Comment 119579

By Haveacow (registered) | Posted June 24, 2016 at 16:49:44

When I was in planning school many years ago, there was a special urban planning collection in our library. That report was there. I remember reading it thinking, wow they turned that down and put in Scarborough! I really loved the RT then that's why I feel so conflicted now. It's a niche Light Metro technology that is slowly being made obsolete by newer LRT designs. Even Bombardier has down graded the development of it's Innovia ART 300 Automated Light Metro System and moved most of its component construction to the plant in Pittsburgh were it builds and develops parts for airport people movers and monorails systems. Unless more contracts are received for it they have threatened to sub contract vehicle construction to non Bombardier facilities.

Its not even in the Bombardier website as a rail vehicle but its marketed as a whole separate Transportation System. The current roster has 28 ART 300 (Mark 3) Skytrain vehicles being built/assembled in Montreal and tested in Kingston for delivery to Vancouver as well as a 56 vehicle order for Kuala Lumpur. Which by the way, are the only 2 major users of the system for basic public transit. The rest of the systems were build and developed as one shot Airport Shuttles that although successful will most likely never be expanded (New York and Beijing). Other orders were as an expensive people mover to an amusement park and a light form of rapid transit extending service at the end of a metro line (Yongin South Korea). The Scarborough RT will be taken out of service and replaced with either by LRT or subway soon. The Detroit People Mover is constantly being threatened to be closed down and is now facing serious rail line maintenance issues. Technically Riyadh, Saudi Arabia has order it as well but its a highly modified version using standard electric rotary motors instead of LIM units, and a non Bombardier Automated rail line operation system. Although each of the 47 cars is a 2 section unit similar to the ART 200 layout its actual body design is unrecognizable as a Bombardier Innovia product.

All current orders (131) will be complete and delivered by 2018 after which there are no more orders. Montreal may build a system but details are scketchy and no construction is expected until 2019 at the earliest. The system was to be partly financed by Quebec's pension system (they will provide $3 Billion out of $5.5 Billion total cost) and they planned to have it operating by 2020 which seems pretty unlikely for a 67 km system. The Federal and Quebec Government are expected to pay up to 40% of the project (20% or $1.25 Billion from each branch of government). Both the Feds and the Quebec government are studying their options. Montreal also wants a $1.8 Billion extension to its Blue Line Metro.

Modern large Rail Transit Vehicle builders need a minimum of 400-500 units on order to keep production line open and moving. The days are over when a car builder can sell only 100 units every 5 years or so and have it considered a success! Compared to even Bombardier's own Flexity Family of LRV's (which are the LRV's planned for Hamilton's LRT line), Bombardier has delivered or has on order, over 3100 Flexity LRV's in 68 cities around the world since there first order in 1997. The Flexity Freedom, Flexity Swift and Flexity Outlook-Toronto sub models were specifically designed for the North American Market. While the original Flexity, Flexity Classic, Flexity Outlook, Flexity Vienna and the new Flexity #2 sub models were sold for Europe, Australia, Asia and South America. North America requires a higher crash worthiness standard than the rest of the world for LRV's and thus most o the major LRV producers have a North American specific design. Each of the sub models comes in 70% Low Floor or 100% Low Floor configurations with 3,5, or in some sub models a 7 section design can be ordered. All the designs are modular and can have new sections added to existing LRV's if a transit operator decides the current fleet is too small and doesn't want to order a whole new fleet of vehicles. The new sections are added at the transit operators own maintenance facilities and don't require the vehicle to sent back to a Bombardier factory. This modularity is one of the big advantages of modern LRV's compared to a product like the ART 300 Innovia Light Metro System. The LRV's can also use/add Bombardier's Cityflo 650 Automation system just like the Innovia Trains and operate without drivers if needed. However, due to regulations and safety requirements, these types of operations would greatly increases the cost and complexity of the rail line the vehicles run on.

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