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Orion V

Miscellaneous TTC Discussion & Questions

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4 hours ago, Streety McCarface said:

Anyone else in agreement that this is the most significant short term problem with the TTC? 

It's a huge problem. The 204-car fleet was sized based on 2003 streetcar ridership - which has significantly increased since then - most recently with the very successful changes on King Street.

They need dozens more cars to get rid of all the peak-hour buses. Most recent TTC fleet forecast, has buses running on streetcar routes in increasing numbers through 2026.

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6 hours ago, nfitz said:

It's a huge problem. The 204-car fleet was sized based on 2003 streetcar ridership - which has significantly increased since then - most recently with the very successful changes on King Street.

They need dozens more cars to get rid of all the peak-hour buses. Most recent TTC fleet forecast, has buses running on streetcar routes in increasing numbers through 2026.

Not only has ridership increased, but the availability ratio of the 204 cars is nowhere near projections with the double whammy of warranty work and lower than contracted MDBF.

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2 hours ago, Shaun said:

Is keeping some CLRV's in service not an option?

"The decision has been made."

When have you ever seen a management revise a decision in light of new information?  Especially in the public sector where there's squat for accountability?

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So... The temperatures have plumetted, (aside from yesterday), and all the windows in the buses are still bolted shut. Has anyone heard if they plan to unlock the windows anytime soon?

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1 hour ago, Wayside Observer said:

"The decision has been made."

When have you ever seen a management revise a decision in light of new information?  Especially in the public sector where there's squat for accountability?

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if some of management wanted to get rid of parts of the streetcar network, especially along the lower used areas (Kingston Road, Lakeshore Boulevard, Gerrard, Howard Park, etc). Increasing crowding on certain routes just increases the reduction fo service elsewhere. The 502/503 will be on the chopping block soon enough, the question is whether other routes will receive a similar fate. A new carhouse isn't on their radar either. 

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46 minutes ago, Streety McCarface said:

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if some of management wanted to get rid of parts of the streetcar network, especially along the lower used areas (Kingston Road, Lakeshore Boulevard, Gerrard, Howard Park, etc). Increasing crowding on certain routes just increases the reduction fo service elsewhere. The 502/503 will be on the chopping block soon enough, the question is whether other routes will receive a similar fate. A new carhouse isn't on their radar either. 

Kingston Road seems to be at risk - though the track there is new, so won't disappear fast. There seems to be enough cars to do the rest. Howard Park service is minimal - they don't gain any cars by routing the 506 to Dundas West instead, and little looping it at Landsdowne. Gerrard is very well used - 506 is beyond capacity westbound at Broadview in AM peak - it's not going anywhere.

Once they finish all the planned work on the existing carhouses, they can support a 260-car fleet. Or more if they go to every 15-minute overnight service permanently.

It's a shame that TTC didn't take a half-dozen or so extra cars as compensation for the Bombardier issues, which would have made up for the half-dozen cars that are going to be out of town for warranty repairs for the next few years.

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50 minutes ago, Streety McCarface said:

I honestly wouldn't be surprised if some of management wanted to get rid of parts of the streetcar network, especially along the lower used areas (Kingston Road, Lakeshore Boulevard, Gerrard, Howard Park, etc). Increasing crowding on certain routes just increases the reduction fo service elsewhere. The 502/503 will be on the chopping block soon enough, the question is whether other routes will receive a similar fate. A new carhouse isn't on their radar either. 

 

4 minutes ago, nfitz said:

Kingston Road seems to be at risk - though the track there is new, so won't disappear fast. There seems to be enough cars to do the rest. Howard Park service is minimal - they don't gain any cars by routing the 506 to Dundas West instead, and little looping it at Landsdowne.

Everything I've heard about Rick Leary is that he's very rail-hostile and the rumour was that you get the 204 low floor streetcars, you get the service that can be operated with them, and that's it.  The thing about Kingston Rd. is, that area is densifying rapidly with a lot of new condos going in and more sure to be on the way.  This means that higher capacity public transportation is going to be needed starting within the next few years as these developments become occupied and others begin construction and in turn become occupied.  This means streetcar service to downtown.  The truth is, there's been an anti-streetcar faction at the TTC for a very long time and I wouldn't be surprised at all that some people at the TTC would be salivating at the prospect of a SEPTA style 'temporary' bus substitution of a few streetcar lines no matter how badly the carrying capacity of the new streetcars is needed.

If anything, the idea of sending Carlton cars to Dundas West is a recipe for disaster since the King and Dundas cars already terminate there and there are already backups on the street because of not being able to fit multiple low floor cars on the platform at once.  Adding a third route would make that problem so much worse.

The streetcar situation in Toronto is grim.  Ordering a fleet effectively once every 40 years doesn't work well because the response time to service level fluctuations is measured in the decades.  Parking cars when they're not needed is one thing if you're fleet suddenly becomes too large like what happened in the early 1990s when that recession hit, but obtaining more cars when more service is needed is another matter and it's been known for years now that a lot more service is needed across the whole city and yet the easiest way to obtain more streetcars by exercising some or all of that option order including settling for extra streetcars in lieu of a cash settlement from Bombardier has been rejected the whole time.  Plus, you have the areas like the portlands and such that are experiencing tremendous population growth and desperately need higher order transit than the occasional bus that goes by and other than building that stub down to the distillery, there's no plans to start laying serious distances of streetcar track anywhere or order vehicles to run on the existing lines, which all means the city falls further and further behind all the time.  I'm sick and tired of hearing this world class city crap being bleated out of city hall ad nauseum.  Shut up and stop talking about it, and start bloody damn well doing it.  Even if it means spending money!

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1 hour ago, MK78 said:

So... The temperatures have plumetted, (aside from yesterday), and all the windows in the buses are still bolted shut. Has anyone heard if they plan to unlock the windows anytime soon?

No, this is permanent.

 Open windows waste heat also.

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6 hours ago, dowlingm said:

Not only has ridership increased, but the availability ratio of the 204 cars is nowhere near projections with the double whammy of warranty work and lower than contracted MDBF.

The availability of the cars is ridiculously high.

 

It's also a completely different metric than MDBF, which is what the TTC is concerned about.

 

For the record, the fact that there is warranty work ongoing and the lower than contracted MDBF isn't affecting service as the TTC has accounted for that in the fleet planning.


 

3 hours ago, Streety McCarface said:

 A new carhouse isn't on their radar either. 

A new carhouse is entirely on the radar. Just because you don't know about it doesn't mean that it isn't happening.


Dan

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2 hours ago, smallspy said:

A new carhouse is entirely on the radar. Just because you don't know about it doesn't mean that it isn't happening.


Dan

If it really is happening, that is extremely exciting overall, but I can't help but wonder why even small details (or the idea as a whole) haven't been made public yet. If it's on the radar (as it should be), that seems to imply that information about them, general location considerations, cost analyses, and other preliminary engineering work has been completed. If so, why haven't details of that been made public? If these are general discussions between board members, that's a different story, but I have my doubts considering we can't get them to address the streetcar shortage issue. 

The public knew about Leslie Barnes being in the works way back in 2006 if I remember correctly, and sites were being planned in 2008, meaning details were public at least 9 years before the planned opening. If they are indeed planning on constructing a new carhouse, under the same general timeframe, the earliest it could open is 2028, 5 years after we supposedly max out storage. Carhouse expansion doesn't really seem possible based on the archived engineering drawings (https://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Projects/Leslie_Barns/project_history.jsp). 

Nevertheless, I genuinely hope that what you're saying is true. 

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27 minutes ago, Streety McCarface said:

If it really is happening, that is extremely exciting overall, but I can't help but wonder why even small details (or the idea as a whole) haven't been made public yet. If it's on the radar (as it should be), that seems to imply that information about them, general location considerations, cost analyses, and other preliminary engineering work has been completed.

The location and budget was listed in the most recent budget document at the start of the year. That doesn't mean it is really happening, but how is that not on the radar?

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5 hours ago, Bus_Medic said:

No, this is permanent.

 Open windows waste heat also.

Oh wow, this is so stupid. When the heat is cranked up, the novas are a freaking oven in the rear section. Even now its so stuffy in the bus with the AC not running on days where its like 15-20C. They need to allow the two rear windows in the Novas to open to ventilate. Not to mention when there's someone that stinks of cigarettes, perfume or just something else...

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2 minutes ago, MK78 said:

Oh wow, this is so stupid. When the heat is cranked up, the novas are a freaking oven in the rear section. Even now its so stuffy in the bus with the AC not running on days where its like 15-20C. They need to allow the two rear windows in the Novas to open to ventilate. Not to mention when there's someone that stinks of cigarettes, perfume or just something else...

🤷‍♂️

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8 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

"The decision has been made."

When have you ever seen a management revise a decision in light of new information?  Especially in the public sector where there's squat for accountability?

The Orion IIIs in late 2000.

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14 minutes ago, Downsview 108 said:

The Orion IIIs in late 2000.

Orion Freeze!  (Long story.)

I guess the exception proves the rule although given the condition they were in, those probably should have stayed retired.  

They also started unmothballing Gloucester’s in the mid 80s when it became clear H6 deliveries and availability was the pits.  Now that was a nice reprieve that lasted almost four years long.  I just wish it could’ve been longer.  Now that I think about it a bit more, the Edmonton BBCs got put back in service for the remainder of their lease period too for that final, last gasp after the Lansdowne trolleybus lines were initially shut down.

Generally speaking though, management teams don’t like revisiting and revising decisions they’ve already made unless the circumstances are so dire that ignoring the changes would end up making them look worse than making a course correction in response would.

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1 hour ago, Streety McCarface said:

If it really is happening, that is extremely exciting overall, but I can't help but wonder why even small details (or the idea as a whole) haven't been made public yet. If it's on the radar (as it should be), that seems to imply that information about them, general location considerations, cost analyses, and other preliminary engineering work has been completed. If so, why haven't details of that been made public? If these are general discussions between board members, that's a different story, but I have my doubts considering we can't get them to address the streetcar shortage issue. 

The public knew about Leslie Barnes being in the works way back in 2006 if I remember correctly, and sites were being planned in 2008, meaning details were public at least 9 years before the planned opening. If they are indeed planning on constructing a new carhouse, under the same general timeframe, the earliest it could open is 2028, 5 years after we supposedly max out storage. Carhouse expansion doesn't really seem possible based on the archived engineering drawings (https://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Projects/Leslie_Barns/project_history.jsp). 

Nevertheless, I genuinely hope that what you're saying is true. 

The TTC has long known that storage of the streetcar system long-term is going to be a problem. The fleet size of the Flexities plus options - 264 - was picked because that was the absolute maximum that can be held at the trio of Leslie, Roncy and Russell. (And even that would not be totally optimal, as it would require storage of equipment on the maintenance tracks.)

 

And they have been working on plans for some time because they are already aware that had the 60 car option order be taken, it was only going to buy them to 2025 or so. More cars are going to be needed soon, one way or another, and that would require more storage.

 

There are a couple of different options being bandied about, but nothing is set in stone just yet.

 

Dan

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1 hour ago, Wayside Observer said:

Orion Freeze!  (Long story.)

I guess the exception proves the rule although given the condition they were in, those probably should have stayed retired.  

They also started unmothballing Gloucester’s in the mid 80s when it became clear H6 deliveries and availability was the pits.  Now that was a nice reprieve that lasted almost four years long.  I just wish it could’ve been longer.  Now that I think about it a bit more, the Edmonton BBCs got put back in service for the remainder of their lease period too for that final, last gasp after the Lansdowne trolleybus lines were initially shut down.

Generally speaking though, management teams don’t like revisiting and revising decisions they’ve already made unless the circumstances are so dire that ignoring the changes would end up making them look worse than making a course correction in response would.

Yeah, I would never have been able to ride a G-train if that hadn't happened. 😂

Those are definitely 3 weird exceptions. The first I can't remember. It just seemed like they needed all the Orion IIIs all of a sudden like a war had just been declared. 2. Was out of the TTCs control (sort of reprised with the current Flexity situation). 3. Was the TTC trying to pull a fast one on ETS? 🤣

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31 minutes ago, Downsview 108 said:

Yeah, I would never have been able to ride a G-train if that hadn't happened. 😂

Those are definitely 3 weird exceptions. The first I can't remember. It just seemed like they needed all the Orion IIIs all of a sudden like a war had just been declared. 2. Was out of the TTCs control (sort of reprised with the current Flexity situation). 3. Was the TTC trying to pull a fast one on ETS? 🤣

Early production delays and not so small teething problems with the 9200s were definitely a factor in it.

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1 hour ago, Bus_Medic said:

Early production delays and not so small teething problems with the 9200s were definitely a factor in it.

Damn. And not even one year since they took em all out of storage at arrow. 

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If a new carhouse is on the agenda then I can only suspect that the preliminary numbers on Hillcrest rebuild were something else...

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3 hours ago, Downsview 108 said:

3. Was the TTC trying to pull a fast one on ETS? 🤣

It wasn't such a fast one.  The TTC finished up with the trolleybuses at Lansdowne and then asked ETS to be let out of the lease early.  ETS said no and stuck the TTC to the letter of the contract which left the TTC paying for the leased BBC trolleybuses that weren't being used.  They managed to get the Ontario government to kick in some green money for environmentally friendly transit and put the BBCs back out on 4 Annette and 6 Bay for that last gasp we all remember so well.  It was just those buses on just those two lines though.  None of the mothballed Flyers including the rebuilt ones ran again and the BBCs never went on any of the other lines.  I don't think any charters took any of the resurrected BBCs on the other lines.  I think when the power was turned off, it stayed off on the other sections of wire.

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19 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

It wasn't such a fast one.  The TTC finished up with the trolleybuses at Lansdowne and then asked ETS to be let out of the lease early.  ETS said no and stuck the TTC to the letter of the contract which left the TTC paying for the leased BBC trolleybuses that weren't being used.  They managed to get the Ontario government to kick in some green money for environmentally friendly transit and put the BBCs back out on 4 Annette and 6 Bay for that last gasp we all remember so well.  It was just those buses on just those two lines though.  None of the mothballed Flyers including the rebuilt ones ran again and the BBCs never went on any of the other lines.  I don't think any charters took any of the resurrected BBCs on the other lines.  I think when the power was turned off, it stayed off on the other sections of wire.

I see. Thanks. As I understand it, a lot of the network remained up until about 1996 or so. Was the network at that point completely de-energized? Why did they keep it up for so long? 

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Just now, Downsview 108 said:

I see. Thanks. As I understand it, a lot of the network remained up until about 1996 or so. Was the network at that point completely de-energized? Why did they keep it up for so long? 

I'm not sure if it was totally de-energized or if some chunks that were closely tied in with the streetcar system had to be physically disconnected in order to de-energize them without taking out power to the attached sections of streetcar wire as well.  The wire for the Eglinton div. lines came down fairly quickly but it was pretty straightforward.  Other than at St. Clair station, decommissioning the Eglinton lines didn't involve disentangling power feeds from the streetcar system as well as wire junctions with streetcar overhead which had to remain up and in service, unlike a lot of the Lansdowne lines which crossed multiple streetcar lines in multiple places and had far more power integration with the rest of the TTC's 600 V systems.  It's been a few years since I've done this so I don't know if any more has been removed but even recently, you could walk through the junction area and see where 600 V power feed cable was kept in place.  Keele St. between the subway station and St. Clair was a prime example and I'm not sure if that had to be kept to feed part of the St. Clair streetcar off the substation at Keele station or if that was purely trolleybus remnants.

A lot of the Flyers hung around in dead storage for years after too.  I think I remember there were some illusions at the time that trolleybuses might be brought back if it was economically viable, which might have caused a little bit of postponement with taking down the wires, but everyone knew they were finished for good once the lease ran out on the Edmontons.  Nobody expected the TTC to resurrect any dead storage Flyers, especially the really clapped out red and cream ones that hadn't been rebuilt, and run them on lines where the infrastructure had also been mothballed and was in poor condition even before being shut down after the Edmonton BBC lease ran out.

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