Can-Car Rail H6

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UTDC - Can-Car Rail H6
Toronto Transit Commission 5890-a.jpg
Delivered 1986 to 1990
Numbered 5810-5935
Length 75 ft 6 in
Width 10 ft 4 in
Track gauge 4 ft 10 7⁄8 in
Toronto Transit Commission 5847-a.jpg

The Can-Car Rail H6 is a type of subway car built for the Toronto Transit Commission. They are classified as H6 by the TTC, but are based on the common Hawker Siddeley RT75 design of previous cars.


In 1982, the Toronto Transit Commission ordered 126 H6 subway cars from Can-Car Rail (a joint operating company between crown corporation UTDC and Hawker Siddeley). One hundred of the cars were used to replace the antiquated G-Class subway cars, and the other 26 were used to expand services. Like the previous model, the Hawker Siddeley Canada-built H5 cars, they come equipped with choppers and regenerative braking. They are also equipped with air conditioning.

Because of the request for a sole-source tendering process at the time, the H6 subway cars share numerous components with the ALRV streetcars, including the trucks, traction motors and much of the rest of the control system. The original plan was to have the subway cars built by UTDC's VentureTrans Manufacturing arm in Kingston, before it was realized that the Can-Car Rail plant in Thunder Bay was better suited to the manufacturing of subway cars.


Although the first cars were delivered in early 1986, various problems cropped up during commissioning and delivery was stopped for a period as the problems were corrected and the solutions applied to built cars. The cars entered service en force in late 1988 and throughout 1989.

They have not been completely trouble-free - as part of a rebuild program started in 2006, the cars have had their problematic Krupp M/A sets replaced with solid-state inverters to provide onboard AC current. The rebuilt cars are also equipped with kevlar seat inserts.

The cars have spent virtually their entire lives at Greenwood Yard.

Retirement and resale

Although the cars were not yet scheduled for replacement, an option was available on the initial order for the Bombardier Toronto Rocket (TR) subway cars that would allow the retirement of the H6 cars. The TTC decided to act on this option, and as a result, the remaining H6 cars were retired (following the H4 & H5 retirements), displaced by more T1's coming from the Yonge-University-Spadina line as more TR trains entered service.

It was announced in September 2011 that 255 H5 and H6 cars were to be sold to EKO Rail, for refurbishing and use on a new LRT project in Lagos, Nigeria. At a later date the plan changed, and all H6 cars were instead sent to scrap, with 75 H5 cars picked up for EKO Rail instead (that also later changed as Lagos decided to buy all new equipment). By late spring 2014, only twelve H6 cars remained in service.

The final H6 train, composed of cars (from west to east) 5858-5859-5908-5909(:2)-5899-5898, made its farewell run on June 20, 2014 with one full trip along the Bloor-Danforth line in the late morning. The train entered service at approximately 10:00am at Greenwood Station. With that, all the original "H" series cars would be retired from revenue service (though some H1 and H4 cars may live on as work cars).

Spotting Features

  • Recessed top class lights on a black background (most were repainted silver when rebuilt).
  • End gate bumpers same as H5 class.
  • Orange interior doors and doorways.
  • Yellow velour seat inserts, replaced with the standard red fabric ones when rebuilt in the mid-2000's.
  • Section around end anticlimbers at bottom of carbody painted black.
  • Headlights mounted recessed in lower carbody ends, instead of under the frame as with previous orders.

See also