Bombardier sends Eglinton Crosstown, Finch West LRT test car to Kingston, Ont. for trials

A prototype light-rail vehicle for Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT is en route to undergo testing — two years after Bombardier was supposed to deliver the project's first test car.

Metrolinx said Bombardier should have delivered test vehicle in 2014

Chris Drew tweeted this photo of the Eglinton Crosstown test vehicle, taken by his friend Bryan Martyniuk, on Nov. 27. (Twitter/Bryan Martyniuk)

A prototype light-rail vehicle for Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown and Finch West LRT lines is en route to undergo testing — two years after Bombardier was supposed to deliver the project's first test car.

Bombardier spokesman Marc-Andre Lefebvre told CBC Toronto, "Bombardier is quite happy that our LRV projects are going forward."

"I can confirm our LRV pilot vehicle has gone to the next step and has left Thunder Bay to go to our Kingston site," he said.

Lefebvre said Monday that because the prototype is traveling by rail, it should arrive in Kingston, Ont. in about five to 10 days.

Testing has already begun at Bombardier's Thunder Bay plant. But nine months of qualification testing still needs to be done and it is unclear when those tests will begin.

The first look at the LRT car came thanks to photos tweeted by Ryerson University urban planning graduate Chris Drew. The photos, taken by his friend Brian Martyniuk, showed the test vehicle on a railway flatcar in Thunder Bay on Sunday.

Metrolinx is working to resolve its dispute with Bombardier Inc. over delivery delays of light-rail vehicles needed for the two key Toronto transit lines: the Eglinton Crosstown, which is already under construction, and Finch West.

On Nov. 3, the provincial transit agency filed a notice of intent to the Quebec company to cancel a $770-million contract to build 182 light-rail vehicles.

And while it may still not cancel the contract, the agency did take the required steps should it need to ask a court to rip up the deal.

Earlier this month, Lefebvre said the delays in the rollout of the light-rail vehicle prototype wouldn't affect production of the final vehicles.

The prototype is only one of 182 light-rail vehicles, he said, which aren't required to be produced until early 2018.

They won't be in service until 2021.


Christine Pagulayan

CBC News Reporter

Christine Pagulayan is a reporter with CBC Toronto. She is also a producer at CBC News Network and The National. She has worked for CBC News in Moncton, Halifax, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. Find her on Twitter: @christineisa.