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End of the line for the TTC's ALRVs --
the "bendy" streetcars -- September 2

The TTC is retiring the last of its fleet of articulated light rail vehicles (ALRVs) — its “bendy streetcars — tomorrow, Labour Day, Monday, September 2. After more than 30 years in service, the ALRVs leaving active service, as the TTC continues to convert its streetcar fleet to accessible, low-floor Toronto Flexity Outlook cars.

The TTC first introduced its ALRVs in 1988, allowing it to increase capacity on its busiest routes when its ridership was increasing.


ALRV 4204 rumbles onto the single-track section of Connaught Avenue, on its way to Russell Carhouse. Photo by Brad O’Brien.

To commemorate the last runs, the TTC is offering free rides on the last two ALRVs along Queen Street between Russell Carhouse (Queen Street East and Connaught Avenue — east of Greenwood Avenue) and Wolseley Loop (on Bathurst Street just north of Queen Street West.)

Car 4204 leaves Russell Carhouse at 2 p.m., proceeding eastward to Wolseley Loop and back. A second car, 4207, is participating in the Labour Day Parade along Queen Street West and then leaves Wolseley Loop at about the same time. (Road closures and traffic congestion resulting from the Canadian National Exhibition could impact the exact departure time.) The two cars will make return trips between Russell and Wolseley until 5 p.m. The very last car leaves on its final run from Wolseley at about 4:15 p.m., arriving at Russell Carhouse at 5 p.m.


TTC ALRV #4207 heads eastbound on 501 QUEEN service, passing Spadina on a snowy day on February 25, 2016. Photo by James Bow.

After the fleet is retired, the TTC will retain and preserve one ALRV, joining its other legacy vehicles.

In 1973, the Government of Ontario established the Ontario (later Urban) Transportation Development Corporation, which began to examine technology and designs available for streetcars world-wide. By 1979, UTDC produced the

At the same time as the UTDC was developing the Canadian light rail vehicle (CLRV) streetcar, it was also designing a longer, articulated version of the vehicle. It manufactured a prototype, which it designated the articulated light rail vehicle (ALRV) in 1981. The prototype featured an advanced concept of the articulation section.

After six months of testing in 1982-83, the TTC approved the purchase of 52 ALRVs the following year. The TTC’s first ALRV entered service January 19, 1988 along the 507 Long Branch route. UTDC shipped its final vehicle to the TTC in 1989.


Type - two-section-articulated, six-axle
Capacity - 61 seated, 108 maximum (CLRV = 46 seated, 74 max; Toronto Flexity = 70 seated, 130 max)
Length - 23.16 metres (76.75 feet)
Weight - 36,741 kilograms (81,000 pounds)

You can read Transit Toronto’s history of the TTC’s ALRVs by James Bow (including lots of photos of ALRVs in action on Toronto streets) here.


TTC ALRV #4228 at Long Branch Loop on the 501 QUEEN run on October 1, 2015. Photo by Edward Brain.

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