Author: John Thompson

Ontario transit update: Hamilton LRT, GO extension, Bombardier LRV assembly

Design and planning work continues on Hamilton’s 10-mile (14-kilometer) LRT line, despite ongoing political uncertainty over the project’s future. Meanwhile, the planned and approved expansion of GO Train service to Grimsby, St. Catherines and Niagara Falls has experienced a recent potential setback. And on Oct. 30, the author, representing Railway Age, visited the Bombardier Transportation rail division plant at Millhaven, Ontario, located a short distance west of Kingston.

A Bostonian tackles Toronto

Rick Leary, recently confirmed as CEO of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), is an American who made the move to Canada from Boston’s Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA, or “T”), initially with a 4-1/2 year stint running York Region Transit (YRT), on Toronto’s northern border.

Confederation Line delayed

Opening of Ottawa’s C$2.1 billion Confederation LRT line has been delayed to the first quarter of 2019 from November 2018, OC Transpo General Manager-Transportation John Manconi recently announced.

Leary takes TTC throttle

Rick Leary has been confirmed as Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), following an earlier recommendation by the board. He was chosen from a lengthy list of Canadian and international applicants.

Will Ford take over the TTC?

The Ontario Provincial Government—now run by Premier Doug Ford, brother of the late Rob Ford, Toronto’s scandal-plagued former mayor— is planning to take over Toronto’s subway and Scarborough Rapid Transit system, currently owned and operated by the Toronto Transit Commission, totaling 48 route-miles.

First Flexity low-floor in Edmonton

More than 3,000 Edmontonians viewed their city’s first low-floor LRV during the week of July 27 at Bonnie Doon Mall. The seven-section, double-ended Bombardier Flexity Freedom car was on public display after recently arriving by CN from the Kingston, Ontario plant. It is 131 feet long with couplers folded; 137 feet with couplers out. There are 82 seats; the cars can accommodate 275 passengers.

Repurposing TTC’s Hillcrest Complex

Major changes are in store for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Hillcrest Complex, the traditional nerve center of its operations. A recently completed report examined the future of the complex, which is being affected by technological changes. It was prompted, in part, by the impending partial redundancy of two major buildings. But though significant changes are coming down the track, Hillcrest Complex, will continue playing a major part in TTC’s operations, as it has for almost a century.

Welding problems impact TTC streetcar deliveries

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) recently suffered another setback in the delivery of its much-delayed 204-unit Flexity Outlook LRV order. Carbuilder Bombardier Transportation has advised the TTC that 67 of the LRVs have frames that were improperly welded at the company’s Sahagun, Mexico plant. A Bombardier spokesperson stressed that the welding deficiencies do not represent a safety issue (most of the cars involved are presently in service), but could become issues later in the cars’ expected 30-year life spans.

Edmonton Valley Line nears 50% mark

Construction of Edmonton, Alberta’s eight-mile Valley Line LRT, begun in April 2016, is nearing the half-way point. The project involves two significant firsts for the city that is the province’s capital: It will be Edmonton’s first low-floor LRT line; and the first built under the P3 (public-private partnership) method.

Alstom Brampton plant ramping up

Alstom Canada has leased a large industrial building in Brampton, Ontario, northwest of Toronto, for the assembly of its Citadis Spirit LRVs. Debro Steel formerly occupied the building, located on the south side of CN’s east-west access line that serves MacMillan Yard, Toronto’s main classification yard.