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Toronto's Next Generation of Subway Cars: Preview to Appear in June; Public to Name Vehicles?


Crossposted to Spacing’s Wire

The general public will have an opportunity to preview the proposed configuration of the next generation of Toronto’s subway trains from Tuesday, June 6 to Friday, June 21, according to David Fisher who attended the Toronto Transit Commission’s commissioners meeting yesterday. A T1 car currently being modified at the Greenwood shops will be stationed on the west side of Davisville’s southbound platform and open to the public between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays.

The TTC is planning to purchase as many as 270 additional subway cars to replace the aging vehicles of its fleet. As the TTC runs most of its trains in six car complements, the commission is considering having the cars delivered as semi-permanently connected six car trains, with car-width cabs at either end, and open articulations in between. By reducing the number of cabs per train from six to two and allowing passengers to walk the length of the train, the TTC expects it can save money, and increase the capacity of each train from 1000 passengers to 1080.

The T1 mockup will have its ends blocked off with a full-length mirror to give the impression of a continuous car. And after taking criticism for its earlier plan to use only side-facing seats in its new cars, the mockup’s seating arrangement will have forward-facing seats not unlike the current T1 models.

The preview campaign will include a website, to be launched June 5th, highlighting the proposed trains amenities with fly-through animations of the inside and the out. The TTC is also asking the public to name the new train, in the hopes of coming up with a title as memorable as the Red Rocket.

The TTC hopes that the new models could be operating as early as 2009. Bombardier has the inside track to produce the vehicles, and is assisting with the current design and the preview campaign, but it has until September to negotiate a satisfactory deal with the commission, before other companies have a chance to come in with a lower bid.

The Toronto Star has further details here and some of its readers provide their suggestions for train names here. Spacing’s Wire likes the idea of the marketing campaign.

The TTC has no plans, yet, to showcase the preview car at the Canadian National Exhibition, but the commission is still generating more excitement around a new vehicle than it has since the unveiling of the current generaton of streetcars in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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