by James Bow
Following the decision, early in 2013, to focus on upgrading the Toronto subway fleet with new Toronto Rocket cars, the TTC set about retiring its remaining Hawker Siddeley class “chopper control” cars. The H-5 series had seen their last run on June 14, 2013, leaving the 1986-built H-6 class cars operating on the Bloor-Danforth line. These trains were retired over 2014, as arriving Rocket cars displaced T-1 cars on the Yonge-University-Spadina line. Finally, on June 20, 2014, the TTC arranged a special farewell run to officially commemorate the retirement of this class of subway car.
At 10 a.m. on Friday morning, the TTC moved an H6 train consisting of cars 5898-5899, 5909-5908 and 5859-5858 out of Greenwood Yard and into Greenwood station, where it was greeted by a sizeable crowd of railfans waiting to pay their respects. The head of communications at the TTC, Brad Ross, was on board the train, along with a number of TTC drivers and mechanics, to ensure the final trip ran flawlessly, and to meet the press. A television crew from CityTV was there to record the journey, and interview passengers.
The train operated in service from Greenwood to Kennedy, then from Kennedy to Kipling, then back to Kennedy before officially going out of service for the last time at around 12:30 p.m. Fast-thinking railfans were able to jump aboard the service train departing immediately ahead of the H-6 train’s deadhead run to Greenwood, and thus were able to capture its last appearance at Greenwood station as it pulled into the yard, ending not just the H-6 class of subway car, but the entire Hawker-Siddeley era.