Light Rail

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.

NJT sets FY2019 ops, capex spend

New Jersey Transit, the nation’s third-largest public transportation agency, on Aug. 8 adopted a Fiscal Year 2019 budget consisting of $2.32 billion in operating expenditures and a $1.46 billion capital program. The budget, which NJT stressed does not include any fare increases, “supports continued investments in personnel, infrastructure and equipment to maintain the system in a state-of-good-repair and enhance the overall customer experience.”

Congress moving toward Chinese railcar ban: Eno

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have each passed versions of a U.S. Department of Transportation 2019 appropriations bill that would impose a one-year ban on new procurements of transit railcars or buses from companies owned or subsidized by the Chinese government (namely, CRRC, China Railway Rolling Stock Corp.), if the procurement uses any Federal Transit Administration formula or bus funding, according to an Aug. 1 Eno Center for Transportation report written by Jeff Davis, Senior Fellow and Editor of Eno Transportation Weekly.

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.