New streetcars from Bombardier, manufacturer of Ion vehicles, refused by TTC
Issues between Bombardier and the Toronto Transit Commission that caused a shipment of streetcars to be refused don’t have a direct impact on vehicles to be used in the Ion light rail transit system, regional transportation officials say.
“It’s not a major concern for us at this point,” rapid transit director Darshpreet Bhatti said.
By now, the TTC was supposed to be operating 50 new streetcars manufactured by Bombardier.
Manufacturing issues mean only five of those vehicles are in service.
According to TTC officials, the problem stems from issues Bombardier’s manufacturing plant in Mexico had translating the European design of the vehicles.
The same plant is scheduled to start work on 14 vehicles for Waterloo Region’s light rail transit system later this year.
Although streetcars and light rail vehicles are not the same, Bhatti says a close eye is being kept on the specific issues raised by the TTC, to ensure vehicles produced for Ion don’t show the same faults.
“Our job is to make sure (that) as things are flagged, they’re proactively being managed by Bombardier,” Bhatti said.
Waterloo Region’s vehicle order is a small part of a larger order being placed by Metrolinx for vehicles to use on a future LRT line in Toronto.
Metrolinx, Bhatti said, also has a team of inspectors both in Mexico and at Bombardier’s assembly plant in Thunder Bay.
The Metrolinx arrangement also provides Ion’s vehicles with an unofficial sort of extended warranty.
As the non-Ion vehicles are scheduled to start running until years after Ion does, any issues spotted in Waterloo Region’s vehicles before that point will have to be fixed by Bombardier.
“It gives us a very long window,” Bhatti said.
“If anything shows up past the warranty period, until Metrolinx is fully complete with their contract, those things will be addressed on our vehicles too. “