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The T35A08 Dissected

2006_6_7subwa.jpgTorontoist visited the mock-up of the T35A08 (better name still pending) and have mixed reviews of the mockup. We couldn’t quite get a handle on what the new trains will actually feel like considering features like “perimeter seating” and alternate colour schemes were not actually implemented.
Nonetheless we want to point out a few things that raised our eyebrows.

1) The “multi purpose/easy access/wheelchair area”
2006_6_7subway2.jpgLet’s face it the population of the City of Toronto, like the rest of the country, is going to get older which means more people will be in wheelchairs. The TTC hasn’t forgotten this and added more spots on their newer trains which is great. We hope they’ll consider using these areas for cyclists who want to commute using a combination of transit and pedal power.
2) Safety information monitors and electronic information display system
2006_6_7subway3.jpgWe hope that the TTC will only use these LCD screens for TTC information like service disruptions, construction notices and events. It’s tempting to sell off parts of the space to advertisers but our subway cars needs more advertising like Yorkville needs more SUVs.

3) Closed circuit cameras

While the TTC was not on the list of targets that doesn’t mean that bad things don’t happen on the system. Cameras would deter vandals, harrasment and any number of illegal activities but we wonder who’s watching and will there be adequate privacy safeguards?

4) Alternate colour schemes

2006_6_7subway4.jpgIs the red/silver/grey colour scheme getting dated? The light blue looks futuristic but our companion felt that it looked a little cold and sterile. One of our other friends loved the bright, playful yellow. In true Trading Spaces fashion you can even pick your own three colour theme. But please don’t pick the unholy purple and orange colour scheme. We’ll be looking at it for the next 20 years people!


  • Carrie

    I checked this out today and thought the new car was a vast improvement over what we have now. The highlights for me were the ability to walk between train cars, the emergency ramp that can be deployed at the front of the train, and the new LED map showing you where you are and which direction you’re facing.
    What I wasn’t so fond of were the textured guidance strips on the floor leading to all exits (I mean, come on! you got on the train, you should know how to get off!), the anti-bacterial grip strips on the railings and handles (this grosses me out for some reason), and the security camera to some extent (privacy issue for law abiding citizens).
    I really like the aesthetics of the current colour scheme. It’s very clean and everyone associates the red with the TTC. Those other colour schemes were atrocious! I’m also very happy that they’re taking public opinion seriously.

  • Jonathan

    Shit, Ron, you should have told me you were going. I was planning on going down by myself to Davisville to check it out sometime this week, but it would have been so much more fun to go with other urban infrastructure geeks.

  • Michael

    I think the textured strips on the floor are for the blind.

  • rek

    I’m generally not a “oh noes terrrrrists” kind of person, but the open gangway between cars, while aesthetically pleasing and practical in terms of passenger distribution, makes me concerned. The double closing doors between cars in the current trains prevent noxious gases and fire from spreading, minimising the number of people exposed and potentially injured or killed in such an event.
    Textured flooring is a great idea. I’m not blind and I don’t know anyone who is, but it’s high time this city extended the ground navigation aides beyond the platforms. In Japan just about every sidewalk has those nobby tiles to help the blind access the city.
    The LCD info screens make sense, but it’s almost certain we’ll see ads scrolling there by the end of the first month. It’ll be a “pilot project to gauge public opinion” of course. We all know how those turn out.
    Colour scheme 1 all the way. The rest are hideous.

  • Vanessa

    yeah kudos for wheelchair access but the TTC might want to get the ball rolling on making actual stations wheelchair accessible. hello elevators?
    in vancouver nearly all the buses are wheelchair accessible and people with wheelchairs definitely use them frequently. when was the last time you saw someone with a wheelchair on a ttc bus let alone the subway??

  • Jay

    I look forward to seeing it tomorrow in all its glory.
    But just a comment on the colour schemes. The blue one is New York City and the “purple and orange” is actually the orange and off-white of Montreal. Both lack the charm of the TTC and Toronto which should remain red and silver.

  • beth maher

    Definitely the burgundy and silver. It’s a very trad scheme, and will pretty much never go out of style – and everyone instantly ascociates it with the TTC, which is ideal as far as marketing goes.
    Besides, trendy is bad in an instance like this. Remember how the trains used to be all brown and orange? Back in the seventies that probably looked pretty cool. Unfortunately, some of those trains are still kicking around 30 years later. Not so cool.

  • amanda

    Ahh! No way! I love taking those really old brown and orange cars! Those bench seats are great for the long lonely ride home, and they even seem to have more room (perhaps because of the lack of center poles?) I’ll go so far as to make an effort to sit in one of those cars, I’m so amused by them.
    My other favourite is the really old busses with fake wooden panelling and bench seats.

  • Gloria

    I love the bench seats because they’re comfortable, but the sleek silver and rich red scheme should be the main colours of the trains … they’re instant TTC trademarks. I wouldn’t mind a few alternate schemes for a minority of trains, just like how those brown-orange-yellow ones have stuck around; it’d be fun.
    I only wish the TTC would up the stuffing in their seats a bit more often; some of them are so worn down, I might as well be sitting on the metal frames.

  • Boy Reporter

    My comment about the purple and orange is in reference to the “pick your own colour scheme” page on the survey they give you. So if you don’t like any of the four they list you can actually pick your own seat, floor and wall colours. You could come up with some really heinous combinations…. green, purple and yellow anyone?

  • Allen George

    Have they confirmed that they’re going with these subway cars (i.e. single sourcing from Bombardier)?

  • Andrew

    No, they haven’t officially confirmed the cars will come from Bombardier. They probably will, though, although other dealers have expressed intrest already. I think the current red/silver/grey combo is great, and keeps most of the system looking the same (GM buses exception).

  • jayKayEss

    You guys are lucky. The transit authority never lets the public comment on things like this before they go into production here in NYC.

  • kevin Bracken

    Although somehow our new subway cars are awesome ^^
    I love the pictures from the cars! I really, really don’t want to be filmed on the subway, though. Leave it to heroic passengers with camera phones + the blogosphere.