Audio report: Car 4400 arrived in Toronto one year ago today

25 September, 2013

TTCast – September 25, 2013

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Hello, I’m Stephen Lam, Chief Vehicle Engineer – Rail,

Today, September 25, 2013, marks the first anniversary of the arrival of the TTC’s newest generation of streetcar to Toronto.

As outlined in this month’s CEO’s Report, since the first low-floor streetcar (No. 4400) was delivered as scheduled by rail to CPR’s Lambton Yard one year ago today, much testing has taken place. After undergoing structured static tests at Harvey Shop, dynamic system tests on the mainline commenced on March 14, 2013.

The second vehicle (No. 4402) was delivered on March 25, 2013 by rail directly to the TTC’s Hillcrest Complex. Since its arrival, Car 2 has undergone coupled emergency recovery operational tests with Car No. 1. Recovery tests between the low-floor streetcar and a CLRV and an ALRV have also been conducted.

Dynamic clearance testing on the network has commenced with an empty car, and progressed to partial- and full-passenger-load simulation tests to ensure no system encroachment exists. Part of the dynamic tests related to clearance of the new low-floor vehicle in a mature TTC network – including tunnels and old-surface infrastructure. A clearance test rig was designed and installed on 4402 to check out both the undercar and moving-vehicle clearance profiles under maximum passenger loading, worn rail and worn wheel conditions, and vehicle movements at speed.

The third test vehicle (No. 4401) was delivered on June 17, 2013. On June 25th, members of the ACAT Design Review Subcommittee were invited to attend an accessibility feature assessment demonstration on 4401 in Harvey Shop. The demonstration was a culmination of years of consultation with the committee and the public. Further input has been collected during the demonstration session for continued dialogue with ACAT.

The prototype vehicles continue to undergo extensive vehicle reliability, performance and technology verification tests. System compatibility tests – including accessibility features, safety against derailment, platform- and on-street boarding interface with the vehicle and bridge-plate and ramp deployment – are being performed. Fare card system, noise- and ground-borne vibration, special trackwork and overhead power interface will also be conducted.

As part of the technology verification program, Car 4400 was transported from Hillcrest Yard to the National Research Council in Ottawa for climate room tests on July 23rd. The climate room tests included verification of system and component operation and performance – including door, accessibility ramp and HVAC capacity. All tests were performed under specified duty cycles and an extreme temperature range for Toronto. The climate room tests were concluded last week. Valuable performance data have been collected. Necessary improvements have been identified for incorporation into the production vehicle configuration baseline.

Also on July 23rd, a media ride was organized by Corporate Communications. Most of the city’s TV, radio and print media participated. The media was taken from Hillcrest to Bathurst Station and back, with time allocated for vehicle walk-through discussions and ramp deployment. The ride, and the associated positive reports, generated considerable excitement in the city for the next-generation of streetcar service.

The first production vehicle is scheduled to leave Bombardier’s Thunder Bay plant at the end of this year. A sufficient quantity of vehicles will be commissioned and accumulated before accessible, PRESTO-equipped service is launched for Spadina in late 2014.

We’re getting ever closer to modernizing the streetcar network, but there’s still lots of work ahead. Thank you.

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