A look at the driverless trains that will run along the Ontario Line
Published Tuesday, March 14, 2023 7:58PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 14, 2023 7:58PM EDT
Transit riders have been given a sneak peek at the driverless trains that will operate on the Ontario Line subway extension.
The international consortium tasked with designing the trains released new renderings and details on how the trains will move an expected 30,000 people per hour in each direction.
“Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx reached an agreement with Hitachi Rail’s Connect 6ix consortium to transform Toronto’s mass transit network via the 15.6 km Ontario Line subway project, consisting of a new fleet of driverless subway trains that will run up to every 90 seconds through heart of the city,” said GFG Rail, an Italian company commissioned to create the renderings, in a Monday press release.
“The trains, moving up to 30,000 people per hour in each direction and stopping in 15 stations, will be packed with the latest technology.”
The trains are expected to travel at speeds of over 80 km per hour and to be powered by electricity.
The consortium says they’ll also feature Wi-Fi, charging points, dedicated spaces for bicycles and wheelchairs, and heating and cooling systems.
The trains will have continuous carriages, like those that currently operate on the TTC’s Line 1 Yonge-University, however they’re expected to have about half the capacity of Line 1 trains.
An operating concept for the Ontario Line, released by the province in 2020, suggested that each train would have four cars and a total capacity of 600 passengers. It also suggested running 34 trains at peak periods until 2041, at which point frequency would be increased to 40 trains per hour for peak periods.
The 15-station Ontario Line was originally slated to open by 2027 but is now expected to be completed in 2031. Construction has intensified in recent months, leading to concerns about the environmental impacts it will have, particularly on the city’s greenspaces.
So far this year, Metrolinx has removed dozens of trees at Osgoode Hall and Moss Park to make way for downtown stations.
The agency is also planning on removing upwards of 3,000 trees in the Don Valley this month.
Metrolinx says it strives “to minimize construction footprints and impacts on green spaces when building new transit.”
“When trees do need to come down, we plant 1 to 50 new trees based on the size and location of the tree being removed,” it said.
Once completed, the Ontario Line will run from Exhibition Place, along Queen Street in the downtown, and up Pape Avenue to the Ontario Science Centre.
With files from Joshua Freeman. All photos courtesy of GFG Rail.