TTC unveils new Rocket trains
Set to roll in June
The Toronto Transit Commission unveiled its new line of subway trains Thursday designed to carry more people and cut down on waiting times.
The accessible trains, set to begin service in June, will debut on the city's busy Yonge-University-Spadina Subway, which runs in a U-shaped direction from Finch Station to Union Station and then back up to Downsview.
The delivery of the 70 train sets — totalling 420 cars — is scheduled to take up to three years to complete. They are being built by Bombardier Transportation in Thunder Bay.
The trains, which have been dubbed the "Toronto Rockets," will replace the TTC's oldest subway cars, which date back to the 1970s.
The introduction of the new trains come as the TTC plans a major expansion of the key line into the city's northernmost regions and beyond into the growing bedroom community of York Region.
The TTC plans to expand the Spadina line some 8.6 kilometres to Vaughan Corporate Centre Station in York Region from Downsview Subway at a cost of $2.6 billion. Subway service is expected to begin in 2015.
The commission said the trains, coupled with the re-signalling of the Yonge-University-Spadina Subway, will help it improve time between trains of up to 90 seconds, as well as carry more people.
The subways feature a six-car fixed configuration with open gangways which will enable riders to move freely from one end of the train to the other.
Each train is comprised of two cab cars for the operators, as well as four non-cab cars. They are also equipped with evacuation ramps at each end of the train.
The trains, which have a maximum speed of 88 km/h, are built to seat more than 60 passengers per car, with room for an additional 199 standing riders.
Other features include increased wheelcair and mobility areas, 36 alarm intercoms, 24 closed-circuit cameras, 18 information screens and even an anti-microbial shield to kill germs on contact.