Montreal Series Retirement Charter - February 28, 1999

Lower Bay

Text by Brad O'Brien and James Bow, Pictures by Brad O'Brien, except where noted.

This page originally appeared on an earlier version of the Toronto Transportation Society website, before it disappeared during major website renovations. With permission of the TTS webmaster, and author, Brad O'Brien, this web page has been reprinted here.

In early 1999, the writing was on the wall for the first Canadian-built Subway Cars, the Montreal series. With the new T1s arriving regularly, and the MLWs confined to acting as rush-hour extras, railfans knew that this class of vehicle would soon be retired. As it had done with the Gloucesters in 1990, the TTS organized a farewell charter for the M-1s. Railfans from across North America would be able to say goodbye to these distinctive cars, as well as visit places on the subway system that were rarely open to the public.

Held on the anniversary date of the opening of the University subway (February 28), dozens of TTS members gathered at Davisville station to board the train. The charter would become one of the biggest in the history of the TTS. Brad O'Brien was there, and logged the trip below.


The train arrived at the Davisville Subway Station at 10:30 a.m. The M-1 cars used for the charter were : 5300 - 5301 - 5331 - 5330 - 5327 - 5326 . 5300 faced north towards Finch. Rob H. photo


In this photo you can see some of the people who were on this well attended charter while sitting in Davisville station.

Finch Station

The first photo stop on the charter took place at the Finch Station. Seen here is 5300 signed with an old 'Finch via Downtown' exposure. From here, the train proceeded north into the storage tracks at Finch and returned south on the opposite platform. These special tracks are used to store trains after the subway closes at night.

Front Window Viewers

Another interior shot of the train, this time with everyone lined up at the front window to get a good view. Rob H. photo

5300 at Downsview

The next photo stop was taken at the Downsview station, the youngest station on the system. This was the first and most likely the only time a M-1 train has entered Downsview station.

5327 at Downsview

Another view of the M-1 train in Downsview station. 5327 can be seen in this view.

Osgoode station

After Downsview, we headed south to Osgoode where were let off. The train went south into the Osgoode pocket track and picked us up northbound. This photo was taken as the train re-entered the station northbound. Rob H. Photo

Lower Bay

After this came the highlight of the charter, our visit Lower Bay. Here's 5300 signed 'York Mills via Downtown' in the abandoned station.

Lower Bay

Here's a view right down the middle of the dark station. You can see many of the people who attended the charter exploring the station. For many of us, this was our first visit to the famous Lower Bay.

Greenwood Yard

Next we took the train through the Greenwood Yard. Many interesting pieces of work equipment and subway trains were on display. Here's a couple of M-1s being stored there at the time.


After Greenwood, the charter proceeded westbound to Kipling for the final photo stop. Here's 5300 signed 'Islington'. After this photo stop, the charter went back Davisville to bring this event to a close.

Special thanks goes to everyone who organized and attended this charter and made it a such a great event. Until next time!