Work is progressing fairly satisfactorily on Edmonton, Alberta’s eight-mile Valley Line LRT, the city’s first low-floor operation. Meanwhile, LRV deliveries to major LRT projects in Ontario are proceeding more or less on schedule.
Bombardier Flexity Freedom
Ontario’s first new LRT line began public operation on Friday, June 21, 2019, in the twin cities of Kitchener and Waterloo. K-W, as it is known locally, is about 60 miles northwest of Toronto, on CN’s Toronto-London secondary line. The LRT operates under the brand name of ION.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has been experiencing significant in-service reliability issues with its fleet of new Bombardier-built Flexity Outlook LRVs.
The first Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRV for Toronto’s new Eglinton Crosstown LRT arrived Tuesday, Jan. 8., on the property. Meanwhile, delivery of the Toronto Transit Commission’s much-delayed order of Flexity Outlook LRVs has improved since the opening in 2018 of a second production line at the company’s Millhaven, Ont., plant.
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.
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.
The past few years have admittedly been tough for Bombardier Transportation in North America. Changing dynamics—in particular, China’s entrance into the vehicle market—combined with delivery and quality problems and highly public squabbles with key Canadian and U.S. customers—have impacted the company’s business as well as its reputation. Now, however, Bombardier’s fortunes appear to be turning around.
TransEd Partners, the consortium building the first phase of Edmonton’s light rail Valley Line, has released images of the first Bombardier Flexity Freedom LRV for the project.
LRV testing on the new Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario) LRT line has been ongoing since late 2017.
The long-standing dispute involving Ontario, Canada transit agency Metrolinx railcar supplier Bombardier over delivery of 182 light rail vehicles has been resolved, after six months of negotiations.