Canadian Light Rail Vehicle

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Toronto Transit Commission 4107-a.jpg
Locale Toronto
Years of manufacture 1977 to 1980
Years of operation 1977 to present
Track gauge 4 ft 10 7/8 in (1495 mm)
Toronto Transit Commission 4041-a.jpg

The Canadian Light Rail Vehicle (CLRV) is a type of streetcar currently used by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Toronto, Canada. They are classed by the TTC as L1 (cars manufactured by SIG) and L2 (cars manufactured by Hawker Siddeley Canada).


It was decided in the early 1970s that should the TTC decide to retain streetcars, it would require a fleet of new vehicles. The TTC worked with the province of Ontario's Ontario Transportation Development Corporation (OTDC) (later Urban Transportation Development Corporation (UTDC)) to design what they called the Canadian Light Rail Vehicle (CLRV). In August 1975 the contract was awarded to UTDC to design and manufacture 200 cars. A mock-up was displayed at that year's Canadian National Exhibition.

As UTDC did not have the capability at that time to manufacture the cars, it was decided to approach an existing offshore manufacturer to produce a number of prototype cars - Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft (SIG) of Zurich, Switzerland was awarded the contract to produce 10 cars (which was later reduced to 6). UTDC then awarded the balance of the order to Hawker Siddeley Canada, which manufactured the cars in their plant in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The first six SIG-built CLRVs was delivered between December 29, 1977 and July 13, 1978. The cars built by Hawker Siddeley were delivered from April 24, 1979 to November 19, 1981. Following extensive testing, the first car entered service on September 30, 1979 on the 507 Long Branch route.

Much as any new vehicle, teething problems were faced, and over time the cars have had many modifications made. The original forced-air cooling system was found to be insufficient, and the lack of opening windows a hazard, and so cars were retrofitted early on with sliding sashes. The first 6 SIG cars had their angled perimeter seating retrofitted to the standard configuration soon after the introduction of the rest of the cars. And the couplers, which all cars had been delivered with, were slowly removed, the gaps at the front of each car filled with a replaceable fibreglass "Shiner" skirt, so named after a city counselor who had suggested the skirts to cover up the large gap left by the removal of the coupler.


Despite delays of the new Bombardier LFLRV streetcars that pushed the planned replacement schedule back, as more new cars were delivered and entered service the aging CLRV fleet was gradually retired and shipped off for scrapping. A small handful of cars were donated during this time, including 4003, 4010 and 4039 to the Halton County Radial Railway, and 4024 to the Illinois Railway Museum in the US. The final day of CLRVs operating in revenue service was Saturday, December 28th 2019, with a number of cars providing service along the 511 Bathurst that day. The final day of CLRV operation was Sunday December 29th 2019, with commemorative free rides on Queen and a contest winner only "last ride" run held using car 4001.


Preserved units

Year Thumbnail Serial Fleet number Current owner
1978 Toronto Transit Commission 4001-a.jpg 78-2-002 4001 TTC
1978 Toronto Transit Commission 4003-a.jpg 78-1-005 4003 Halton County Radial Railway
1979 Toronto Transit Commission 4010-a.jpg 79-1-1181 4010 Halton County Radial Railway
1979 Toronto Transit Commission 4024-a.jpg 79-3-1195 4024 American Industrial Mining Company Museum
1979 Toronto Transit Commission 4034-a.jpg 79-4-1204 4034 Illinois Railway Museum
1979 Toronto Transit Commission 4039-a.jpg 79-3-1210 4039 Halton County Radial Railway
1980 Toronto Transit Commission 4068-a.jpg 80-1-1239 4068 Seashore Trolley Museum
1980 Toronto Transit Commission 4089-a.jpg 80-1-1260 4089 TTC
1981 Toronto Transit Commission 4133-a.jpg 81-1-1304 4133 Seashore (trucks) and Halton (body), for parts
1981 Toronto Transit Commission 4170-a.jpg 81-3-1341 4170 American Industrial Mining Company Museum
1981 Toronto Transit Commission 4178-b.jpg 81-3-1349 4178 Halton County Radial Railway

See also

External links