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Toronto - September 2007

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Toronto — Streetcars On Display 

Rail Transit Online, September 2007

Two of at least five companies that are planning to bid on an order for 204 new Toronto streetcars displayed their products at the annual Canadian National Exhibition beginning Aug. 17.  Siemens Canada showed its double-articulated Combino Plus, which the company’s director of business development, Mario Péloquin, described as a “…world class, environmentally friendly streetcar.”  He said Siemens wanted “…the community to experience the uniqueness of the Combino Plus for themselves.”  The high-capacity car features a 100-percent low floor and regenerative braking.  Bombardier Transportation presented its Minneapolis LRV, although a spokesman said it’s slightly larger than the design being considered for the Toronto Transit Commission.  If the cars make a good impression on residents, company officials no doubt believe, it could help influence commissioners when they make a decision.  The order could cost up to C$1.4 billion and reportedly would be the largest North American LRV order in history. 

Seven firms initially showed an interest in the job but three have since decided not to participate.  That leaves Bombardier, Siemens, Skoda from the Czech republic and Vossloh-Kiepe of Germany, all of which are studying a massive 600-page draft specification released last month by the TTC.  “We’ve got a very unique environment compared with typical light rail operations, even for streetcar operations, because our system is very mature and very old and it goes around in very tight areas and neighborhoods,” Stephen Lam, the city’s superintendent of streetcar engineering, told the National Post


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