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Trailing the New Streetcar

Pictures of the TTC's test vehicle on its second training run.

TTC Streetcar

Quiet and sleek: two words that crossed our minds early this morning, while watching the TTC test its next-generation streetcar on Toronto streets for the second time. The tell-tale hum that accompanies the current fleet has been replaced with, as the TTC’s Brad Ross tweeted during the test, “ghostly quiet.” Like a phantom, the new vehicle seems to glide on air—which matches its sleek, modern appearance.

Rolling out of the TTC’s Hillcrest yard at least 10 minutes ahead of schedule at 2:20 a.m., the training car and its entourage headed south along Bathurst Street. Unlike during its maiden voyage, the streetcar continued beyond Bathurst Station. Its arrival at Queen Street impressed the post-bar crowd. Our photographer observed that excited bystanders were “losing their shit” over the large, slick-looking vehicle.

The streetcar continued on to Exhibition Loop, where brake tests were conducted while Bombardier and TTC employees inside the vehicle observed the results. Several camera-slinging transit enthusiasts magically appeared when the streetcar arrived on the south side of the loop. After some adjustments, the vehicle quietly rolled away, back to Hillcrest.

We’ve got photos above; click through to see a video of the new streetcar on the move.


  • Walter Lis

    Bombardier’s Outlook seems to be as quiet as a Peter Witt without its air-pump going. When the Urban Transportation Development Corporation’s CLRV came into frame, the CLRV was definitely noisy in comparison.

    • Neville Ross

      This is why the CLRV and ALRV seem now to be a bust compared to the Peter Witt and PCC streetcars, faithful as they were. I wonder if the town of Shaker Heights in Ohio can buy our CLRV’s and ALRV’s or if they even want them?

      • Functionalist

        But we should preserve a few for historical reasons. It would be cool to see 3 or 4 generations of streetcars on the streets at any given time, like in Prague.

  • Guest

    Wonderful! Can’t wait to ride one of these beauties!

  • Brandon Leal


  • Eric S. Smith

    A bit more video over at Spacing, including a great teaser clip (first of the four). And in the comments, it’s confirmed: the new streetcars go “ding!”

    • blearghhh

      Nice! That was the one thing I was worried about. I know some people were all in a tizzy about the centre headlight, but as far as I’m concerned, as long as they ding, they’re good.

  • gregory

    why is no one bothered by the fact that larger capacity means less frequent service? or that the full life cycle cost of owning maintaining and operating streetcars is at least three times that of buses? or that including unnecessary idling, power lines, rails, damage to other vehicles driving on or crossing tracks, and the ludicrous amount of cement required in the track bed, all combine to make them an unfriendly environmental option? The cost of congestion to the city? There are sound economic and social reasons why so few cities in the world still waste money on these things. But yes – they are still the nicest way to travel on transit; what a shame.