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The Bells and Whistles of Toronto’s New Streetcar

At the Hillcrest rail yard, the TTC showed off some of its hotly anticipated new vehicle's modern features.


It’s just three more sleeps until Toronto’s new streetcars roll out on the 510 Spadina line, and during a media event today, the TTC showed off some of the vehicle’s modern features at the Hillcrest rail yard on Bathurst Street.

The new ride is packed with technological bells and whistles that set it apart from the ancient and obsolete streetcars most Torontonians are familiar with, and its basic physical specifications are vastly different, too—it can carry twice as many passengers as the TTC’s standard streetcar, and, at 30.2 metres, is longer even than the articulated Queen Street model.

There’s been no shortage of hype about the new vehicles among transit nerds and regular commuters alike. And operators are gearing up, too: “They’re excited,” says Lionel Jordan, rail transportation instructor at the TTC. “But maybe a little bit nervous.” Driving the new streetcars is significantly different from driving the old ones, after all (for starters, the new vehicles are operated by hand, rather than by foot pedals; there are no side mirrors but instead side-view cameras that feed a monitor in the operator’s cabin).

TTC director of communications Brad Ross emphasized the safety and accessibility aspects of the new vehicle, as well as the new payment system passengers will have to learn—all of which were demonstrated by employees on hand. Find more information about these and other new features in the gallery.

Photos by Graeme Bayliss/Torontoist