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Last run for H6 subway cars, June 20


TTC H6 class subway car 5926 pauses at Kipling station before switching ends and heading back to Kennedy. This photo was taken by G. Viloria on September 15, 2010, and is used with permission.

Tomorrow, Friday, June 20, transit fans and passengers have an opportunity to bid farewell to the last of the TTC’s H6 subway cars.

The H6s have been serving TTC subway passengers since the 1980s.

In the Toronto Transit archives, James Bow and Robert Lubinski describe the early history and background of of the cars:

“In 1981, the TTC considered expanding its subway fleet by another 26 cars as [changes]… on the Bloor-Danforth Subway required the use of more trains. It was decided to delay the order since such a small purchase would be very expensive, per car. A year later, the TTC proposed to purchase 126 cars, with the additional 100 allowing for the replacement of the 134 [original subway] cars. Thus the H-6 series marked the first series of subway cars on the TTC which were purchased to replace an older generation, rather than merely expanding the fleet.

“By this time, the [Ontario-government-owned Urban Transit Development Company] had entered into joint ownership of the Thunder Bay plant with Hawker-Siddeley and, in May 1983, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Communications requested that the TTC purchase its vehicles only from UTDC. The TTC agreed to this after they were allowed to select an independent referee to adjudicate the proposal prices and terms. After much negotiation, the referee reported on the fairness of UTDC’s bids on November 28, and a contract was awarded to UTDC on December 30, 1983 for 126 cars at a unit price of $1,147,500 exclusive of training costs and future escalation. The new cars were expected to enter service in 1985-86 and would be numbered 5810-5935.

“There were a few new features on the H-6 cars, including force ventilated traction motors from Brush Electrical Machines Limited (England), gear units from Hurth (Germany) and a DC motor driven compressor from CIR. The cars had overhead as well as baseboard heating, door threshold and coupler heaters (to prevent freeze-ups during winter), 120V AC lighting (same as on H-1 cars) and 14 speakers for a carbody P.A. system. The H-6 cars were delivered with M.A.N. trucks similar to those that were tested on cars 5804-07. The H-6 cars had a similar interior layout to the H-5s, with OTACO seats, however the seats were light orange and beige, with dark orange doors and darker fake woodgrain panels, and the floors were light beige.”

You can read the rest of James’ and Robert’s history of the TTC’s H5 and H6 subway cars here.

The last H6 train leaves Greenwood Station at 10 a.m. tomorrow.

Some Transit Toronto readers have speculated that this train and other recently decommissioned H6 train sets were headed to Nigeria, where a transportation agency would put them into service on a rapid transit line in Lagos. However, the TTC’s Executive Director of Corporate Communications, Brad Ross, recently tweeted that all the cars are headed to the scrapyard.