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On 11/27/2020 at 9:38 AM, smallspy said:

TTC has slowly been moving away from a 18-year planned lifespan to something that is closer to what is used in the US - and to what is reasonably expected from things like hybrid and battery-powered buses.

 

All that said.....their current plan is to replace buses not specifically due to age, but rather due to condition of the components and their reliability.

 

The Orion VII Next Gens are currently on the hit list, and following them will likely be the last of the "Old Gen" Orion VIIs in both diesel and hybrid flavours.

 

Dan

I guess that the Orion Next Gen Hevs will be the first batch of Orions to be retired before the OG diesel and hevs and the Ng Diesels?

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You should have been on that PCC on September 23rd.  That specifically was the breaking point for me for putting up with former garbage. A friend of mine who works for another transit agency and

Cherry on top of today’s events, we lost at technician at Queensway to a heart attack. Unfortunately I don’t know the specifics. 😣

About a decade ago, I attended an open house at the Greenwood subway yard, and acquired a set of datasheets for the Camshaft (H1, H2, and H4) Hawkers, Chopper (H5 and H6) Hawkers, and T1 models of sub

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I find it strange the OG HEVs are much more reliable than their NG counterparts. What did Orion screwed up in the newer ones? Software?

Iirc, the reason the 1200s are better than 1500/1700s are because they have older more reliable software? Can the same be said about the 1000s?

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On 11/27/2020 at 9:38 AM, smallspy said:

TTC has slowly been moving away from a 18-year planned lifespan to something that is closer to what is used in the US - and to what is reasonably expected from things like hybrid and battery-powered buses.

It'll be interesting to see if they may alter their plans, due to the pandemic and probably funding fallout from it for many years.

Weren't most if not all the Nova's bought with the help of federal funds?

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17 hours ago, Orion V said:

I find it strange the OG HEVs are much more reliable than their NG counterparts. What did Orion screwed up in the newer ones? Software?

Iirc, the reason the 1200s are better than 1500/1700s are because they have older more reliable software? Can the same be said about the 1000s?

According to the wiki, almost all of the 1200-1423 buses were rebuilt. The later hybrids were not rebuilt. I would assume that a lot of the difference is right there, and that the later NG HEV buses would retire later than the earlier HEVs if all of them had been through the same maintenance procedures. In other words, an older but rebuilt HEV is better than a newer one that's about ready for a rebuild, but (as has been discovered) not really worth rebuilding.

That would not explain rebuilt OG HEVs outlasting NG HEVs, unless there was a difference in the rebuilt. Perhaps Bus Medic would have some info here.

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The 905 now has a new fancy annoucement, with the recent removal of Brimley as one of the service stops and the addition of Danforth it now announces, "Next stop Danforth Road This is an express vehicle Brimley road no longer severed" 

Also it seems Kennedy station is returning to normal soon, the old exit for routes that go east out of Kennedy station looks to be reopening very soon as the road is all paved and ready. 

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On 11/30/2020 at 7:45 AM, Ed T. said:

According to the wiki, almost all of the 1200-1423 buses were rebuilt. The later hybrids were not rebuilt. I would assume that a lot of the difference is right there, and that the later NG HEV buses would retire later than the earlier HEVs if all of them had been through the same maintenance procedures. In other words, an older but rebuilt HEV is better than a newer one that's about ready for a rebuild, but (as has been discovered) not really worth rebuilding.

That would not explain rebuilt OG HEVs outlasting NG HEVs, unless there was a difference in the rebuilt. Perhaps Bus Medic would have some info here.

The 1200s and 1500s are identical. In fact the early 1500s arrived earlier than the upper range from 1370+.

The only reason why the got rebuilt is because that was planned and being prepared while they got new funds to buy Novas to replace the NGs. So the 1200s went forward while most 1500s didn't. There's only minor difference with the 1700s.

On 11/30/2020 at 7:45 AM, Ed T. said:

According to the wiki, almost all of the 1200-1423 buses were rebuilt. The later hybrids were not rebuilt. I would assume that a lot of the difference is right there, and that the later NG HEV buses would retire later than the earlier HEVs if all of them had been through the same maintenance procedures. In other words, an older but rebuilt HEV is better than a newer one that's about ready for a rebuild, but (as has been discovered) not really worth rebuilding.

That would not explain rebuilt OG HEVs outlasting NG HEVs, unless there was a difference in the rebuilt. Perhaps Bus Medic would have some info here.

The 1200s and 1500s are identical. In fact the early 1500s arrived earlier than the upper range from 1370+.

The only reason why the got rebuilt is because that was planned and being prepared while they got new funds to buy Novas to replace the NGs. So the 1200s went forward while most 1500s didn't. There's only minor difference with the 1700s.

On 11/30/2020 at 7:45 AM, Ed T. said:

According to the wiki, almost all of the 1200-1423 buses were rebuilt. The later hybrids were not rebuilt. I would assume that a lot of the difference is right there, and that the later NG HEV buses would retire later than the earlier HEVs if all of them had been through the same maintenance procedures. In other words, an older but rebuilt HEV is better than a newer one that's about ready for a rebuild, but (as has been discovered) not really worth rebuilding.

That would not explain rebuilt OG HEVs outlasting NG HEVs, unless there was a difference in the rebuilt. Perhaps Bus Medic would have some info here.

The 1200s and 1500s are identical. In fact the early 1500s arrived earlier than the upper range from 1370+.

The only reason why the got rebuilt is because that was planned and being prepared while they got new funds to buy Novas to replace the NGs. So the 1200s went forward while most 1500s didn't. There's only minor difference with the 1700s.

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1200-1684 used an older revision of the PCS that was slightly more reliable. Starting with 1685 (and carrying over to the 1700s), they moved to a new PCS which was slightly less reliable. In addition, the major reason why they specifically chose to rebuild the 1200s instead (while they were still deciding to keep some NGs and retire the others) was because of the PCS reliability. They later did some 1500s too but those rebuilds are a bit more limited in terms of scope.

None of the 1500s actually got a full rebuild. They merely had repaints, some body work, and a replaced engine on some (according to an old post on here from three years ago, albeit done before the actual refurbishment), but that was it (no new rear doors on any of them either). In addition to that, the 1200s that were rebuilt got new rear doors and modified heaters, as well as an entirely rebuilt powertrain (which explains the bumpers having fleet numbers that are not the same as the recipient body they're put in). I'm not sure what else was done with the 1200s or the 1500s. 

It's not specifically the rebuilds that made the earlier ones more reliable, but due to the PCS revision on the 1700s instead.

I thought the Novas were supposed to replace the S50 OGs? 

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2 hours ago, OC Transpo/STO Fan said:

They merely had repaints, some body work, and a replaced engine on some (according to an old post on here from three years ago, albeit done before the actual refurbishment), but that was it (no new rear doors on any of them either).

1553 managed to get new rear doors off of repair work outside of the refurbishment 

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Good evening everybody.  I meant to write this post earlier but I had a number of things I had to deal with so I'm only getting to it now.

This is kind of a bookend followup post to the one I did on October 26 about the Gloucester retirement in 1990.  25 years, a quarter century ago this evening on Friday, December 8, 1995, was when the last of the TTC's PCC cars were retired from regular service when 4611 finished a short turn 506 run and the last passengers disembarked before it ran into the Roncesvalles Carhouse.  This closed out an entire era of older vehicles that began with the Gloucester retirement in 1990.

From a 1990 perspective, everyone knew that the end of the G trains was coming because the H6 cars had been ordered in the early 1980s, delivered in the mid-80s and the original plan called for the Gloucesters to be retired several years earlier except the H6 cars turned out to have severe teething pains and the TTC had to keep the Gloucesters running longer than expected.  The fact that the last of them made it most of the way through 1990 was a bonus.  But in 1990, even as the last of the G trains were making their final runs, the future still looked good for the PCC cars.  The 604 Harbourfront line had opened and PCCs were running all the service on it, the Spadina line was on the drawing boards and heading towards construction, and the A-15 program was still going with Hillcrest taking in A8 cars and rebuilding them into the A-15s that were intended to provide vehicles for those lines.  Everyone thought with the new lines and the rebuild program that the PCCs still had a future in front of them albeit with a smaller fleet of 23 rebuilt cars.  Nobody would have expected the PCCs to be completely gone in five years time, before the Spadina line even opened.

Most of the 1980s were an economic boom which lasted until around 1991, and then a brutal, deep recession happened.  It was almost as if the music stopped playing and a lot of people suddenly found themselves without chairs.  House prices, in a way that's been unthinkable for people today, actually went down.  People ended up underwater on their mortgages.  Downtown became a ghost town.  After 5:00 PM, when the remaining office workers went home, there was hardly anyone around on the sidewalks or in the PATH.  Radio stations were beating the "Don't Worry, Be Happy" song to death playing it all the time as if that would somehow make a difference.  In many ways, the lockdown at the start of the pandemic back in the early spring was eerily reminiscent of how desolate and deserted downtown was during the recession.  Even "Don't Worry, Be Happy" started showing up on the radio again and I complained to a friend that the song only gets played when the world's ending.  During that recession, as with the pandemic, the TTC's volume of ridership dropped by a huge amount.  Surface vehicles that ran frequent service and were always full no longer were, the Yonge subway which had been running over capacity and was packed during rush hour prompting the creation of the 14x downtown premium express bus routes was no longer stuffed to the gills and the urgent need for the downtown relief line faded away.

Even so, despite the last of the 1970s heavy rebuild PCC being retired in 1991, the shops at Hillcrest were still taking in A8s that had been allocated to the rebuild program and turning out A15s.  Several signs of trouble began to emerge though.  Ridership remained persistently low and the TTC suspended the rebuild program in 1992 after 4618 was completed.  The TTC hedged their bets for a while and kept the remaining A8s that had been allocated to the rebuild program on the property so if the need arose and the order came down, the shops at Hillcrest could pick up where they left off.  However, it eventually became clear that with ridership plummeting then going sideways, service being cut system-wide, there were enough streetcars on hand even with the Spadina line coming up that the order to resume the rebuild program was never going to come.  Instead, it was cancelled and the unrebuilt A8s that were waiting to go through Hillcrest were scrapped with only 19 of the planned 23 cars being completed.

The Harbourfront line, where a minimum of four PCC cars were running for the whole service day, was generating complaints about wheel noise with condo owners.  Even with noise mitigation measures like flange lubrication and feeding water into the flangeways in the Spadina loop, CLRVs replaced the PCCs and there was no more full time, all PCC line in Toronto.  This resulted in the PCCs primarily being used only in the rush hours and on the on again/off again Tour Tram although they'd occasionally be taken out on base service all day runs.  One of my friends speculated that the decision to retire the PCC cars might not have been as easy to make if there were the minimum four cars running for the whole service day on the Harbourfront plus several more in rush hour on the other lines but the basis for that argument ended once the CLRV replacement on 604 took place.

Also in the context of 1995, as Canada was slowly climbing out of that horrible recession that wrecked the first half of the decade, there was a strong out with the old, in with the new mentality.  Multimedia computers were a big deal.  While Microsoft was hyping Windows 95, IBM was hoping people were going to get Warped with OS/2, and Apple was updating System 7.  Upgrading to the latest and greatest with everything, not just computers, was a big deal.  If you had a new computer, dialup internet access billed by the hour brought the information superhighway screaming down the phone line into your home at a mighty 28.8 kilobits per second.  Websites were being optimized for Netscape 2.0.  Don't have it?  Click the "Netscape Now!" button to get it.  People were repurchasing their entire music collections on CDs to get their music digitally and giving away their records, sometimes even throwing them away.  If you wanted to watch TV, you scrapped the antenna and got cable or a direct-to-home satellite pizza dish on the side of your house even if you had to get a grey market American one with a billing address in Buffalo to do it because the CRTC hadn't approved any Canadian services yet.  Streetcars built in the early post-war years to a design from the middle of the 1940s weren't retro or cool, they didn't fit in, there was no place for them in an era of upgrading to the newest, latest, greatest everything, they were just old.  Add some cold, utilitarian efficiencies of reduced parts inventory and overhead in training and maintenance, mathematically enough CLRVs and ALRVs to run the streetcar system including the Spadina line that was under construction with the reduced overall service levels of the time, the arguments to retire the PCCs was much easier to see than the value in keeping them even though the newest cars out of the rebuild program were barely three years old.  The decision to lower the boom on them was made.

Unlike when the Gloucesters and trolleybuses were retired quietly without any fanfare, the PCC retirement was different and the TTC did a final fling with them for the week with ceremonial last runs for the public and a special with two cars taking kids from a school for a last ride.  The final run that brought it to an end was a 506 short turn that ran from Main station to Roncesvalles.  Also unlike the other retirements, the PCCs aren't completely gone.  The 17 regular rebuilt A-15s have all ended up in museums and Kenosha, and none were scrapped while the TTC kept 4500 and 4549 for charters and special events.  While it's still possible to ride a PCC in Toronto, after 4611 completed that last run from Main station down to Roncesvalles and Queen where the passengers on board climbed down the steps and exited for the last time and brought regular service to a close 25 years ago tonight, everything since then has been a limited, special engagement for the two remaining cars out of what was once the world's largest fleet of PCCs.

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On 12/8/2020 at 10:14 AM, Ultimate said:

Also it seems Kennedy station is returning to normal soon, the old exit for routes that go east out of Kennedy station looks to be reopening very soon as the road is all paved and ready. 

Past by Kennedy Station this afternoon. They've reopened South Service Rd. Buses are using it to enter and exit the station. I didn't read the turn restriction sign but it might be bus only access too. Not sure if North Service Rd is still being used.

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1 hour ago, wil9402 said:

Past by Kennedy Station this afternoon. They've reopened South Service Rd. Buses are using it to enter and exit the station. I didn't read the turn restriction sign but it might be bus only access too. Not sure if North Service Rd is still being used.

Nice. I haven't been going thru Kennedy at all since returning to work I've been taking 12D/503 exclusively, completely avoiding Kennedy & the subway. with so little load on the 12D/503 it makes more sense.

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16 hours ago, PCC Guy said:

Some neat archival footage from 1966, around the time of the opening of the BD subway (line 2 who?)

They didn't seven seem to refer to it as BD in the interview. East-west and crosstown!

One day they'll be talking about building the crosstown ... along Steeles or Major Mac!

The shots of the downtown stations didn't seem any less crowded than today. I guess when there's a full train arriving there's as many people to get on and off no matter what the frequency.

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2 hours ago, nfitz said:

They didn't seven seem to refer to it as BD in the interview. East-west and crosstown!

One day they'll be talking about building the crosstown ... along Steeles or Major Mac!

The shots of the downtown stations didn't seem any less crowded than today. I guess when there's a full train arriving there's as many people to get on and off no matter what the frequency.

I thinks highway 7 is a likely candidate to convert the BRT into LRT and that's how it was designed in the first place. 

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4 minutes ago, Shaun said:

I thinks highway 7 is a likely candidate to convert the BRT into LRT and that's how it was designed in the first place. 

Kingston Rd/Dundas St./Bond St./King St. from STC/UofT Scarborough to Oshawa is another one as well although it’s a long way 

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On 12/11/2020 at 5:57 PM, wil9402 said:

Past by Kennedy Station this afternoon. They've reopened South Service Rd. Buses are using it to enter and exit the station. I didn't read the turn restriction sign but it might be bus only access too. Not sure if North Service Rd is still being used.

it is restricted to buses only but drivers don't read. the road signs.  North service is open but the road ends at the commuter parking lot hence all buses are leaving via south service road.  South service road is extremly tight.  you can't have 2 buses turning at the blind corner at once.  

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When and how did the TTC use the streetcar tracks running south from Queen on Neville Park?

A part of the trackage is set in concrete, so it can't be from a hundred years ago. The rest further south is not visible except for bad pavement over the tracks themselves.

Neville Park is a dead end with houses right around the end, and it was a dead end back in the late 1920s which is the earliers aerial photo I can find (and that photo has nowhere the resolution to see details of the track). If the tracks were serving the beach or some amusement park, that park seems to have been gone by the late '20s.

The tracks also seem to run right down to the dead end, which is quite a distance.

 

image.thumb.png.27358910b1a3e42628c77ba5280bfe51.png

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2 hours ago, Ed T. said:

When and how did the TTC use the streetcar tracks running south from Queen on Neville Park?

A part of the trackage is set in concrete, so it can't be from a hundred years ago. The rest further south is not visible except for bad pavement over the tracks themselves.

Neville Park is a dead end with houses right around the end, and it was a dead end back in the late 1920s which is the earliers aerial photo I can find (and that photo has nowhere the resolution to see details of the track). If the tracks were serving the beach or some amusement park, that park seems to have been gone by the late '20s.

The tracks also seem to run right down to the dead end, which is quite a distance.

The track on Neville Park Boulevard was part of an old tail track for Neville Park Loop; Transit Toronto indicates that the connection was severed in May 1989 (presumably this date would correspond with the introduction of the ALRVs, and modifications made to Neville Park Loop to accommodate these cars).

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https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/national-unifor-president-warns-that-thunder-bays-bombardier-plant-faces-closure-3270041

Building streetcars in Thunder Bay makes a lot of sense, since it's a very unique situation. 

In terms of the subway cars, are they just going to order more TR's for line 2? Don't they have to put that to tender? Are they going to keep the same design? Are there improvements in technology since they where designed?

Is there any other company that could be a contender in building subway cars for Toronto? 

I guess the major hurdle would be finding a facility in Ontario that has the space and capability of building that type of rolling stock. And then compiling a workforce that has that experience and be able to deliver a proven design within the given timeframe. 

Not that I don't think TB should get the job, just wanted to know if there would be other contenders. 

Siemens? 

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53 minutes ago, Shaun said:

https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/national-unifor-president-warns-that-thunder-bays-bombardier-plant-faces-closure-3270041

Building streetcars in Thunder Bay makes a lot of sense, since it's a very unique situation. 

In terms of the subway cars, are they just going to order more TR's for line 2? Don't they have to put that to tender? Are they going to keep the same design? Are there improvements in technology since they where designed?

Is there any other company that could be a contender in building subway cars for Toronto? 

I guess the major hurdle would be finding a facility in Ontario that has the space and capability of building that type of rolling stock. And then compiling a workforce that has that experience and be able to deliver a proven design within the given timeframe. 

Not that I don't think TB should get the job, just wanted to know if there would be other contenders. 

Siemens? 

You know, I hadn't thought about that but with Alstom buying Bombardier's rail car product line, they inherited the Thunder Bay plant.  Does this mean they still need to build that new plant in Brampton to build the Metrolinx LRV order vs. move that work to the plant in Thunder Bay that already exists?

Other contenders?  Hyundai-Rotem, CRRC, Kawasaki, those come to mind.  They've all built rail car orders in the US to various degrees of success and if any of them bid on an order here that has a made in Ontario or made in Canada content requirement, the Thunder Bay plant might be desirable for that.  If we've learned anything out of the pandemic, we should know by now that we let entire cross sections of industrial base disappear at our own peril.  Boy is that a big if though about learning from that experience.

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3 minutes ago, Wayside Observer said:

You know, I hadn't thought about that but with Alstom buying Bombardier's rail car product line, they inherited the Thunder Bay plant.  Does this mean they still need to build that new plant in Brampton to build the Metrolinx LRV order vs. move that work to the plant in Thunder Bay that already exists?

Other contenders?  Hyundai-Rotem, CRRC, Kawasaki, those come to mind.  They've all built rail car orders in the US to various degrees of success and if any of them bid on an order here that has a made in Ontario or made in Canada content requirement, the Thunder Bay plant might be desirable for that.  If we've learned anything out of the pandemic, we should know by now that we let entire cross sections of industrial base disappear at our own peril.  Boy is that a big if though about learning from that experience.

If they move again, they'll have to retrain all the people. I highly doubt people working here would be willing to move there. It made logical sense to move from Ottawa to Brampton since they were building vehicles at the now in operation MSF and they don't have a manufacturing plant in Ottawa. The 2nd phase LRVs will be built here along with Metrolinx' order. Part of the team were already here to begin with. 

If they keep moving, the products would likely be assembled and supervised by inexperienced workers resulting in incorrectly installed components like bad wiring that the first TTC streetcars got. 

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6 hours ago, Shaun said:

In terms of the subway cars, are they just going to order more TR's for line 2? Don't they have to put that to tender? Are they going to keep the same design? Are there improvements in technology since they where designed?

I have a feeling the answer is no considering the fact that the TTC was consulting the public last year on what the "next generation of subways" should be like. Besides, I don't think they'd keep the exact same technologies present on the TRs just because the tech present in them aren't exactly the most state of the art anymore, especially when you look over at the NYCTA's new R211s.

As for the design, chances are it'll be similar considering nearly all the TTC's subways were iterations of the previous generation. But with that said, an iterative design could probably only happen if Alstom chooses not to trash the Movia family.

But who knows, I could be totally wrong.

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13 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

You know, I hadn't thought about that but with Alstom buying Bombardier's rail car product line, they inherited the Thunder Bay plant.  Does this mean they still need to build that new plant in Brampton to build the Metrolinx LRV order vs. move that work to the plant in Thunder Bay that already exists?

Well, no - at least not yet. The plant in Brampton is simply an assembly plant putting together subassemblies shipped up from many other locations, but primarily Alstom's main plant in Hornell, NY.

 

13 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

Other contenders?  Hyundai-Rotem, CRRC, Kawasaki, those come to mind.  They've all built rail car orders in the US to various degrees of success and if any of them bid on an order here that has a made in Ontario or made in Canada content requirement, the Thunder Bay plant might be desirable for that.  If we've learned anything out of the pandemic, we should know by now that we let entire cross sections of industrial base disappear at our own peril.  Boy is that a big if though about learning from that experience.

Unfortunately, I don't think any of those is likely. The Thunder Bay plant is a huge, integrated facility - far more capable than what those builders would need. They just want/need an empty space with a roof overhead, and it doesn't even need to be that big.

 

13 hours ago, Xtrazsteve said:

If they move again, they'll have to retrain all the people. I highly doubt people working here would be willing to move there. It made logical sense to move from Ottawa to Brampton since they were building vehicles at the now in operation MSF and they don't have a manufacturing plant in Ottawa. The 2nd phase LRVs will be built here along with Metrolinx' order. Part of the team were already here to begin with. 

So? Where do you think the "team" in Brampton came from?

 

The creation of assembly plants like it is really, really easy. And why companies like Rotem and CRRC tender the way that they do. It's the plants where they create the more complicated subassemblies that require skills that are not nearly as transferable.

 

13 hours ago, Xtrazsteve said:

If they keep moving, the products would likely be assembled and supervised by inexperienced workers resulting in incorrectly installed components like bad wiring that the first TTC streetcars got. 

Which is the risk that all manufacturers - and frankly, tenderers - continue to take with the way that the bidding has been set up over the past 30 or so years.

 

8 hours ago, AnalogPentium said:

I have a feeling the answer is no considering the fact that the TTC was consulting the public last year on what the "next generation of subways" should be like. Besides, I don't think they'd keep the exact same technologies present on the TRs just because the tech present in them aren't exactly the most state of the art anymore, especially when you look over at the NYCTA's new R211s.

What you perceive as "state-of-the-art" is pretty humorous.

The MTA is finally only catching up to what has been standard practice around the rest of the planet for the past 40 years. They have a long way to go before they can start to worry about being "state-of-the-art".

 

8 hours ago, AnalogPentium said:

As for the design, chances are it'll be similar considering nearly all the TTC's subways were iterations of the previous generation. But with that said, an iterative design could probably only happen if Alstom chooses not to trash the Movia family.

But who knows, I could be totally wrong.

The TTC has already created a design brief for the new series of cars that they've issued to the prospective tenderers. They will share much in common with the TRs - but will feature some "improvements" to the design based on the operating experience of running those cars in service for some time.

 

Dan

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14 hours ago, Wayside Observer said:

You know, I hadn't thought about that but with Alstom buying Bombardier's rail car product line, they inherited the Thunder Bay plant.  Does this mean they still need to build that new plant in Brampton to build the Metrolinx LRV order vs. move that work to the plant in Thunder Bay that already exists?

The new facility in Brampton is already operating - there have been media pictures from inside and units are arriving in Ottawa on trucks now.

The other facility to consider in Ontario is Kingston.

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