 80
H5: 136
H6: 126 (TTC)
Fleet numbersH1: 5336–5499
H2/H3: 5500–5575
H4: 5576–5663
H5: 5670–5807
H6: 5810–5935 (TTC)
Capacity76 seated
Operator(s)Toronto Transit Commission (1965–2014)
Ankara Metro (1997–present)
Depot(s)Greenwood, Davisville & Wilson
Line(s) servedTTC - Line 1 - Yonge-University-Spadina line.svg Yonge–University (H1, H2, H5)
TTC - Line 2 - Bloor-Danforth line.svg Bloor–Danforth (H1, H2, H4, H6)
Car body constructionAluminum
Car length22.86 m (75 ft 0 in)
Width3.14 m (10 ft 4 in)
Height3.65 m (12 ft 0 in)
Floor height1.1 m (3 ft 7 in)
Doors8 sets (4 sets per side) per car
Maximum speed88 km/h (55 mph)
WeightH1: 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 outputH1: 121 hp (90 kW)
H2 – H4: 116 hp (87 kW)
H5: 126 hp (94 kW)
H6: 123 hp (92 kW)
Auxiliaries120/208 V AC Battery Auxiliary
Electric system(s)600 V DC Third rail (TTC)
750 V DC Third rail (Ankara Metro)
Current collection methodContact shoe
Track gauge4 ft 10 78 in (1,495 mm) (TTC)
1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge (Ankara Metro)

The H series was the third series of rapid transit rolling stock used in the subway system of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. They were built in six production sets, named H1 to H6, from 1965 to 1990 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

The first five sets were manufactured by Hawker Siddeley Canada until 1979, when the company was purchased by the Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC), which then took over production. They operated alongside their predecessor models, the M series, while the H6 trains replaced the last remaining G-series trains in 1990.

All H-series cars were manufactured in a facility Hawker-Siddeley inherited from Canadian Car and Foundry, which had earlier produced PCC streetcars for the TTC's streetcar network. The facility was taken over by Bombardier Transportation in 1991, which has continued to produce all subsequent rolling stock for the subway. They include the successor of the H series, the T series, introduced in 1996 and which replaced earlier H-series (H1, H2, and the prototype H3) trains by 1999. The remaining H4, H5, and H6 trains were replaced between 2011 and 2014 by the newest model, the Toronto Rocket.


Interior of an H4 subway car. The H4s had an interior design similar to that of the H2 subway cars but had less seating to allow for more passengers. The H4s were the last H-series cars to have large padded bench seats. The H2 and H4 cars had beige doors, yellow panels, orange padded seats, dark brown walls and light brown floors. These were the last Toronto subway car models not equipped with air-conditioning systems.
Interior of an H6 subway car with individual vinyl orange covered seats.

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. 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 and air-conditioning systems. They had a brighter and more modern passenger interior. Black vinyl seats were replaced by red fabric seats. Individual seats replaced the padded bench seats used on previous models. The interior colour scheme consisted of red floors, cream walls, yellow doors and panels, and brown simulated wood grain panels. The H6s replaced the original red G-class cars and were used almost exclusively on the Bloor-Danforth line,[2] with no further H-Series orders made. The H6s were similar to the H5s, but had light brown floors, and orange doors and panels. A prototype T-series car 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 added new technology such as AC propulsion to a 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. Nearly all H1 and H2 cars were scrapped, although several H1 cars are used as subway work vehicles. Some H4 cars were retired when T1-series cars were delivered.

In 2006, the TTC placed an order with Bombardier Transportation for the first 39 articulated Toronto Rocket (TR) trains to be operated on the Yonge–University-Spadina (YUS) line. This allowed the TTC to retire the remaining H4 and H5 cars.[3][4]

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 YUS line extension to Vaughan.[5]

With the arrival of the articulated TR trains in 2011, many T1-series trains were transferred from the YUS line to the Bloor–Danforth line. 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.[6] 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 were replaced shortly thereafter by the arrival of more TR-series trains. The last H5 train made its final service run on June 14, 2013, with a round-trip on the YUS 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, some cars were sent to the United States for refurbishing and were expected to be shipped to the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority of Nigeria for the Eko Rail project.[7][8]

The H6s were the only version of the H series still in service when, on June 20, 2014, the last H6 train took its final run on Line 2 Bloor–Danforth. 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. (The H6s were replaced by more T1s which had been transferred from the YUS line to the Bloor-Danforth line following the arrival of more TR trains) 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 later announced that the deal had been cancelled. Only 75 H5 cars were shipped to Lagos following their retirement in 2013 and all of the H6s were scrapped after retirement in 2014. However, the 75 H5 cars sent to the United States were scrapped in August 2015 after Eko Rail decided to purchase newly-made cars from the Chinese rolling stock company CRRC Dalian.[9]

  • 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 station in October 1976. Car 5391 was salvaged and converted to subway work car RT23 in 1984.
  • H1 5422–23 now RT 38–39
  • H1 5457–58 now RT43–44
  • H1 5336–37 now RT 46–45
  • H1 5386–57 now RT 66–67
  • H1 5408–09 now RT 68–69
  • H4 5635 now RT 58
  • 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 television series Defiance, which was shot in Toronto. It is likely scrapped as it is no longer seen at St. Clair and Danforth.
  • H5 car 5707 was sold to Digital Canaries in Hamilton with undercar equipment removed.


  1. ^ a b c Toronto Transit Commission (September 18, 2009). "TTC Service Summary" (PDF).
  2. ^ "The Chopper Control Hawkers (Series H5 and H6)".
  3. ^ "Procurement Authorization – 39 New Subway Trains – Proposal No. P31PD0571" (PDF). Toronto Transit Commission. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 15 Oct 2011.
  4. ^ "Bombardier Signs Contract to Build 234 Subway Cars for Toronto". Bombardier Inc. 31 Dec 2006. Retrieved 15 Oct 2011.
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ Tapper, Josh (2012-01-27). "Long-running subway car takes final journey". The Toronto Star. Toronto. Archived from the original on 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  7. ^ Kalinowski, Tess (6 Sep 2011). "TTC subway cars bound for Nigeria". Toronto Star. Retrieved 15 Oct 2011.
  8. ^ "Eko Rail's Trains Begin Journey to Lagos". PR Newswire. 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2012-12-05.
  9. ^ "Lagos signs metro agreement with Alstom". International Railway Journal. 2018-07-06. Retrieved 2019-05-03.

External links[edit]