Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bombardier's Toronto Streetcar Bid Implodes

Because of technical specifications where the vehicles wouldn't be able to take some of the tight turns on the Toronto system, the bids have all been thrown out and will be put out again.

Bombardier, the presumed front-runner to supply new low-floor streetcars for Toronto, has failed to prove its vehicles can handle some of the tight turns on the city’s narrow tracks, the Toronto Transit Commission announced late yesterday.

As a result, the Montreal-based company’s proposal for the $1.25-billion project has been rejected and the bid process to find a company to build an accessible fleet of new streetcars has collapsed.
Part of the problem is Toronto uses a wider gauge. One of the rumors is that using standard gauge would have allowed locomotives into the city center but they would not have been able to negotiate the curves that caused the failure of Bombardier to comply with the technical standards.

Steve Munroe will have more.


arcady said...

"60 millimeters wider than standard gauge". Read the articles before you link to them and embarrass yourself! And 60mm is a pretty tiny difference, which is really a fairly minor modification from standard gauge, and shouldn't cause any technical problems. The real problem is that Bombardier probably wanted to use some "light rail vehicles", which are interurban-style trains designed for relatively wider turns, as opposed to the occasional incredibly tight turns found on a streetcar system. Philadelphia has an even wider track gauge, and probably the tightest turns of any North American system, with radii down to 38 feet I think. That's part of the reason why they use non-articulated streetcars instead of articulated LRVs.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Ahh my brain missed. They had to take the trucks off the Streetcars and replace them in Kenosha since they used old Toronto cars. I was thinking that as I was writing but it didn't get to paper i guess. Thanks for catching that Arcady.

Justin said...

Arcady beat me to it.

I would not call it an implosion. The TTC is going to have to go back, and talk to Bombardier, and possibly Siemens, and Alstom. The TTC might relax their specifications. I think the main problem, is that the TTC wants 100% low floor trams, and it is probably not feasible considering the radii.