Bombardier Toronto Rocket

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Toronto Rocket Subway Cars
Toronto Rocket subway train.
Delivered October 2010 to April 2017
Numbered 5381-6196
Length 23.190 metres (A car)
22.860 metres (B & C car)
Width 3134 millimetres
Track gauge 1495 millimetres
Toronto Transit Commission 5392-a.jpg

The Bombardier Toronto Rocket (TR) is a type of subway car built for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). The cars are constructed from stainless steel and feature open gangways. One set is composed of six cars, and should the need arise, the TTC's platforms can accommodate a shorter seventh car.

The model name name was chosen from a list of entries in a contest in 2006. The name given by TTC engineers and advertised on public literature prior to the name selection was T35A08. Bombardier counts the Toronto Rocket as part of their Movia subway car family.


The order

In 2006, it was decided by then-chair Howard Moscoe to negotiate a deal solely with Bombardier to manufacture the subway cars. Other city councilors criticized the move and believed there should have been an open bidding process. While Siemens indicated they may have been able to produce the cars at a lower cost, Moscoe believed the province would benefit from Bombardier keeping jobs in Ontario.[1][2] In late September 2006, city council approved the contract with Bombardier.[3]

The initial order for 234 subway cars at a value of 710 million dollars and was signed in December 2006.[4] This would allow the TTC to replace all the H4 and H5 subway cars. On May 6, 2010, city council approved the purchase of an additional 186 cars which would allow for the replacement of the H6 subway cars and allow for increased capacity on the Yonge-University-Spadina line.[5]

Public Input

The TTC invited patrons to view an early mock-up and complete a survey in June 2006 at Davisville Station followed by Kennedy and Kipling stations. This mockup was created from two T1 cars 5344 and 5345. Car 5345 was used to demonstrate the interior design of the new Toronto Rocket cars. 5344 only received exterior accessories such as a blue LED light to indicate the door closest to the wheelchair area, and also received a minor change in seating arrangement to demonstrate perimeter seating (but was not open to the public for viewing like 5345 was).

The early interior mock-up included a section in the middle that represented the open gangway between two cars. In this area there was a lowered section of the ceiling where the HVAC would be housed. Under this area were individual clusters of LED lights in fixtures. At the ends of this lowered section was a display showing the current station and the side the doors would open on. Mirrors were added after the last side doors at each end creating a continuous visual effect. Interior decor remained largely the same as the T1 save for red sheathes placed on the stanchions and textured and coloured markings on the floor. The subway map above the doors indicated with LED's the train's progression and whether the doors would open on the side or not.

Passengers were asked their opinion regarding the interior configuration and colour scheme for the new subway cars. They were provided with images of subway trains from New York, Montreal, and China, in addition to a digital rendering of what would become the Toronto Rocket. An exterior rendering was also displayed.

A second mockup was built at Bombardier's facility and consisted of two individual sections: a front section with cab and half of the passenger cabin. This mockup was closer to the design that would ultimately be built. The passenger mockup made its public debut at the People in Motion event on June 6 and 7, 2008. It was again displayed at that year's Canadian National Exhibition. The cab mockup was displayed at the 2008 APTA expo in San Diego, California.

The interior of this mock-up featured one end with the gangway and mirror and another end ending at a door with a mirror. The lowered ceiling around the HVAC remained as did the digital signage. Where space was not occupied by the HVAC, a rail ran along the ceiling with retracting handles like those used on the T1s. This mockup featured a wheelchair area with three tip-up seats that were stowed in the upright position. There is also a partition separating the wheelchair area from the row of transverse seats. The interior colour scheme is similar to the T1, but with white walls, silver doors, and grey floor with red textured markings for the visually impaired. This mockup also featured LCD screens for passenger information and a passenger communications system for emergencies. The original intention was to have windows with a tip-in transom for ventilation, but this was abandoned.

Delivery and service

The first train was originally expected to arrive in late 2009 to early 2010 to undergo testing with passenger service commencing in 2011.[6] The bankruptcy of New York-based door supplier Curtis Doors in early 2010 delayed production of the cars. The bankruptcy was considered beyond Bombardier’s control, so they were not penalized for the delay.[7]

The first set (cars 5381-5386) was delivered to Bombardier's Millhaven (Ontario) facility to undergo extended testing. The TTC would receive the second set (5391-5386) in October 2010. Cars are delivered individually by truck from Bombardier's Thunder Bay assembly plant to the TTC's Wilson complex.

The Toronto Rocket's inaugural run took place on July 21, 2011. The set (5411-5416) remained in service until the night, and the TTC Tweeted the location of the train while it was out. Until crew training was completed, the TR train was operated either as an extra run on the line, or on crews that only operate during rush hour.



  • Length: 23,190 mm (A car) 22,860 mm (B & C car)
  • Width: 2,620 mm
  • Track Gauge: 1495 mm (58-7/8)



  • Third Rail: 600 VDC 120/208 (auxiliary)



  1. TTC approves Bombardier deal CBC (Toronto) 31 August 2006. Retrieved on 2010-10-01
  2. TTC approves Bombardier subway car contract CTV (Toronto). 30 August 2006. Retrieved on 2010-10-01
  3. Council approves TTC contract for Bombardier CTV (Toronto) 26 September 2006. Retrieved on 2010-10-01
  4. TTC exercises options for Bombardier subway cars Metro Magazine (Torrence). 13 May 2010. Retrieved on 2010-10-01
  5. TTC approves 186 more subway cars, TB Newswatch (Thunder Bay). 6 May 2010. Retrieved on 2010-10-01
  6. New Subway Train,, retrieved on 2010-10-01
  7. Kalinowski, Tess (27 April 2010). TTC’s new subway cars delayed Toronto Star (Toronto). Retrieved on 2010-10-01

See also